Inslee to breach the Snake River dams between the Tri-Cities and Clarkston. Endangered Snake River salmon and Southern Resident Orcas can’t wait for long-drawn out efforts. Hastings is an outspoken Loading ... Dam removal on Snake River tributary: Dutch Flat Dam - Duration: 3:24. What would the removal of the lower Snake River dams and restoral of that river mean for Washington state?" The Lower Snake River Dams Power Replacement Study confirms clean, renewable resources can provide a viable and effective energy alternative to the continued operation of the dams. St. Louis, MO 63102, Biden Infrastructure Plan Will Be Detailed In February, Shamrock Marine Puts New Dock Into Service, Port NOLA In The Midst Of $100 Million Expansion At Napoleon Container Terminal, SCI Promotes New Advocacy Center, Website, Small Shipyard Grant Applications Due February 25. Inslee’s office releases draft report on breaching Lower Snake River dams Dec. 20, 2019 at 10:57 am Updated Dec. 20, 2019 at 5:13 pm Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River May 29, 2019. OLYMPIA – Differences over the fate of four dams on the lower Snake River “remain deep,” the draft of a new study says, but there may be opportunities to … But it could be cheaper, and more effective, than the $16 billion we’ve already squandered trying to restore salmon with the dams in place,” said Miles Johnson, senior attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper. PNWA blasted the report when it came out, saying it “lacks science-based evidence.” Meira on Monday said the PNWA report uses data and scientific assessment in a way the ECONorthwest report didn’t. Criticism of speeding up a study looking at removing the Lower Snake River dams smells like an attempt to undermine the study’s validity, says Tri … The Columbian is becoming a rare example of a news organization with local, family ownership. According to the report, breaching the dams would require at least 201 additional unit trains and 23.8 million miles in additional trucking activity annually to maintain current shipping activities. And they don’t have to because the US Army Corps of Engineers is committed to following the guidance in the current Summary, 2002 Feasibility Study/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is still a good framework for its actions on the LSRD’s themselves. The Grande Ronde River in Oregon (a tributary of the Snake) is one of many rivers that would benefit from removal of the four lower dams on the Snake River. A study commissioned by the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA) has found that if the four lower Snake River dams were removed, the closures would cost up to $2.3 billion over the next 30 years, lead to significant additional carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, and jeopardize health, safety and livelihoods in already fragile local and regional economies. Associated Press File Agriculture representatives say a recent study that calls for removing four dams from the Lower Snake River relies on outdated and flawed data. The debate regarding the potential removal of the four Lower Snake River dams in Washington has been ongoing for over two decades, but much of the existing information is either outdated or incomplete. Ship locks on the dams make barging commodities such as grain and wood chips possible through the Snake and Columbia River system. It does not consider the effects on hydropower, irrigation, salmon or other dam and river uses. That’s partly because existing wastewater infrastructure might be damaged or rendered useless if the river level drops, requiring new investments in water intakes, filtration and pumping/transmission systems for a number of cities, counties and major industrial businesses. Thousands more jobs in tourism, paper manufacturing, munition manufacturing, water transportation, lumber mill and wholesale trade would also be put at risk. LONGVIEW — A new study commissioned by an association of river commercial groups says removing the four Lower Snake River dams to improve salmon runs would cost $2.3 billion over the next 30 years, boost state carbon emissions and jeopardize already fragile local and regional economies. However, the $375,000 … Removing four lower Snake River dams would yield benefits that far outweigh the costs, according to a new study of a decades-old issue now getting increasing scrutiny. With wheat prices already down near the break-even point, the study calculates that the federal government would need to increase annual direct payments to farmers by up to $38.8 million to maintain current income levels. Sign Up; Log In Jay Inslee, paid for the $750,000 study that gathered perspectives on removing the four hydropower dams, including Ice Harbor Dam … The advocacy group says this means dam removal doesn’t have to be a choice between salmon and renewable energy. The study was part of a “war” of dueling studies and statements released ahead of a planned draft environmental impact statement (EIS) to be jointly released in February by the Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on the Columbia River system, including the effects of removing the dams. And studies show