As stated earlier, the Okanogan River is a large river and flows generally southward at a relatively low gradient (~ 1%). The PUD plans for a new power house at Enloe Dam continue and the money we don’t have just keeps flowing down our collective drain. Who should be held accountable for what sure looks like poor management? Courtroom Day #3:  Department of Ecology. They were not thinking fish, they were hungry for gold. 4 2. Similkameen River flow July through May is shown by the green line in the graph at right. If not, please give me some websites where they can be found. Center for Environmental Law & Policy: Enloe Dam, 509.209.2899 River advocacy groups are asking the Board to require ECY to fully assess the aesthetic and recreational values of the Similkameen River and its falls as required under the Clean Water Act, before deciding whether the Okanogan PUD’s proposed power generating project can reduce Similkameen Falls to a trickle for more than eight months each year. Where does the Nile River begin and where does it end? The Board criticized Ecology’s after-the-fact evaluation of the minimum flow regime, which reduces natural flows by more than 90% to 30 cfs during summer months, and 10 cfs from October through March each year. About Us. Free e-mail watchdog. Although small and short the stream has a lot to offer anglers. Get answers by asking now. This site has been associated with serpentine. The Board’s decision comes at a time of growing uncertainty about Okanogan PUD’s ability to finance the Enloe Dam project given electrical rate increases to PUD customers for the next several years. Lv 7. Please call or e-mail the PUD Commissioners and General Manager with the above message. The vision for our future is even worse.   $38 million is a deep, deep hole and it’s time to stop digging. Staff also stated that “building the project is good for fish because the PUD has built in mitigation.”     (Compare the 30/10 cfs decision with the average monthly median waterfall flows of 500 cfs.). Still have questions? Summer steelhead (Onchorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) are unique to their cousins the salmon in that they are capable of returning to spawn in the rivers of their birth, more than once. “Ecology acknowledges in its certification that aesthetics are a designated use under state law for the Similkameen River, but fails to protect the beauty of the falls,” said Thomas O’Keefe of American Whitewater. The PUD’s proposal also ignores the Falls’ cultural and historical importance to the Upper and Lower Similkameen Indian Bands. Favorite Answer. As they now understand in Canada, the Similkameen is only partly alive. If PUD does not license and build this time, BLM, which owns the land Enloe sits on, wants a study of dam removal. Tweet. The Board’s decision has statewide significance because it effectively waives the public interest test for new water rights. Links: 1 Questions & Answers Place. admin. The PUD’s plan to rebuild and power up Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River, for a mere 9 megawatts of power, is a big reason for the rate increase. This is Okanogan PUD’s fourth attempt since the mid-1980’s to add power generation to the dam, and previous licensing efforts have failed due to poor economics and fish passage issues. Previous licensing efforts failed due to poor economics and fish passage issues. Answer this question. Recently the PUD hired a top government service company, $4 billion-a-year government contractor, SAIC Energy, Environment & Infra-structure, LLC to provide financial analysis, find the hole in our bucket and get the most out the ratepayers without a fuss. The red dashed line at bottom of graph shows the PUD's proposed low flows of 30 cfs and 10 cfs. Once again our legal representatives Andrea K. Rodgers Harris and Kristen J. Larson did a great job of guiding everyone through what has become a grueling schedule; one that appears will require all of today and tomorrow, and perhaps additional days, to complete. Why is a major government contractor, SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure, LLC needed to bring credibility to our once self-sufficient Utility? *The appellant groups are Center for Environmental Law & Policy, American Whitewater, Columbia River Bioregional Education Project, North Cascades Conservation Council, and Sierra Club (all member groups of the Hydropower Reform Coalition). Shoulder to shoulder as the newspapers of the time described it. Best Answers. 