Agencies Seek Additional Comments on Snow Lake Water Control Structure Draft Environmental Assessment

Media Contact: Erika Lopez, (208) 378-5101
Amanda Smith, (503) 872-2852

For Release: December 21, 2017

CHELAN COUNTY, WA – The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) are seeking additional comments on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed removal and replacement of the existing Upper Snow Lake tunnel water release control valve with a new valve. The water control structure is located on land owned by the Service surrounded by the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area in Chelan County, Washington.

The existing valve has exceeded its expected 10-year service life and cannot reliably meet the 80-cubic-feet-per-second release capacity needed by the Icicle and Peshastin irrigation districts and Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery (LNFH) in the late summer, when cool, high-quality water is necessary for fish production and water is needed for irrigation. The new valve also will make it possible for the Icicle and Peshastin irrigation districts and the LNFH to use their water storage contract and water right in Snow and Nada lakes to meet their mission and provide additional water to benefit fish, wildlife, and habitat resources in Icicle Creek. Reclamation and the Service have prepared this draft EA to evaluate the environmental impacts of the proposed action—removing and replacing the valve, including the means to transport materials, equipment, supplies, and contract personnel to the remote location—and reasonable alternatives.

The draft EA analyzes three actions: two Proposed Action Alternatives (implementing the project as described above) and a No Action Alternative (non-implementation). Reclamation and the Service are co-lead agencies for the draft EA and have prepared it in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

The draft EA is available at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/snowlake/index.html. Please send written comments to Mr. Stephen Kolk, Wenatchee subbasin liaison, Bureau of Reclamation, 301 Yakima Street, room 319, Wenatchee, WA 98801-2966 or via email at BOR-PNR-SnowLakeEA@usbr.gov no later than Jan. 11, 2018.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Mr. Kolk at (509) 667-8494.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/snowlake/index.html