Local leaders of the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers submitted their final recommendations Friday for updating the Columbia River Treaty with Canada, the landmark accord that has protected the Portland area from flooding for the past half-century.

The treaty, which expires in 2024, is set to be renegotiated next year, and local authorities sent their recommendations to the U.S. State Department, which is charged with renegotiating the treaty.

BPA and Army Corps leaders propose elevating salmon habitat and other ecosystem concerns into the treaty, which has largely stressed flood control and sharing the benefits of Northwest hydroelectric power with Canada.

BPA and Army Corps leaders also want the U.S. to reduce the amount of hydro power given to Canada as compensation for our northern neighbor’s efforts to store water in reservoirs, thus averting downstream flooding. There is “increasing awareness in the region that an imbalance has developed in the equitable sharing of the downstream power benefits resulting from the Treaty,” according to the draft proposal.

To read the proposal forwarded to the U.S. State Department:,%2013%20DEC%202013.pdf.

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