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March 11, 2016

City Light, PSE, Skagit, Whatcom Counties Collaborate on Dam Safety
March 16 Exercise Will Test Emergency Coordination

SEATTLE – Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy, the Departments of Emergency Management from Skagit and Whatcom counties, and emergency responders from both counties will participate in a dam safety exercise March 16.

“Our goal is to increase efficiency in setting up the emergency coordination center to provide resources to the community in the event a major emergency or disaster occurs,” Skagit County Emergency Management Director Mark Anderson said. “By participating in this drill with Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy, we are able to evaluate our performance.” 

Participants will respond in real time to scenarios presented by the exercise, which is designed to practice coordination among the agencies, emergency response and how to effectively share critical information with the public. The exercise will run from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Participants will use radios and note that their conversations are part of the exercise in case anyone is monitoring on a scanner.

Seattle City Light operates three dams at its Skagit Hydroelectric Project on the Skagit River. Puget Sound Energy operates two dams at its nearby Baker River Hydroelectric Project. The Baker River is a tributary of the Skagit River.

Federal operating licenses for the dams require City Light and PSE to hold dam safety exercises at least once every five years. By collaborating on a full-scale exercise with nearby emergency management agencies, the utilities are meeting their regulatory requirements and supporting preparedness efforts throughout the area.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

Puget Sound Energy is proud to serve our neighbors and communities in 10 Washington counties. We’re the state’s largest utility, supporting 1.1 million electric customers and 790,000 natural gas customers. For more about us and what we do, visit pse.com. Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.