Little piece of energy bill stirs big debate on dam licenses

By Kevin Galvin Seattle Times Washington bureau

WASHINGTON- 3/4/02 - A little-noticed provision in an energy bill before Congress
could have significant ramifications for the future of aging hydroelectric
dams across the nation, and the battle over relicensing an Eastern
Washington project is shaping up as a test case in the debate.

Officials of the Pend Oreille County Utility District say they were shocked
to learn that under the proposed environmental standards, renewing the
license for an old hydroelectric dam in Box Canyon could cost as much as
$500 million.

Critics accuse the utility officials of exaggerating the costs for bringing
the 60-megawatt project up to code in an effort to turn it into an industry
"poster child" in the debate over energy policy.

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Please Pass On!

Gary L. Wiggins, P.E.
CTS Engineers, Inc.
(Civil, Structural, Transportation Engineers and Surveyors)
in Bellevue, WA
Phn. (425)455-7622
Fax (425)462-1374
Pager(24hrs) (206)516-7374

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