BPA spends $716 million on fish and wildlife program

Bonneville Power Administration spent $716 million to mitigate the effects of federal hydropower projects on Columbia River Basin fish and wildlife in fiscal year 2007, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council reported.

Direct spending to implement the council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program accounted for $139.5 million of the total, the council said May 20.

The balance included $60.3 million BPA spent to reimburse the Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation for fish-related dam operations. It also included: $112.9 million in interest, amortization, and depreciation on capital investments in facilities such as hatcheries and fish passage at dams; $282.6 million in forgone hydropower revenues that resulted from dam operations that benefitted fish but reduced hydropower generation; and $120.7 million in power purchases to replace the forgone hydropower.

The figures are included in a draft annual report on BPA’s fish and wildlife expenditures for fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, 2007. The council is accepting comments until June 6 on the draft, posted on its Internet site, www.nwcouncil.org. The final report will be distributed to governors of Northwest states.

Thirty-year fish and wildlife bill tops $9.3 billion

The 2007 expenditures bring the grand total of BPA’s fish and wildlife spending, from 1978 when the expenses began, through 2007, to $9.38 billion, the council said.

BPA funds the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, which the council develops as stipulated by the Northwest Power Act of 1980. The program is intended to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin affected by hydropower dams while assuring the region of an adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable power supply.

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