Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

§401 Certification of Hells Canyon Complex Hydroelectric Project

A number of hydroelectric facilities in Idaho are in or soon will be in the process of obtaining new licenses, including Idaho Power Company's (IPC's) Hells Canyon Complex consisting of the Brownlee, Oxbow, and Hells Canyon hydroelectric projects on the Snake River between Idaho and Oregon. In total, the project encompasses 95 river miles.

State certification is required before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may license or relicense nonfederal hydroelectric dams. DEQ is currently reviewing a water quality certification application for the Hells Canyon Complex Hydroelectric Facility and anticipates preparing a draft water quality certification during 2016. DEQ will seek public comment once the draft certification is completed.

Chronology of Events

  • March 31, 2006: IPC submits an amended certification application.
  • October 5, 2006: IPC withdraws certification application and commits to submitting a new application by January 2007.
  • January 31, 2007: IPC submits a new application.
  • November 2, 2007: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • August 8, 2008: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • May 15, 2009: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • December 23, 2009: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • September 24, 2010: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • July 15, 2011: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • April 19, 2012:  IPC withdraws certification application.
  • July 2012: IPC submits new certification application.
  • January 21, 2013: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • September 23, 2013: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • May 23, 2014: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • February 23, 2015: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • May 22, 2015: IPC submits an application addendum.
  • December 1, 2015: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • July 29, 2016: IPC withdraws certification application and submits a new application.
  • April 14, 2017: IPC withdraws certification application and resubmits the July 29, 2016 application

Staff Contacts

Water Quality Division Administrator
Barry Burnell
DEQ State Office
Water Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0194
barry.burnell@deq.idaho.gov

More Information

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Hydropower

Hydroelectric Projects in the Northwest

Idaho Power Company: Hydropower Project Relicensing

Related Pages

§401 Certification

Hydropower Plant Licensing