Salmon Planning Act

PNWA does not support the current Salmon Planning Act (H.R. 1615). PNWA supports plans that are based on good science. The current bill would give the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authority to remove the four lower Snake River dams based upon the recommendation of any one of three federal agencies: NOAA Fisheries, the Department of the Interior or the Environmental Protection Agency. It would have the Corps begin the pre-construction activities of preliminary engineering and design for dam breaching. It also would require the National Academy of Sciences to complete a scientific review of actions taken so far to restore salmon and steelhead runs. And, it would authorize the General Accounting Office to study the impact of breaching the four dams.

The bill also raises serious constitutional questions. H.R.1615 would bypass Congress and, instead, delegate to federal bureaucrats the authority to remove (breach) four federal multipurpose dams, eliminate the Congressionally-authorized 14-foot Snake River navigation channel, and wipe out critical hydropower production sufficient to power the entire states of Idaho and Montana or the City of Seattle. The Constitution specifically delegates to Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce. Numerous court cases have ruled that the authority to regulate navigation channels and waterways was delegated to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. This bill would strip Congress of its Constitutionally-mandated authority to regulate navigation on the Snake River, and delegate that power to the federal bureaucracy.

 

Supporting Materials