Idaho Gov. Brad Little on March 4 appointed Jeffery Allen to serve on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. He replaces Bill Booth, who retired in December after 12 years. Allen has been the Council’s Idaho office director and policy analyst since 2008. Earlier, he was director of natural resources for U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, and then worked in the governor’s Office of Species Conservation. Allen joins Jim Yost as the other Idaho representative. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has not yet announced a replacement for Tom Karier, who also retired in December but has continued to attend meetings by phone until his replacement is found.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released a draft environmental impact statement on Feb. 11 for relicensing the 168-MW Don Pedro project on the Tuolumne River in California, and for licensing the run-of-river, 4.7-MW La Grange hydroelectric project downstream of Don Pedro. Applications for the licenses were filed by the Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts. The EIS preferred alternative includes the use of spring pulse flows for out-migrating juvenile fall Chinook salmon.
Oregon’s dam safety regulations would be updated for the first time in 90 years, under House Bill 2085 requested by Gov. Kate Brown. The law would apply to 953 nonfederally regulated dams in the state, 75 of which are deemed “high hazard,” according to a March 5 presentation by Racquel Rancier, a policy coordinator for the state’s Water Resources Department, before the House Natural Resources Committee. The bill’s provisions would require state approval and oversight of all new dam construction and old dam removal. It would also increase the state’s ability to force owners to do maintenance and make repairs, according to a state analysis of the measure.
The Northwest Hydroelectric Association elected board officers to one-year terms, and welcomed six new board members to three-year terms. The officers, who were all re-elected to their posts, are Trey Acteson, president (Southeast Alaska Power Agency); Mary Gail Sullivan, VP (NorthWestern Energy); Franci Brinkman, treasurer (David Evans and Assoc.); and Finlay Anderson, Secretary (Kleinschmidt Assoc.). Steve Padula, Hydro Regulatory Services, is past president. Joining the board are Angela Levin as general counsel (Troutman Sanders); Ryan Blood (Puget Sound Energy); Catrin Bryan (McMillen Jacobs Assoc.); Matt Pevarnik (GE Renewable Energy); and Heidi Wahto (McMillen Jacobs Associates).