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Environmental Groups Want Work Halted On Snake River Dams

Jackie Johnston, File
AP Photo
Environmental groups are asking a federal court to halt work at the Ice Harbor dam near Pasco, along with infrastructure projects at three other lower Snake River dams in Washington state.

Environmental groups are asking a federal court to halt 11 infrastructure projects on four lower Snake River dams in Washington state that could ultimately be removed following an environmental review now underway.

The notice filed late Monday in Portland, Oregon, estimates the cost of the projects at $110 million.

A federal judge ruled in May that the U.S. government hasn't done enough to improve Northwest salmon runs and ordered an environmental impact statement, urging officials to consider removing the dams.

That document is due out in 2021.

Kevin Lewis of Idaho Rivers United says suspending the infrastructure work is needed to ensure a level playing field while agencies consider potential removal.

The groups are also asking that more water be spilled over dams to help salmon.

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