(PORTLAND, OR) – Last week, the Bonneville Power Administration signed an agreement with the States of Oregon and Washington and the Nez Perce Tribe to temporarily halt years of litigation around a regional salmon protection plan. The agreement is for three years and is intended to provide more water for migrating fish while not increasing costs to regional power customers. Details of the agreement have only recently been made public, and much of it still needs technical modeling and state-run processes to ensure its feasibility and adherence to stated goals.
“Public power customers recognize the goal and potential benefits of moving beyond the courtroom by agreeing on actions for ESA-listed salmon that are conducted in an economical manner,” said Scott Corwin, Executive Director of the Public Power Council. “Yet, until there is greater clarity around the operations and costs of the agreement, we cannot be certain it provides the intended benefits to fish or to electric utility ratepayers. The parties will need to ensure that implementation of this outline provides all the expected benefits without further risk to electricity consumers or to protected fish.”