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Alternative 4, Breaching,
The Costs, the Economics and
the Opportunities
Presented by Jim Waddell
Civil Engineer, PE US Army Corps of Engineers Retired
Website: Damsense.org
First
What is the Chinook Urgency?
S
Smolt-to-Adult Returns,
From Lower Granite Dam to Ocean and Return to Lower Granite
Chinook that then have a chance or Reaching their point of origin
SAR Below 1% is headed toward Functional Extinction
6kkkk-66% so far
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
4/1/18
4/8/18
4/15/18
4/22/18
4/29/18
5/6/18
5/13/18
5/20/18
5/27/18
6/3/18
6/10/18
6/17/18
6/24/18
7/1/18
7/8/18
7/15/18
7/22/18
7/29/18
8/5/18
8/12/18
8/19/18
8/26/18
9/2/18
9/9/18
9/16/18
9/23/18
9/30/18
10/7/18
10/14/18
10/21/18
10/28/18
11/4/18
11/11/18
11/18/18
11/25/18
Lower Granite Jacks…Predictor of 2019
Returns
Jack Counts 10-yr Avg
Lower Granite Lower Monumental
Little Goose Ice Harbor
Sources
• 95% Government Data, Reports, Websites, etc.
• 2002 LSFS/EIS is Key
• 95% Is in the Public Domain
• 5% From FOIA Requests
• Individuals or Retirees From the Corps, NOAA/NMFS, BPA, EPA,
USFWS, States and Tribes Have Explained and Pointed Out Relevant
Documents in the Public Domain
• Some Helped Research and Write Key Reports, eg., Supplemental
Breach Plan to the 02 EIS
Overarching Economic & Cost Drivers
• The 4 LSRD’s have never been economically viable, In 1947 .87 to 1, Today
and BCR is well below 1 compared to Breaching which ranges between 4
to 1 and 19 to 1-----depending on the desire to replace the surplus power.
• Full-up costs to tax and ratepayers appear to have exceeded power
revenues for the last 5 years and is adding to BPA “dire financial situation”
• $1 Billion in passage improvements since 2002 EIS signed, the 4 dams and
reservoirs are still the major cause of failure to meet Recovery goals and
ESA requirements.
• This has perpetuated the downward spiral of chinook available for SRKW
and humans, devastating fishery and tourism income.
Cost of Dam Operations, Maintenance, Rehab
6 categories in Economic analysis, numbers for 2017
• Corps O&M, 92% BPA Debt, $42m
• Turbine Rehab, BPA funded,$18m
• Power Services, BPA funded O&M, $37m
• System Improvements, Corps CRFM, 92% BPA Debt, $30m
• Compensation Plan Hatcheries, BPA funded, $33m
• Conveyance & Nav Dredging, 80% BPA Debt, $12m
• Non-Reaccuring Exceptional Maintenance, BPA funded, $10m
• Interest/Debt Service $45 million
Total $227million
Power Revenue less than $200* million…Loss at Least $27million/yr
*Reported by Corps in 2016, likely around $180 million today
Benefit Cost Ratios
But What About Our Cheap Hydro Power?
Elliot Mainzer Testimony to Northwest Power and Conservation Council March 2018
- $16 at California Intertie
96,000 Hours of Production From 4 LSRD’s
But
Only 2 Hours Were Needed
By BPA Customers
The Rest Sold As Surplus
Most Well Below Cost of LSRD’s, $50Mwh
Wind Was “Curtailed” 40 Times In 2017
The Lights Will Not go Out In Seattle!
BPA Debt Equals Assets,
The Hydro System Is “Underwater”
BPA Has Nearly Zero Days Cash Reserve
Customers Are Leaving Because of BPA’s High Cost
Habitat Funding Is the Target for Budget Cutbacks
Removing High Cost Under Performing
Assets Only Way Out of Insolvency For BPA
THE OPPORTUNITY!!
Each Snake River Dam and Reservoir Kills about 10% of the Juvenile
Salmon Passing Through….Not ”98% survival over the dams” you hear.
About 20 million Chinook juveniles go through the lower Snake River,
the eggs of which are in hatcheries and natal streams now.
