DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
The Dalles and John Day Mitigation Program
Issue Date: September 3, 2019
Closing Date: October 3, 201
Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (USACE) is seeking public comment on the draft Integrated Limited Reevaluation Report/Environmental Assessment (LRR/EA) for The Dalles and John Day Mitigation Program. The draft LRR/EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality’s NEPA regulations (40 C.F.R. parts 1500–1508), and USACE NEPA regulations (33 C.F.R. part 230).
USACE is evaluating changes to The Dalles and John Day Dams Mitigation Program, which produces and releases hatchery fall Chinook as mitigation for impacts to fisheries, resulting from the construction and operation of The Dalles and John Day dams. The goal of this study is to identify a least-cost plan to mitigate this impact in-place and in-kind while minimizing impacts to environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic resources. The study area encompasses the Mid-Columbia River basin from approximately river mile (RM) 148 to RM 397 and the lower Yakima River from RM 0 to 50.
The LRR/EA considers three alternatives: (1) the no action alternative (that is, continuation of the existing program with no changes); (2) increased rearing and release at Ringold Springs State Fish Hatchery (near Mesa, Washington) with a new acclimation site on the Yakima River in Richland, Washington, near the I-182 bridge; and (3) increased rearing and release at Ringold Springs Fish Hatchery only.
The EA identifies Alternative 3 as the Tentatively Selected Plan (Preferred Alternative).
Assessment of the Need for an Environmental Impact Statement: Through the development of this draft EA, USACE has not identified any effects likely to result in significant impacts and therefore, has not prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) at this point. However, USACE will consider comments received during the 30-day draft EA comment period, after which we will reevaluate the effects of the project and determine whether further analysis through an EIS is warranted.
Environmental Document: The draft EA is available for download at: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/12028
Public Comment Period: USACE invites the public to comment on this report. The draft LRR/EA will be available for public comment for 30 days after the date of this public notice.
Comment Submittal: Please submit written comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District by October 3, 2019.
Written comments may be sent to Michelle.Guay@usace.army.mil or:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Attn: CENWP-PME-E / Michelle Guay
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946
All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act, including any personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses. The Corps will respond to public comments in the final LRR/EA.