Idaho, Oregon Sign Off On
by Betsy Z. Russell
Idaho Power agreed to invest in water quality projects aimed at cleaner, colder water flowing downstream;
and to increase production at its Rapid River Hatchery to produce 800,000 additional chinook salmon.
Idaho and Oregon have both signed off on a settlement agreement for the Hells Canyon Complex, Gov. Brad Little announced today, marking a major step toward Idaho Power's quest for reauthorization to operate three Snake River dams. The company and the two states have been working since 2005 to resolve disagreements on issues including water quality and fish passage.
"This long-awaited agreement supplies clean, affordable energy for Idahoans, improves water quality, and provides additional fish for recreational and tribal ceremonial purposes," Little said in a news release this afternoon.
The two states signed off on the agreement last week, Little's announcement said. Under it, Idaho Power agreed to invest in water quality projects aimed at cleaner, colder water flowing downstream; and to increase production at its Rapid River Hatchery to produce 800,000 additional chinook salmon. In exchange, "Oregon will not require fish passage as a condition of its water quality certification for the operation of the Hells Canyon Dams," Little's office said.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality solicited public comments on the issue in December of 2018. It is currently finalizing the responses to those comments and the water quality certification for continued operation of the dams.
Idaho, Oregon Reach Agreement on Hells Canyon Complex Hydroelectric Project on Snake River by Keith Ridler, Statesman Journal, 4/23/19
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