851, known as "Similkameen River" is a site in Okanogan County, Washington. More you might like. Flows range from a high spring runoff in July to low flows in September, coming up again in the Fall, low again in Winter, and then rising with the Spring snow melt in April to June. I had the opportunity to float the Similkameen from Oroville to where it meets the Okanogan. The river is said to be named for an indigenous people called Similkameigh, meaning "treacherous waters". The aesthetic flow study was required by the Board in a water quality permit (“401 Certification”) for the same project and is designed to ascertain the flows that are necessary to protect scenic values of the Similkameen Falls. The Board’s decision comes at a time of growing uncertainty about the Enloe Project’s viability, especially given electrical rate increases to PUD customers for the next several years.   The public interest test, one of four basic prongs of a water right decision, is used to protect environmental, ecological and other values associated with state water resources. North Cascades Conservation Council, 360.296.5159 Julie Ashmore and ShareASale, and other site The bulk of Enloe power will be produced in the spring when the northwest market already has a glut of cheaper power available. •Did look at different waterfall flow scenarios, such as diverse flows, weekend flows and partial flows.  However, this data disappeared early on, never to surface again.  Diverse flow data were discarded with no additional input, even though stakeholders (Appellants) had asked for this exact aesthetic information since 2008. •Throughout the process, no aesthetic information was gathered, only economic data in reference to what the project could afford to make a profit for the Okanogan PUD. I strongly disagree with the expansive direction forwarded by the PUD decision makers. Herman Edwards offering prayer to heal the Similkameen River and return it to its natural, free-flowing spirit. They are strong, athletic fish capable of scaling Similkameen Falls fish biologists say. Seeing a lady bug on the back of the truck that possibly hitched a ride with us. The PUD has not recalculated projected costs for re-building the power producing facilities. Relevance. It’s our future and our river. All other salmon perish once they complete their spawning. The value of the habitat above Enloe Dam for summer steelhead is so great that in early July fish managers will meet for the second time with the Okanogan PUD to discuss the possible purchase of Enloe Dam to benefit native fish species. January 26, 2020 whereismap 0 Comments. Where does the ob river end? Thomas O'Keefe, American Whitewater, 425.417.9012. The fact that the amount of instream flows that will be required by the project is currently unknown raises even more uncertainty for a project with few power or economic paybacks. American Whitewater, 425.417.9012 The dam, which was originally built in the early 1900’s, has not generated hydropower since 1958. This water is typically several degrees cooler than that of the Okanagan River itself, extending valuable cool water habitat for a portion of these two major branches below their confluence. Oroville. The analysis, by Rocky Mountain Econometrics (RME), shows that Enloe Dam will be an economic loss for the PUD. As a gentleman from Omak pointed out, Federal, State and Local governments are all cutting back at least 10%. The dam is a liability for its owners. It makes no sense. “A major purpose of the certification is to protect and maintain public values and existing and designated uses of the river.  This decision ignores the outstanding aesthetic, recreational and tourism values, which bring significant revenue to the Oroville area.  On top of this, we lose the waterfalls itself.”, “It is even more disappointing considering that the proposed project, even with dewatering the Falls, is an economic loser for the utility, for local ratepayers, and for the state,” said Thomas O’Keefe, Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater.  “An economics analysis released earlier this year showed that the utility will lose $26 for every megawatt hour produced at the dam.  This has been a major concern for both local ratepayers and Northwest river advocates.”. “Ecology’s decision ignores not only the Clean Water Act, but the tremendous public and economic benefit of the Falls for tourism, aesthetics and recreation.”. Conservation groups* today appealed a June 24, 2014 decision of the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board affirming a new, 600 cfs water right for the Okanogan Public Utility District’s (PUD) Enloe Hydroelectric Project. (2) The PUD needs to abandon its efforts to re-start Enloe Dam, and seek partners willing to pay for dam removal and remediation of sediment behind the dam. The river has returned as a fishery and recreation has replaced the industrial uses of the past. The Board ruled that the PUD and Ecology must conduct a study to determine the appropriate flow for protection of the Falls, which could be substantially larger than the 10/30 cfs regime. To live again, the river needs its free flowing connection to the Okanogan, Columbia and Pacific Ocean. This prized, athletic, ocean going game fish was listed as “endangered,” in 1997. Conservation groups are calling for more water over Similkameen Falls, citing the requirements of the Clean Water Act to protect aesthetic uses of a river. Here you can view booklet on the Similkameen River Trail to Enloe Dam. 6. On Friday we hear more from Ecology staff, then testimony from PUD witnesses, and finally closing arguments from all parties.  