Reclamation seeks comments on Minidoka Powerplant Unit 7 maintenance project

Media Contact: Edna Rey-Vizgirdas, 208-378-5212

For Release: June 08, 2018

MINIDOKA COUNTY, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the Minidoka Powerplant Unit 7 draft tube bulkhead structure, located at Minidoka Dam in Minidoka County, Idaho.

The proposed project would address the need for replacement and repair of the original bulkhead gate structure that has deteriorated over 75 years in service. The bulkhead gate steel slots and adjacent concrete have deteriorated to a point where the bulkhead gate may not be adequately stabilized in the structure, and failure could result in the dewatering of Lake Walcott. Leaks caused by this degradation severely hamper Reclamation’s ability to dewater and perform adequate routine maintenance on the lower portion of Unit 7.

This project would improve the structural integrity of Unit 7 to avoid further deterioration and allow dewatering for regular maintenance. The work would require short-term dewatering in the tailrace to perform removal and replacement of components, as well as placement of new concrete reinforcement structures.

Prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the draft EA analyzes two actions: the Proposed Action (implementing the project, as described above) and a No Action alternative (non-implementation).

The draft EA is available at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/minidokaunit/index.html.

Please send written comments on the draft EA to Ms. Amy Goodrich, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, Snake River Area Office, 230 Collins Road, Boise, ID 83702, or via email to sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov. Comments must be received by Monday, July 9, 2018.

If you have any questions about this project or would like to obtain a printed copy of the draft EA, please contact Ms. Goodrich at 208-383-2250.

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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.