PORTLAND, Ore. (KIFI/KIDK) - A four state coalition of agencies has released a long-anticipated draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for Columbia River System Operations.
30 entities agreed to be cooperating agencies in the environmental review process. The states involved include Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The lead federal agencies involved include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration.
The DEIS reviewed a no-action and five action alternatives for operations, maintenance, and configuration of the Columbia River System. The study explored a range of hydropower management options to support salmon runs, water storage, flood management, tribal interests and other issues.
The alternatives were wide-ranging, from doing nothing to breaching the four lower Snake River dams.
According to the document, the preferred alternative seeks to balance the multiple purposes of the federal projects, while complying with environmental laws, regulations, and executive orders.
You can review the full executive summary of the document here.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will accept public comments on the DEIS through April 13. A series of public comment meetings are scheduled in March in Lewiston, Idaho, Kennewick, Seattle, and Spokane, Washington, Kalispell, Montana, and Portland, Oregon.