Washington, Oregon Democrats Call For More Time To Comment On Draft EIS

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam

Lawmakers from Washington and Oregon are urging  the Council on Environmental Quality to extend the initial 45-day comment period for the Snake River Dam draft EIS. Saying the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the Northwest demands the full attention of local and state governments, the lawmakers have asked for an extension so in person, public comments can be accepted. In Tuesday’s letter, the lawmakers said, “the current crisis cannot plausibly provide for an environment conducive to robust public comment”.

“The current crisis cannot plausibly provide for an environment conducive to robust public comment,” the letter continued. “Public feedback should be solicited in an accessible manner and, crucially, in-person, so that the citizens who stand to be affected most directly can make their voices heard to the officials charged with making these decisions.”

“Accordingly, we request the extension of this comment period until no sooner than 30 days after the conclusion of the public health emergency as declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.”

The letter to the Council on Environmental Quality was signed by Washington senators Patty Murray, and Maria Cantwell, Oregon’s Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as a large portion of the congressional delegations from both states.

However, not a single Republican put their name to Tuesday’s letter.

Click Here to read Tuesday’s Letter.

The draft EIS was originally released on February 28th with a 45 day public comment period.

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