Breaching 2 Dams this winter will stop the killing of about 4 million of
these young chinook
About half will make it past the Columbia Dams and into ocean
14 to 18 months latter several hundred thousand should be available
for SRKW and fisherman.
Not increasing hatchery production
Not spilling more water over dams
Not building more habitat
Not killing more sea lions or birds
Not more studies
Nothing can produce this many chinook
this fast!
Cost/Economics with Natural River
• Corrected breach cost now around $340 million, not 1 or 2 billion
• Benefit to cost ratio is at least 4 to 1 if the hydro power is replaced
• But, not really needed and will free up grid space allowing more wind and solar,
2000 megawatts of solar alone in BPA Integration que
• Breaching will save money for BPA/Corps which can be used on higher value
dams and habitat restoration efforts. Eg., Puget Sound Near Shore, $400 million
needed.
• Provides 3-4 thousand more jobs in State
• Land lease for restored viticulture and orchards could add $30 million a year to
State School budgets and $200 million in direct economic benefit
• Shifts federal funding for waterborne navigation to other needs in Washington
State, eg, Dredging, Jetties, Columbia Locks, etc.
How to Breach the 4 Lower Snake River Dams
with a Pile of Policy Papers and Two D-8’s
• Prepared by Jim Waddell Civil Engineer, PE USACE Retired
+ =
Lower Granite Dam with Channel Bypass
Image from Corps 2002 EIS
The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching
Feasible in a Short Time Frame
1. The Corps needs no new authorities to place the 4
LSRD’s into a “non-operational” status while normative
river flows are reestablished by removing the dams’
earthen portions.
Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017
http://damsense.org/reports/
2. The Corps’ 2002 Environmental Impact
Statement and Record of Decision
provide the necessary NEPA coverage for
breaching, although some updating may
be required, 3-4 months.
The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching
Feasible in a Short Time Frame, Cont.
Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017
http://damsense.org/reports/
3. Neither the ongoing litigation over the
2014 Federal Biological Opinion nor the
Court’s order for a new EIS constrains the
Corps from breaching the dams through
channel bypass now.
The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching
Feasible in a Short Time Frame, Cont.
Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017
http://damsense.org/reports/
The BiOp, 02 EIS & New EIS
2004
New Bi-Op
SUED!
2008
New Bi-Op
SUED!
2010
Supplement 2008 Bi-
Op SUED!
2014
Supplement 2008 Bi-
Op Again SUED!
2016
Judge allows 5 Years
for FCRPS NEPA / EIS
2021 ?
Warm Colors Action Litigated,
Blue is Policy Approach
http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Library/2002-LSR-Study/
You will
love what
it says on
page 25.
4. Breaching can be financed through existing
debt reduction and credits mechanisms as a
fish mitigation action or direct funding by
BPA. New appropriations are not necessary.
The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching
Feasible in a Short Time Frame, Cont.
Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017
http://damsense.org/reports/
5. Breaching the 4LSRD’s is far easier than
originally planned, making it possible to
move from a decision to breach, to
breaching in a matter of months, not years.
And does not cost a billion or two, $300-340
Million with contingencies for adaptive
construction.
The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching
Feasible in a Short Time Frame, Cont.
Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017
http://damsense.org/reports/
So, What has the DamSense Team done with all this
Government Information?
80+ Congressional staff members briefed
30+ Meetings with Corps, BPA, NOAA, EPA, Tribes, etc
25+ Meetings with State Agencies, and Orca Task Force
50+ Presentations to over 2,000 people and 25+ NGO’s
15 DamNation Screenings
TENS OF THOUSANDS of Emails, letters and phone calls
to convey information to all these and elected officials
from County Commissioners to President Obama
Tweets and Retweets in the 100s of Thousands per
month from DamSense
DamSense Website 50 Thousand views
And then there are the Petitions, Like the SRKWCI
Our Followers have just breached the 2,000 mark.
DamSense FaceBook Page
DamSense has grown from a Informational Website, with mostly
volunteer effort, to a Movement involving 100’s of Thousands of
Informed Citizens pressing the message to Save Orca, Save Salmon
and Save Money at the Same Time…Is it working?
