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Regional Dialogue
Background Information (Chronology)

(updated February 25, 2005)

June - October 2002
Jointly-Sponsored Public Input

The Regional Dialogue began with a June 19, 2002 letter (PDF, 3 pages, 38 kb) that announced a public input process jointly-sponsored by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the Northwest Power Planning Council (Council)[Note: The Council later changed its name to Northwest Power and Conservation Council.]  During this phase of the Regional Dialogue, BPA and the Council solicited proposals and ideas from all interested parties regarding how BPA should market the power from the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) after 2006.

On July 2, 2002, BPA issued a letter with comments (PDF, 13 pages, 51 kb) on twelve key elements of a draft joint customer proposal that was submitted in April 2002 (prior to the start of the Regional Dialogue process).

On August 22, 2002, BPA and the Council issued a notice of public meetings (PDF, 78 kb, updated September 23) to be held in six cities in September 2002. The comments received at these public meetings were summarized in notes for Pasco WA (PDF, 14 pages, 44 kb), Missoula MT (PDF, 16 pages, 51 kb), Seattle WA (PDF, 16 pages, 117 kb), Boise ID (PDF, 14 pages, 95 kb), and Portland OR (PDF, 22 pages, 154 kb).

The jointly-sponsored public comment period closed on October 18, 2002. The proposals and comments received (posted on the Council web site) covered many significant regional topics, such as long-term access to cost-based Federal power by public and investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and direct-service industries (DSIs) in the region, BPA's future role in resource development, and others. On October 25, 2002, BPA issued an updated summary of proposals and comments received (PDF, 26 pages, 160 kb). On November 4, 2002, BPA and the Council issued a close-out letter (PDF, 1 page, 24 kb) for the jointly-sponsored public process.

November 2002 - May 2004
Council Recommendations / BPA Discussions

The Council issued its Draft Recommendations on the Future Role of Bonneville in November 2002 and its Final Recommendations on the Future Role of Bonneville in December 2002, while BPA sponsored public workshops (PDF, 2 pages, 23 kb) and technical workgroups (PDF, 4 pages, 19 kb) to promote further public discussion before issuing its draft proposal.  [Note: See announcements posted between November 18, 2002 and April 29, 2003 for links to BPA-sponsored workshop/workgroup meeting materials (agendas, handouts, notes, etc.).]

In February 2003, BPA decided to slow down (limit) its Regional Dialogue discussions for a 4-month period in order to focus on the 2003 SN CRAC (SN-03) Expedited Rate Case. During this time, BPA's external discussions were mostly limited to issues regarding the level of benefits for the residential and small farm customers of the region's investor-owned utilities (IOUs) after 2006 and the long-term cost structure and cost management of the Power Business Line (PBL).

In a letter dated June 5, 2003, the governors of the four Northwest states encouraged BPA and the Council to jointly re-start the Regional Dialogue process. In the Fall of 2003, BPA and the Council hosted a series of informal meetings with interested parties.

In October 2003, the Council released for public comment a set of "proposed principles" in an issue paper entitled The Future Role of the Bonneville Power Administration in Power Supply. BPA responded to the Council's proposed principles in a letter dated December 9, 2003 (PDF, 3 pages, 32 kb).  [Note: To access all the comments received on the issue paper, see the Council's comment page.]

In February 2004, The Council initiated a series of meetings to help develop its recommendations regarding BPA's future power supply role. On February 27, 2004, BPA sent a letter to the region (PDF, 3 pages, 36 kb) updating BPA's plans for resolving Regional Dialogue issues. This letter included a plan to issue a policy proposal to the region for comment by the end of June 2004.

In April 2004, the Council issued for public comment its Draft Council Recommendations for the Future Role of the Bonneville Power Administration in Power Supply. In May 2004, the Council submitted its Final Recommendations on the Future Role of the Bonneville Power Administration in Regional Power Supply for BPA's consideration.

