Indian Country Today: Nez Perce Tribe files petition challenging Oregon water quality certification of Hells Canyon Complex Hydroelectric Project

Photo: Sam Beebe [flickr.com/photos/sbeebe/3717523767 /in/photostream/], Uploaded by MrPanyGoff, CC BY 2.0, [commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20550339])

Photo: Sam Beebe [flickr.com/photos/sbeebe/3717523767 /in/photostream/], Uploaded by MrPanyGoff, CC BY 2.0, [commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20550339])

ORIGINAL 50- YEAR FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION LICENSE ISSUED TO THE HELLS CANYON COMPLEX EXPIRED IN 2005; THE COMMISSION MUST CERTIFY THAT THE COMPLEX’S ACTIVITIES WILL NOT VIOLATE OREGON’S WATER QUALITY STANDARDS BEFORE A NEW 30 TO 50- YEAR LICENSE CAN BE ISSUED.

By Press Pool for Indian Country Today

On July 23, 2019, the Nez Perce Tribe (Tribe) filed a challenge to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (ODEQ) May 24, 2019, Clean Water Act § 401 certification for Idaho Power Company’s Hells Canyon Complex Hydroelectric Project (Hells Canyon Complex). The petition was filed in Oregon’s Marion County’s Circuit Court. Located within the Tribe’s aboriginal homeland, the Hells Canyon Complex, consisting of Brownlee, Oxbow, and Hells Canyon dams, is situated on the Snake River on the southern end of Hells Canyon between Oregon and Idaho.

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“The Tribe has consistently advocated for the adoption of 401 certifications for this project that are protective of the Tribe’s Treaty-reserved rights and resources due to the central role water quality plays in the protection of those resources. This in turn helps protect the health and welfare of the Tribe’s citizens who exercise their Treaty rights in waters within Oregon,” stated Shannon F. Wheeler, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee.

Read the rest of the article by Indian Country Today here: https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/the-press-pool/nez-perce-tribe-files-petition-challenging-oregon-water-quality-certification-of-hells-canyon-complex-hydroelectric-project-AOZsQ9MQ1kG-1B4bTJlr2A/