SnoPUD’s Jackson Hydro Receives Low Impact Certification

Source:  SnoPUD press release, October 27, 2011.

Snohomish County Public Utility District has received low impact certification from the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) for its Jackson Hydroelectric Project. The utility’s project is located in the Sultan River Basin, northeast of Everett in Western Washington. It provides about 4 percent of the PUD’s power needs and 80 percent of Snohomish County’s water supply.

LIHI certifies dams that have not been recommended for removal. They must adequately protect or mitigate their impacts in eight key resource areas: river flows; water quality; fish passage and protection; watersheds; threatened and endangered species; cultural resources; public access; and recreational opportunities.

“The Jackson Project is an invaluable community resource that is clean, renewable and reliable,” said PUD General Manager Steve Klein. “We’ve focused on operating the facility in a manner that protects the natural environment while serving the community’s needs for a high quality water and energy supply.”

The PUD recently received a new 45-year license for its Jackson Hydroelectric Project. Under the new license, issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the project will continue to implement a range of environmental measures in and around the Spada Lake reservoir and Sultan Basin.

“All sources of energy have environmental impacts, but Snohomish PUD went the extra mile to reduce those impacts on the Jackson Hydroelectric Project,” said Tom O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater, which supported the PUD’s low impact certification. “We are particularly pleased that the instream flow provisions restore key elements of the natural flow regime that effectively balance ecosystem needs and recreation with power production.”

*LIHI Certification:

This product includes Low Impact Hydropower from facilities certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (an independent non-profit organization) to have environmental impacts in key areas below levels the Institute considers acceptable for hydropower facilities. For more information about the certification, please see