that we can remove these dams without resorting to dirty fossil fuels or breaking the bank. For first time in 20 years, feds take deep look at hydroelectric dam removal on Lower Snake River. The report estimates carbons emissions would increase by about 860,000 tons, the equivalent of adding almost 182,000 new cars to the road. Jay Inslee has signed a bill that provides $750,000 to study how to best help impacted communities if the four federal dams on the Snake River are breached. “Dam breaching extremists talk about how easy and inexpensive it would be to compensate Washington, Oregon and Idaho businesses and residents if the lower Snake River dams were removed,” said PNWA Executive Director Kristin Meira. LONGVIEW — A new study commissioned by an association of river commercial groups says removing the four Lower Snake River dams to improve … Thomas O’Keefe/American Whitewater The most profound benefit, if the tribes, environmentalists and fisheries scientists are right, will be the return of the river’s life-giving salmon runs. In fact, the latter study found that as much as $1.6 to $4.6 billion could be saved with the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. Opponents of dam removal argue the dams are needed to generate clean energy and allow shipping up and down the Snake River. This includes hundreds of miles of shortline rail track that have been abandoned, new rail, major highway improvements, and retrofits for grain elevators that do not have rail loading capabilities. Only the earth and portion of the dams will be removed. It would take between $18.9 million and $38.8 million more in federal funding to keep farm profits level, the report says. Remove means that, along with the earth filled embankment, the concrete portions ... study, legal actions and court decisions. “Essential health, sanitation and safety would be jeopardized, along with other public services,” the study concludes. New Snake River dam-removal study further advances misinformation campaign. ... Reach and part of the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and Lower Granite Reservoir, the Although this study demonstrates the viability of replacing power from the four Lower Snake River Dams … Jay Inslee has signed a bill that provides $750,000 to study how to best help impacted communities if the four federal dams on the Snake River are breached. And removing the dams could cost less than efforts to make the dams more friendly to fish. “In contrast, our study uses existing, verified data that is available publicly.”. The PNWA report comes about five months after another dam study by Seattle-based economics firm ECONorthwest concluded that dam removal would create 317 new jobs, $408 million in labor income and other wealth. A study commissioned by the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA) has found that if the four lower Snake River dams were removed, the closures  would cost up to $2.3 billion over the next 30 years, lead to significant additional carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, and jeopardize health, safety and livelihoods in already fragile local and regional economies. In July, the economic consulting firm ECONorthwest (ECONW) issued a new independent analysis funded by the philanthropic arm of the late Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. on the benefits and costs of restoring the river. “Transportation and the use of waterways for movement of people and goods is a big focus of our organization. David Lambroughton photo. Four aging dams in Washington state block passage along the lower Snake River, a major migration corridor linking pristine cold water streams in central Idaho to the mighty Columbia River … Myth 9: Lower Snake River dam removal will cause an increase in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Inslee to breach the Snake River dams between the Tri-Cities and Clarkston. New EIS opposes Snake River dam removal. Edit Article Add New Article. The Lower Snake River Dams Power Replacement Study has important implicaons for the court-ordered review process now being conducted by the federal agencies that own and operate the dams. Study: In breaching Snake River dams, benefits outweigh costs Q13 FOX. Highway, rail and grain elevator networks would need over $1.6 billion in capital investment. Title: Microsoft Word - 20150602_Analysis of Snake River dam cost claims Author: Kristin Created Date: 6/4/2015 1:26:28 PM And studies show that we can remove these dams without resorting to dirty fossil fuels or breaking the bank. (The report did not evaluate the potential loss of indirect jobs downriver in Cowlitz or Clark counties.). 