Please send an e-mail to your Oregon House Representative today urging him/her to oppose HB 2873, a bill that would roll back existing fish protection laws that currently apply to development of hydro power on manmade canals or diversion structures. The bill is coming to the floor for a vote today. To find your legislator click here. Please send your note to your state representative at the bottom of the list.
What House Bill 2873 does: HB 2873 prohibits the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from requiring fish passage, screening or bypass devices when an “in-conduit” hydroelectric project is developed on manmade canal or diversion structure.
The development of hydroelectric facilities on existing manmade canals and diversion structures (otherwise known as in-conduit hydro) has long been allowed under Oregon law (ORS Chapter 543). In 2007, HB 2785 was adopted to allow an expedited process for the development this type of power. This new law allowed for a much quicker approval process—providing an incentive to develop this type of power – but only if key resource protections were in place. Fish passage and screening were contemplated from the outset as a minimum condition and were agreed to by the Oregon Water Resources Congress (the proponent of HB 2873), the Oregon Farm Bureau, conservation groups, state agencies, and others. This agreement was the basis for conservation groups to not oppose the 2007 bill.
If you are looking for a cut and paste message, this should work:
Please do not roll back existing fish protections, vote NO on HB 2873. HB 2873 is inconsistent with Oregon’s long-standing commitment to fish passage and screening across the state. HB 2873 undermines existing laws and policies intended to protect fish and allow energy development. Energy development is neither “green” nor “renewable” if it involves shortcuts that compromise existing protections for imperiled fish in Oregon.
Note: The development of inconduit hydro is not at issue in this bill. These projects are a viable source of power but provisions should remain to protect fish.