The Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to address the continued operations and maintenance of the Willamette Valley System in accordance with authorized project purposes; while meeting Endangered Species Act obligations to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of listed species. The Corps will serve as the lead Federal agency for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act and Bonneville Power Administration is a Cooperating Agency.
The WVS consists of 13 multipurpose dams and reservoirs, riverbank protection projects, and hatchery programs to mitigate for effects of the project on fish habitat. The most recent NEPA evaluation for the overall WVS operations and maintenance was an EIS completed in 1980. Since 1980, operations have been modified and structural improvements for fish passage and temperature control have been implemented to address effects of the WVS on ESA-listed fish. NEPA evaluations since the 1980 EIS have been project-specific rather than system-wide. There is also new information relevant to the environmental impacts of operating the WVS. This EIS will evaluate the impacts of continued operations and maintenance of the WVS. The EIS will be prepared in accordance with NEPA, the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) NEPA regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), the Corps' NEPA regulations (33 CFR part 230), and DOE’s NEPA regulations (10 CFR part 1021). The Corps has reinitiated formal consultation under Section 7 of the ESA on the National Marine Fisheries Service's 2008 Biological Opinion for the Willamette River Basin Flood Control Project. This NEPA process will inform the ESA Section 7 consultation process. Additionally, the Corps intends to initiate consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
The Corps is holding public outreach (Scoping) meetings in June to give and receive public input to help inform decision making about the Willamette Valley System. Comment deadline is June 28, 2019. During this phase, the Corps (as the lead agency) will collect information, ideas, and concerns from public, tribes, agencies, and others to consider while developing alternatives and preparing the draft EIS.
In addition to Scoping, there will be other opportunities to comment (public meetings, website, letters, e-mails, etc.) and meet with the Corps’ project team. Once the Corps develops a draft EIS, the public will be provided an opportunity to review and supply comments, which is anticipated to occur in Winter 2020. The Corps will consider these comments when finalizing the EIS. The public will then be provided an opportunity to review the final EIS, which is aniticpated to occur in Spring/Summer 2023.
Notice of Intent Publication: April 1, 2019
Public scoping period: May 14, 2019 – June 28, 2019
Scoping public meetings:
• June 4: Eugene Public Library, Bascom-Tykeson Room, 4-6:30pm
• June 5: South Salem High School Library, North Side Room, 5-7:30pm
• June 6: Portland State - University Place Hotel & Conference Center, Willamette Room, 4-6:30pm**
• June 12: Corvallis-Benton Public Library, Main Meeting Room, 5-7:30pm
• June 13: Springfield City Hall, Council Chambers, 4-6:30pm
Public Outreach on project status:
January 19, 2022: virtual information session from 12-1:30pm PST. See details under Upcoming Public Meetings at Corps' Willamette Valley System Evaluation Website or in the Corps' news release.
Dec 2021- June 2022: Virtual reality experience shows Willamette Valley environmental progress
Draft EIS public comment period: Summer 2022
Final EIS: 2023 - 2024
Record of Decision: 2024
For more information and for the Corps' point of contact, please visit the Corps' Willamette Valley System Evaluation Website.
Public Scoping Report (December, 2019)
Public Scoping Report Appendices Part 1
Public Scoping Report Appendices Part 2
Notice of Intent (04/01/2019)
Public scoping meeting boards
Scoping informational brochure