Public Meetings Scheduled for Pit 1 - June 11th (CA)

posted May 23, 2013
by Megan Hooker

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On Tuesday, June 11th, California's State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) will hold two public meetings about the proposed permanent cancellation of summer flushing/whitewater flows through the Pit River Canyon on the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project. Between 2003 and 2009, summer flushing/whitewater flows restored 6 days of whitewater boating opportunities to the Pit River Canyon while improving water quality and curbing aquatic vegetaion and mosquito production.

The summer flushing/whitewater flows were placed under a temporary suspension order in 2010 after PG&E and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressed concern that they were harming the endangered Shasta crayfish. Monitoring showed a decline in the number of Shasta crayfish and increase in invasive crayfish within the Pit 1 reach. However, similar and more dramatic population trends are taking place throughout the rest of the Pit River Basin as well–all in areas where summer flushing/whitewater flows do not occur. Despite this, PG&E has requested that the flushing flows be permanently cancelled and removed from the water quality certification and FERC license for the project.

It's important that boaters turn out to these meetings to speak up for the value that the Pit 1 reach provides for whitewater recreation and express their opinions about the proposal. The Pit River is mostly spring-fed and had the potential to provide whitewater boating opportunities most of the year. However, flows are severely dimished by the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project. Under the proposal, 4 days of fall flows will continue, but 6 days of summer flows will be permanently eliminated.

The public meetings will provide an opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes and process, and allow the public to submit oral and written comments. The SWRCB will be preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and seeks information about the potentially significant impacts of canceling the flushing flows, potential alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be analyzed. The information that they receive will help to guide their decision-making process. See the SWRCB's announcement here...

Attend a Meeting Tuesday, June 11th

Redding

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
364 Knollcrest Drive, Suite 205

McArthur

6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Intermountain Fair
44218 A Street

Submit Written Comment

The SWRCB will also be receiving written comment until noon on June 24th. Send your comments to PBarnes@waterboards.ca.gov, or by regular mail to:

State Water Resources Control Board
Division of Water Rights
Attention: Peter Barnes
P.O. Box 2000
Sacramento, CA 95812-2000
 



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