Idaho Power filed a petition in December in Multnomah County that asks the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed in July 2019 by Pacific Rivers and Idaho Rivers United that had challenged the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s water quality certification for the utility’s Hells Canyon Complex of Dams – Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon dams.
Although precipitation totals to this point in the winter has been dismal, water supply forecasts at the Columbia River basin’s major dams are all in the 90 percent range or better, with the exception of the North Fork Clearwater River basin upstream of Dworshak Dam.
Washington state this week changed its water quality standards by raising the amount of total dissolved gas it will allow at Columbia and Snake river dams during juvenile salmon and steelhead migrations, paving the way for higher spill levels this spring.
Is it the obligation of the states of Oregon and Washington? Or is the Environmental Protection Agency responsible for completing Total Maximum Daily Load limits for temperature to protect salmon and steelhead in the Snake and Columbia rivers?
Washington State’s draft “Lower Snake River Dams Stakeholder Engagement Report,” a compilation of views and information about the dams, has been released for public comment.
Columbia River Treaty negotiations are taking too long, are not transparent enough and the region’s utilities are worried that a last minute deal will cost them more money, according to comments heard at a Treaty Town Hall meeting in Richland this week.
Spawning of threatened Lower Columbia River chum salmon in the Ives/Pierce Island area downstream of Bonneville Dam area on the Columbia River’s north shore is nearing an end, prompting the interagency Technical Management Team this week to set a date to transition to incubation flows designed to protect the chum nests, or redds.
The upstream migration of adult spring chinook salmon in the Snake River slows down in the Lower Monumental Dam to Little Goose Dam reach more than in other reaches in the Snake River.
The gas cap for spill for salmon and steelhead will rise in 2020 from 120 percent total dissolved gas that was required by an agreement this year to 125 percent, resulting in far more spill for migrating juvenile fish at most federal Columbia and lower Snake River dams.