Tell FERC that a Project is not Green Energy if it Destroys Tribal Cultural and Religious Resources.
Rye Development wants to build the largest pumped-storage hydroelectric development in the Pacific Northwest and in the process destroy irreplaceable Tribal Cultural and Religious Resources.
RE: COMMENTS on FFP Project 101, LLC Project No. P-14861-002., Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Goldendale Energy Storage Project
Dear Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
I oppose Rye Development’s proposed Goldendale Energy Storage Hydroelectric Development (Development) because of the detrimental, unavoidable impacts that it will have on tribal cultural religious resources, as explicitly expressed by the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Yakama Nation) since 2017. Alleged “green energy” cannot be built at the expense of Tribal Nations, who are already on the front-lines of climate change and extractive industrialization and practices.
Rye Development’s application should be denied full stop. To recommend the application for licensing in the draft environmental review, despite a preliminary finding that there will be cumulative impacts to visual resources, raptors, and cultural resources, ignores the intense opposition to building this Development in this location.
Throughout this process, FERC’s responsibility to conduct consultation has been woefully inadequate. “The Yakama Nation defines effective consultation to be a process that is agreed upon by Yakama Nation Tribal Council as the governing body of a sovereign tribal entity.” To date this level of consultation has not happened for this Project. With this, FERC has already demonstrated that they are unable and unwilling to work with the Yakama Nation on protecting the Tribe’s cultural resources.
Cultural resources are finite. A project is not green energy if it destroys tribal cultural resources. I stand in solidarity with the Yakama Nation in opposing the Goldendale Pump Storage Project and urge FERC to deny the application.
Watch this video from Yakama Nation Fisheries about the
Goldendale Pump Storage project:
Rye Development wants to build the largest pumped-storage hydroelectric development in the Pacific Northwest.The Yakama Nation has vehemently opposed this development because of the proposal’s devastating impacts to irreplaceable tribal cultural religious resources. Check out Columbia Riverkeeper’s webinar with two Kah-miltpa band members: Yakama Nation Tribal Councilman Jeremy Takala and Fisheries Biologist and Hydro-Coordinator at Yakama Nation Fisheries Elaine Harvey to learn more.
According to a cultural resources survey conducted by the Yakama Nation and included in Rye Development's License Application, the development would directly interfere with several culturally significant sites to the Yakama Nation and other cultural property. Bottom line, the survey concluded that this development cannot be built in this location without devastating impacts to cultural resources. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) has also stated that :
The proposed Project is likely to have substantial, harmful impacts on tribal cultural resources, including sites and artifacts—potentially both those located in-water, or below the ordinary-highwater-line, and those above and beyond the shoreline. Extensive potential tribal cultural resources impacts have been documented in materials developed by the Yakama Nation (including archeological, ceremonial, burial petroglyph, monumental and ancestral use sites). The CTUIR has also determined that the Project could have significant implications for historic properties of religious and cultural significance to the CTUIR.
What's more, this Development, the Developer, and FERC itself has exhibited a total and utter disregard for and ignorance of federal law when it comes to government-to-government consultation with Tribes. A January 5, 2022 letter from the Washington State Department of Archaeological & Historic Preservation blasted both Rye and FERC for ignoring federal law, stating that a recent submission, “continues an unacceptable and knowing pattern of ignoring federal law and regulations stipulated in 36CFR800.”
The Yakama Nation has vehemently opposed this development because of the proposal’s devastating impacts to irreplaceable tribal cultural resources.
Stand in Solidarity with Tribal Nations: A pumped-storage hydroelectric development threatens irreplaceable tribal cultural resources, fish, and wildlife.
Check out Columbia Riverkeeper’s webinar with two Kah-miltpa band members: Yakama Nation Tribal Councilman Jeremy Takala and Fisheries Biologist and Hydro-Coordinator at Yakama Nation Fisheries Elaine Harvey to learn more.