PORTLAND, Oregon --
More than 2,300 people attended a series of public meetings and webinars provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and the Bureau of Reclamation (Action Agencies) regarding the environmental impact statement (EIS) the Action Agencies are developing for the operations and maintenance of the Columbia River System (CRSO EIS).
The meetings were held throughout the Pacific Northwest from Oct 24, 2016 through Jan 9, 2017. The CRSO includes 14 federal dams and their related facilities located in the interior Columbia and Snake River Basins that are operated in a coordinated manner for multiple purposes.
During the four month public comment period, the Action Agencies urged members of the public to provide input on the scope of issues, potential effects, and range of alternatives to evaluate in the draft EIS. Together, the Action Agencies received 393,352 comments.
Some topics the public suggested for study include:
- Dam breaching
- Dam construction
- Operational changes
- Transportation analysis
- Recreational opportunities
- Replace hydropower generation with other sources of energy generation
- Increase hydropower generation
- Fish passage (non-structural)
- Fish management actions
The Action Agencies are producing the CRSO EIS to fulfill our National Environmental Policy Act responsibilities. Once completed, the CRSO EIS will describe the impacts associated with the long-term future operation and configuration of the Columbia River System projects.
To ensure stakeholders and other members of the public are kept informed during the CRSO EIS process, the Action Agencies plan to provide periodic updates through newsletters, fact sheets and dynamic content to the www.crso.info website. A draft CRSO EIS is expected by early 2020. The final EIS is expected in 2021.
Release no. 19-032