The Aquatic Settlement Agreement was developed by Public Utility District No. 1 of Douglas County, (Douglas PUD), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and the Bureau of Land Management (Collectively called the “Parties”). The National Marine Fisheries Service participated in the development of this Agreement but declined to be a signatory Party because its interests are currently satisfied by the measures contained within the Wells Anadromous Fish Agreement and Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).
The Aquatic Settlement Agreement was developed as part of the relicensing of the Wells Hydroelectric Project (Wells Project) through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Integrated License Process.
The purpose of the Aquatic Settlement Agreement is to resolve all remaining aquatic resource issues related to compliance with all federal and state laws applicable to the issuance of a New Operating License for the Wells Project. As such, the Aquatic Settlement Agreement establishes Douglas PUD’s obligations for the protection, mitigation, and enhancement of aquatic resources affected by Project operations.
The Aquatic Settlement Agreement contains 6 management plans including the Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan, Bull Trout Management Plan, Pacific Lamprey Management Plan, Resident Fish Management Plan, Water Quality Management Plan, and White Sturgeon Management Plan. All of these plans have unique objectives towards the protection, enhancement, and mitigation of these species or resources. The Aquatic Settlement Agreement and the six management plans contained within it, are implemented collaboratively with the Aquatic Settlement Work Group (Aquatic SWG). The Aquatic SWG meets monthly to discuss the progress made towards meeting the objectives in each of the management plans. The Aquatic SWG is made up of technical leads from each of the six managing authorities, which signed the Aquatic Settlement Agreement in 2010. Each meeting is facilitated by a neutral party. Douglas PUD provides links to all Aquatic SWG meeting minutes, statements of agreement, study plans, study results, annual reports and other documentation produced by this collaborative group (below).
- Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan
- Bull Trout Management Plan
- Pacific Lamprey Management Plan
- Resident Fish Management Plan
- Water Quality Management Plan
- White Sturgeon Management Plan