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As part of the licensing process for the Enloe Hydroelectric Project on the Similkameen River, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has issued a final Water Quality Certification describing the conditions necessary for the project to meet state water quality standards for up to 50 years.
Public Utility District No. 1 of Okanogan County owns the existing dam near Oroville and is in the process of licensing a new hydroelectric project through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The dam was constructed in 1920, but ceased operation in 1959 because the generating equipment had become obsolete. The new generating equipment is to be located on the opposite side of the river from the old power plant. It will generate 9 megawatts of power - enough power to serve about 7,200 homes.
The project doesn't currently have a federal operating license. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires non-federal projects to obtain a certification that the project will comply with the state's water quality standards for aquatic life, including temperature and dissolved oxygen. The certification incorporates 10 separate management plans that the PUD must follow to address fish needs, water quality, construction requirements, aquatic invasive species, revegetation and wetlands protection.
A copy of the Water Quality Certification and management plans will be posted online at: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/ferc/existingcerts.html.
More information about the project is available online from the Okanogan PUD's website at https://www.okanoganpud.org/environmental/enloe-dam-project .
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