Pasco Pump Lateral 5.8 Wasteway
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Bureau of Reclamation issued a final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Pasco Pump Lateral (PPL) 5.8 Wasteway Pipeline Project (Project) The project is located north of Pasco, Washington and in a portion of the Columbia Basin Project served by the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District.
Reclamation proposes to construct a new wasteway from the PPL to the Columbia River to correct shortcomings of the existing PPL 6.0 Wasteway and avoid adverse impacts on the environment. This new wasteway would route excess irrigation water from the PPL (at mile 5.8) to a discharge point into the Columbia River.
The purpose of the Project is to address a deficiency in the PPL 6.0 Wasteway facilities, while providing a point of protection for the canal between the 4.3 Wasteway and the 6.2 Pumping Plant to evacuate emergency flows to the Columbia River and ensure the long-term viability of the PPL and operational flexibility of the PPL system.
The Project is needed to evacuate excess water when other facilities on the lateral, namely pumping stations, shutdown operation. This causes a sudden buildup of excess water in the PPL that must be evacuated to decrease the chance of canal failure when pump stations shut down. When irrigation water is released into the existing PPL 6.0 Wasteway under emergency canal evacuation conditions, it can be at a rate of 88 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is over and above the capabilities of the feature. Water releases of that volume can cause environmental impacts including flooding and rapid erosion on adjacent private property.
In this EA, a No Action and Proposed Action alternative were analyzed. Based upon the EA, Reclamation has determined that implementing the Proposed Action Alternative will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. No environmental effects meet the definition of significance in context or intensity as defined at 40 CFR 1508.27. Therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required for this proposed action.
Award for construction is projected to occur later this year with construction work set to begin during the 2019/2020 non-irrigation season.
Bureau of Reclamation
Columbia-Cascades Area Office
1917 Marsh Road
Yakima, WA 98901-2058