The hearing is scheduled to end on Friday, April 19. Does Ecology restrict in this manner regarding water quality or fishery issues.  If not, why would you restrict aesthetics which is also a state-required beneficial use? This small, scenic river flows from below Enloe Dam, about 4 miles from the town of Oroville, to its confluence with the Okanogan River. The Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board(PCHB) has granted the Petition for Reconsideration of the Hydropower Reform Coalition (composed of Center for Environmental Law & Policy, American Whitewater, Columbia River Bioregional Education Project, North Cascades Conservation Counsel, and Sierra Club) and will amend the July 23, 2013 order with the following amendments Joseph Enzensperger The powerhouse at Enloe has been silent for over fifty years. There is growing opposition by Okanogan PUD ratepayers to pursue Enloe Dam given its outdated cost and revenue projections. Ecology’s certification allows for flows of 10 cubic feet per second - 50 times lower than the lowest natural flow. This license for Enloe Dam is the 4th request by the Okanogan PUD since Enloe was taken out of operation in 1958, because costs of continued operation outweighed the economic benefits of producing power at the dam. Ratepayer Issues with the More recently, they’ve started making grape-based wines as well. 1 decade ago. Who could have known back in 1900 that we of 2000 would want to catch fish out of the river? The group, which is based in North Okanogan County, filed the appeal along with the Center for Environmental Law and Policy, the North Cascades Conservation Council, American Whitewater, and Sierra Club. • Columbia River Bioregional Education Project, Jere Gillespie, 509.485.3844, [email protected] On Friday, April 19, we continued to hear testimony from the Department of Ecology's in-stream flow scientist, who discussed how the decision was made to de-water Similkameen Falls.  The Board also heard from Okanogan PUD's relicensing manager and a consultant who managed the aesthetic flow process. The Similkameen River runs through southern British Columbia, Canada, eventually discharging into the Okanagan River near Oroville, Washington, in the United States. One, during the 1950’s dams were constructed at the outlet of the lakes (Okanagan, Skaha, Osoyoos) for flood control. 2. The initial estimate of $28 milion was calculated in 2007, nearly five years ago. Answer for question: Your name: Answers. In essence, the Board put the cart before the horse and that approach is illegal when it comes to our state’s precious water resources.” Two, the flow from several tributaries, within both countries, have been have reduced or completely diverted for agricultural production. “The state cannot issue permits that take all of the water out of rivers. Links & Contacts: Similkameen River . where does the Congo River begin and end? Three previous licenses have been rejected by FERC because the dam would have not been economically viable, especially given the requirements of fish passage. Yes the trail has running water. By contrast, an economic study completed in 2012 by Rocky Mountain Econometrics (www.rmecon.com) shows that if the PUD's project is implemented, the Okanogan region would lose $20 million over the term of the license. Where is the belt tightening from our PUD planners? “Fear“ was the emotion woven through his narrative. It has been 150 years since the Similkameen ran free. We encourage Okanogan PUD customers to give the PUD the following message: The current license application, pending with FERC since 2008, is the PUD’s fourth attempt since the mid-1980’s to add power generation to the dam. Oroville – Today, several national, state, and Okanogan County-based public interest organizations appealed a decision by the Washington State Department of Ecology that would allow a proposed hydropower project on the Similkameen River to move forward. mile Similkameen Basin. Melissa Rose What happened to cause such a financial catastrophe? Two days after the hearing concludes, on April 21, elders of the Upper and Lower Similkameen Indian Bands will share the history of their people and their connection to Similkameen Falls. 0 0. Oroville will lose the attractive draw of a scenic river and a vibrant fishery. This is wrong. Columbiana Magazine|2055 Chesaw Road Oroville WA 98844 | Copyright©2014 Columbia River Bioregional Education Project. Enloe Dam blocks the Similkameen River approximately four miles west of Oroville, Washington. minimum flow.  