Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63945 Reclamation releases environmental documents for the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer wells project
AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation issued the final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed construction and operation of three wells to pump water from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer into Falls Irrigation District’s existing canal distribution system. <P> The selected action to construct and operate the three wells would provide a reliable source of late season irrigation water to the Falls Irrigation District patrons when American Falls Reservoir levels cannot supplement water delivery late in the season. The project area is located in southeast Idaho near American Falls, approximately 22 miles southwest of Pocatello, Idaho. <P> The final EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available online at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/fallsirrigation/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/fallsirrigation/index.html</a>. For more information or to request a copy, please contact Mr. Rich Jackson, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 230 Collins Road, Boise, Idaho, 83702-4520 or by email at <a href="mailto:sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov">sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63885 Draft Environmental Assessment released for the proposed modernization of the Third Power Plant, Generating Units 19–21 at Grand Coulee Dam
GRAND COULEE, Wash. — The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed modernization project for generating units 19–21 (G19–G21) in the Third Power Plant at Grand Coulee Dam. <P> The proposed modernization project will provide continued, reliable hydropower production for 40 years or more and will ensure that Reclamation meets its contractual obligations for power generation. <P> <P> <p>In this draft EA, analysis is underway on a proposed action and no action alternative for any potential environmental impacts: </p> <br> <P> <P> • Proposed Action: Third Power Plant Units G19–21 modernization with potential for full replacement of major unit systems. The proposed action includes a design-build option for the contractor to provide up to a full component replacement of each generating unit if necessary. <P> • No Action Alternative: Reclamation continues to operate G19–G21 with no system improvements. Maintenance is performed on an as-needed basis. <P> The draft EA is available at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/tpp/">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/tpp/</a>. Please send written comments no later than Dec. 24, 2018, to Mr. Brian Clark, GCPO-11-2, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 620, Grand Coulee, WA 99133. Comments also may be submitted via email at <a href="mailto:bdclark@usbr.gov">bdclark@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63883 Flows released into Crab Creek for scheduled inspection at Pinto Dam
EPHRATA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation will begin releasing flows up to 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Pinto Dam into Crab Creek, beginning the week of December 10, 2018, to perform a regularly planned inspection on the Pinto Dam headworks. Releases are not expected to last more than 30 days. This action is not part of the Potholes Supplemental Feed Route activities, but water will travel the same flow path. Surface flow from the release is expected to be limited to the first four miles of Crab Creek below Brook Lake. <P> Pinto Dam, an off-stream storage facility, is located north of Highway 28 in the eastern portion of Grant County. It impounds Billy Clapp Lake and provides irrigation water for the Columbia Basin Project. <P> For more information, please contact Harry Stone, civil engineer, at hstone@usbr.gov or at (509) 754-0251. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63835 Reclamation seeks comments on proposed changes to recreational use of “Geezer Beach”
GRAND COULEE, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment to identify issues to be addressed in an Environmental Assessment on altering recreational uses of the area within the Reclamation Zone, southwest of the Third Power Plant, known as “Geezer Beach.” <P> Under the 1990 Lake Roosevelt Cooperative Management Agreement, Reclamation manages the portion of the shoreline known as “Geezer Beach.” Reclamation has observed cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles parked in the reservoir, on federally owned and Reclamation-managed land (Reclamation Zone) during the spring draw down. Driving and parking on the drawdown can present a public safety risk to drivers and others because these vehicles can become stuck, roll into the reservoir, or become abandoned. <P> Reclamation proposes making changes to the recreational use of “Geezer Beach,” to address safety concerns related to driving vehicles on the reservoir shoreline. Reclamation will analyze the potential effects of a range of alternative actions. In the scoping phase, we will seek public comment to help identify and bring focus to concerns, issues, and analyses that should be included in the draft environmental assessment. <P> Proposed alternatives are as follows: <P> <ul> <li>No Action: Reclamation continues to allow vehicles to enter onto and drive on the drawdown at “Geezer Beach.”</li> <li>Proposed Alternative 1: Reclamation restricts physical access to cars, trucks, all-terrain vehicles, and recreational vehicles in the Reclamation Zone to designated parking areas.</li> <li>Proposed Alternative 2: Reclamation closes the area within the Reclamation Zone to fishing and recreation.</li> </ul> <P> Information obtained during the scoping period, December 3 through December 31, 2018, will bring focus to concerns, issues, and analyses that should be included in the draft environmental assessment. Written comments can be sent to Lon Ottosen, Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Power Office, PO Box 620, Grand Coulee, WA 99133 or emailed to lottosen@usbr.gov. Comments must be received no later than December 31, 2018, to be considered. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63832 Land purchase marks the beginning of next well
