Ninth Circuit Affirms Injunction Order for Federal Columbia River Power System to Prevent Harm to Listed Salmonids

On April 2, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed (pdf) a district court order directing that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) (collectively, the “Federal Agencies”) conduct spill operations and fish monitoring at dams and related facilities in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS).  The appeal was the latest development in a long-running dispute regarding salmon and steelhead species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that are impacted by FCRPS dams. Thirteen species and/or populations of Columbia River or Snake River salmonids listed as either endangered or threatened under the ESA migrate up and down the Columbia and Snake Rivers every year, encountering FCRPS dams.  The court explained that turbines from these dams result in a high mortality rate for the salmonid species that pass by or near them.  As a means…

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