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Idaho utility seeks to negate Oregon fish passage law

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho utility is asking federal authorities to negate an Oregon law requiring fish passage as part of relicensing for a hydroelectric project on the Snake River that forms the border between the two states.

Boise-based Idaho Power in a notice made public last week asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to exempt the three-dam Hells Canyon Complex from the Oregon statute.

The company says the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution that has to do with federal authority over states preempts the Oregon law.

The Oregon law requires fish passage at the dams, but Idaho lawmakers have prohibited moving salmon and steelhead past the dams.

Idaho Power says it's caught in the middle and its relicensing is in limbo.

The commission is taking comments through Dec. 30.


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