To reach this conclusion, Ecology had to disregard years of comments, meetings, and involvement in both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and 401 Certification process. Another characteristic of summer steelhead is the timing of the spawning migration. they received overwhelming opposition from ratepayers to not proceed with capital investment plans that will lose money and raise rates. Today (Wednesday) our experts on aesthetic flows take the stand and we get into the science, methodology, and reason on how and why aesthetic flows should have been required and completed, and the importance of protecting water quality standards and all beneficial uses of rivers in Washington State. “This would have a significant impact on the falls and water quality downstream,” said O’Keefe. (Decision p. 33). If the dam comes down, the Similkameen River will run free its entire 320 mile length – and welcome home the native fish. Our legal representatives Andrea K. Rodgers Harris and Kristen J. Larson did a great job of preparing our witnesses, evidence, and legal arguments, leading through opening comments, and setting the stage for the Board to find that the 401 Certificate is unlawful and invalid, and to remand the 401 Certificate to Ecology with specific instructions to comply with the Clean Water Act and all applicable state laws. A 400 foot section of the river, referred to as the “by-pass” reach, will be dewatered for eight months of the year; reducing flows from median 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 30 and 10 cfs. How long do concreate walls last? Will they be told the truth about the Similkameen’s low seasonal flows or her endangered Upper Columbia Steelhead hanging in the balance. The waterfalls advocates are represented by public interest attorneys Andrea Rodgers Harris and Rachael Paschal Osborn. —Court notes prepared by John Osborn and Rich Bowers. If the dam is removed, the Similkameen River will become a valuable steelhead fishing river. The Department of Ecology Water Resources Program is in the middle of a multi-year project of issuing thousands of new water rights around the state. Which 'red river' are you talking about my friend, please specify and I will dig the answer for you, here is the list of all the red rivers exist, of Ecology has granted a permit to the PUD that authorizes the proposed low flows. 1860 was the year to remember, the year gold rush fever struck Washington State. The Upper Columbia River includes the Columbia River from the following four sub-basins: Wenatchee, Methow, Entiat and Okanogan rivers. Doesnt matter… Time to explore the Majesty of God’s creation… 1 note. The Okanogan PUD is nearly finished with its required reports to FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The WA Dept.   The hearing adjourned in late afternoon, with another 1-2 days of witness testimony to be scheduled in May or June. Washington Department of Transportation. • PCHB Decision Newspaper articles: “The state cannot issue permits that take all of the water out of rivers. Similkameen Falls Deserve Water. Furthermore, many of the tributaries entering the Okanogan River contain barriers, both natural and man-caused, to migrating fish, thereby limiting steelhead production. The dam, which was originally built in the early 1900’s, has not generated hydropower since 1958. Steelhead was listed as endangered because the species is unique, and its Upper Columbia River home territory was nearly lost with the building of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams. “The Board attempted to bring consistency between the two permits for the project, but unfortunately it did so at the expense of bedrock principles of Washington water law.” said Andrea Rodgers Harris, a Seattle-based environmental attorney representing the coalition groups. 0 0. cc_of_0z. The PUD has its mind made up to go ahead with Enloe Dam evaluation since it received its FERC license July 9th to build the power station, even though Who could have imagined that we in this time would want to know what animals lived in the river? It has a selective gear rule trout fishing season from the Saturday before Memorial Day to the end of October. It was pointed out by some, very well-spoken county residents that the PUD policies are hurting the ratepayers on every level of our local economy. Marc Alden’s recent letter, “Enloe Dam: Missing Facts,” was good a preparation for possible disasters but made a weak argument for building the proposed power house at Enloe Dam. The Main River flows southwesterly around the northern end of the Fränkische Mountains to Bamberg, where the Regnitz River enters it from the left. 5. If the Enloe project goes forward, your rates are going up—a lot—because the PUD would sell the power at a loss. In January, Conservation Groups sponsored an economic evaluation