The firm represents PacifiCorp in the relicensing of its Klamath Hydroelectric Project. This 161 megawatt multi-dam project in Oregon and California is situated in one of the most contentious river basins in the country. The controversial relicensing culminated in the first trial-type hearing under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, in which PacifiCorp challenged fish passage and other conditions imposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and U.S. Bureau of Land Management under Sections 4(e) and 18 of the Federal Power Act. Following that hearing, the parties began multi-year negotiations which culminated in February 2010 with a settlement signing by the Governors of California and Oregon, the Secretary of the Interior, and numerous other parties, including Indian tribes in California and Oregon, irrigators, commercial fishermen, and several national and regional environmental advocacy groups. This landmark agreement could lead to the removal of four large dams on the mainstem of the Klamath River, the largest such river restoration project ever undertaken. The settlement, valued at approximately $450 million, includes a number of special provisions requiring Congressional authorization and further federal and state approvals.
In addition to helping PacifiCorp negotiate the settlement, the firm is assisting with settlement implementation, including seeking federal legislation approving the settlement. The firm also successfully defended the settlement and current FERC license in a suit by the Hoopa Valley Tribe in the D.C. Circuit seeking to impose extensive additional requirements on PacifiCorp’s license pending dam removal.