PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed its analysis of the public’s comments regarding the Corps’ proposed plan to provide downstream fish passage, including temperature control, at Detroit Dam and Lake. The report is available here: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/7438.
This report describes the public scoping process, provides analysis on comments collected, and concludes with a summary on how these comments will be incorporated into the project’s Environmental Impact Statement analysis. Public scoping is the process by which federal agencies solicit public input on the scope of issues and alternatives the agency should address in an EIS as a part of the National Environmental Policy Act.
For the Detroit Downstream Passage Project, the Corps published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS in the Federal Register on November 24, 2017. The Corps provided the public with a 60-day comment period beginning on November 24, 2017 and ending January 23, 2018.
Once the public scoping period closed, the Corps began analyzing and summarizing the public’s comments. The Corps is using these comments to ensure that the scope of the EIS includes all the issues of concern to interested stakeholders.
During the 60-day comment period, a total of 198 individuals, groups and government entities submitted comments, including federal and state agencies, city and county governments, and non-governmental organizations. In the report, the Corps has determined that 33 topics of concern were present in the submissions. Examples include water supply impacts, recreation impacts, agricultural impacts, reservoir fisheries impacts and environmental justice. The Corps will address these concerns further in the draft EIS.
The Corps conducted this review to aid in developing a project that will provide downstream juvenile fish passage for Upper Willamette River Chinook and temperature control at Detroit Dam. The Detroit Dam and Lake spans the Linn County–Marion County border in the Oregon Cascades on the North Santiam River near the city of Detroit.
The public can learn about Detroit Dam and it authorized purposes; current alternatives for downstream fish passage and temperature control; the Corps’ and other interagency roles; and the NEPA process by visiting www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Willamette/Detroit/fish-passage/
The purpose of this EIS is to analyze effects to the human environment, including, but not limited to, ecological, aesthetic, historic, economic and social, associated with the Corps’ efforts to enhance juvenile passage for Endangered Species Act-listed fish through Detroit Dam. It will also analyze effects of modifying temperatures in the North Santiam and mainstem Santiam rivers, below Detroit Dam, so that operational temperature targets are optimized for adult and juvenile salmonids. These actions are part of the Corps’ implementation of the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2008) Biological Opinions for the continued operations and maintenance of the Willamette Valley Project.