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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Talks to modernize Columbia River Treaty to start on Tuesday

FILE--This Oct. 3, 2002, file photo shows a tugboat maneuvering through waiting freighters on the Columbia River near the Port of Vancouver in Vancouver, Wash. (Don Ryan / AP)
Associated Press

Members of Congress from the Northwest are praising the decision to start negotiations next Tuesday over the future of a half-century-old agreement between the United States and Canada that governs hydropower and flood control operations along the Columbia River.

Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington says the start of formal negotiations in Washington, D.C., is a very positive step.

The 1964 agreement doesn’t have an expiration date, but either country can cancel most of its provisions after September 2024, with a 10-year minimum notice.

The Columbia River starts in British Columbia and flows more than 1,200 miles (1,930 kilometers), mostly in the U.S., to the Pacific Ocean.

Cantwell has said the treaty must be modernized to balance flood control, hydropower generation and environmental protections.