COLUMBIA RIVER SYSTEM OPERATIONS INJUNCTIVE RELIEF SETTLEMENT
Earlier this year, several litigants sued the federal government over last year’s Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement and the accompanying Biological Opinion. They also asked for injunctive relief from the US District Court overseeing the case.
By limiting the amount of electricity, the dams would be allowed to produce, the injunctive relief motion threatened to deplete the region’s hydropower capabilities and increase the threat of regional blackouts, while increasing our carbon footprint with the burning of additional fossil fuels. This outcome would have created tremendous financial hardships for vulnerable communities across the Pacific Northwest as a result of higher electricity costs. The agreed upon settlement removes many of the most extreme risks to public safety and energy equity, and therefore represents a win for the region.