Idaho utility’s lawsuit against EPA involving salmon on hold

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A lawsuit by an Idaho utility against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerning water temperature standards below a hydroelectric project where federally protected fall chinook salmon reproduce has been put on hold.

A U.S. District Court judge last week agreed to stay the lawsuit by Idaho Power against the EPA while the federal agency works to complete tasks requested by the state of Idaho in 2012.

The lawsuit filed in June seeks to force the agency to act on the request to allow warmer water temperatures in the Snake River below the Hells Canyon Complex on the Idaho-Oregon border.

Idaho Power in the lawsuit says the EPA is violating environmental and administrative laws by failing to act.

Idaho Power says the warmer water wouldn’t harm salmon and would save customers up to $100 million over 50 years.