Paulette Jordan, Jim Waddell, Chris Pinney, and Ken Balcomb Call for Executive Action to Breach the Lower Snake River Dams

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Paulette Jordan (Coeur d’Alene Tribe), Save the American Salmon, Jordan Coalition, DNC Council on the Environment & Climate Crisis, Director of Native American Engagement; Jim Waddell, Civil Engineer, US Army Corps (Retired); Chris Pinney, Senior Fisheries Biologist, Walla Walla District, US Army Corps (Retired); and Ken Balcomb, Director, Center for Whale Research are calling for the immediate decommissioning and breaching of four surplus hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River (LSRDs) in Eastern Washington.

In their request to the Biden Administration, the group explained: “Since this decision is within the authority of the Executive Branch, we ask that President Biden, as the Commander in Chief, issue direction to the Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), or by Executive Order, to begin breaching the dams this year. Immediate breaching will save endangered salmon and orcas, address tribal treaty violations, build climate change resiliency, and add much needed jobs for rural Americans. It is also technically feasible.”

The request identifies the critical reasons to breach and explains how the process of breaching itself can cost less than $280 million, with mitigation costs for direct impacts of breaching being under $500 million.

Read the full 5 page request for Executive Action to Breach lower Snake River dams.