The Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Washington (Grant PUD) owns and operates two hydroelectric projects on the Columbia River in Washington State: Wanapum Dam and Priest Rapids Dam - Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project FERC License No. 2114. On May 3, 2004, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS - then referred to as NOAA Fisheries) issued its Biological Opinion of the effects of the proposed action on listed species, in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended (16 USC 1531 et seq.), regarding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) proposed action amending Grant PUD’s existing license for the Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project (Project) to authorize implementation of an Interim Protection Plan for listed anadromous salmonids. Subsequent to NOAA Fisheries’ issuance of the Biological Opinion and consistent with the requirements of the Biological Opinion and within the scope of its own agency jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act, on December 16, 2004, FERC issued an Order requiring Grant PUD to “implement NOAA Fisheries’ Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (Actions 1 through 25) and sections 12.2 and 12.3 of NOAA Fisheries’ Biological Opinion filed with the Commission on May 6, 2004….”In response to these requirements for downstream fish passage facilities, Grant PUD engaged in an extensive review of fish bypass concept designs to evaluate options available to increase the survival of smolts passing Wanapum Dam. Using a set of guiding principles related to the capture effectiveness, transport survival, construction costs, and construction feasibility of fish bypass options, the selection process resulted in the construction of the Wanapum Future Unit Fish Bypass (WFUFB) in early 2008. To evaluate fish responses to this newly-constructed fish bypass, in 2008 acoustically-tagged salmonid smolts were tracked as they approached and passed Wanapum Dam. The fish passage efficiency (FPE) and passage survival rate of three species of salmonid smolts that passed via the WFUFB were estimated.Data analysis of the acoustically-tagged smolts showed a FPE of 57%, 34% and 31% for steelhead, sockeye and yearling Chinook (respectfully) and a passage survival estimate of 100%, 95% and 96% for steelhead, sockeye and yearling Chinook (respectfully).
This work, produced by John D. Echeverria at Georgetown University Law Center, collects and describes the early cases that he and his research assistant Christine Faller have been able to locate involving takings and other constitutional challenges to laws requiring dam owners to install fishways to allow migratory fish to pass upstream and downstream.
A report submitted to the House Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans by the Office of Technology Assessment. The focus of this report is technologies for fish passage around hydropower generation facilities and protection against entrainment and turbine mortality.Emphasis is given to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-licensed hydropower projects where fish protection is a subject of controversy and congressional interest due to the Federal Power Act (FPA) and the Electric Consumers Protection Act (ECPA). Thus institutional issues related to FERC-relicensing are also discussed. (Major points of controversy are highlighted in box 1-1.) Federal hydropower projects,especially in the Columbia River Basin, and irrigation water diversions in the Pacific Northwest and California are included to the extent that they provide information on fish passage technologies(see table 1-1). Many of the technologies discussed are applicable to other types of dams and water diversions. In fact, there are many more obstructions to fish passage that are not covered by FERC-licensing requirements, than are(approximately 76,000 dams versus 1,825 FERC-licensed facilities) (70).
A 40-year license has been issued to FPL Energy to operate the Bar Mills hydroelectric project on the Saco River in York County, Maine.The license order for this 4 MW project was issued on August 28.Following the guidelines in the 2007 Settlement Agreement, the license requires installing upstream and downstream passage measure for American eel and other species including Atlantic salmon, American shad, alewife, and blueback herring.