PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department has named a new administrator to run the Bonneville Power Administration after a hiring scandal rocked the federal utility that sells and transmits much of the Northwest’s hydroelectric power….
From: AP Washington News
Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration is seeking public input and comment on potential environmental impacts from a proposed project to restore a tidal marsh in Clatsop County, Ore., to benefit salmon and steelhead. An open house describing the proposed work will be held Jan. 14, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Oregon Department of Forestry in Astoria.
The Wallooskee-Youngs Confluence Restoration Project proposes to modify a levee to inundate historic wetlands on a 221-acre property at the confluence of the Wallooskee and Youngs rivers some five miles from the Columbia River. The restoration would include the creation of a network of tidal channels and the re-establishment of native vegetation. The project would enhance rearing and estuary habitat for juvenile salmon and steelhead as well as provide habitat for wildlife such as deer, elk and river otter.
BPA is considering funding the project to help mitigate for the impacts of the construction and operation of federal dams on the lower Columbia and Snake rivers, collectively referred to as the Federal Columbia River Power System. The work is being done by Astoria Wetlands, an environmental resources company.
After the restoration efforts, Astoria Wetlands would turn the property over to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe for long-term stewardship. BPA would maintain a conservation easement to ensure permanent protection of the property’s conservation values. To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA will prepare an environmental assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be a cooperating agency in the development of the assessment in their role as a permitting agency for levee modification and wetland work.
Wallooskee-Youngs Confluence Restoration Project Open House
Date: 4-7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 14
Where: Nehalem Room, Oregon Department of Forestry, 92219 Highway 202, Astoria,
At the meeting, there will be no formal presentation. Instead, members of the public can review displays and other materials. Representatives from BPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Astoria Wetlands will be on hand to answer questions. Public comments will be accepted at the meeting.
Additionally, comments will be accepted through Jan. 27 online at www.bpa.gov/goto/WallooskeeYoungs as well as the following venues:
Mail: Bonneville Power Administration, Public Affairs – DKE, P.O. Box 14428,
Portland, OR 97291-4428
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 800-622-4519 (toll-free)
Please refer to Wallooskee-Youngs Confluence Restoration Project when leaving a comment.
PORTAND, Ore. (AP) — The leader of the Bonneville Power Administration, who was suspended last year amid an investigation into agency hiring practices, has resigned….
From: AP Washington News
ABERDEEN, Wash. – Rates are on the rise at the Grays Harbor PUD, General Manager Dave Ward tells us the increasing cost of power from the Bonneville Power Administration is just one factor “You know we have aging infrastructure, we’ve got to continue to put our dollars back into our system. We have some retirements coming up too, so we’ve got to start planning for a little bit of succession planning. So we’ve put some focus on that, back to the basics of providing good service.
Ward said the utility will revisit a possible second rate increase in the coming summer. “We’ve elected to split that, see how we do through the winter with the wholesale power market. See other ways we could reduce our costs, and try to reduce as much as we can come July.
For the average residential customer, the 3.75% increase will add about $4.11 to their monthly bill, effective January first.
As we reported earlier this month
, the PUD is facing almost $2 million in increased power costs this coming year, mostly due to the Bonneville Power Administration, from whom the District purchases most of their power, raising their transmission rates by 11% and their power rates by 9% this past October. The utility’s capital budget also calls for $10 million in expenditures deemed necessary to replace aging electrical equipment and to maintain the system.
ABERDEEN, Wash. – The Grays Harbor PUD is proposing a rate increase of 3.75%, which would take effect on January 1, 2014. A proposal will be presented to the Commissioners at their next meeting December 16, 2013 as part of the 2014 budget. For the average residential customer, it will add about $4.11 to their monthly bill.
The PUD is facing almost $2 million in increased power costs this coming year, mostly due to the Bonneville Power Administration, from whom the District purchases most of their power, raising their transmission rates by 11% and their power rates by 9% this past October. The utility’s capital budget also calls for $10 million in expenditures deemed necessary to replace aging electrical equipment and to maintain the system.
General Manager Dave Ward is working with staff to lower costs and postpone projects into future budget years when possible. “The PUD staff has worked hard to reduce our budget as a means to mitigate the impacts felt from external costs. We will continue to look for ways to reduce expenses while not negatively impacting our ability to provide safe and reliable service,” Ward said.
Prior to July 2014, the PUD will evaluate the need for an additional rate adjustment of up to 1.75%.
For transmission customers, the first rate increase in six years averages 11 percent higher than current rates. The transmission rate increase stems from a growing construction program driven by the need to repair and replace aging infrastructure and increase spending on mandatory compliance and security requirements. An average of $20 million per year in financial reserves will be used to offset part of the rate increase.
Wholesale power and transmission rates are developed every two years through a formal rate-setting process with BPA’s utility customers and other stakeholders. The process began in November when BPA announced its rate proposals for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.
The new rates will affect utilities differently depending on the amount of power and type of services they purchase from BPA. Local utilities ultimately determine the rate impact of BPA rates on individual businesses and residents.
The final rate proposal will be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the end of July to provide the required 60 days for review and approval. Find more information on the rate case process here:www.bpa.gov/goto/ratecase