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Technical questions may be referred to the Permanent Engineering Board. Treaty personnel are identified below.


PEB Members

Permanent Engineering Board

United States

  • James C Dalton, P. E., Chair
    Washington, D.C.
  • Edward Sienkiewicz, Member
    Newberg, Oregon
  • Mr. Sean L. Smith, P.E.², (interim) Alternate
    Washington, D.C.
  • Steve Oliver, Alternate
    Portland, Oregon
  • Jerry W. Webb, P.E., Secretary (non-voting member)
    Washington, D.C.

Canada

  • Niall O'Dea, Chair
    Ottawa, Ontario
  • Timothy J. Newton, P.Eng., Member
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Renata Kurschner, Alternate
    Delta, British Columbia
  • Les MacLaren,  Alternate
    Victoria, British Columbia
  • Darcy Blais, Economist, Secretary (non-voting member)
    Ottawa, Ontario

PEB Member Record

PEB Engineering Committee

Canada

  • Darcy Blais, Chair
    Ottawa, Ontario
  • Tracey Kutney, Member
    Ottawa, Ontario 
  • Dr. K.T. Shum, Member
    Victoria, British Columbia
  • Dr. Amy Sopinka, Member
    Victoria, British Columbia

United States

  • Jerry W. Webb, P.E., Chair
    Washington, D.C.
  • Steve Yexley, Member
    Lakewood, CO
  • Daniel Rabon, Member
    Washington, D.C.
  • John Roache, Member
    Boise, Idaho

PEB Member Record

PEB Administrative Procedures

Columbia River Treaty - Permanent Engineering Board

The John Day Dam spans the Columbia River in the northwestern United States. The dam features a navigation lock with one of the highest lifts, 110 feet, of any U.S. lock. The reservoir impounded by the dam is Lake Umatilla and is part of the Columbia River Basin system of dams. It's 16 generators produce 135 megawatts of power each.
John Day Dam
The John Day Dam spans the Columbia River in the northwestern United States. The dam features a navigation lock with one of the highest lifts, 110 feet, of any U.S. lock. The reservoir impounded by the dam is Lake Umatilla and is part of the Columbia River Basin system of dams. It's 16 generators produce 135 megawatts of power each.
The 27 Penstocks at Chief Joseph Dam measure 25 feet in diameter feed water into the turbines at the dam to generate hydropower near Bridgeport, Washington.
Penstocks at Chief Joseph Dam
The 27 Penstocks at Chief Joseph Dam measure 25 feet in diameter feed water into the turbines at the dam to generate hydropower near Bridgeport, Washington.
Looking east along the Columbia River Gorge from the Vista House along Historic U.S. Highway 30 in Oregon. The Columbia River Treaty, signed by Canada and the U.S. in 1961, was developed to coordinate flood control and optimize electrical energy production in the Columbia Basin.
Columbia River Gorge
Looking east along the Columbia River Gorge from the Vista House along Historic U.S. Highway 30 in Oregon. The Columbia River Treaty, signed by Canada and the U.S. in 1961, was developed to coordinate flood control and optimize electrical energy production in the Columbia Basin.

Columbia River Treaty

The Columbia River Treaty is an international agreement between the United States and Canada on the coordinated development and operation of the Columbia River Basin.

The Treaty established Canadian and United States Entities and a Permanent Engineering Board. 

In Canada, B.C. Hydro is the Canadian entity. In the United States, the U.S. Entity includes the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration and the Division Engineer of the North Pacific (currently Northwestern) Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A Presidential Executive Order created the U.S. Entity and the U.S. Section of the Permanent Engineering Board.

The Entities appoint representatives to the operating and hydrometeorological committees, while the Permanent Engineering Board appoints members of the PEB Engineering Committee. 

Entities are responsible for overseeing the conduct of the Columbia River Treaty and include B.C. Hydro, Bonneville Power Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Northwestern Division with the Permanent Engineering Board handling tasks such as assembling flow records, assisting in settling differences that may arise between the Entities, and creating annual reports of the results being achieved.

Permanent Engineering Board

The Columbia River Treaty established the Permanent Engineering Board (PEB) to handle tasks such as assembling flow records, assisting in settling differences that may arise between the Entities, and creating annual reports of the results being achieved.

Article XV of the Treaty established the Board consisting of four members, two appointed by Canada, and two by the U.S.

The duties of the Permanent Engineering Board include:

  • Assembling records of the flows of the Columbia River and the Kootenay River at the Canada - U.S. boundary;
  • Reporting to the U.S. and Canada whenever there is substantial deviation from the hydroelectric and flood control operating plans and if appropriate include in the report recommendations for remedial action and compensatory adjustments;
  • Assisting in reconciling differences concerning technical or operational matters that may arise between the entities;
  • Making periodic inspections and require reports as needed from the entities with a view to ensuring that the objectives of the Treaty are being met;
  • Making reports to the U.S. and Canada at least once a year of the results being achieved under the Treaty and make special reports concerning any matter which it considers should be brought to their attention;
  • Investigating and reporting with respect to any other matter coming within the scope of the Treaty at the request of either the U.S. or Canada.

For the U.S. Section of the PEB, the Secretary of the Army and Secretary of Energy each appoint one person as a U.S. member. At the time of appointment such members may be but need not necessarily be, officers or employees of the U.S., and shall serve as a member of the Board at the pleasure of the appointing Secretary.

In addition to the two members, there are two alternate U.S. members of the Permanent Engineering Board, with one each appointed by the respective Secretaries. The appointed members and alternate members compose the U.S. Section of the PEB. The member appointed by the Secretary of the Army is the Chairman of the U.S. Section.