Yes, but not fast enough.
If Key Elected Officials and the Corps and BPA Leadership cannot
be convinced to begin breaching in a matter on months,
It may be too late.
“Sentiment without action
is the ruin of the soul.”
Edward Abbey
Questions
Comments
Statements

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Alt. 4 Summit, Sept. 7 2018: Jim Waddell

  • 1. Alternative 4, Breaching, The Costs, the Economics and the Opportunities Presented by Jim Waddell Civil Engineer, PE US Army Corps of Engineers Retired Website: Damsense.org
  • 2. First What is the Chinook Urgency?
  • 3. S Smolt-to-Adult Returns, From Lower Granite Dam to Ocean and Return to Lower Granite Chinook that then have a chance or Reaching their point of origin SAR Below 1% is headed toward Functional Extinction
  • 6. Lower Granite Lower Monumental Little Goose Ice Harbor
  • 7. Sources • 95% Government Data, Reports, Websites, etc. • 2002 LSFS/EIS is Key • 95% Is in the Public Domain • 5% From FOIA Requests • Individuals or Retirees From the Corps, NOAA/NMFS, BPA, EPA, USFWS, States and Tribes Have Explained and Pointed Out Relevant Documents in the Public Domain • Some Helped Research and Write Key Reports, eg., Supplemental Breach Plan to the 02 EIS
  • 8. Overarching Economic & Cost Drivers • The 4 LSRD’s have never been economically viable, In 1947 .87 to 1, Today and BCR is well below 1 compared to Breaching which ranges between 4 to 1 and 19 to 1-----depending on the desire to replace the surplus power. • Full-up costs to tax and ratepayers appear to have exceeded power revenues for the last 5 years and is adding to BPA “dire financial situation” • $1 Billion in passage improvements since 2002 EIS signed, the 4 dams and reservoirs are still the major cause of failure to meet Recovery goals and ESA requirements. • This has perpetuated the downward spiral of chinook available for SRKW and humans, devastating fishery and tourism income.
  • 9. Cost of Dam Operations, Maintenance, Rehab 6 categories in Economic analysis, numbers for 2017 • Corps O&M, 92% BPA Debt, $42m • Turbine Rehab, BPA funded,$18m • Power Services, BPA funded O&M, $37m • System Improvements, Corps CRFM, 92% BPA Debt, $30m • Compensation Plan Hatcheries, BPA funded, $33m • Conveyance & Nav Dredging, 80% BPA Debt, $12m • Non-Reaccuring Exceptional Maintenance, BPA funded, $10m • Interest/Debt Service $45 million Total $227million Power Revenue less than $200* million…Loss at Least $27million/yr *Reported by Corps in 2016, likely around $180 million today
  • 11. But What About Our Cheap Hydro Power? Elliot Mainzer Testimony to Northwest Power and Conservation Council March 2018
  • 12. - $16 at California Intertie
  • 13. 96,000 Hours of Production From 4 LSRD’s But Only 2 Hours Were Needed By BPA Customers The Rest Sold As Surplus Most Well Below Cost of LSRD’s, $50Mwh Wind Was “Curtailed” 40 Times In 2017 The Lights Will Not go Out In Seattle!
  • 14. BPA Debt Equals Assets, The Hydro System Is “Underwater” BPA Has Nearly Zero Days Cash Reserve Customers Are Leaving Because of BPA’s High Cost Habitat Funding Is the Target for Budget Cutbacks Removing High Cost Under Performing Assets Only Way Out of Insolvency For BPA
  • 15. THE OPPORTUNITY!! Each Snake River Dam and Reservoir Kills about 10% of the Juvenile Salmon Passing Through….Not ”98% survival over the dams” you hear. About 20 million Chinook juveniles go through the lower Snake River, the eggs of which are in hatcheries and natal streams now. Breaching 2 Dams this winter will stop the killing of about 4 million of these young chinook About half will make it past the Columbia Dams and into ocean 14 to 18 months latter several hundred thousand should be available for SRKW and fisherman.
