Aquatic Settlement Agreement
In March of 2006, following two years of collaborative discussions related to the relicensing studies, Public Utility District No. 1 of Douglas County (Douglas PUD) approached stakeholders regarding its desire to develop an Aquatic Settlement Agreement (Agreement) for those resources not already protected by the original license, the Wells Anadromous Fish Agreement and Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and other related agreements. Stakeholders active in the development of the Agreement included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Colville), Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Yakama), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (collectively, the Parties). The final Agreement was distributed for execution in October 2008 and signed by USFWS, Ecology, WDFW, Colville, Yakama, BLM and Douglas PUD.
The Agreement, by definition, is an adaptive management plan developed to resolve all of the remaining aquatic resource issues related to compliance with all federal and state laws applicable to the issuance of a new license for the Wells Project. It contains six aquatic resource management plans intended to protect and enhance populations of white sturgeon, Pacific lamprey, bull trout and native resident fish; protect and restore water quality within the Project; and prevent the introduction and further spread of aquatic nuisance species.
The Agreement establishes an Aquatic Settlement Work Group (Aquatic SWG), which will be the primary forum for consultations and coordination among the Parties in connection with conducting studies and implementing the measures set forth in the six resource management plans. The Aquatic SWG will act by unanimous vote of its members. The Parties have selected a neutral, non-voting Chair of the Aquatic SWG, whose duties include preparation of an annual list of statements of agreement based upon the results of studies, preparation of progress reports and meeting minutes, facilitation of meetings and assisting the members in making decisions. The Chair will also work with Douglas PUD to compile an annual report, which will be approved by the Aquatic SWG and filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by Douglas PUD.
Listed below are the fully executed version of the Aquatic Settlement Agreement and the final set of six aquatic resource management plans. Also listed below are the Aquatic SWG approved annual reports.
For more information on the Aquatic Settlement Agreement, please contact the Natural Resources Department at Douglas PUD at (509) 884-7191.
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