Project Description

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to adopt the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA).  The Plan-EA describes the proposed East Fork Irrigation District Modernization Project and the associated environmental impacts.  BPA proposes to fund a portion of the Eastside Lateral Piping Project, which is a discrete component of the East Fork Irrigation District Modernization Project.  The Eastside Lateral Piping Project would modernize approximately six miles of irrigation infrastructure and is expected to cost up to $10 million to implement.  BPA would provide the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon with up to $1 million to fund certain design work and materials for the Eastside Lateral Piping Project.

Environmental Review

As the lead agency, NRCS prepared a Plan-EA following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to understand the potential environmental impacts of the action.  BPA is a cooperating agency.  The Plan-EA analyzed the East Fork Irrigation District Modernization Project, which includes providing funding for the Eastside Lateral Piping Project, as well as a no-action alternative in which BPA would not fund a portion of the Eastside Lateral Piping Project and old infrastructure would remain in use without upgrades.  The Plan-EA described anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and identifies mitigation measures to help avoid or minimize impacts.  The draft Plan-EA was released for public review and comment in January 2020.  During the review period, 27 comments on the Draft Plan-EA were received from 26 individuals and the ODFW.  NRCS has reviewed all public comments and has made changes, as appropriate, to the final Plan-EA based on those comments and internal review.  The final Plan-EA and NRCS’ Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) were released in July 2020.  During the final review period, no comments were received.

Current Status

The NRCS released its final Plan-EA and FONSI. Based on the Plan-EA analysis and mitigation measures to help lessen impacts, BPA found that the proposed action would not cause any significant impacts, and issued a FONSI on DATE, 2020.  The BPA FONSI includes a Mitigation Action Plan to help avoid or lessen potential impacts. For more information, visit the NRCS project website
 
The proposed schedule for the environmental review is as follows:

Scoping Comment Period October 3, 2018 - November 16, 2018
Scoping Public Meeting October 18, 2018 in Hood River, OR
Draft Plan-EA Comment Period January 8 2020 - February 13, 2020
Draft Plan-EA Public Meeting January 29, 2020 in Hood River, OR
Final Plan-EA July 15, 2020
NRCS Finding of No Significant Impact July 15, 2020
BPA Finding of No Significant Impact November 3, 2020
If decision to build, construction start Fall 2020

Contact

For environmental information, contact:

Israel Duran
Environmental Protection Specialist
Salient CRG
Bonneville Power Administration – ECF-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621
Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Direct line: 503-230-3967
Email: induran@bpa.gov

Chad Hamel
Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist
Bonneville Power Administration – ECF-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621
Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Direct line: 503-230-5564
Email: cjhamel@bpa.gov

For project information, contact: 

Eric Andersen
Fish and Wildlife Administrator
Bonneville Power Administration – EWL-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621
Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Direct line: 503-230-4094
Email: ejandersen@bpa.gov

Documents

FINAL Plan-EA & FONSI

Final Plan-EA                                                07/15/2020
NRCS FONSI/Mitigation Action Plan        07/15/2020
BPA FONSI/Mitigation Action Plan          11/03/2020
BPA Public Letter1 01/03/2020

DRAFT:

Public Letter 01/08/2020
Draft Plan-EA  01/08/2020

SCOPING:

Public Letter 10/03/2018
Project Map 10/18/2018