Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill that provides $750,000 to study how to best help impacted communities if the four federal dams on the Snake River are breached.
The four dams are blamed for reducing salmon numbers on the Snake and Columbia river systems.
Inslee, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination on an environmental platform, signed the state’s operating budget on Tuesday. The budget included money for the dam study.
Two Republican members of Congress from eastern Washington had urged Inslee to veto funding for the study.
U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse say the study is a waste of taxpayer dollars because the dams are owned and operated by the federal government.
They say the money should instead be used to fund salmon recovery programs.