License includes new measures to protect and enhance resources
SPOKANE, Wash., June 18 // -- Avista (NYSE: AVA) reached an important milestone today with the issuance of a new 50-year operating license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the five hydroelectric developments that make up its Spokane River Project, (FERC Project No. 2545). The five hydroelectric developments include Post Falls, located in Idaho, and the Upper Falls, Monroe Street, Nine Mile and Long Lake developments, which are located in Washington. The new license includes a variety of measures designed to protect, mitigate and enhance natural resources connected with the river.
Avista began the relicensing process in 2002 by reaching out collaboratively to hundreds of interested stakeholders. The new license conditions, in large part, reflect the work of the stakeholder groups who conducted studies, gathered information and made recommendations reflected in Avista's 2005 application.
The conditions in the new license also reflect important settlement agreements with various parties, including the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, federal, state and local natural resource and recreation management agencies, the Sierra Club and other interested groups and organizations.
"We are pleased to complete the relicensing process and look forward to continuing work with stakeholders as we begin implementing conditions of the license," said Scott Morris, Avista chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. "This new phase in our Spokane River Project will pave the way for our continued environmental stewardship efforts that benefit the entire community and the natural resources that we all enjoy, as well as preserve renewable hydroelectric generation for the customers we serve."
Some of the new conditions that will be implemented include aesthetic flows in the downtown Spokane area, increased minimum flows from Post Falls Dam and recreation water levels on Coeur d'Alene Lake. Other conditions, such as water quality improvements in the Spokane River and Lake Spokane, enhancements to the fishery resource, wetlands mitigation and improvements to recreation facilities will occur on a timeline that is set out in the license.
Avista plans to review the license carefully to ensure that it is consistent with the various agreements that have been signed, and with FERC's Final Environmental Impact Statement. The Company has 30 days to request a rehearing with FERC should there be significant discrepancies.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides service to 355,000 electric and 315,000 natural gas customers in three Western states. Avista's primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the company's current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2009.
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SOURCE: Avista Corp.
Web site: http://www.avistacorp.com/
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