Supplemental draft EIS for Kachess and Keechelus projects available for review

Media Contact: Erika Lopez, (208) 378-5101, 04/13/2018 13:31
Joye Redfield-Wilder, (509) 575-2610 , jred461@ecy.wa.gov

For Release: April 13, 2018

YAKIMA, WA – The Bureau of Reclamation and Washington State Department of Ecology have released a supplemental draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for projects at Kachess and Keechelus reservoirs being developed under the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan.

Comments are now being accepted on the SDEIS for the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant (KDRPP) and Keechelus Reservoir – to – Kachess Reservoir Conveyance (KKC) projects through July 11, 2018. Public meetings are scheduled for May 16, 2018, in Cle Elum and May 17, 2018, in Ellensburg. Comments received will be carefully reviewed and responded to in the final EIS.

The SDEIS considers proposals to improve water supply reliability, including a floating pumping plant alternative at the Kachess reservoir. The original draft EIS (DEIS) for the projects was issued in 2015. Following public input, Reclamation and Ecology determined a supplemental environmental review was required for the KDRPP and KKC projects.

In 2013, Reclamation and Ecology published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to prepare the KDRPP and KKC draft EIS followed by a joint National Environmental Policy Act and State Environmental Policy Act scoping process. The SDEIS evaluates seven alternatives:

  • Alternative 1 – No Action
  • Alternative 2 – KDRPP East Shore Pumping Plant
  • Alternative 3 – KDRPP South Pumping Plant
  • Alternative 4 – KDRPP Floating Pumping Plant
  • Alternative 5A – KDRPP East Shore Pumping Plant with KKC North Tunnel Alignment
  • Alternative 5B – KDRPP South Shore Pumping Plant with KKC North Tunnel Alignment
  • Alternative 5C – KDRPP Floating Pumping Plant with KKC North Tunnel Alignment
The purpose of these projects is to restore and enhance instream flows and aquatic habitat for fish, improve water supply reliability during drought years, improve the ability of water managers to respond and adapt to potential changing hydrology, and contribute to the vitality of the regional economy and riverine environment in the Yakima River basin.

Questions or comments on the SDEIS will be accepted until July 11, 2018. Comments may be submitted to kkbt@usbr.gov, by mail to the Bureau of Reclamation, Attn: Ms. Candace McKinley, Environmental Program Manager, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, WA, 98901; by telephone at (509) 575-5848, ext. 603; or by facsimile to (509) 454-5650. Hearing impaired citizens may dial 711 to obtain a toll free TTY relay.

Comments also will be accepted during public meetings held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

May 16, 2018: Cle Elum Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 803 W. Second St., Cle Elum.

May 17, 2018: The Armory, Kittitas Valley Event Center, 901 E. Seventh Ave., Ellensburg.

You may view the draft documents at: https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kdrpp/index.html and https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kkc/index.html. Reclamation and Ecology offices and local libraries also have copies available for viewing. Additional information regarding the Integrated Plan may be found at: https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/2011integratedplan/index.html.

The public meeting facilities are physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special assistance should be made by May 1, 2018, to Ms. McKinley at the contact information above.

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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/yrbwep/2011integratedplan/index.html

https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kkc/kprojectsdeis2018.pdf