[env-trinity] Siskiyou County Petition to FERC, response to Hoopa Vall...

Andrew Orahoske andrew at wildcalifornia.org
Thu Jun 28 09:51:58 PDT 2012

But see attached Condit Biological Opinion, discussion begins at page 1 (p. 11 of the document), which tells the story further.  It was a strong statement by NMFS requiring fish passage that killed Condit by making it uneconomical.  The settlement was worked out among the parties to the relicensing, Pacificorp paid for removal, FERC presided over it all, and there was no act of Congress, that I’m aware of.


Just for clarification then, Condit did involve a settlement agreement, but Congress was not asked for $$.



Andrew J. Orahoske

Conservation Director


Environmental Protection Information Center

145 G Street, Suite A

Arcata, CA 95521

Office: (707) 822-7711

Mobile: (707) 407-9020



From: env-trinity-bounces+andrew=wildcalifornia.org at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us [mailto:env-trinity-bounces+andrew=wildcalifornia.org at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us] On Behalf Of FISH1IFR at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 5:16 PM
To: t.schlosser at msaj.com
Cc: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Siskiyou County Petition to FERC, response to Hoopa Vall...




Actually, citing the Condit Dam example rather undercuts your proposition that FERC would order Klamath dams removed in this case, directly or indirectly.  Fact is, Condit Dam was removed pursuant to a Settlement Agreement that was in fact the model or template for the Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement (KHSA).  I suppose we could argue chicken-egg issues forever, but the fact still remains that a negotiated Settlement of the sort the KHSA represents is still the most straightforward, least risky, and least expensive way to remove all four dams.  If ultimately the KHSA fails, and we are all forced to go back to the FERC process, it may well be a very different outcome than the Hoopa Valley Tribe hopes for.  Certainly Siskiyou County thinks so, which is why they are supporting the Tribe's Petition!  


A copy of the Condit Dam Settlement Agreement is attached for those who are interested.  Its a large file, so those not interested should merely ignore it. 


You might take note that the GOP-led House of Representatives is positioning to take authority to require fish passage and other relicensing preconditions away from federal agencies.  There was a hearing on this very issue just today, titled:  "Mandatory Conditioning Requirements on Hydropower: Howe Federal Resource Agencies are Driving Up Electricity Costs and Decreasing the Original Green Energy."   A link to an archive webcast site for that hearing is at::


     http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID <http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=300046> =300046 


Needless to say, relying soley on FERC also means relying on the federal government’s and that is controlled by Congress’ willingness to require environmental protections such as fish passage in old dams.  This willingness cannot be taken for granted.  But a signed Settlement on dam removal would be at least in large part immune from changes in the Federal Power Act.  


Glen H. Spain, Northwest Regional Director
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA)
PO Box 11170, Eugene, OR 97440-3370
Office: (541)689-2000 Fax: (541)689-2500
Web Home Page: www.pcffa.org <http://www.pcffa.org/> 
Email: fish1ifr at aol.com



In a message dated 6/27/2012 3:08:14 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, t.schlosser at msaj.com writes:

You shouldn't repeat the old falsehood that "FERC has never ordered a dam down in its history except pursuant to a Settlement like the KHSA." You ignore the many dam removals that are occurring as a result of the FERC process. It's half true that FERC normally hasn't "ordered" removal, but the whole truth is that FERC orders have forced the parties to agree to removal of the dams, which FERC approves. Didn't anyone see the Condit dam destroyed last October.

Why did PacifiCorp remove Condit? Was it purely voluntary? No, it was because FERC's license included the agencies' sec. 18 prescriptions--requirements of volitional upstream and downstream fish passage, as FERC is compelled to do by the Supreme Court's Escondido decision in 1984 and, more recently, the City of Tacoma case in 2006 ( <http://www.msaj.com/cases/051054a.pdf> here).  



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