Hydroelectric Dams:

Proposed Legislation to Restore Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries

T-RCED-92-80: Published: Jul 9, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act, focusing on: (1) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) authority to license dams on the Elwha River; (2) the Department of the Interior's position on removal of the dams to restore fisheries; and (3) who should pay the costs if the dams are removed. GAO noted that: (1) the Glines Canyon Dam is within the boundaries of a national park, where FERC does not have the authority to license dams; (2) Interior, FERC, and the National Marine Fisheries Service believe that removing both dams offers the best prospects for restoring the Elwha River fisheries and their surrounding ecosystem; and (3) the cost of removing the dams should be allocated among parties in proportion to the benefits they have received from the dams or will receive from the restoration of the river.

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