US, Canada to begin talks in 2018 on Columbia River deal

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Members of Congress from Washington state are praising the decision to start negotiations early next year over the future of the Columbia River Treaty.

The 1964 agreement between the United States and Canada governs hydropower and flood control operations along the Columbia, which starts in British Columbia and flows through the U.S. to the Pacific Ocean.

The Northwest congressional delegation has been pressing the U.S. government to reopen treaty negotiations with Canada for several years.

The treaty doesn’t have an expiration date, but either country can cancel most of its provisions after September 2024, with a 10-year minimum notice. The U.S. Department of State on Dec. 7 announced its intention to enter talks with Canada over the treaty.