Condit Dam removal clears hurdle

first_imgPacifiCorp has reached a tentative settlement with two Columbia River Gorge counties that waged a 10-year legal battle against the utility’s plan to decommission 97-year-old Condit Dam on Washington’s White Salmon River. With that roadblock out of the way, the 125-foot-tall dam could be demolished as soon as the fall of 2011. It would become the highest dam ever dismantled in the United States. Its removal would open the river’s upper reach and a tributary to salmon for the first time since 1913.The Portland-based utility announced Tuesday that it had reached agreement with Klickitat and Skamania counties on a deal under which it will pay the counties $675,000 to offset the impacts of dam removal, including the effects on a group of cabin owners at Northwestern Lake. The reservoir behind the dam will be drained with the dam’s removal. Under the agreement, the project’s hydroelectric water right will be transferred to Klickitat County, and PacifiCorp will agree to protect the structural integrity of Northwestern Lake Bridge.In return, the counties, which are formal intervenors in the federal dam decommissioning process, agree not to oppose the removal of the dam and associated structures, to complete noxious weed control in the project area after decommissioning, and to work with the utility to protect public safety during the dam’s demolition.last_img read more