1. Kate Brown said removing four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington must be a part of a comprehensive plan to … And RAND’s analysis found that, if done well, dam removal could actually produce as many as 15,000 new, long-term jobs. The Snake River dams in Washington would remain in place under a final study released Friday, July 31, by federal agencies. Subscribe today to support local journalism and help us to build a stronger community. The study estimates that transportation and storage expenses would likely increase 50 percent to 100 percent for grain suppliers and shippers. The Snake River dams in Washington would remain in place under a final study released Friday, July 31, by federal agencies. “Despite billions of dollars spent on these efforts, the listed species continue to be in a perilous state,” Simon wrote. How to Study Snake River Dam Removal . New Snake River dam-removal study further advances misinformation campaign. Public Comment on Snake River Dam Removal. “The big numbers you saw in the ECONorthwest report were due to phone calls that were made to people in the Northwest asking them to think about what a free flowing Snake River would be worth to them. On October 22, a group of 55 scientists sent a letter to Northwest policymakers arguing that breaching the dams is the only action that could sufficiently cool the river’s waters. Lower Snake River dams could be replaced by a variety of renewable energy resources, ... For its part, the Bonneville Power Administration isn’t commenting on the study or dam removal. And they don’t have to because the US Army Corps of Engineers is committed to following the guidance in the current Summary, 2002 Feasibility Study/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is still a good framework for its actions on the LSRD’s themselves. Federal dam managers are expected to release a draft environmental study of the region’s ... About 40% of people surveyed said they were in favor of dam removal on the lower Snake River to … There's a strong push by Western Washington environmental groups, Seattle-area legislators and Gov. Gov. The debate over removing the four dams on the lower Snake River has simmered for decades. One of the options he formally put on the table was a close study of whether the four Lower Snake River dams should be removed or altered. Inslee OKs funding to study removal of Snake River dams The bill provides $750,000 to study how to help impacted communities if the four federal dams on the Snake River are breached. Regarding the assessment of the costs and benefits of Lower Snake River dam removals (see "The $375,000 Question," 1/2/20) by Gov. The report considers how breaching would affect regional and national transportation; infrastructure; air quality; safety; and tax revenue. Scientists have been talking about Snake River dam removal for decades. The complete study is available on the PNWA website at www.pnwa.net/energy-salmon/. Washington state funds Snake River dam removal study ... for Washington communities and stakeholders to assure their voice is heard and interests addressed if the four lower Snake River dams … In addition, the reservoirs formed by the dams provide water for a few large agricultural producers. For years, environmental groups and local Native American tribes have been calling for the four lower dams—Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite dams—to be closed and demolished. Continue Reading Study: It’s Possible To Replace Snake River Dams With Renewable Energy To accommodate the increased rail and truck shipping, federal investments between $1.17 billion and $2 billion in road and rail improvements, the report says. Mace says. The Snake River rises in western Wyoming, then flows through the Snake River Plain of southern Idaho, the rugged Hells Canyon … U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ordered federal regulators to take a hard look at all options to protect salmon, including the potential (and controversial) removal of the four dams on the Lower Snake River. “Dam breaching extremists talk about how easy and inexpensive it would be to compensate Washington, Oregon and Idaho businesses and residents if the lower Snake River dams were removed,” PNWA Executive Director Kristin Meira said Monday. The Columbia River Basin was once among the greatest salmon-producing river systems in the world.. Schoesler: Funds To Study Removal Of Snake Rivers Dams Can Be Better Used Ice Harbor Lock and Dam On Friday, the Federal government released its draft Environmental Impact Study, looking at the four lower Snake River dams. ... the House and Senate operating budget still provide half of the $750,00 appropriated in the 2019-21 budget to fund a study of removing the dams. "Removing the four lower Snake dams must be part of any real salmon and steelhead restoration strategy. There would be some job shifting, though. Gov. The Waterways Journal, Inc. 319 N. 4th St., Suite 650 Gov. Hell's Canyon Dam blocks passage to the entire upper Snake River. You are the owner of this article. Without those subsidies, nearly 4,000 jobs and $472.7 million in sales supported by agricultural exports from the 10-county region nearest to the dams could vanish. We know that removing these four dams is the centerpiece of any serious effort to prevent the extinction of Snake River salmon and Southern Resident orcas. They would not be functional if the dams are breached. Oregon Democratic Gov. The Copco 2 dam on the Klamath River is one of four on the river slated for removal. The Snake River dams in Washington would remain in place under a final study released Friday, July 31, by federal agencies. Reality: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the