Monday, July 12, 2010

Lawsuit over Inflated Mitigation Costs

The Northwest Resource Information Center has filed a law suit claiming that the Northwest Power and Conservation Council misrepresents the costs and benefits of mitigation efforts on the Columbia system. In their petition the group claims that the most recent power plan, "arbitrarily and artificially inflates the costs of measures for anadromous fish protection, mitigation, and enhancement, most notably bypass spill and reservoir operations" In estimating costs, the Power Council uses market rates instead of the actual rates it charges customers, inflating the cost of spill and other measures which have benefited Columiba salmon and steelhead recently. Earthjustice attorney Steve Mashuda, the lead attorney on the challenge to the 2008 BiOp said recently that without the artifical inflation of cost, the real estimate for the cost of flow augmentation would be somewhere around $300 million, far lower than the $450 million BPA reported.

More information at the Northwest Fishletter:

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