Environmental groups complain about dam hearings format

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Some environmental groups are complaining about the teleconference format for gathering public comments on a federal government proposal to save salmon runs on the Columbia River system. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the government decided to hold teleconferences, rather than in-person public hearings, on its new proposal to remove four dams on the Snake River to save the fish. Critics say the teleconferences allow for far fewer comments than traditional public hearings. Environmentalists want the Army Corps of Engineers to double the comment period to 90 days and hold more hearings. But a spokeswoman for the Army Corps Northwestern Division in Portland, Oregon says people at this point should plan on the comment period ending on April 13 as planned.