Columbia River System Operations

Looking east along the Columbia River Gorge from the Vista House along Historic U.S. Highway 30 in Oregon. The Columbia River Treaty, signed by Canada and the U.S. in 1961, was developed to coordinate flood control and optimize electrical energy production in the Columbia Basin.
This congressionally authorized project consists of Ice Harbor Dam, powerhouse, navigation lock, two fish ladders, a removable spillway weir and a juvenile fish bypass facility. It provides navigation, hydroelectric generation, recreation and incidental irrigation.Located upstream of McNary Lock and Dam and Lake Wallula, Ice Harbor Dam is 2,822 feet long with an effective height of 100 feet. It is a concrete gravity type dam, with an earthfill embankment section at the north abutment. It includes a navigation lock with clear dimensions of 86 by 675 feet. The dam has a 10-bay spillway that is 590 feet long and includes ten 50 foot tainter gates.
Little Goose Lock and Dam, near Starbuck, Washington
The John Day Dam spans the Columbia River in the northwestern United States. The dam features a navigation lock with one of the highest lifts, 110 feet, of any U.S. lock. The reservoir impounded by the dam is Lake Umatilla and is part of the Columbia River Basin system of dams. It's 16 generators produce 135 megawatts of power each.

Columbia River System Operations

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration, as co-lead agencies, are preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act on the operations and configurations for 14 federal projects in the Columbia River System in the interior Columbia River Basin.

In this Columbia River System Operations EIS, the three co-lead agencies will present a range of reasonable alternatives for long-term system operations and evaluate the potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts on flood risk management, irrigation, power generation, navigation, fish and wildlife conservation, cultural resources, water quality and recreation.


On October 19, 2018, the federal co-lead agencies, NOAA Fisheries, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service received a directive from the President to develop a schedule to complete the Columbia River System Operations (CRSO) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and associated biological opinions by 2020. We are working together to develop that schedule to submit to the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) within the 60-day timeframe as required by the President.

After submitting a schedule to CEQ and once a final schedule is developed, we will provide the timeline to cooperating agencies, states, tribes, and the public. We are committed to continuing to conduct an open, transparent, and collaborative process as we implement the new schedule and complete the CRSO EIS.

Contact Us

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Attn: CRSO EIS, P.O. Box 2870
Portland, OR 97208-2870
P: (800) 290-5033
Email: info@crso.info

EIS Co-lead Agencies

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and  Bonneville Power Administration operate, maintain, and transmit hydroelectric power from 14 federal multiple purpose dams and related facilities located throughout the Columbia River basin.