Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The final environmental impact statement (FEIS) was completed pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4332, and also will comply with requirements of the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Chapter 43.21C, Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Reclamation published a Notice of Availability for the Draft EIS in the
The Grand Coulee Dam Project was authorized for construction by the Rivers and Harbors Act of August 30, 1935, and reauthorized and renamed in the Columbia Basin Project Act of March 10, 1943. The Columbia Basin Project (CBP) is a multipurpose water development project in the central part of the State of Washington. Congress authorized the CBP to irrigate a total of 1,029,000 acres; about 671,000 acres are currently irrigated.
Section 9(a) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 gave authority to the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to approve a finding of feasibility and thereby authorize construction of a project upon submitting a report to the President and the Congress. The Secretary approved a plan of development for the CBP, known as House Document No. 172 in 1945. House Document No. 172 anticipated that development of the CBP would occur in phases over a 70-year period. The Odessa Subarea Special Study is conducted under the authority of the CBP Act of 1943, as amended, and the Reclamation Project Act of 1939.
In response to the public's concern about declining groundwater supplies in the Odessa aquifer and associated economic and other effects, Congress has funded Reclamation to investigate this problem. Ecology has partnered with Reclamation by providing funding and collaborating on various technical studies. In February 2006, the Washington State Legislature passed the Columbia River Water Resource Management Act (Chapter 90.90 RCW) that directs Ecology to aggressively pursue development of water benefiting both instream and out-of-stream uses through storage, conservation, and voluntary regional water management agreements. The Odessa Subarea Special Study is one of several activities identified in the legislation and was initiated by Reclamation and Ecology in 2008.
Reclamation and Ecology are studying the potential to replace the current and increasingly unreliable groundwater supplies used for irrigation in the Odessa Subarea Special Study Area (Study Area) within the CBP authorized boundary with a surface water supply as part of continued phased development of the CBP.
The alternatives being considered include the No Action Alternative as required by NEPA and SEPA, and six action alternatives that address the Purpose and Need. The six action alternatives rely on several different water supply and delivery options, and fall within the following three categories:
The two modified partial replacement alternatives were developed in response to comments received on the draft EIS. These two alternatives include lands, facilities, and quantities of water that are within the range of alternatives and alternative impacts considered in the Draft EIS.
Two water supply options are being considered that would use storage from Banks Lake reservoir and Lake Roosevelt either individually or in combination, as follows: Option A—Banks Lake reservoir, would use storage through additional drawdowns from Banks Lake reservoir, exclusively; and Option B—Banks Lake and Lake Roosevelt, would use existing storage in Banks Lake and Lake Roosevelt, resulting in additional drawdowns from both reservoirs. Reclamation and Ecology have identified the Modified Partial Replacement Alternative with water supply option A (Banks Only) as their preferred alternative.
The FEIS is available for public inspection at the following locations:
Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.