BOUNDARY DAM RE-LICENSING PROJECT

SCA has been involved in the Boundary Dam re-licensing since early 2007. Originally constructed in the mid-1950s, Boundary Dam is about 300 feet high and it's somewhat logical that there are no fish passage structures. (But read further on that issue.) Boundary Dam is owned by the City of Seattle and run by Seattle City Light (SCL). SCL has been working with FERC and stakeholders since 2006 to provide for relicensing.

A sweeping series of studies were undertaken in 2007 and are ongoing in 2008. Studies on hydraulic routing, total dissolved oxygen, toxics, fish movement and distribution, fish stranding and trapping, waterfowl use of the reservoir, water quality, entrainment (passage) of fish through the turbines, etc. SCA provided extensive comments to FERC on the Revised Study Plan (prior to field studies taking place) and has been involved on a regular and ongoing basis through funding provided by the Hydropower Reform Coalition in review and comments on the studies. In early 2008, SCA initiated negotiations with SCL to begin the discussion of protections, mitigations and enhancements
(PM&Es) as they relate to probable impacts to various resources over the next 50 years of hydropower production at Boundary Dam.

Although SCL is reluctant to break into the linear schedule they had established and which relegated such discussions into late 2008 at the earliest, other stakeholders do support SCA's proposal for early PM&E proposals that will be complex and require significant discussion and negotiation. 
The probable inclusion of Sullivan Creek and the changing of water flow patterns from Sullivan and Millpond Dams are methods to help in the recovery of this stream as bull trout habitat and are examples of the type of mitigation that SCA concluded required early discussion. Another possible complex issue is that of toxics (mercury, PCBs, etc.) and how they affect the fisheries of Boundary Reservoir as a recreational resource. SCA is in the middle of all these discussions and will push for meaningful PM&Es for bull trout especially but also for other actions where we conclude that SCA involvement can help the natural resources.

The Selkirk Conservation Alliance was requested by the Hydropower Reform Coalition to be the non-governmental organization responsible for providing oversight to this re-licensing process with a special emphasis on natural resources issues.  Jerry R, Boggs, Ph.D., is our representative and has already provided significant comment to FERC on the Revised Study Plan.  Comments focused on the above two issues but, also, included issues relating to plans for the Fish Distribution, Timing and Abundance Study; Fish Entrainment and Habitat Connectivity Study; Waterfowl/Waterbird Study; Rare, Threatened and Endangered (RTE) Plant Species Inventory; RTE Wildlife Species Study, Bat Surveys and Habitat Inventory; Recreation Resource Study; and, the Lands and Road Study.

This is an ongoing process that will occur over the next couple of years. Right now, we're in a holding pattern while FERC determines the Final Study Plan. Stay tuned.

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