Obama Administration Unveils
PORTLAND, Ore., U.S. -- Removing four dams on the lower Snake River is described as an "action of last resort" in a new salmon restoration plan submitted by the Obama administration.
While breaching the dams is considered a last resort, the revised plan also directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin studying removal of the Snake River dams. Those dams are the 635-MW Ice Harbor, 810-MW Little Goose, 810-MW Lower Granite, and 810-MW Lower Monumental projects.
The new plan was submitted to U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland. Environmentalists, fishermen and the state of Oregon are suing the federal government over a salmon restoration plan implemented by the Bush administration. The plaintiffs claim salmon populations won't recover without removing the Snake River dams.
Last month, Judge Redden granted the Obama administration more time to revise the federal salmon restoration plan. The 30-day deadline extension gave regulators a chance to meet with all of the parties in an effort to settle the lawsuit. (HydroWorld 8/12/09)
The Obama administration said the new plan would strengthen mitigation programs aimed at improving salmon survival. What's more, it would expand research and monitoring, and set specific biological triggers.
Meanwhile, Congress is considering legislation that could lead to the dismantling of the four dams. (HydroWorld 8/10/09)
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