BOISE, Idaho – The next phase of the Lewiston Orchards Water Exchange and Title Transfer project, construction of a second well, is underway with the purchase of land and city permitting complete. In July, the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District procured land located just east of the first well site as the home for the second well and secured final city permits in October. With land purchase and permitting complete, contractor solicitation and selection can commence leading to construction. <P> The project purpose is to incrementally replace current surface water supplied from the Lapwai Creek watershed with groundwater pumped from the deep regional aquifer. This comprehensive solution addresses long-standing issues surrounding the operations of the Lewiston Orchards Project. At project completion, the well field will provide patrons with 8,500 acre-feet of irrigation water pumped nearly 2,000 feet up from the deep regional aquifer while leaving currently diverted water instream to benefit Snake River steelhead and protect the natural and cultural resources of the Nez Perce Tribe. <P> The Lewiston Orchards Project, located predominantly on the Nez Perce Reservation, is a Reclamation-owned project within the Lapwai Creek watershed. The project is operated and maintained by the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District, which serves approximately 20,000 patrons for local domestic and irrigation purposes. <P> “From my perspective this is a great thing. Living next to Sweetwater Creek and seeing the increased flow, I can see a noticeable difference in the creek maintaining and cleaning itself. There is much less silt on the bottom of the creek which is great for the fish,” said Nez Perce Tribal member, Emmit Taylor, Sr. <P> In 2017, the District operated the first constructed pilot well, which was completed in December 2016, allowing for the first exchange water to remain instream for the benefit of fish and habitat in the Lapwai Creek watershed while providing groundwater for patron use and avoiding water restrictions. <P> “Being a homeowner in the Orchards since 1955, we are delighted to see resolution towards our watering problems. We are very happy to see more water on a more reliable basis and of better quality. We are happy to see an end to the litigation because that was not resolving anything; that money is now being spent on a solution that meets everyone’s needs,” said Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District, Bob and Corene Wightman. <P> With the land purchase and permitting complete, the District is actively working to secure a construction contractor, with hopes to begin construction next summer. <P> For more information about the Lewiston Orchards Project Water Exchange and Title Transfer Project, contact Megan Sloan, Reclamation project manager, at (208) 383-2222; Barney Metz, LOID general manager, at (208) 746-8235; Dave Johnson, Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries resource manager at (208) 843-7320; or Jerry Klemm, Lower Clearwater Exchange Project chairman at (208) 750-6432. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63805 Reclamation releases environmental documents for Hungry Horse Powerplant Modernization
HUNGRY HORSE, Montana – The Bureau of Reclamation issued the final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed Hungry Horse Powerplant (HHPP) Modernization and Overhaul Project. The powerplant is located at Hungry Horse Dam in Hungry Horse, Montana. <P> The 10-year project involves modernizing and overhauling the powerplant to provide electrical power generation for an additional 30 years, while maintaining operations for flood risk management and fisheries resources. Many of the powerplant components have reached or exceeded their intended service life. They show problems stemming from age-related wear that could potentially result in increased failures and longer forced outages, more challenging repairs due to obsolescence and unavailability of spare parts, and higher operation and maintenance costs. <P> The final EA analyzed three actions, including a preferred alternative: <P> • Alternative A - No Action Alternative: Reclamation continues to operate the four hydropower generating units with no planned powerplant overhaul. Maintenance and repair would be performed on an as-needed basis. <P> • Alternative B - HHPP Modernization - Two Generating Units Offline for Four Years: Work would be conducted on two generating units simultaneously for four years and single generating units for six years. <P> • Alternative C - HHPP Modernization - Two Generating Units Offline for One Year (Preferred Alternative): Work would be conducted on two generating units simultaneously for one year and individual generating units for nine years. <P> Reclamation selected Alternative C - HHPP Modernization as the preferred action. The final EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/montana/hungryhorse/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/montana/hungryhorse/index.html</a>. For more information or to request a copy, please contact Ms. Pam Druliner, Natural Resource Specialist for the Bureau of Reclamation by email at <a href="mailto:pdruliner@usbr.gov">pdruliner@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63684 Reclamation seeks public input on proposed maintenance construction project at American Falls Dam
HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation is proposing to perform maintenance on and rehabilitation of components of the spillway at American Falls Dam, which is located in Power County in the town of American Falls. The environmental assessment will examine the potential effects of the proposed actions. Reclamation is seeking comments from the public to better identify issues and concerns regarding the proposed actions. <P> The proposed construction activities would address the need for replacement and repair of deteriorating concrete on the spillway, spillway gate operator decks, downstream dam face, and stilling basin structures, which have experienced degradation over 40 years in service. Construction activities would consist of the cutting, removal, and replacement of existing damaged concrete and reinforcing on these components, and replacement or modification of an existing drain grate in the stilling basin. <P> Federal actions must be analyzed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other relevant Federal and State laws and regulations to determine potential environmental consequences. <P> Individuals with questions about this proposal or who wish to receive a preliminary information package may contact Amy Goodrich, Bureau of Reclamation Natural Resource Specialist, at 208-383-2250 or via email at <a href="mailto:sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov">sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov</a>. Written comments should be addressed to <a href="mailto:sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov">sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov</a> and must be received by Dec. 21, 2018. <P> American Falls Dam, originally completed in 1928, is a component of the Minidoka Project, which is located on the Snake River. In 1978, the dam was reconstructed and replaced under the authority of Reclamation’s Safety of Dams Act. For additional information about the dam, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=24">https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=24</a>. <P> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63453 Flows reducing from Wickiup and Haystack dams
PRINEVILLE, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and NOAA Fisheries, will reduce fish and wildlife winter flows from Wickiup and Haystack dams as appropriate for dive inspections of the dams on Saturday, November 3, 2018. <P> Flows from Wickiup Dam will be reduced to 25 cubic feet per second (cfs) for up to 8 hours during the inspection. Haystack Dam flows will be reduced to zero cfs for up to 4 hours during the inspection. Flows are being reduced to ensure diver safety during the inspections. This will have no impact to the public. <P> Wickiup Dam is part of the Deschutes Project, which provides 200,000 acre-feet of storage for irrigation to 50,000 acres within the North Unit Irrigation District near Madras, Ore. Haystack Dam is also part of the Deschutes Project, located about 10 miles south of Madras. Both dams are owned by Reclamation and operated by the North Unit Irrigation District, which supplies irrigation water to the area. <P> For real-time Crooked River flows at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/destea.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/destea.html</a>. <P> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63448 Flows decreasing for inspection at Bowman Dam
PRINEVILLE, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and NOAA Fisheries, will reduce fish and wildlife winter flows from Arthur R. Bowman Dam as appropriate for a dive inspection of the dam on Friday, November 2, 2018. Flows will be reduced to 25 cubic feet per second (cfs) for 8 to 10 hours during the inspection. Flows may be further reduced to 10 cfs for some period of time if diver safety becomes a concern. <P> Arthur R. Bowman Dam is located on the Crooked River about 20 miles southeast of Prineville. <P> For real-time Crooked River flows at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/crooked.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/crooked.html</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63443 Reclamation releases environmental documents for Marble Beach Bank Stabilization project
GRAND COULEE, Wash. — The Bureau of Reclamation has issued the final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a bank stabilization project at Marble Beach on Lake Roosevelt in Stevens County, Wash. <P> The project will stabilize the shoreline, halt bank erosion, and reduce the potential for exposure and loss of sensitive resources through the installation of a retaining wall using concrete blocks that would be reinforced with surface-treated riprap. <P> The final EA analyzed two actions: the Proposed Action (implementing the project, as described above) and a No Action alternative (non-implementation). Reclamation selected the proposed action for implementation. <P> The EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/marble/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/marble/index.html. </a> For more information or to request a copy, contact Ms. Rebecca Thompson, Project Manager, Bureau of Reclamation at 208-378-5191. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63368 Reclamation and IWRB to host Boise River Basin Feasibility Study open house
BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Idaho Water Resource Board (IWRB) will host an open house on Thursday, November 8, 2018, to share early-stage information about a feasibility study for increasing water storage capacity within the Boise River system, particularly at Anderson Ranch Dam. <P> The open house will be held at the Wyndham Garden Inn Boise Airport, located at 3300 S. Vista Avenue in Boise, Idaho, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. A short introductory presentation will begin promptly at 6:00 pm. <P> Additional capacity could enable storage of more runoff in high water years such as 2017, enhancing long-term water supply for critical irrigation, domestic, industrial, and municipal needs while continuing to meet endangered species and power generation needs. It could potentially provide greater flood risk protection as well. <P> “Reclamation has placed a high priority on enhancing our infrastructure, and we’re delighted to partner with the state to meet critical water supply needs,” said Reclamation’s Snake River Area Manager Roland Springer. <P> IWRB has committed to fund up to $3M as the 50-percent, non-federal cost share partner. IWRB was created by the Idaho Legislature and is responsible for the formulation and implementation of a state water plan, finance of water projects, and the operation of programs that support sustainable management of Idaho’s water resources. <P> “With support from Idaho’s Governor and Legislature, the IWRB is focused on managing available water supply and addressing aquifer declines state wide, including in the Treasure Valley and Mountain Home aquifer,” said Roger Chase, Chairman of the IWRB. “Given the growth anticipated in the Treasure Valley, additional surface water storage may be required to offset aquifer declines and meet future water needs.” <P> The study is expected to be completed in 2020. <P> For more information, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/index.html</a>. Accessibility requests should be made by October 25, 2018, to BOR-SRA-BoiFeasibility@usbr.gov. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63347 Howard Prairie Dam access road remains closed
