Did you know that the Okanogan PUD is proposing to drastically reduce the amount of water flowing over Similkameen Falls? You
can help change this decision.
Tell the Dept. of Ecology: Don't Destroy the sight and sound of water flowing at Similkameen Falls.
Send your comment to Pat Irle - email@example.com (Washington Department of Ecology).
e-mail "Subject": Water Quality Certification for Enloe Dam
Here is a suggested message you can copy and paste:
"Protecting Similkameen Falls is right for the river and smart economics. I am asking the Washington Department of Ecology to support natural flows in the Similkameen River – a minimum of 500 cubic feet per second (cfs)."
401 Water Permit Background Information:
Similkameen Falls, just below Enlow Dam, is a destination view point for the new Similkameen River Trail out of Oroville. Converting the beauty of a waterfall into numbers: the low natural flow on the Similkameen River at this location is 500 cubic feet per second (cfs).
The Department of Ecology is proposing to allow the PUD to divert nearly all of the water above Enloe Dam (to benefit Okanogan Public Utility District No. 1 - PUD), drying up Similkameen Falls for most of the year.
The Okanogan community will lose important cultural, tourism, recreational, and aesthetic values. Dewatering the waterfalls could cost $500,000 each year in lost tourism value, and lose money for electricity ratepayers. Generating electricity at this site is a money loser, and yet the PUD continues to spend money on studies and consultants fees.
Deadline for public comment is March 19 – take action today and send a message to the Washington Department of Ecology.
The Similkameen River Trail needs your help. Tell regulators that you want water in the waterfalls.
P.S. forward this alert to your friends.
• The PUD will spend over 2 million dollars in 2012 for Enloe Dam, even though they have not produced an updated cost/benefit analysis for the project since 2007.
• The PUD is pushing ahead with Enloe Dam without obtaining the approval of the ratepayers, even while the PUD has tripled the long term debt of the PUD, and angered the ratepayers with large rate increases.
• The PUD has not recalculated projected costs for re-building the power producing facilities. The initial estimate of $28 million was calculated in 2007, nearly five years ago.
• The Rocky Mountain Econometrics estimate for costs is $40 million.
• The value of the power produced at the proposed Enloe Dam has declined by more than one half since the original 2007 estimate of $66/MWh.
• RME estimates that the long term price for Enloe power at the Mid Columbia hub will be $43.55 /megawatt hour (MWh).
• The PUD has told the public that Enloe power will qualify to be “green power” under I-937, and thus have an increased value, but our investigations show that Enloe power does not qualify now, nor will it likely qualify in future.
• The bulk of Enloe power will be produced in the spring, when the northwest market already has a glut of power available. BPA must pay wind generators to shut off their turbines, a Court has just decided.
• Enloe Dam facilities will destroy the scenic values of the Similkameen Falls canyon, which is a feature of great value on the new Similkameen River Trail, part of the Pacific Northwest Trail. Thus the dam will harm the tourism revenues associated with trail use in north Okanogan County.
• Enloe Dam is 90 years old. How long do concrete walls last. The dam is a liability for ratepayers. That is why the BLM wants the dam removed if the license is not awarded or the PUD decided not to build the new power generating facilities. Ratepayers will not have to pay for removal if OkPUD relinquishes its FERC license to electrify.
• If the dam is removed, the Similkameen River will become a valuable steelhead fishing river due to the athletic ability of steelhead to power through the falls.
For more information look on Columbiana homepage under the alert section
Jere Gillespie, 485-3844