The Seattle Times article, “Hydropower isn’t carbon neutral after all” (reprinted in Tri City Herald, Oct. 1), gives the false impression that Northwest dams are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane. They are not.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers (USCOE), methane gas production produced by dams depends on many factors including location, water temperature, river flow, depth, nutrient concentration, plant growth, climate and the process that uses dissolved oxygen.
USCOE goes on to say, “For the relatively clean reservoirs of the Federal Columbia River Power System, which include the four lower Snake River dams, conditions for low dissolved oxygen concentrations are not prevalent, thus methane gas is generally not an issue.”
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