  • 16. Not increasing hatchery production Not spilling more water over dams Not building more habitat Not killing more sea lions or birds Not more studies Nothing can produce this many chinook this fast!
  • 17. Cost/Economics with Natural River • Corrected breach cost now around $340 million, not 1 or 2 billion • Benefit to cost ratio is at least 4 to 1 if the hydro power is replaced • But, not really needed and will free up grid space allowing more wind and solar, 2000 megawatts of solar alone in BPA Integration que • Breaching will save money for BPA/Corps which can be used on higher value dams and habitat restoration efforts. Eg., Puget Sound Near Shore, $400 million needed. • Provides 3-4 thousand more jobs in State • Land lease for restored viticulture and orchards could add $30 million a year to State School budgets and $200 million in direct economic benefit • Shifts federal funding for waterborne navigation to other needs in Washington State, eg, Dredging, Jetties, Columbia Locks, etc.
  • 18. How to Breach the 4 Lower Snake River Dams with a Pile of Policy Papers and Two D-8’s • Prepared by Jim Waddell Civil Engineer, PE USACE Retired + =
  • 19. Lower Granite Dam with Channel Bypass Image from Corps 2002 EIS
  • 20. The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching Feasible in a Short Time Frame 1. The Corps needs no new authorities to place the 4 LSRD’s into a “non-operational” status while normative river flows are reestablished by removing the dams’ earthen portions. Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017 http://damsense.org/reports/
  • 21. 2. The Corps’ 2002 Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision provide the necessary NEPA coverage for breaching, although some updating may be required, 3-4 months. The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching Feasible in a Short Time Frame, Cont. Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017 http://damsense.org/reports/
  • 22. 3. Neither the ongoing litigation over the 2014 Federal Biological Opinion nor the Court’s order for a new EIS constrains the Corps from breaching the dams through channel bypass now. The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching Feasible in a Short Time Frame, Cont. Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017 http://damsense.org/reports/
  • 23. The BiOp, 02 EIS & New EIS 2004 New Bi-Op SUED! 2008 New Bi-Op SUED! 2010 Supplement 2008 Bi- Op SUED! 2014 Supplement 2008 Bi- Op Again SUED! 2016 Judge allows 5 Years for FCRPS NEPA / EIS 2021 ? Warm Colors Action Litigated, Blue is Policy Approach
  • 25. 4. Breaching can be financed through existing debt reduction and credits mechanisms as a fish mitigation action or direct funding by BPA. New appropriations are not necessary. The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching Feasible in a Short Time Frame, Cont. Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017 http://damsense.org/reports/
  • 26. 5. Breaching the 4LSRD’s is far easier than originally planned, making it possible to move from a decision to breach, to breaching in a matter of months, not years. And does not cost a billion or two, $300-340 Million with contingencies for adaptive construction. The 5 Polices or Means That Make Breaching Feasible in a Short Time Frame, Cont. Details in Source Document Five Means for Breaching 4 Lower Snake River Dams, Jim Waddell, 9.19.2017 http://damsense.org/reports/
  • 27. So, What has the DamSense Team done with all this Government Information? 80+ Congressional staff members briefed 30+ Meetings with Corps, BPA, NOAA, EPA, Tribes, etc 25+ Meetings with State Agencies, and Orca Task Force 50+ Presentations to over 2,000 people and 25+ NGO’s 15 DamNation Screenings TENS OF THOUSANDS of Emails, letters and phone calls to convey information to all these and elected officials from County Commissioners to President Obama Tweets and Retweets in the 100s of Thousands per month from DamSense DamSense Website 50 Thousand views
  • 28. And then there are the Petitions, Like the SRKWCI
  • 29. Our Followers have just breached the 2,000 mark. DamSense FaceBook Page
  • 30. DamSense has grown from a Informational Website, with mostly volunteer effort, to a Movement involving 100’s of Thousands of Informed Citizens pressing the message to Save Orca, Save Salmon and Save Money at the Same Time…Is it working? Yes, but not fast enough. If Key Elected Officials and the Corps and BPA Leadership cannot be convinced to begin breaching in a matter on months, It may be too late.
  • 31. “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” Edward Abbey Questions Comments Statements