Even though another recent extensive Federal dam removal study, four years in the making, repudiated the call to take out the lower four Snake River dams, again, the Department of Ecology has thrown a new provisional wave over the dam Snake River fish fight.

Water temperature.

Recently in a letter to constituents, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wa) had this to say about Central Washington ports and a new regulation from the Department of Ecology regarding river water temperature coming out of the dams:

Transportation through our ports is going to be absolutely critical to our nation’s economic recovery. As our businesses begin to recover and production ramps up, we will rely on ports to facilitate critical international trade. Of course, our dams are also vital to the navigation of our river system and transportation of our goods. 

Unfortunately, opponents of Washington’s world-class hydropower system have created a new arbitrary hurdle to overcome: temperature regulations for the water leaving the dams. The new regulation fails to recognize that the water coming into our dams from Canada or Idaho is already too hot to meet the standard they have set, which places an unfair and unreasonable burden on our dam system operators. Setting an unattainable standard sets up the dams to fail.

The YouTube video below features a conversation with Kurt Miller, the Executive Director of NW River Partners, and Mike Gonzalez, Sr. Public Affairs Manager for Franklin PUD. They discuss in depth what the states of Washington and Oregon face in a new dam fight from the EPA in 2020.