H.R. 3144 requires federally owned hydropower facilities within the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) in the Pacific Northwest to be operated according to the salmon management plan adopted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2014. H.R. 3144 brings certainty to the operations of the FCRPS by requiring the System to be operated according to the 2014 Supplemental BiOp issued by NMFS until 2022, or until certain conditions are met. In addition, the bill prohibits any structural modification or removal of the FCRPS hydropower dams, unless specifically and expressly authorized by an Act of Congress.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 25, 2018.
(Sec. 2) This bill requires the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bonneville Power Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to operate the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) in a manner consistent with the document titled "Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(2) Supplemental Biological Opinion," dated January 17, 2014, until the later of September 30, 2022, or the date upon which a subsequent final biological opinion for FCRPS operations is in effect with no pending further judicial review.
(Sec. 3) Such entities may amend the supplemental opinion and operate the FCRPS accordingly before such date if the entities agree that: (1) the amendments are necessary for public safety or transmission and grid reliability; or (2) the actions, operations, or other requirements that the amendments remove are no longer warranted.
(Sec. 4) No structural modification, action, study, or engineering plan may restrict electrical generation at any FCRPS hydroelectric dam or limit navigation on the Snake River in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho unless authorized by Congress.