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Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) evaluates relicensing of the 865.76-megawatt Rocky Reach Hydroelectric Project (P-2145-060) in Washington State
Issued: August 4, 2006

The project is an existing, operating hydroelectric facility located on the Columbia River near the City of Wenatchee, Washington. The project occupies approximately 1,500 acres, of which about 152 acres are federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. The project is licensed to Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County (Chelan PUD).

In this FEIS, Commission staff, assessed the environmental and economic effects of:

  1. Continuing to operate the project with no changes or enhancements (no-action alternative).
  2. Operating the project as proposed by Chelan PUD (Chelan PUD's proposal).
  3. Operating the project as proposed by Chelan PUD with additional or modified environmental measures (Staff alternative).

Staff has chosen the third option refereed to as the 'Staff alternative' as the preferred alternative because:

  • The project would provide a significant and dependable source of electrical energy for the region (6.0 million MWh annually).
  • The project would avoid the need for an equivalent amount of fossil fuel-fired electric generation and capacity, thereby continuing to help conserve these nonrenewable energy resources and reduce atmospheric pollution.
  • The protection, mitigation, and enhancement measures proposed by Chelan PUD, as modified and combined with the additional measures recommended by staff, would adequately protect and enhance environmental resources and mitigate impacts of the project.

The overall benefits of this alternative would be worth the cost of proposed environmental measures and would outweigh the consequences of not implementing the other alternatives or of license denial.