Following a rehearing request by American Whitewater, Forest Service and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, FERC ruled that the license for this project in Pend Oreille county, WA is still valid. This ruling overturned the previous FERC decision that would have allowed the licensee to simply abandon the project.
The Milltown dam at the confluence of Blackfoot and Clark Fork rivers, just upstream of Missoula, MT, had been accumulating toxic wastes from mining uprivers including arsenic, zinc, copper and other heavy metals, thus making it a superfund site. FERC decided to decommission the dam in January 2005 to clean up these toxic chemicals.
American Rivers is seeking proposals for projects that aim for restoration of diadromous fish through dam removal projects. Projects in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest and California are eligible to apply for this funding made possible through the NOAA's Open Rivers Initiative.
According to American Rivers, in the first six years of the partnership with NOAA, this program provided more than $2 million to support 100 community-driven river restoration projects that have benefited diadromous fish populations and habitats throughout the country.
A benefit dinner is being organized to remove dams from the Klamath River that have been disturbing the habitat for salmon, trout and other species for a long time. The Klamath hydroproject owned by Pacificorp includes four dams that are not only disturbing fish migration and spawning but also polluting the river with toxic algae.