07/31/2020 Portland Update

August NIU and NRU Meetings and Materials

Materials for both the NIU and NRU meetings were distributed yesterday evening for review. Please note that call in information for each meeting is embedded in the materials for the specific meeting.

The NIU meeting promises to be informative and productive as we share the importance of the Irrigation Discount to our members, and the communities they serve, with three long tenured BPA staff and then have an opportunity to hear their feedback. The agenda allows for some Q & A time with our guests as well.

The NRU agenda is packed with presentations geared towards getting the board up to date on recent BPA happenings and sharing the significant progress made by staff on our long-term initiatives related to Post-2028. More important than the presentations on the agenda, is the time allotted within each item to allow for conversation with you, our members. We value the trust granted to us to represent you in these important matters but it’s crucial we hear your thoughts, concerns and direct feedback on fast moving and critical policy decisions! The meeting closes with a visit from Kim Thompson, BPA’s vice president of Northwest Requirements Marketing. This position was previously held by Garry Thompson and is responsible for ensuring that BPA is meeting the business needs of its preference customers.

We look forward to getting together virtually with everyone next week. We are disappointed we still cannot meet in person, but we are dedicated to making this meeting as productive and effective as an in-person meeting would be while staying safe and healthy. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out to any staff member.

IPR Comments

Attached are the comments NRU submitted today in response to BPA’s Integrated Program Review proposal for BP-22. These comments are largely consistent with the draft version distributed last week, but we beefed up our commentary on ensuring Transmission is adequately funding and staffing NT-related initiatives.

Federal Agencies Release Columbia River Systems Operations (CRSO) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

The three action agencies, The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration issued the final EIS for the CRSO National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process that was conducted to comply with an order by Judge Simon in 2016. The press release from the action agencies is attached to this update for your convenience. NRU staff has not yet had time to compare the FEIS to the draft EIS (DEIS) but we wanted to share a few quick observations from Kurt Miller, Executive Director of Northwest River Partners, and links to the FEIS.

Kurt passed along the following observations related to the executive summary of the FEIS to NRU this morning:

  • The FEIS Preferred Alternative appears to be the same as the DEIS Preferred Alternative.

  • FEIS calls out much more clearly the collaborative efforts that the action agencies went through to initiate and complete the Final EIS (FEIS).

  • FEIS adds a section near the end that corrects the record about many of the Energy Coalitions/Save Our Wild Salmon claims about the lower Snake River dams (LSRD). It is very helpful.

  • The FEIS updated the LSRD replacement costs for MO3. The cost of replacing the full capabilities of the LSRD is now $800 million per year vs. the DEIS’ $950 million per year, due to updates in renewable resource pricing.

  • The FEIS includes a brief mention of river temperature modeling.

  • The FEIS describes how the NEPA process compares to the ESA requirements and how the BiOp fits in.

  • The FEIS includes a solid critique of the lack of documentation around certain fish survival models.

The executive summary of the FEIS can be found here and is only 58 pages long. For those who might be inclined to read the entire 7,000+ pages of the full FEIS, it can be found here.

NR2020731_CRSO FEIS issued
PDF • 781KB

NRU IPR comments_7-31-20_final
PDF • 295KB

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