removal of the four lower Snake River dams would actually decrease total air emissions by seven tons per year from the transportation sector. Scientists have been talking about Snake River dam removal for decades. Economic consultants FCS Group released the study Monday on behalf of PNWA — a coalition of ports, businesses, public agencies and individuals supportive of regional river commerce. If farm subsidies are not increased, the study estimates that more than 1,100 farms could be at risk of bankruptcy. The study also offers a framework from which the federal agencies can draw as they develop a new plan for dam operations. © Copyright 2000-2021 In 2002, the Army Corps of Engineers conducted an Environmental Impact Study on removing the dams from the Lower Snake River and concluded that doing so, on its own, would not help in … The plan guides dam management on the Columbia River System, which includes the four controversial Lower Snake River dams — Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite. At the current reported “break-even” cost per bushel of $5.00, the transportation/storage cost is now about $0.40 per bushel of wheat. Gov. The four dams on the lower Snake produce five percent of the energy used in the Pacific Northwest. American Rivers, a national river conservation group lobbying for the removal of four dams on the Snake river in the US, has released a report proposing an alternative irrigation system for the farmers who depend on the Ice Harbour dam for irrigation water supply. The study shows that removal of the dams and replacement … Second, even under the best circumstances, the benefits of dam removal take a long time. In spite of Vulcan’s reputation for funding unbiased … “We commissioned this study to show federal and state decision makers the real economic and environmental impacts on real people and communities that would result.”. WASHINGTON D.C. – Following is a statement from Congressman Doc Hastings (WA-04) on the Snake River dam removal “study plan” prepared and released today by Army Corps of Engineers at the direction of the Obama Administration. Endangered Snake River salmon and Southern Resident Orcas can’t wait for long-drawn out efforts. These costs could increase by up to $0.80 per bushel if barging were removed as an option, according to the study. There's a strong push by Western Washington environmental groups, Seattle-area legislators and Gov. However, the study says the benefits of reducing the extinction risk for Snake River salmon and steelhead, combined with increases in river-based recreation over reservoir recreation, plus the jolt of spending and jobs that would accompany the work to physically remove the dams, would exceed costs by $8.6 billion. (The $16 billion figure applies to salmon-protection measures throughout the main stem Columbia and Snake rivers, not just the Snake.). The report estimates that more than 1,100 farms could go bankrupt if federal subsidies do not increase to offset those costs. A 2017 study by the Fish Passage Center, a nonpartisan, government-funded Columbia Basin research group, found that removal of the four Snake River dams would result in a two- to three-fold increase in salmon abundance in the Snake River Basin, even though the fish would still have to negotiate four more dams downstream, on the Columbia River. We know that removing these four dams is the centerpiece of any serious effort to prevent the extinction of Snake River salmon and Southern Resident orcas. At least 201 additional unit trains and 23.8 million miles in additional trucking activity would be required annually, resulting in increases in CO2 and other emissions by over 1.2 million tons per year. Water pooled behind dams heats up more than running water, and scientists supporting the dams’ removal argue that climate change is exacerbating those heating effects. The Snake River is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest region in the United States. At 1,078 miles (1,735 km) long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, in turn the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. That draft found removing the dams would not be a good idea, creating economic and environmental problems for the region. Receive latest stories and local news in your email: Please take a second to review our community guidelines, Study looks at impact of ocean and dams on salmon runs, Washington tribes, utility consider old dam’s removal, In repeat of past, conservation groups challenge new dam management plan. … This study is just looking at barging,” Meira told The Daily News on Monday. This procedure is called “mothballing” so that if the dams were ever needed again they could be put back in service. “It just seems counter to the way we are all thinking about the environment these days to want to go in the direction of putting more carbon and emissions in the air,” Meira said. BonnevillePower 15,477 views. After decades of debate on whether the lower Snake River dams should be removed, Washington state residents remain deeply divided, according to the results of a draft study … (Dams are friendlier to salmon than they used to be, but runs have continued to struggle for many reasons. July 31, 2020. