US Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District

Corps issues notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the Willamette Valley System operations and maintenance.
Click here for the Notice of Intent.

Submit comment:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CENWP-PME-E
ATTN: Suzanne Hill
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946

Public Comment Portal
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willamette.eis@usace.army.mil

E-mail us if you would like to be added to our distribution list for updates.

Comments are due by June 28, 2019. 

Willamette Valley System Environmental Impact Statement

The Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to address the continued operations and maintenance of the Willamette Valley System in accordance with authorized project purposes; while meeting Endangered Species Act obligations to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of listed species.

The Corps will serve as the lead federal agency for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act.  Read an article about the project here.

Cottage Grove Dam and Reservoir sits on the Coast Fork of the Willamette River, south of Eugene, Oregon. Cottage Grove is one 13 dams and reservoirs in the Willamette Valley System and the Corps’ continued operations and maintenance of the facility will be evaluated in the system-wide Environmental Impact Statement slated to kick-off this spring.

Background

Foster Dam and Reservoir manages water coming from the South Santiam River, and is located in Sweet Home, Oregon. Foster Dam and its accompanying facilities will be part of the Willamette Valley System Environmental Impact Statement. Additional facilities included at Foster are an Adult Fish Collection Facility and a fish hatchery.

The Corps operates and maintains 13 multipurpose dams and reservoirs in the Willamette River Basin in Oregon, and hatchery programs.

The most recent NEPA evaluation for the overall Willamette Valley System operations and maintenance was an EIS completed in 1980. Since 1980, operations have been modified and structural improvements for fish passage and temperature control have been implemented to address effects of the WVS on ESA-listed fish. NEPA evaluations since the 1980 EIS have been project-specific. There is also new information relevant to the environmental impacts of operating the WVS.

The Corps has re-initiated formal consultation under Section 7 of the ESA on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2008 Biological Opinion for the Willamette River Basin Flood Control Project. This NEPA process will inform the ESA Section 7 consultation process. Additionally, the Corps intends to initiate consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Upcoming Public Meetings

The Corps is hosting host public scoping meetings to provide an overview of the system operations and solicit feedback in the spring and early summer of 2019 to kick-off the National Environmental Policy Act review process. Meeting dates and times are below:

June 4

4 - 6:30 p.m.

Eugene

Eugene Public Library
Bascom-Tykeson Room
100 W 10th Ave

June 5

5 - 7:30 p.m.

Salem

South Salem High School Library,
Library – North Side Room
1910 Church St SE

June 6*

4 - 6:30 p.m.

Portland

Portland State University Conference Center
Willamette Room
310 SW Lincoln St

June 12

5 - 7:30 p.m.

Corvallis

Corvallis-Benton Public Library
Main Meeting Room
645 NW Monroe Ave

June 13

4 - 6:30 p.m.

Springfield

Springfield City Hall
Council Chambers
225 Fifth Street

 

* Parking is complementary for this public meeting. Parking is provided at the University Place hotel lot - 310 SW Lincoln St. 

Please follow the instructions below when parking: 

1. Park in an unreserved parking space around the hotel building.
2. Locate a meter in the lot near the hotel entrance or on the northeast side of the lot. 
3. Enter the Event Code '22778' into the meter and the vehicle's license plate number. If no license plate is posted, please enter, instead, the last 5 digits of the VIN. 
4. Ensure to add the appropriate time required for the length of stay or extend until day rate is reached. 

Note: Event parking arrangements do not allow vehicle parking in designated AVIS/Budget Rental car spaces. 

NEPA - The Environmental Policy Act Process, Scoping Phase and Your Role

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is one of the nation’s oldest environmental laws that encourages federal agencies to make environmentally responsible decisions. NEPA requires all federal agencies to consider and disclose the environmental effects of their proposed actions in an EIS. The Citizen's Guide to NEPA explains this law and how to effectively submit your input.

Per NEPA, an EIS assessing impacts of the proposed project on the human environment will be provided to the public for review and comment. The public will be notified when opportunities for comment arise. Currently, the Corps is in the “scoping” phase of the EIS.  “Scoping” is an early step in the process when the public is invited to provide substantive information and identify issues and potentially significant effects to be considered in the EIS.  The scoping phase is an important aspect of the EIS process, as collecting the right level of information at the right time is important to formulating action alternatives and identifying the depth and breadth of issues to be evaluated in the EIS.  Early and frequent engagement of all affected federal, state and local agencies, Native American Tribes and interested groups and individuals is important to ensuring that the Corps captures in the scope of the EIS, those issues that are important to the public.

Public scoping comments help the Corps:

  • Define the breadth of environmental resources and affects to evaluate.

  • Identify alternatives to be considered.

  • Determine new sources of data or information.

  • Identify and eliminate from detailed study issues that are not significant or that have been covered by prior environmental review.

Examples of areas for evaluation in the EIS include:

Air Quality
Cultural Resources
Floodplain Management
Economic Impacts
Environmental Justice
Land Use
Migratory Birds
Social Considerations
Endangered Species Act
Tribal Interests
Vegetation
Wetlands
Water Quality

EIS Timeline

Environmental Impact Statement Public Input Opportunities

Scoping - We are here

Notice for public input. Comment deadline is June 28, 2019. 

Collect information, ideas and concerns from public, tribes, agencies and others to consider.

This input informs the analysis of potential effects, the suite of alternatives that meet the project's purpose and need, and the criteria for evaluation and comparison of alternatives. 

In addition to Scoping, there will be other opportunities to comment (public meetings, website, letters, e-mails, etc.) and meet with the project team. Once we have a draft EIS, the public will be provided an opportunity to review and supply comments. The Corps will consider these comments when finalizing the EIS. The public will then be provided an opportunity to review the final EIS.

Draft EIS

Identify alternatives to be assessed in detail and compare direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of the alternatives and select the preferred plan.

Notice of availability for public review & comment.

The Draft EIS and preferred alternative are available for agency, tribal, and public review and comment.

Final EIS

Prepare and publish the final EIS, which will include responses to substantive comments.

Notice of availability for public review.

Record of Decision

Record of Decision completes the Corps' NEPA process.