ASHLAND, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that the access road to the un-improved boat ramp will remain closed. Because winter is approaching, construction operations will discontinue through about April 1, 2019. The areas adjacent to the access road will remain closed until construction is completed in late 2019. <P> Howard Prairie Dam is located on Beaver Creek approximately 19 miles east of Talent, Ore. It was constructed from 1957 to 1958 for irrigation storage and for power generation. Water is conveyed through the Howard Prairie Delivery Canal to the Green Springs Powerplant to produce clean, renewable energy. <P> The dam is owned by Reclamation and operated by the Talent Irrigation District. The operation and maintenance are funded by Talent Irrigation District, Medford Irrigation District, Rogue River Valley Irrigation District, Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration with irrigation and power revenues resulting from discharges of the dam. <P> For more information, please contact Jesse Poletasio at (208) 378-5218 or visit Reclamation’s website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=124">https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=124</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63346 Flows reduced from Bowman Dam
PRINEVILLE, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation, with coordination from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and NOAA Fisheries, reduced fish and wildlife winter flows from Arthur R. Bowman Dam from 65 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 50 cfs on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. <P> This action is based on recent information regarding total Prineville Reservoir storage, uncontracted storage, and meteorological conditions over the last several months and as forecasted for the next several months. <P> A flow of 50 cfs would provide about 74 percent of chinook juvenile habitat, and about 73 percent of steelhead juvenile habitat. The proposed flow modification would reduce available chinook and steelhead habitat by 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Conserving stored water for fish and wildlife for subsequent water years can be vital for maintaining instream flows. <P> Arthur R. Bowman Dam is located on the Crooked River about 20 miles southeast of Prineville. <P> For real-time Crooked River flows at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/crooked.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/crooked.html</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63344 Reclamation awards $4.5 million contract for stoplogs at Grand Coulee Dam
GRAND COULEE, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $4,494,290 contract on September 18 to Brooklyn Iron Works, Inc., a small business from Spokane, for a supply of one set of main unit steel stoplogs, and still to be determined, an optional second set of stoplogs. Reclamation is purchasing a set for $2,277,740, and the optional second set is $2,216,550. <P> The contract requires supplying one complete set of steel stoplogs, along with custom lifting slings. <P> “The new stoplogs will play an important role in the Grand Coulee maintenance program,” said Power Manager Coleman Smith. “This will allow for continued safe and reliable power production for our customers.” <P> Brooklyn Iron Works, Inc., has served federal, state, and local governments as well as global commercial, industrial, and residential customers for more than 35 years. Their services include construction of simple steel buildings to complex mining equipment and intricate bridges. <P> Grand Coulee Dam, completed in 1941, is located on the Columbia River about 90 miles northwest of Spokane. It serves as a multipurpose facility, providing water for irrigation, hydroelectric power production, flood control, fish and wildlife, and recreation. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63343 Reclamation seeks public comment on proposed draft Environmental Assessment
BOISE, Idaho – In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Bureau of Reclamation is conducting an Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the potential environmental effects of constructing and operating three wells to pump water from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer into Falls Irrigation District’s existing canal distribution system. The project area is located in southeast Idaho near American Falls, approximately 22 miles southwest of Pocatello, Idaho. <P> The proposed action is to construct and operate three wells to pump water from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer into the existing canal distribution system. The proposed action would also provide a reliable source of late season irrigation water to the Falls Irrigation District patrons when American Falls Reservoir levels cannot supplement water delivery late in the season. <P> There will be a 30-day public comment period from issue of the draft EA. Reclamation will consider all submitted comments and determine whether to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact or a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. <P> Please send written comments no later than November 13, 2018, to Rich Jackson, natural resource specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 230 Collins Road, Boise, Idaho, 83702-4520 or by email at <a href="sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov">sra-nepa-comments@usbr.gov</a>. You may also contact him for additional information or visit the website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/fallsirrigation/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/fallsirrigation/index.html</a>. <P>