NW Res. Inf. Ctr. v. NW Power & Conserv. Council

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 09-18-2013
  • Case #: 10-72104
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Gilman for the Court; Circuit Judges Alarcón and Ikuta
  • Full Text Opinion

Alternative, hypothetical power production schemes raised during regional power planning administrative meetings do not change the analysis of the weight of due consideration applied to fish and wildlife interests in the development of the Northwest Power Plan.

The Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Council (Council) adopted the Sixth Northwest Power Plan (Plan) as is required by the Power Act of 1980, 16 U.S.C. § 839(b). The Northwest Resource Information Center (NRIC), an environmental group, challenged the Plan alleging that there was not sufficient due consideration to the accommodations to fish and wildlife interests with hydropower interests in the Columbia River Basin. The Power Act requires the interests of fish and wildlife to be balanced with the operation and management of hydroelectric facilities to provide “adequate, efficient, economical and reliable power supply” to the Pacific Northwest. NRIC argues that alternative or hypothetical power resources analyzed by the Council should have changed the weight of due consideration in favor of fish and wildlife interests. The Council contends that the analysis of alternative power plans is to foster new ideas for future planning and not to create a duty to give due consideration to fish and wildlife interest. The Panel held that NRIC did not point to a specific part of the Act that requires the Council to evaluate the impact on fish and wildlife in light of the evaluation of regional power systems. AFFIRMED, REMAND for notice and comment period.

Advanced Search