The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration, welcome your participation in the environmental review of Columbia River System Operations – also referred to as CRSO.
The objective of this environmental review is to analyze the operations and impacts of 14 Columbia River Basin dams, reservoirs and their related facilities that make up the CRSO.
As required by the National Environmental Policy Act, this period of gathering information --called “scoping” is the first of several opportunities for you to share your comments on “alternatives” or different options for managing Columbia River System Operations.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration, will use the comments gathered during scoping to develop an environmental impact statement. The EIS will determine how Columbia River System Operations is configured and operates into the future.
Before we begin gathering your comments, let’s first talk about how CRSO works.
CRSO projects include features such as dams, reservoirs, navigation locks, fish ladders, turbines, and other associated infrastructure. The projects serve a broad range of congressionally authorized purposes, such as flood risk management, irrigation, navigation, power generation, fish and wildlife conservation, municipal and industrial water supply and recreation.
To address all of those needs and effectively manage the system – the three federal agencies must continually coordinate their efforts.
During day-to-day operations, the three agencies have different responsibilities. The Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation operate and maintain the federal projects. BPA markets and transmits electricity from the dams.
In an effort to conduct a thorough and productive public scoping process of the CRSO, the federal agencies are holding sixteen public scoping meetings in communities across the Pacific Northwest in the fall of 2016. Additionally, two webinar meetings will be held for people who cannot attend the public meetings.
You can find the times and locations of the meetings on our website at www.crso.info. You can also ask to be included on our mailing list by sending us your contact information at firstname.lastname@example.org. By offering your insights on alternatives that should be considered and analyzed, you can help focus the environmental review on issues that are important to your community and the region.
To learn more about the CRSO at the public meetings, we encourage you to review the educational materials provided and talk to our subject matter experts.
In addition, educational materials are available on the project website or feel free to email questions to us online.
During the public scoping period, there are several ways to submit comments. You can:
• Talk to a public meeting stenographer who will write down your comments verbatim for the record
• Use a public meeting comment form and turn it in at one of the fifteen meetings.
• Make your comments online through our website
• Email your comments or send them to us via the US Postal Service
To ensure your comments are considered, you must submit them during the public scoping period, which ends January 17, 2017.
Once the public scoping phase has ended, the federal agencies will consider all comments and use them to develop the CRSO Environmental Impact Statement. When a draft of the E-I-S is complete, the agencies will again seek public comment before making the EIS final. The entire CRSO review process is expected to take about five years.
We appreciate your interest in contributing to the environmental review of Columbia River System Operations. Your comments will help shape the development of the EIS which will ultimately help inform decisions that affect the future of the entire region. Thank you.
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This work, Columbia River System Operations, by Eileen Williamson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.