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Commander signs FONSI for Yellowstone Intake Diversion Dam Modification

Published April 16, 2015
New headworks and fish screens at the Yellowstone Intake with screens submerged.

New headworks and fish screens at the Yellowstone Intake with screens submerged.

OMAHA, Neb. – Omaha District Commander Col. Joel R. Cross and Bureau of Reclamation, Great Plains Region, Montana Area Manager Brent Esplin have signed the Finding of No Significant Impact for the Lower Yellowstone Intake Diversion Dam Modification Project. The FONSI summarizes the environmental effects associated with the project and the decision of the co-lead agencies to select and implement the bypass channel alternative.

The selected alternative includes construction of a new concrete weir in the Yellowstone River at Intake, Mont. and an 11,150-foot long bypass channel on Joes Island, land that is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation. The purpose of the project is to facilitate passage for the federally-listed endangered pallid sturgeon and other native fish in the lower Yellowstone River while continuing to provide reliable water for irrigation.

In April 2014, the Omaha District and Bureau of Reclamation held public meetings in Glendive and Sidney, Mont. to gather feedback on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) which outlined the different alternatives being considered for the project. Responses to substantive comments along with project features, best management practices and measures to minimize environmental impacts are described in detail in the Final Supplemental EA which is available for viewing at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/loweryellowstone/index.html.

BACKGROUND: Section 3109 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-114) authorizes the Corps to use Missouri River Recovery Program funding to help the Bureau of Reclamation design and construct modifications to the Lower Yellowstone Project for the purpose of contributing to ecosystem restoration and complying with the Endangered Species Act.

Maggie Oldham
Tiffany Vanosdall

Release no. 20150416-001