Bonneville Power Administration: FOIA Records Request
June 26, 2020 — Advocates for the West filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to release certain records that are vital to meaningful public participation in BPA’s decisionmaking processes.
BPA, together with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, is currently reevaluating how to operate the Federal Columbia River Power System, which provides about a quarter of the Pacific Northwest’s power and has had a devastating effect on many native fish species. BPA is also about to start a new “rate case” during which it will set power and transmission prices. These decisionmaking processes allow for public involvement and input, but the public must be well informed in order to participate effectively. In order to foster meaningful public involvement in these processes, Advocates for the West has requested several sets of records from BPA through FOIA, but BPA has not complied with the statute’s deadlines for any of the requests.
We have filed suit on our own behalf in hopes that the court will order BPA to release the requested documents in a timely manner, allowing the public enough time to weigh in on these critical decisions before BPA moves ahead on its plans.