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IdaCorp shareholder vote a victory for salmon

IdaCorp shareholders attending the company’s annual meeting have voted on a resolution requesting disclosure of financial and environmental information regarding the relicensing of its Hells Canyon complex of hydro power dams.

The filing at IdaCorp marks the first time a shareholder resolution has focused on hydro relicensing. The resolution also called for IdaCorp to report on potential economic impacts to the company in the event that the four federally-owned lower Snake river dams are breached. According to preliminary numbers provided by IdaCorp, the proposal gained the support of 34% of votes.

The current licence for the Hells Canyon Complex expires in 2005, and Idaho Power is in the process of seeking a new licence from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC must by law give ‘equal consideration’ to fish and wildlife in setting the conditions of the new licence.

The Hells Canyon Complex blocks the migration of Snake river salmon and steelhead trout, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and causes water quality problems downstream. As a condition of renewing its licence, Idaho Power will be required to mitigate its impacts on fish and wildlife.