June - November 2004
BPA Policy Proposal for FY 2007-2011

On July 7, 2004, BPA sent a letter to the region (PDF, 2 pages, 99 kb) announcing the release of BPA's Policy Proposal for FY 2007-2011 (PDF, 31 pages, 198 kb) for public comment and a schedule of public meetings (PDF, 2 pages, 115 kb). A Federal Register Notice (PDF, 12 pages, 113 kb) of the policy proposal and opportunity for public comment was also published on July 20, 2004.

BPA held public meetings in six cities between August 17 and September 15, 2004, to discuss the policy proposal and solicit feedback. The comments received at these public meetings were summarized in notes for Seattle WA (PDF, 12 pages, 126 kb), Eugene OR (PDF, 9 pages, 102 kb), Spokane WA (PDF, 9 pages, 109 kb), Boise ID (PDF, 7 pages, 101 kb), Portland OR (PDF, 11 pages, 40 kb), and Kalispell MT (PDF, 9 pages, 33 kb).

In a letter dated August 31, 2004 (PDF, 4 pages, 53 kb), BPA invited interested parties to participate in a work group to help develop a proposed conservation program for the post-2006 period. For more information and documents related to this work group, see the Post-2006 Conservation Program page on BPA's Energy Efficiency (EE) web site.

The policy proposal comment period closed on September 22, 2004, and BPA issued a letter on October 5, 2004 (PDF, 7 pages, 202 kb) that summarized the comments received and the next steps in the decision-making process. This letter included a plan to issue a final policy and Record of Decision in December 2004.

In a letter dated October 21, 2004 (PDF, 2 pages, 29 kb), BPA identified four issues still open for further discussions and established a deadline of November 12, 2004 for concluding these discussions. Shortly after this letter was issued, a Renewables Focus Group was also established to provide feedback on BPA's proposals for the FY 2007-11 renewables program. The Renewables Focus Group held its first meeting on November 8, 2004 (PDF, 8 pages, 99 kb), second meeting on November 19, 2004 (PDF, 9 pages, 100 kb), third meeting on December 10, 2004 (PDF, 16 pages, 61 kb), and plans to continue meeting through January 2005.

In addition to the comments received at the public meetings, BPA received numerous letters, faxes, and e-mails. The log of all comments received was last updated on November 29, 2004, sorted by log number (PDF, 5 pages, 69 kb) and sorted by affiliation (PDF, 5 pages, 70 kb). Since many of the comments addressed more than one issue, an issue-by-issue analysis produced about 1,300 total comments.  [Note: Links to scanned PDF versions of all comments received on the policy proposal are available in the September 29, 2004 announcement (updated November 30, 2004).]

December 2004 - March 2005
BPA Final Policy and Record of Decision for FY 2007-2011

On December 8, 2004, BPA announced a schedule change for issuing BPA's Final Policy and Record of Decision for FY 2007-2011. The expected release date for these documents was changed to mid-January 2005, rather than December 2004 (as previously planned).

On February 4, 2005, BPA issued a letter (PDF, 2 pages, 113 kb) with an enclosure (PDF, 4 pages, 102 kb) that announced/summarized BPA's near-term Regional Dialogue Policy (PDF, 18 pages, 156 kb) and Record of Decision (ROD) (PDF, 103 pages, 498 kb). A separate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ROD (PDF, 23 pages, 245 kb) was also issued on the same date.

Also on February 4, 2005, BPA issued a separate letter (PDF, 4 pages, 39 kb) that announced additional opportunities for public input on BPA service to Direct Service Industry (DSI) customers during the 2007 - 2011 period and described "BPA's Straw Proposal". Enclosed with the letter was a tentative agenda (PDF, 2 pages, 14 kb) for a DSI open forum to be held on March 1, 2005 in Portland. A revised agenda was issued on February 25th. The deadline for comments is March 11, 2005. After the comment period closes, BPA plans to issue a supplement to the February 2005 ROD that contains final policies and decisions regarding BPA service to DSI customers.

On February 14, 2005, BPA's near-term Regional Dialogue Policy was published as a Notice in the Federal Register (PDF, 7 pages, 94 kb). This policy is the same as the one that was issued on February 4, 2005.


Content provided by:  JoAnn Bas, 503-230-4983, jlbas@bpa.gov.
Page maintained by:  BPA Web Team.
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