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Washington state to regulate federal dams to cool hot water

January 31, 2019

SEATTLE (AP) — A new draft analysis by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says dams and climate change are the leading cause of high temperatures in the Columbia and Snake rivers that are killing salmon.

Now, the state wants to get involved.

The Seattle Times reports the state Department of Ecology on Wednesday initiated a public comment period on proposed new regulations on federal dam operations.

The department’s goal is to for the first time initiate work toward meeting state water-quality standards, including temperature, at federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Washington has long had an uppermost temperature limit of 68 degrees (20 degrees Celsius) in state waters, but it’s never been enforced at federal dams.

Temperatures have become so high, sometimes exceeding 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius), that they kill migrating salmon.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

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