As it studies how to provide downstream
passage and temperature control for juvenile fish at Detroit Dam on the North
Santiam River in Oregon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold two open
house-style meetings to get public input.
The Corps is conducting an environmental
review to aid in developing the fish passage project along with temperature
control at the dam for Upper Willamette River chinook that are listed as
threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
This first step in the Corps’ National
Environmental Policy Act review is to “scope” the extent of the issues to be
addressed. The final product in the NEPA process will be an environmental
impact statement for the project.
The Corps will take public comments through
January 8 and evaluate the input from the public and others. It will
incorporate the comments into a draft EIS, along with alternatives, a process
the Corps anticipates completing by the Fall of 2018, according to Corps
spokesperson Tom Conning.
The last step after a final EIS is approved is
the Record of Decision. There is no date set for the ROD.
The Corps is hosting two meetings:
-- Thursday, Dec. 14 from 4-7 p.m. at the
South Salem High School Library: 1910 Church St. SE, Salem, Ore. 97302
-- Tuesday, Dec. 19 from 4-7 p.m. at the Gates
Fire Hall: 140 East Sorbin St., Gates, Ore. 97346
The meeting, the Corps says, will offer the
public an opportunity to learn about Detroit Dam and its authorized purposes;
current alternatives for downstream fish passage and temperature control; the
Corps' and other interagency roles; the NEPA process; and submit written input
on what to consider in the environmental review.
The purpose of this EIS is to analyze effects
to the human environment, including aesthetic, historic, economic, social, etc.
associated with the Corps' efforts to enhance juvenile passage for ESA-listed
fish through Detroit Dam.
It will also analyze effects of modifying
temperatures in the North Santiam and main stem Santiam rivers, below Detroit
Dam, so that operational temperature targets are optimized for adult and
juvenile salmonids, the Corps says.
The actions are part of the Corps’
implementation of NOAA Fisheries’ and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2008
Biological Opinions for the continued operations and maintenance of the Corps’
Willamette Valley Project.
As part of the preparation of the EIS, NEPA
requires that there be an early and open process for determining the scope of
the issues to be addressed. The Corps is seeking input on the Detroit
Downstream Passage Project and the EIS from affected federal agencies, Native
American tribes, state agencies, local governments and non-governmental
organizations, stakeholders, and the public.
The Corps operates and maintains 13
multipurpose dams and reservoirs (including Detroit Dam and Lake) in the
Willamette River Basin in Oregon, collectively referred to as the Willamette
Valley Project (see http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Locations/Willamette-Valley/).
NOAA Fisheries released its 2008 BiOp “which
identified the required actions to avoid jeopardizing the existence of ESA listed
fish in the Willamette basin,” the Corps said on its project website at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Willamette/Detroit/fish-passage/.
The actions to avoid jeopardy include
downstream fish passage at Detroit Dam and the minimization of water quality
effects, temperature in particular, associated with operations of Detroit and
Big Cliff dams, by making structure modifications or major operational changes.
The assessment and environmental review will
--Current and forecasted conditions at and
downstream of the Detroit Lake.
--Solutions for providing downstream fish
passage and temperature control.
--Alternatives for constructing feasible
--Identification of a preferred plan and the
actions necessary to implement the final plan in the coming years.
With this information, the Corps will organize
the best options into a preferred plan for public discussion and comment.
The Corps will accept input on the project
scoping through January 8, 2018:
--Comment online at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Willamette/Detroit/fish-passage/.
-- By Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
-- By regular mail to Kelly Janes, U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, Attn: PM-E, PO Box 2946, Portland, OR 97208-2946
-- Or, written input can be given to any
project staff at the December 2017 public meetings.
--CBB, November 17, 2017, “Corps Seeks Comment
On Willamette Valley Reservoir Storage Reallocation Draft Study,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/439865.aspx
--CBB, November 3, 2017, “Conservation Groups
Announce Intent To Sue Corps Over Willamette Chinook, Steelhead,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/439813.aspx
--CBB, June 16, 2017, “Willamette BiOp For
Fish: Four Subbasins Focus Of Corps’ Salmon Reintroduction Programs Above
-- CBB, June 9, 2017, “Groups Sue Corps Over
Upper Willamette Summer-Run Steelhead Hatchery Releases; Says Harm Wild Fish” http://www.cbbulletin.com/439056.aspx
-- CBB, Sept. 23, 2016, “Trucking Spawning
Salmon Above Willamette Dam Showing Success In Offspring Survival, Adult