Spokane County treasurers tries to stop Avista sale

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Spokane County’s treasurer is using a little-known part of federal law to try to block the sale of Avista Corp. to a Canadian utility, though a state official says it isn’t relevant to the deal.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Rob Chase, who is running for Spokane County commissioner, told the state Utilities and Transportation Commission that the state should coordinate with local governments as it reviews the $5.3 billion sale.

Regulators say Avista’s proposed sale to Hydro One, of Toronto, doesn’t involve federal lands or federal projects so it isn’t subject to the federal law that Chase is invoking.

The state commission is reviewing the sale. A decision is expected in mid-December.

Mary Kuney, the incumbent Chase is challenging, noted that state regulators say there’s “no legal standing” for Chase’s efforts.

Spokane-based Avista serves nearly 400,000 electric and natural gas customers in eastern Washington.