In 1999, PacifiCorp filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for new licenses for the Bear River Hydroelectric Projects. After lengthy discussions between PacifiCorp, state and federal agencies, tribes, and nongovernmental organizations, a Settlement Agreement on relicensing was signed by all parties on August 28, 2002. The Settlement Agreement was based on resource agency mandates and mutual agreement of the signing parties to employ an ecosystem restoration approach to accomplish resource restoration and enhancement in conjunction with hydropower operations, recreation uses, and other beneficial uses of the Bear River.
The Environmental Coordination Committee, a stakeholder group comprised of signatories to the Settlement Agreement, was formed to consult and make decisions regarding the use of funding and other license requirements for the Bear River Project. These responsibilities include, among other things, (1) facilitating coordination and consultation among the Parties on implementation of the Settlement Agreement measures; (2) proposing and approving restoration and flow measures; (3) establishing monitoring criteria to evaluate the effects of Settlement Agreement measures; and (4) coordinating and implementing Settlement Agreement measures. However, PacifiCorp will make the final determination on those actions undertaken through the Settlement Agreement.