A decades-long treaty between the United States and Canada will soon be up for renewal. It governs power management and flood control in the Columbia River Basin. Next year is the first time in 50 years either country can end or revise the treaty.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bonneville Power Administration kicked off a series of public meetings in Spokane Wednesday. The agencies are gathering public input about the treaty’s future.
Invasive zebra mussels could soon be heading toward the Pacific Northwest. So, researchers are working to protect and prepare the region’s waterways.
In the Great Lakes region, the mussels have caused $1 billion worth of damage. If zebra mussels make it to the Pacific Northwest, they could clog hydroelectric dams and irrigation systems, and damage salmon habitat.
So, researchers have received at $630,000 grant from Bonneville Power to figure out when and how zebra mussels will reach the Columbia River Basin.
The region’s main electricity wholesaler, the Bonneville Power Administration, has major shortcomings with regards to its cyber security and computer systems. That’s according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Energy’s investigative arm. The BPA is taking issue with the seriousness of the findings.
The federal auditor is concerned BPA is not well-enough equipped to handle a cyber attack. And the years-long review also dinged BPA for security gaps. That could jeopardize the regional electricity grid and in the worst case black out customers.