US Army Corps of Engineers
Northwestern Division Website

  • February

    Walla Walla's Mill Creek Channel performed as designed; flood recovery support underway

    For about 36 hours on Feb. 6 and 7, from Thursday morning to Friday night, Corps officials continuously monitored water flows up and down the Mill Creek Channel and throughout the Walla Walla Basin in eastern Washington. They increased Bennington Lake diversions Thursday night, focused on effectively managing the amount of water going through town with those into Bennington Lake.
  • January

    Ready for the “Big One”? The Corps studies and prepares for the worst case

    Scientists tell us the Pacific Northwest is due for a very large earthquake—possibly as large as magnitude 9.2—from the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) off the Pacific coast, stretching from northern California to southern British Columbia. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District has been evaluating potential impacts to its dams in the Willamette, Rogue and Columbia River regions to prepare for such an event.
  • Special Projects Branch hits 10-year milestone

    In many organizations, there are some tasks and projects that just don’t seem to fit into an easily defined category. This was also the case for the Corps of Engineers Omaha District in 2009. The District had projects that needed to be completed, but didn’t quite fit the mold of the programs they were assigned to. The solution to that issue to the stand up the Special Projects Branch. It was a new concept when the first eight-person team was assembled to take on these outliers, which totaled more than $140 million that first year. Since then, the branch has grown to 52 people and nearly $600 million worth of work annually.
  • Winter doesn't put freeze on flood repairs

    When the unprecedented and historical flooding started in the Missouri and Platte River basins in March 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Omaha District responded immediately. Within hours, the District, led by the Readiness Branch, was developing plans and sending materials out to fight the flood and provide assistance to communities within harm’s way.
  • December

    Optimized Remediation of Groundwater Contamination at the Former Nebraska Ordnance Plant

    The Former Nebraska Ordnance Plant, located in rural Nebraska near the town of Mead, was a 17,250-acre load, assemble and pack facility that produced bombs, boosters and shells in support of World War II and the Korean Conflict. The facility included munition load lines and an Atlas Missile Area, added in 1959.  There are currently four groundwater plumes, each up to four miles long. The primary contaminants within the groundwater are trichloroethene (TCE), a common solvent, and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), an explosive. Despite the existing contamination, the former NOP property is used today for residential, agricultural, and research purposes by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The U.S. Army Reserve and Nebraska Air National Guard also own portions of the property.
  • 10th annual Eagle Watch at The Dalles Dam Visitor Center Jan. 18

    Join Portland District park rangers for the 10th annual Eagle Watch at The Dalles Dam Visitor Center on Saturday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to view bald eagles roosting in their natural habitat along the Columbia River.
  • November

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Smithville Lake celebrates 30th managed deer hunt

    Nearly 150 people filled a maintenance facility with excitement at Smithville Lake around 4 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. They were all there for one reason, to get out into the wild and seek a big buck this weekend. For the 30th year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Smithville Lake hosted what’s known as the world’s largest managed deer hunt for mobility-impaired hunters. During this two-day event, 60 hunting blinds are set up across 3,800 acres of prime ground, not available for public hunting. Along with a volunteer, these hunters seek out the best spot near daybreak and wait out their target.
  • CRSO: Introducing the affected environment

    Essential to the National Environmental Policy Act process and the comparison of the alternatives under consideration is the development of the Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences sections of the environmental impact statement.
  • CRSO: Operating dams to support fish passage

    The Corps and Reclamation operate Hungry Horse, Libby, Albeni Falls, Grand Coulee and Dworshak dams to store water to reduce flood damages downstream and deliver water for irrigation, among other purposes. However, storing water can interrupt the seasonal river flow patterns.
  • Defining the Environment under NEPA

    The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to evaluate each of the alternatives thoroughly to support comparisons about their implementation and their impacts on resources in natural and physical environments.