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Feds reject removal of 4 Snake River dams in key report

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Posted at 2:08 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 11:38:45-05

PORTLAND, Ore. — UPDATE: A federal report released Friday rejected the idea of removing four hydroelectric dams on a major Pacific Northwest river in a last-ditch effort to save threatened and endangered salmon.

The report says breaching the dams would destabilize the power grid, increase greenhouse emissions and raise the risk of power outages. The four dams on the lower Snake River are part of a complex hydroelectric system operated by the federal government on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

The 14 dams together produce enough electricity to power eight cities the size of Seattle, but are disastrous for salmon. The public now has 45 days to comment.

ORIGINAL STORY: A federal report expected Friday will address the feasibility of removing four hydroelectric dams on a major Pacific Northwest river in a last-ditch effort to save threatened and endangered salmon.

The four dams on the lower Snake River are part of a complex hydroelectric system operated by the federal government on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The 14 dams together produce enough electricity to power eight cities the size of Seattle, but they have proven disastrous for salmon.

Thirteen salmon runs are listed as federally endangered or threatened. Scientists now say killer whales that depend on salmon for food are starving to death.