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent seven years studying Snake River dam removal. The groups cite the dams’ impacts on federally protected salmon and orcas, which feed on salmon. On December 4, Joseph Bogaard, executive director of Save Our Wild Salmon, based in Seattle, told the Capital Press, “I don’t see any reason why we can’t make a transition to a free-flowing lower Snake River and do so in a way that leaves agricultural communities either whole or with additional opportunities.”. The PNWA study was performed by financial and economic consultants FCS Group to assess impacts that would result if barging on the Snake River is lost. The environmentalists’ latest argument is that higher water temperatures adversely affect those salmon that use the fish ladders on the river. The Snake River is part of the export corridor for barged Pacific Northwest agricultural products, especially wheat. The state Legislature, at the request of Gov. “We weren’t trying to capture everything. The average regional net farm cash income was only $42,825 in 2017. The debate over removing the four dams on the lower Snake River has simmered for decades.. “We commissioned this study to show federal and state decision makers the real economic and environmental impacts on real people and communities that would result.”. The current Snake River dam removal environmental impact statement is an embarrassment. That kicked off a yearslong process, where federal agencies began studying ways to protect imperiled salmon on the Columbia and Snake rivers. In July, the economic consulting firm ECONorthwest (ECONW) issued a new independent analysis funded by the philanthropic arm of the late Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. on the benefits and costs of restoring the river. The improved structures and turbines will be left in place. According to the FCS Group study, breaching the Snake River dams would cause diesel fuel consumption to increase by nearly 5 million gallons per year as barges are replaced by less efficient truck-to-rail shipments. The study pulls from 14 interviews with regional farmers, shippers, port managers and agricultural trade groups, as well as data from state agencies in Washington and Idaho. Credit: AP The March 29 op-ed by Stephen Hartgen on the lower Snake River dam (LSRD) removal misleads readers on critical social and scientific issues. Not only will 140 miles of the lower Snake once again turn into a free-€‹flowing river with habitat complexity, but 5,500 miles of high-elevation spawning habitat will become more accessible to salmon and steelhead. Federal agencies have adopted the conclusions of a four-year-long environmental study that rejected calls to tear down the four lower Snake River dams. An earlier report by environmental groups argues that benefits to salmon and recreation outweigh economic losses of dam breaching. “No funding for these improvements has been identified, and all of these improvements are considered to be national costs that would not otherwise be required if the LSR (Lower Snake River) locks remain in operation,” the report says. Lower Snake River dams could be replaced by a variety of renewable energy resources, according to a new study by the NW Energy Coalition. We don’t think this is a scientifically valid way of assessing the value of a river system,” Meira said. I believe there are ways to rebuild the dam system with … Removing the dams also would significantly increase air pollution, because shipping by rail or truck is dirtier than by tug and barge. ), “Spending $2.3 billion over the next three decades … to remove dams and upgrade our roads and bridges sounds expensive. November 11, 2020 By Fly Fisherman Staff. UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 20, 2019. The four lower snake river dams are not going to be “torn out“. Inslee: Unfortunately, our … The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent seven years studying Snake River dam removal. … But no one else was out there doing that kind of analysis.”. The Snake River has fifteen dams and is extremely difficult for salmon to access because of hydroelectric dams. Shipping by rail and truck is more expensive than barging, so costs for regional farmers would also increase. Feb. 27, 2020 at 6:00 am Updated Feb. 27, 2020 at 8:50 pm The futures of hydropower, salmon and orcas in the Pacific Northwest are at stake in the first assessment in 20 years of the environmental effects of dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. If barging were removed from the Snake River, new infrastructure or costly upgrades would be needed to accommodate the displaced cargo. DAM IT! Carbon emissions equivalent to the cumulative emissions generated by a coal-fired power plant every 5-6 years would result. The study claims that “significant additional effects” due to the loss of hydropower, irrigation and other authorized uses of the dams would also occur, but the study didn’t attempt to capture them. But all remaining salmon on its largest tributary, the Snake River, are facing extinction. 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