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New Dam Proposed for Bear River (ID)

Posted: 03/07/2007
By: Thomas O'Keefe

It's been less than a year since we celebrated removal of a dam on the Bear River but meanwhile an application for a new dam marches forward. On December 15th, 2006 the Twin Lakes Canal Company filed its Notice of Intent and Pre-Application Document (PAD) for the construction of the Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project (FERC P-12486). This project would create a 200 acre reservoir backing up to the existing Oneida Dam owned by PacifiCorp. The reservoir would inundate the existing whitewater resources in the Oneida Narrows, a great class I/II beginner reach, and cause irreparable ecological impacts. In 2002 American Whitewater reached a Settlement Agreement for the relicensing of PacifiCorp's Bear River Hydropower Project. That Settlement Agreement included improved flows in the Oneida Narrows for the benefit of aquatic resources and recreational opportunities. AW and other parties have invested significant resources in improving ecological conditions in this reach and the proposed project would directly conflict with conditions of our Settlement Agreement.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has scheduled a series of Scoping Meetings to hear from the public on this project and we encourage our members to attend. This is an opportunity to communicate concerns regarding this project directly to FERC staff.

Site Visit
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 10:00 AM
Location: Preston, Idaho
The potential applicant and Commission staff will conduct a site visit of the proposed project on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, starting at 10:00 a.m. All participants should meet at 2 North State Street, in Preston, Idaho, 83263. All participants are responsible for their own transportation. Anyone with questions about the site visit should contact Mr. Clair Bosen at (208) 852-1612 on or before March 13, 2007.

Daytime Scoping Meeting
Date and Time: Wednesday, March 14, 2007, 1:00 PM
Location: Fairground, Robinson Building, Preston, Idaho

Evening Scoping Meeting
Date and Time: Wednesday, March 15, 2007, 7:00 PM
Location: Fairgrounds, Robinson Building, Preston, Idaho

Those who are not able to attend these meetings are encouraged to file public comments. You can either mail your comments or eFile (preferred). Address comments to Magalie Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426 and be sure to reference the project number (P-12486).

Additional information regarding this project can be found by reviewing FERC Scoping Document 1 issued by FERC and the Pre Application Document filed by Twin Lakes Canal Company.

Thomas O'Keefe

3537 NE 87th St.

Seattle, WA 98115

Phone: 425-417-9012
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