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EPA Questions Plan for Cooling Snake River

by Associated Press
Local News 8, July 12, 2009

Brownlee Dam BOISE, Idaho - The Environmental Protection Agency is questioning the effectiveness of a plan that aims to cool Snake River waters to improve habitat for fish.

The EPA says Idaho Power Co. needs to find a way to reduce temperatures below Hells Canyon before it can get a new 30-year license to run power plants. The Snake River can be too warm in fall for chinook salmon and steelhead spawning.

But the agency's preference for cooling the Snake to help fish could raise Idaho Power customers' rates.

The utility proposes that it spend $3 million a year to restore trees to shade the Snake's upstream tributaries, and to raise flows along with some other measures.

But EPA administrators doubt the plan will work, and are eyeing an alternate that could cost the utility up to $250 million.

Information from: Idaho Statesman

Associated Press
EPA Questions Plan for Cooling Snake River
Local News 8, July 12, 2009

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