By Susan Hollingsworth

You have heard about the hurdles, blockades, difficulties and setbacks in the removal of Condit Dam for the past 10 years. Finally a date has been set. Finally the hard work of countless agencies and stakeholders will be rewarded.

Well, surprise, another complication has materialized.

But this time, you can help.A free-flowing White Salmon River in 2011?

With just 5 minutes of your day, you can add your voice to the movement by submitting comments to FERC asking for the acceptace of the Department of Ecology’s water quality certification.

FERC made a clerical error and chose to not accept the Washington Department of Ecology’s (DOE) water certification based on a misunderstanding of deadlines. All stakeholders involved agree that with the acceptance of this certification, movement can continue to insure deconstruction in October 2011.

This certification will help maintain healthy waterways throughout the country. Without enforcing high water quality standards, other hydropower projects could also discount this information, leading to lower water quality in other fragile habitats.

In addition, if FERC expects PacifiCorp to keep to a 2011 timeline, the water quality certification must be in place to begin the deconstruction process.

The White Salmon River community and the salmon that swim at the base of the dam have waited long enough.  

Take a look at previous Condit Dam articles for more information:

Condit Dam Removal: White Salmon River Soon to be Freed, December 2010

Condit Dam Removal: Optimism for an Accelerated Timeline, January 2010

Here is where you come in.

Submit your comments to FERC online. Be sure to state:

  • Your personal connection to the White Salmon River
  • Your disapproval of the failure to include the water quality certification in the Surrender Order
  • Your request to include this document in order keep to the 2011 timeline
  • Any personal comments regarding the whole Condit Dam removal project

Submitting your comments:

  1. Go to:
  2. Click orange eComment “button” near top.
  3. Fill in contact information. FERC will email you to verify.
  4. Find FERC email, clink on web link provided. Takes you to comment page. Your information should be automatically filled in.
  5. Click on “quick entry”.
  6. Enter “P-2342-000” in window under “Enter your docket number…”
  7. Click “Add” button. (If this does not work, search for the docket number and add it manually)
  8. In “Comment” window, type or paste in your letter or comments.
  9. Click send.

Remember to make your message personal, and be patient.  The interface is not overly intuitive.

Your time could help motivate FERC to act quickly, making the 2011 deadline still possible.

For additional information on submitting comments, take a look at the American Rivers blog post that further explains the urgency of the matter.

Thank you for your time. It could mean the difference of a few years before the White Salmon River flows freely.

Susan Hollingsworth shares in the frustration of the White Salmon community, but remains optimistic for the completion of the project in 2011.