The Washington Department of Ecology is extending its comment period on a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Goldendale Energy Storage Project adjacent to the Columbia River in Klickitat County.
Ecology is extending the comment period from July 25 to Aug. 9, 2022.
Free Flow Power Project 101, LLC proposes to construct a hydropower project consisting of two reservoirs at different elevations connected by a tunnel with reversible turbines.
Water released from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir would generate power when other energy sources, such as wind and solar, are not available. The site takes advantage of proximity to the power grid at the nearby John Day substation in Oregon. During off-peak hours, renewable energy would be used to pump water back to the upper reservoir.
The Draft EIS examines significant and adverse environmental impacts resulting from the construction and operation of the project, and identifies whether and how, those impacts may be reduced or eliminated.
Ecology’s analysis studies local impacts to air quality, plants and animals, and their habitat, transportation, water resources, and water quality. It also includes a chapter discussing impacts to Tribal and cultural resources in the area.
An EIS must be complete before any permits to construct or operate the facility are issued. It helps permitting agencies make decisions related to permit conditions and requirements. It is not a decision document, and does not determine whether a project moves forward.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is conducting a separate environmental review of the proposed project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
How to participate
Ecology is accepting comment on the Draft EIS analysis, findings, and proposed mitigation through Aug. 9, 2022. Submit comments online, or in writing to: Sage Park, Washington Department of Ecology, 1250 West Alder Street, Union Gap, WA 98903-0009, Attn: Goldendale Energy Storage Draft EIS.
People can learn more about the project and make verbal comment during three scheduled hearings (two online, June 23 and June 30, and one in person, June 28). Identical information will be shared at each meeting.
- June 23 at 6 p.m., online, or by phone at 253-215-8782
- June 30 at 10 a.m., online or by phone at 253-215-8782
- June 28 at 6 p.m., Goldendale Grange, 340 W. Darland Drive, Goldendale. The presentation will start at 6:30 p.m.
Review the Draft EIS
- Online at Ecology’s project website
- At the Goldendale Public Library, 131 W. Burgen St., Goldendale
- At Department of Ecology, Central Region Office, 1250 W. Alder St., Union Gap. Call 509-575-2490 for an appointment.
Ecology will consider comments received during the comment period when finalizing the EIS later this year. More information about the meetings and the project documents are on the project website and Goldendale Energy Storage Project Draft EIS public meeting handout.