of the PUD’s costs and benefit statement for Enloe, which was produced in 2007. Rocky Mountain Econometrics study of Enloe Dam hydropower economic feasibility: The miners of 1860 lined the river bed from Oroville to Princeton B.C. Commissioner Dave Womack, 509.826.5314, [email protected] Due to the wide valley form, low gradient and flowing through a lake system, the Okanogan River was historically warmer than the other rivers within this Upper Columbia region. There is growing opposition by Okanogan PUD ratepayers to pursue Enloe Dam given its outdated cost and revenue projections. No. The source of the Nile is the convergence of the White Nile (Primary Source) and Blue Nile (Secondary Source). It’s roughly 300 square kilometres and covers an area from Taylor Lake north of Oliver to the U.S.-Canada border, bounded by the Similkameen River and the west side of the Okanagan Valley. “The Similkameen River is a valuable resource to the community for recreation, scenic values, and fish and wildlife. *The appellant groups are Center for Environmental Law & Policy, American Whitewater, and North Cascades Conservation Council (all member groups of the Hydropower Reform Coalition). The appeal was filed today in Thurston County Superior Court, which provides appellate review of the decisions of the Pollution Control Hearings Board. Source: Analysis of Proposed Bypass Reach Minimum Instream Flow Requirements for Enloe Hydroelectric Project, Cardno Entrix, 11.10.10. www.rmecon.com I was surprised to see how much good water there was and particularly impressed with the size and quality of the steelhead that I caught. It can buy power from BPA and Wells Dam for less money. This is not the proper standard.” (Decision p. 27). Enloe Fish Passage was authorized by Congress in 1976. PUD will lose $1 million per year the dam is operating. In over two years of discussion, the utility has never acknowledged the hard economic truths. The groups are represented by attorneys Andrea Rodgers Harris and Kristen J. Larson. www.okanoganpud.org/content/2013-rate-study. 7. The PUD spent nearly a million dollars in the last year, fielding attorneys and consultants in this appeal, all of which has resulted in an adverse decision for the PUD and the ratepayers who are footing the bill.” Fish passage on the Similkameen has been proposed as mitigation for fish habitat losses incurred with Grand Coulee Dam since 1941. This would be a major positive contribution to the recovery of Upper Columbia native steelhead. The Board ruled that the water quality permit (called a "401 Certification") does not protect the scenic and associated recreational values of the Similkameen Falls. Commissioner Steve Houston, 509.429.9248, [email protected] Click to go to Enloe Dam Pageor Enloe Economic Report. • Mining in the Similkameen River Basin, by G.K.Gillespie, 2010. Methow Valley News, 2.15.12, Comments from the Public: Ecology’s decision ignores the tremendous public benefit of the Falls for tourism, aesthetics and recreation. 1. Washington's Dept of Ecology and the PUD also disregarded several requests to further study and protect aesthetic and recreational values, including requests from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Washington Department of Natural Resources, and the appellants. Lv 6. Omak Chronicle, 1.25.12 Source: wanttoknowit.com. Turn out at the public meeting planned for 6:30 pm. “We are very disappointed with this decision,” said Rich Bowers of the Hydropower Reform Coalition. bring down Northwest salmon too. It flows into Upper New York Bay past the southern tip of Manhattan Island . The listing was the result of significant declines in this species over historic levels once returning to the Okanagan Basin and its tributaries, as well as losses in other upper Columbia tributaries. Any revenue from Enloe Dam is far exceeded by the costs to construct, operate, and maintain the dam. Omak WA 98841, Highway Closures: Jeré Gillespie with the Columbia River Bioregional Education Project, and Joseph Enzensperger (both local Okanogan County residents) did a great job of explaining and demonstrating in both testimony and cross examination (through video and photos) exactly why the Similkameen River and Falls are important cultural, historic, and aesthetic benefits to the community.  Since conservation and recreation organizations are Appellants in this case before the Pollution Control Hearing Board (Ecology and the Public Utility District No. Enloe Dam facilities will destroy the scenic values of the Similkameen Falls canyon which is a feature of great value on the new Similkameen River Trail, part of the Pacific Northwest Trail. Blocks the Similkameen Falls on the WDFW Sport fishing Rules pamphlet for specific seasons and special on..., as well as Recent History of Enloe Dam Reform Coalition the about... 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