News Releases

Corps considers future changes that may impact Willamette Valley System operations, maintenance

Portland District
Published Jan. 10, 2022

Army engineers and planners are considering major changes that may impact the continued operations and maintenance of the Willamette Valley System (WVS). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) staff continue developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for WVS operations and maintenance in accordance with authorized project purposes, while meeting Endangered Species Act (ESA) obligations to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of listed species.

As part of the EIS development, the Corps encourages the public to attend an upcoming virtual information session to see its progress. Prior to the meetings, interested parties can view a virtual room, which contains videos, digital boards, slides and maps that should help information session attendees understand the purpose of the EIS and the National Environmental Policy Act. Additionally, the materials lay out the purpose of the EIS as well as the identified alternatives.

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, 12-1:30 p.m.


Call: 1-844-800-2712 (US) (Call-in toll-free number)

Access Code: 2760 992 4137 #

Password: cxC49jdpJ7?

The information session and the virtual room are not a forum for public comment, but the Corps will be seeking public comment on the draft EIS in fall 2022.

The WVS EIS continues to be a complex process and the upcoming meeting will present information, which provides a snapshot in time and will summarize the process the Corps has gone through to identify alternative ways of operating and maintaining the WVS, while meeting ESA requirements.

The WVS EIS is reshaping future operations in the Willamette Valley and the Corps is analyzing a broad range of alternatives, including:

  • High-value structural options
    • Floating fish facilities
    • Temperature control towers
  • Operations, which may be impactful for some authorized purposes
    • Water release through diversion tunnel, regulating outlets, delayed refills or spillways, which could affect
      • Recreation
      • Water supply
      • Water temperature (quality)
  • A combination of the structures and operations

These alternate approaches to balancing authorized purposes will not impact flood risk management but will have important tradeoffs for stakeholders and decision makers to consider.

It’s important to note that Corps staff developed these alternatives by combining the numerous actions identified by the public during scoping and in coordination with our Cooperating Agencies.

Background: Through the Willamette Valley System Operations & Maintenance EIS, the Corps will disclose the environmental impacts of its continued operation and maintenance (O&M) of 13 multipurpose dams and federal oversight of 43 miles of revetments in the Willamette River Basin, which constitute the Willamette Valley Project. It will further disclose the environmental impacts of implementation of various operations, construction and related activities, including for downstream fish passage and temperature control at various projects.

– 30 –

Tom Conning

Release no. 22-002