Thursday, September 19, 2013


Sep 18: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 10-72104. Appealed from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The panel affirmed the Sixth Northwest Power Plan, adopted by the Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Council (NPCC), concerning a "due consideration" challenge to the accommodation of fish and wildlife interests with hydropower interests in the Columbia River Basin, and remanded on a limited basis for additional consideration.
    The Appeals Court explains that the present case is the latest round of environmental litigation in the 33-year history of the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act (the Power Act), 16 U.S.C. §§ 839–839h. That statute established the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (the Council), an interstate agency composed of state-appointed representatives from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington that Congress tasked with promulgating both "a regional conservation and electric power plan" and "a program to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife." 16 U.S.C. § 839b(d)(1), 839b(h)(1)(A).
    The case presents a challenge by an environmental group, the Northwest Resource Information Center (NRIC), to the Sixth Northwest Power Plan (the Plan) that the Council adopted in May 2010. NRIC's key complaint is that the Council failed to give due consideration to the accommodation of fish and wildlife interests when it adopted the Plan. The Appeals Court rules, ". . .we affirm the Plan with respect to NRIC's "due-consideration" challenge, but remand the Plan to the Council for the limited purposes of (1) allowing public notice and comment on the proposed methodology for determining quantifiable environmental costs and benefits, and (2) reconsidering the inclusion in the Plan of a market-price-based estimate of the cost of accommodating fish and wildlife interests."
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Energy, #Wildlife, #CA9]

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