Public information meetings for Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project

Published Nov. 13, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District will host three public information meetings Nov. 13-15 to discuss the refinements to the preferred alternative for the Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project, as stated in the final environmental impact statement (EIS). These refinements are designed to reduce, to the maximum extent practicable, potential environmental impacts associated with implementing the selected alternative. 

During the meetings, the Corps will present and discuss the final EIS, which outlines the actions under the Corps’ selected alternative to address identified issues at Isabella Lake’s two dams and their effects on the environment, natural resources and daily life of affected residents. The final EIS is a companion document to the draft EIS, released on March 23, 2012. The Corps held a series of public hearings in affected communities on April 17, 18 and 19 to discuss the draft EIS, and the document was open to public comments for a 45-day period. Those public comments and additional agency comments were used in developing and finalizing the final EIS. 

The final EIS can be viewed on the Sacramento District’s website at: Hard copies of the document are located at local libraries in Bakersfield, Ridgecrest and Lake Isabella; and Forest Service offices in Lake Isabella, Porterville and Kernville. The draft EIS can be viewed on the Corps’ website at (Volume 1) and (Volume 2). 

Following the required 30-day waiting period closing Nov. 26, 2012, a Record of Decision that documents the Corps findings and recommendations will be prepared. Once the Record of Decision is published, the Corps’ next step is to commence the preconstruction, engineering and design phase for the project. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in 2015. 

Completed in 1953, the Isabella Dam facility is located approximately 42 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The reservoir is impounded by two earthen dams on the Kern River and Hot Springs Valley. Today, Isabella Lake and its dams help reduce flood risk for Bakersfield and the surrounding region, generate electric power, and is a primary water source for agricultural water users throughout Kern County. The Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project looks to address overtopping, seismic and seepage risks identified with Isabella Lake’s main and auxiliary dams to reduce the likelihood of dam failure.

Public Meeting Locations 

            Kernville                                      Lake Isabella                                             Bakersfield

            Nov. 13, 2012                                Nov. 14, 2012                                              Nov. 15, 2012

            6 p.m. – 9 p.m.                              6 p.m. – 9 p.m.                                            6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

            Odd Fellows Hall                     Kern River Valley Senior Center               Rabobank Convention Center

            50 Tobias Street                            Vets Hall 1 & 2                                             Potato Room

            Kernville, Calif.                           6405 Lake Isabella Blvd.                              1001 Truxtun Ave.

                                                               Lake Isabella, Calif.                                     Bakersfield, Calif.


Carlos Lazo

Release no. 12-048