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EPA Temperature Workshop Provides Forum For Columbia River Concerns, Dec. 3-4

Release Date: 12/2/1998
Contact Information: Mary Lou Soscia
soscia.marylou@epamail.epa.gov
(503) 326-5873


December 2, 1998 - - - - - - 98-63



Media Advisory

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a “Temperature Workshop,” in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday, December 3, and Friday, December 4, to discuss the causes, effects and possible solutions to problems resulting from elevated water temperatures in the mainstem of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The Workshop will be held at the Portland Conference Center(300 N.E. Multnomah St. @ Convention Center MAX stop).

Twenty-seven major dams on the Columbia and Snake systems have rendered these once free-flowing rivers into a series of chain lakes, which have increased water temperatures during the heat of the summer. These high water temperatures, especially in the Snake River, have created intolerable conditions for salmon and other cold water fish, and are responsible for large annual losses of juvenile and adult salmon alike.

While normal summer hot spells have undoubtedly caused juvenile fish mortality for decades since the dams were built, with all the other survival factors they face (habitat loss; commercial, subsistence & sport harvest; hostile ocean conditions, etc.), reversing the losses from elevated temperature have become critically important to the salmon survival equation.

The centerpiece of the workshop will be the preliminary findings of the temperature model developed by EPA characterizing the effect of the dams and tributaries on Columbia and Snake
mainstem water temperature. The model predicted water temperature on the Columbia River
from Grand Coulee Dam to Bonneville Dam and from the confluence with the Columbia River to Lewiston on the Snake River.

The Workshop will run from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on Thursday and 8:00 am to 2:30 pm on Friday. Chuck Findley, EPA deputy regional administrator, will present EPA’s policy perspective at Thursday morning’s panel discussion.

The Workshop is being co-sponsored by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE); Northwest Power Planning Council (NPPC); Idaho Division of Environmental Quality; Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; Washington Department of Ecology; Lower Columbia River Estuary Program; Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority; Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS);National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS); Bonneville Power Administration (BPA); and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).
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