NOAA Fisheries has issued a biological opinion finding no jeopardy to species from utility PacifiCorp’s plan to remove 14.7-MW Condit Dam as part of a 1999 settlement agreement.
In a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the fisheries agency said Oct. 12 that the decommissioning plan is unlikely to jeopardize the existence or damage the habitat of 13 species of salmon and steelhead that are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
In the settlement with resource agencies and stakeholder groups, PacifiCorp agreed to remove Condit Dam and to decommission the project rather than spend an estimated $30 million to install fish ladders.
If FERC agrees to PacifiCorp’s proposed action, the utility would receive a license amendment permitting operation of the project (No. 2342) under terms of the existing license until Oct. 1, 2008. On that date, PacifiCorp would cease operation and begin removing project facilities. Removal would be completed by Dec. 31, 2009.
PacifiCorp reported to FERC in early October that Klickitat Public Utility District indicated it plans to acquire the Condit project through condemnation. However, PacifiCorp said it would continue to implement the settlement and take steps to surrender its license and remove the project. In the absence of actual condemnation action, the utility said it would not engage in discussions regarding condemnation and transfer of the project.