Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project

Upper Columbia; Columbia River, Grant and Kittitas Counties, Washington

Project Profile

The Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project (Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams) impairs juvenile downstream passage, affects water quality through seasonal increases in total dissolved gas, and impairs flows in the Hanford Reach, an important fall Chinook spawning area. A 2005 settlement agreement established a no net impact standard for the 1,993-megawatt project, including a combined 91% project survival rate for migrating juvenile and adult fish, improved hatchery practices, and funds (about $3,200,000 per year) for improving tributary habitat. Grant Public Utility District completed a new surface spill fish bypass facility at Wanapum Dam in 2008, and will complete a surface spill facility at Priest Rapids Dam in 2014.

Listed Species

Upper Columbia River Chinook

Upper Columbia River steelhead

Licensee

Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County

FERC Relicensing Status

NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Colville Tribes, Yakama Nation, and Grant PUD signed a settlement agreement for anadromous fish in 2005.  FERC granted a new 44-year license in 2008.

Resources

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FERC eLibrary: Docket #P-2114

NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion