Reclamation releases record of decision for Kachess and Keechelus projects

Media Contact: Edna Rey-Vizgirdas, (208) 378-5212, ereyvizgirdas@usbr.gov
Candace McKinley, cmckinley@usbr.gov

For Release: April 29, 2019

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation announced its decision to study in more detail a floating pumping plant that could provide access to the inactive storage in Kachess Reservoir in years of severe drought.

“Getting to this point represents a tremendous effort from a great team of partners and stakeholders in the Yakima basin,” said Pacific Northwest Regional Director Lorri Gray. “Reclamation looks forward to working with our partners as we move forward with further site-specific analysis of the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant.”

If constructed, the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant would improve the ability of water managers to respond and adapt to changing hydrology, contribute to the vitality of the regional economy, and enhance riverine environment.

Before finalizing its decision to move forward with a more detailed study, Reclamation evaluated several potential projects intended to improve water supply reliability in the Yakima River basin under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir–to–Kachess Reservoir Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), released in March 2019, evaluated several alternatives to access the inactive storage water in the Kachess Reservoir. As described in the Record of Decision (ROD) for the FEIS, Reclamation has not approved implementation of any alternatives at this time but will develop a focused EIS to evaluate the site-specific effects of the floating pumping plant and other reasonable alternatives.

You may view the ROD or the FEIS at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kdrpp/index.html and https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kkc/index.html. For additional information or to obtain a printed copy of the ROD, or a CD of the FEIS, please contact Ms. Candace McKinley at (509) 573-8193. Hearing impaired citizens may dial 711 to obtain a toll-free TTY relay.

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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:

http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kdrpp/index.html

https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kkc/index.html