EA Released for Carmen-Smith Project on the McKenzie river


FERC has released an Environmental Assessment for the Carmen-Smith project (P-2242) located on the McKenzie river in Lane and Linn counties in Oregon.

Among other things, the EA has recommended construction of fish passage facilities at the Trail Bridge dam. The EA notes that although the construction of these facilities would result in environmental costs,

…these environmental measures would be worth the cost because they would benefit various fish species and aid in the recovery of threatened Upper Willamette River Chinook salmon and bull trout.

A Settlement Agreement was signed last year among Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB), the applicant and 16 other parties, including members of the Hydropower Reform Coalition. The Carmen-Smith Project is operated as a peaking and load-following facility, using water stored in the Carmen diversion, Smith, and Trail Bridge reservoirs.

Public comments on the EA are due by October 19.