Columbia River Treaty Update: Ninth Round Of Talks Completed, Exchanges ‘More Focused, Comprehensive’

May 29th, 2020

On March 11 and 12, 2020, the week before COVID-19 international travel restrictions were put into place, Canadian and American negotiators reconvened in Washington, D.C. to continue discussions about a modernized Columbia River Treaty. This was the ninth round of talks since negotiations started in May 2018.

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EPA Releases Temperature Limit Study (TMDL) For Columbia/Snake River; Linked To State Water Quality Permits For Mainstem Dams

May 21st, 2020

After a 20-year wait and a lawsuit that was finally decided in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a study to determine temperature limits in the Columbia and Snake rivers for the protection of salmon and steelhead was released this week by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Corps Coming To End Of Fish-Friendly Construction Improvements At Columbia/Snake Dams, Moving To Operations, Maintenance

May 14th, 2020

Over the past five years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been working on a number of structural upgrades at Lower Snake and Columbia river dams, all designed to make passage at the dams safer for salmon and steelhead. Those projects are nearly finished – the last will be new fish friendly turbines at McNary Dam in 2025 followed by new turbines at John Day Dam – and the Corps now plans to concentrate on operational improvements at the dams, while ending the more expensive construction.

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Senators Urge Trump Administration To Pause Federal Rulemakings During COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency, Extend Comment Periods

April 23rd, 2020

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined 20 colleagues in the Senate Democratic caucus in sending a letter to Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought calling on OMB to indefinitely extend existing public comment periods and hearings until the public can safely gather after the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic have passed.

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Spring Spill To Aid Salmon Migration Through Dams Begins; Corps Alerts States That Covid-19 Disruption On Monitoring Could Alter Plans

April 9th, 2020

Spring spill at Columbia and Lower Snake River dams to aid migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead has begun under an agreement that could through the season allow far more spill for fish than past years. But the Army Corps of Engineers is alerting parties that if Covid-19 restrictions interfere with required biological monitoring, spill will be reduced.

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