U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to participate in cost sharing with
Northwest states -- depending on the availability of federal funding-- to
expand boat inspection stations to detect invasive, destructive species such as
zebra or quagga mussels.
Corps Thursday issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact and a Final
Integrated Letter Report and Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Federal
Participation in Watercraft Inspection Stations in the Columbia River Basin.” Public comments were previously invited
through Jan. 12, 2017.
are available at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental-Compliance/.
inspection stations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington reduce the risk of
aquatic invasive species, such as zebra or quagga mussels carried on
watercraft, entering the basin from outside the basin.
Columbia River Basin is one of the last major watersheds in the United States
not infested with invasive zebra or quagga mussels, which can wreck expensive
havoc on water infrastructure facilities.
Corps will partner with the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington on
establishing watercraft inspection stations at locations that protect the
Columbia River Basin and provide the highest likelihood of preventing the
spread of aquatic invasive species into Corps-managed reservoirs in the
Columbia River Basin.
Corps has authority to fund 50 percent of the cost to establish, operate, and
maintain new or existing watercraft inspection stations.
the Final Integrated LR/EA, the selected alternative augments existing
watercraft inspection programs by incorporating a comprehensive range of
measures or “suite of tools” to be used and modified annually, “depending on
each state’s need and ability to fund its portion of the program, the results
of regional coordination efforts, and availability of federal funding,” says
suite of tools includes Corps participation “in regional strategy meetings to
select the inspection locations, expanding the number of locations or hours of
operation, adding canine detection capabilities, improving signage,
constructing site improvements, and augmenting existing monitoring efforts and
contingency and response planning efforts.”
Corps, in its documents, notes that conservative estimates of average federal
and non-federal annual operations and maintenance cost savings associated with
deferring an aquatic invasive species infestation for one year is about $156
estimated costs of the inspection station program to protect the Columbia River
Basin is about $7.4 million.
the benefit-to-cost ratio is favorable, about 8.4 to one. These economic
benefits do not include the ecosystem benefits of delaying an infestation,”
says the Corps.
primary target for watercraft inspections is invasive mussels, which are a
considerable threat to infrastructure. A 2015 report said if an invasion of the
mussels were to occur throughout the region, most of the damage would be to the
region’s dams, hatcheries and water supply facilities, as well as a big chunk
for boater costs and maintenance.
CBB, Feb, 24, 2017, “Corps Discussing Cost-Sharing For Watercraft Inspection
Stations To Fight Invasive Mussels” http://www.cbbulletin.com/438378.aspx