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Break-in at BPA substation threatens power service, endangers employees - 04/20/18

PR 06-18

BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2018
 

Portland, Ore. – Bonneville Power Administration security officials report that a recent break-in at the McNary Substation in Umatilla, Oregon, resulted in the theft of 29 copper ground wires. The substation is McNary Dam’s first point of integration to the region’s power grid. 

A BPA employee discovered the theft Monday morning during a routine inspection. Officials say the crime likely occurred over the weekend, between April 13 and 16. 

“This is a serious concern on several levels,” said Doug Dailey, BPA physical security specialist. “The number of copper grounds stolen creates a safety issue for our transmission employees and could have caused significant damage to equipment had it not been discovered.”

Officials say there was no interruption of power transmission and that they are evaluating the damage to determine what resources are needed to make necessary repairs.

The BPA Security Office is taking additional steps to further secure property, equipment and materials to minimize and prevent theft at other BPA facilities.

“We learned that this break-in is one of four similar incidents at utility substations in the area over the past couple of months,” said Dailey. “We are coordinating closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Additionally, our people have been checking other BPA substations near McNary to determine if any of those locations have been affected.” 

Anyone with information about the theft is encouraged to contact the Umatilla County Sheriff’s office at 541-966-3600.

About BPA

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 143 electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 260 substations to 511 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region’s high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest.   www.bpa.gov

State Department to host town hall on modernizing the Columbia River Treaty Regime - 04/17/18

State Department to host town hall on modernizing the Columbia River Treaty Regime

The U.S. Department of State announced on April 10 that it would host a town hall April 25 on upcoming negotiations between the United States and Canada to modernize the Columbia River Treaty Regime. The Town Hall, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington. For more information or to submit questions in advance, please email iaRiverTreaty@state.gov">ColumbiaRiverTreaty@state.gov. Press inquiries should be directed to ess@state.gov">WHAPress@state.gov.

The full news release from the State Department follows:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
MEDIA NOTE
April 10, 2018

Town Hall on Modernizing the Columbia River Treaty Regime

U.S. Columbia River Treaty Negotiator Jill Smail will lead a Town Hall on April 25, 2018, as the United States and Canada prepare to begin negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime.  The Town Hall, which is free of charge and open to the public, will take place at the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  At this event, U.S. government representatives will provide a general review of the upcoming process and plans for engaging the region.  They will also take questions from the public; feel free to send questions in advance to iaRiverTreaty@state.gov">ColumbiaRiverTreaty@state.gov.  A call-in number will be available upon request for those unable to attend in person.

The United States recognizes the valuable and dedicated efforts of the tribes, state and local government representatives, stakeholders, and members of the public in contributing to the U.S. Entity Regional Recommendation for the Future of the Columbia River Treaty after 2024.  Consistent with the Regional Recommendation, key United States objectives include continued, careful management of flood risk; ensuring a reliable and economical power supply; and better addressing the ecosystem in a modernized treaty regime. 

For further information, please email iaRiverTreaty@state.gov">ColumbiaRiverTreaty@state.gov.  For press inquiries, please email ess@state.gov">WHAPress@state.gov.

BPA statement on court ruling for additional spill - 04/02/18

Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration will follow today’s court decision that orders additional spill operations for the Federal Columbia River Power System. That said, this decision creates a new multi-million dollar obligation for the region’s ratepayers. As we stated in our newly released agency strategic plan, achieving the full scope of BPA’s mission requires a careful balance between sometimes competing objectives. Specifically, we at BPA are committed to delivering on our vast public responsibilities through a commercially successful business. We are analyzing the full financial impacts of this court decision and we will make more information available in the coming weeks.

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About BPA

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 261 substations to 475 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region’s high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov