Mandatory Conditioning Requirements On Hydropower
On Wednesday the House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing on mandatory costs and requirements that federal agencies within the Departments of the Interior, Commerce, and Agriculture are imposing on non-federal hydropower producing dams that are up for licensing or re-licensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It was brought before the Committee that the Okanogan PUD in north central Washington is currently experiencing this with the need to license Enloe Dam. The total cost of the project could be increased by twenty percent if the Bureau of Land Management’s recommended list of costly improvements, unrelated to necessary dam project improvements, are imposed. That list includes a new recreation site, a river footbridge, vegetation management, and additional flows over the dam. Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, Doc Hastings had this to say.
HASTINGS: The relicensing process should not be a hostage taking opportunity for federal agencies to demand a ransom to be paid to fund their wish list, or for federal agencies to push a covert dam removal agenda by imposing conditions so onerous that hydropower licenses are surrendered instead of renewed.
General Manager of the Public Utility District No. 1 of Okanogan County, John Grubich, testified at the hearing expressing his concerns that federal requirements from the BLM are threatening the dam’s economic viability. The Enloe Dam would be a source of renewable hydropower, and new job and economic opportunities for Okanogan County.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.