Vernita Bar Agreement

  • Dicembre 20, 2020

This agreement aims to establish a comprehensive and long-term adaptive management program for the protection, reduction and improvement of covered species that exist or could be affected by the Priest Rapids Project, No. 2114 (project). The objective of the NCP is to optimize the solid viability of the 16 resources of the parties, including Wells, coordinated under the agreement, and to produce optimal amounts of usable secondary energy from these resources. It is important that the PNCA also establish a FERC-approved cost allocation procedure for the Wells project to obtain an improved flow system made available by upstream storage tanks in the United States pursuant to Section 47 of the Wells license. The programmatic agreement covers the management of the historic real estate assets involved in the operations of the Rapid Priests Project. It contains principles and obligations for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Other agreements for the operation of the Wells project include the vernita Bar Settlement Agreement, approved by FERC on December 9, 1988, and its successor, the Hanford Reach Chinook Protection Program, presented by Grant PUD on April 19, 2004 and awaiting approval. Parties to the Agreement on the Hanford Reach Chinook Protection Program include Grant PUD, Chelan PUD, Douglas PUD, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), WDFW, CCT and BPA. The agreement is expected to be extended until the end of the new licence period for the Priest Rapids project. These agreements provide that the three PUDs and BPA provide acceptable protection for fallen-Chinook salmon at the Vernita Bar, downstream of the Priest Rapids Project. In particular, Douglas PUD may be asked to release, at certain times of the year, a limited amount of water from Wells, in collaboration with prescribed upstream and downstream project water releases, to support spawning, incubation and hatching salmon, which is exempt from the Priest Rapids Project downstream of Chinook salmon. Meanwhile, the Mid-Columbia Agreement allowed 10 per cent of the river to be discharged at each dam during the spring, when the majority of fish knew how to migrate.

This spill program began in the spring of 1980. It was the first formal spill application to cross young fish on dams on the Columbia Basin River.