COVID-19 Forces Federal Agencies To Adjust Procedures For Commenting On Draft EIS For Columbia/Snake River Dams

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration, the agencies which operate the Columbia and Snake River dams, sent out this notice by email this morning, March 12:

Good morning,

The developing COVID-19 outbreak in Washington and Oregon has prompted us to adjust the Seattle and Portland scheduled public comment meetings for the recently released Columbia River System Operation draft Environmental Impact Statement. These two comment meetings will not be held due to the high number of COVID-19 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in those geographical areas and calls from local officials to limit public exposure. 

You can provide formal comments to the comment record through recorded phone-in teleconferences and you also can listen to other callers’ comments while avoiding crowded venues. In all, six phone-in opportunities have been added to the ways the public can submit comments during the comment period.

Information on the phone sessions is outlined below and will be posted at www.crso.info. An updated Availability and Comment Fact Sheet will be emailed to you soon. We will continue to monitor the public health situation and make further adjustments as needed.  The public is encouraged to check the website for any updates and before traveling to the other meetings.

Thank you for your understanding.

The CRSO EIS Team

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Public Comment Teleconferences

March 17, 18, 19, 25, 26 and 31

3:45 p.m. PDT   Phone lines open

4-8 p.m. Provide public comment (3 minute limit) Toll free: 844-721-7241 Caller paid or international: 409-207-6955 After calling the number above, enter this access code: 5998146#

Speaking order will be determined once participants are connected and if they indicate interest in providing comments. Instructions for participation will be provided online at www.crso.info and at the beginning of each teleconference.

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To add your name to the project mailing list, send an email to info@crso.info or clearly provide your name and a postal mailing address on our message line at 800-290-5033. Please add the project email address to your contact list to help ensure project emails reach you. 

Please note:  Comments or other information you send to this email address or left on the message line are not maintained for the project record. Comments emailed to any of the EIS co-lead agencies will not be entered into the record. Please use the other comment methods that are posted on the website.

For background see:

— CBB, Feb. 28, 2020, FEDERAL AGENCIES RELEASE DRAFT EIS FOR COLUMBIA/SNAKE RIVER DAMS; REJECTS BREACHING LOWER SNAKE DAMS https://www.cbbulletin.com/federal-agencies-release-draft-eis-for-columbia-snake-river-dams-rejects-breaching-lower-snake-dams/

— CBB, March 5, 2020, PARTIES REACT: DRAFT EIS SAYS BREACHING LOWER SNAKE DAMS HIGHEST BENEFIT FOR FISH, BUT HIGH ADVERSE IMPACTS TO OTHER RESOURCES https://www.cbbulletin.com/parties-react-draft-eis-says-breaching-lower-snake-dams-highest-benefit-for-fish-but-high-adverse-impacts-to-other-resources/

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