PSE Announces Closure of Powerhouse for at Least Two Years (WA)
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has announced their construction schedule for the Snoqualmie Falls Powerhouse upgrades that will include a new river access point on the downstream side of the Plant 2 Powerhouse. American Whitewater has provided feedback on the proposed construction but we encourage all paddlers to review the plan and contact us with any additional thoughts or suggestions. Of particular concern to American Whitewater is the fact that the area around the powerhouse including the traditional access for kayakers will be closed for more than two years--the construction schedule lists Plant 2 upgrades as occurring between June 2010 and March 2013.
In their Q&A document for the project, PSE states the following:
Q: Will kayakers, rafters and canoeists be able to use PSE’s riverside launch area during
A: No, safety requires closure of the launch area until reconstruction of nearby Plant 2 is finished in early 2013. PSE then will open a new, enhanced “put-in” area for whitewater enthusiasts. In the meantime, river access is available a short distance downstream from Snoqualmie Falls Park on state Department of Fish and Wildlife property, off SR 202 onto 372nd Avenue, then right on Fish Hatchery Road.
As paddlers know however, the WDFW access is the take-out for the Powerhouse run and does not provide access to the features used extensively by the local paddling community for whitewater instruction and training.
American Whitewater is working with local paddling clubs to review the situation and explore options. Individuals are always welcome to correspond directly with PSE or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency responsible for project oversight.
You can email the Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project at SnoFalls@PSE.com
You can write to FERC at
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20426
RE: Public Access for Whitewater Kayaking at Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project 2493
You can submit electronic comments through the following web address.
Reference Project No. 2493 (P-2493)
Snoqualmie Falls (WA)
AW has worked to advocate for paddler access on the instructional reach below Snoqualmie Falls.