Camas Prairie, Elmore County, Idaho

Category Archives: FERC Issues

National Forest Service Concerns Regarding the Cat Creek Energy Project

This “Bull Trout Country” sign is located just 5 miles west of the proposed Cat Creek Energy project lands.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and The National Forest Service commented about the concerns they have about the Generation Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project, P-14655 portion of the Cat Creek Energy project back in October 2015. Those concerns have yet to be addressed as of late-March 2019.

A letter dated October 25, 2015, from Kimberly D. Bose from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) highlights their concerns that Cat Creek Energy needs to act in a timely manner and in good faith before they will issue a temporary permit to begin some very critical studies within the Elmore County backcountry. Their main area of concern is the South Fork of the Boise River basin and the Little Camas Prairie located about 18 miles northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho.

Reference: Page 4 and 5 of “FERC-COMMENTS of U.S. Forest Service on Cat Creek Energy Generation Pumped Storage“ document. Please feel free to download the 25 Oct 2015 letter by clicking HERE FERC-COMMENTS of U.S. Forest Service on Cat Creek Energy Generation Pumped Storage … or https://catcreek-energy.com/download/964/

 

Here is Just a Part of the National Forest Service / FERC Concerns

Fisheries Resources

The Anderson Ranch Reservoir fisheries resource consists of rainbow trout, bull trout, whitefish, chinook salmon, kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass. South Fork Boise River below Anderson Ranch Reservoir is a Blue Ribbon fishery consisting of rainbow trout, bull trout, mountain whitefish, and sculpin.

  • Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species (TES) and critical habitat
    Endangered Species Act

  • Bull trout are listed as a threatened species (63 FR 31647 31674) under the
    Endangered Species Act.

  • Anderson Ranch Reservoir up to full pool is designated critical habitat (75 FR
    63898 64070) under the Endangered Species Act.

  • South Fork Boise River below Anderson Ranch Reservoir is designated critical habitat (75 FR 63898 64070) under the Endangered Species Act.


Concerns

  • Entrainment – bull trout and other species could be entrained when pumping
    water up to the holding basin.

  • Temperature – Increase in water temperature to Anderson Ranch Reservoir or the South Fork Boise River depending on the alternative considered and where water is released. The newly constructed dam would be a shallow reservoir and water temperatures would increase rapidly through solar radiation during hot summer months. An increase in water temperature could impact bull trout and could have effects on other fish resources within the reservoir.

  • Sediment – Increase in sediment from construction, maintenance and operation of hydroelectric facilities and associated power lines.

  • Supersaturation –  Supersaturation occurs when air becomes trapped in water
    spilled over a dam as it hits the pool below. If too much nitrogen is absorbed in the bloodstream of fish, air bubbles form and create the equivalent of what dives call “the bends” and fish die.

Please help us stop the Cat Creek Energy project from moving forward. Contact County Commissioners Bud Corbus, Wes Wootan and Al Hofer and tell them you are opposed to this ill-conceived mega-energy project.

You can use the county website “Contact Form” at https://elmorecounty.org/contact/
or
See https://catcreek-energy.com/mailing-addresses-for-cat-creek-energy-issues/

 

Thanks.

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FERC Requests Info from Cat Creek Energy

Proposed Cat Creek Energy Project

In a previous post dated Feb 26, 2019, we highlighted the fact that the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) has requested additional information from Cat Creek Energy (CCE).  This is a request regarding a successive preliminary permit application for their Pumped Storage Hydroelectric project.
The Cat Creek Energy project will get more complicated as the developers start interacting with state and federal entities before they can move ahead with the project.  We feel it’s important for all Elmore County residents to understand the entire process.

Reference: http://catcreek-energy.com/ferc-request-cat-creek-provide-additional-information-by-march-8-2019/

We Think It’s Important to Understand the FERC Requests For Information

The FERC has requested Cat Creek Energy provide information, action and/or documentation regarding two different issues.  These requests apply to their bid to use public land and infrastructure for the pumped storage hydroelectric portion of their mega-energy project.  This project will affect the backcountry of Elmore County, Idaho.

Background for FERC Request #1: Cat Creek Energy wants to build a new reservoir, including a dam on the bluffs above Anderson Ranch Reservoir. They will use water from Anderson to fill their 100,000 acre/foot reservoir.  This will require using six, 15-foot diameter pipes/penstocks.

The bull trout lives in Anderson Ranch Reservoir. It thrives because of the pristine and stable environment found within the South Fork of the Boise River basin, including Anderson Ranch. The bull trout is listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Government.

FERC Request #1: The FERC has requested that CCE show proof of the actions and/or geotechnical studies they have, or will commission in the future, regarding how they will mitigate the effects that their pumped storage hydroelectric project will have on the threatened bull trout.
Remember, the bull trout lives in Anderson Ranch Reservoir, just 1,000 feet from their planned dam/reservoir on Little Camas Prairie. The two reservoirs will be interconnected if Cat Creek gets the approval to move ahead with the project.

By Brambleshire – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17074506

 

Background on FERC Request #2: Cat Creek Energy entered into a “Lease of Power Privilege” (LOPP) with the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) for the use of Anderson Ranch Reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation has indicated that CCE has yet to provide the required funding to move ahead with the lease agreement.

FERC Request #2: The FERC has requested CCE initiate and memorialize the critical payments and actions required by the “Lease of Power Privilege” (LOPP) agreement.

 

Cat Creek Energy has until March 8, 2019, to fully respond to these two Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requests for information.

 

 

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FERC Request Cat Creek Provide Additional Information by March 8, 2019

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has requested additional information from Cat Creek Energy, LLC regarding their planned Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project on Little Camas Prairie. Cat Creek Energy has until March 8, 2019, to answer the questions contained in the “Schedule A” document located at the bottom of this post.

The letter and Schedule A can also be directly downloaded here … http://catcreek-energy.com/download/874/


FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D. C. 20426
February 21, 2019

OFFICE OF ENERGY PROJECTS

 

Project No. 14655-001–Idaho
Cat Creek Energy Generation Facility
Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project
Cat Creek Energy, LLC

 

James Carkulis
Cat Creek Energy, LLC 398 S. 9th Street, Suite 240
Boise, ID 83702

Subject: Additional Information Request Dear Mr. Carkulis:

After reviewing your successive preliminary permit application filed on November 9, 2018, for the Cat Creek Energy Generation Facility Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project No. 14655-001 and the comments filed on the application, additional information is needed to continue processing your application. Please provide the information requested in Schedule A within 15 days from the date of this letter.

The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file the requested information using the Commission’s eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs- filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14655-001.

If you have any questions concerning this letter, please call Karen Sughrue at (202) 502-8556.

 

Sincerely,

~ signed ~

For David Turner,
Chief Northwest Branch
Division of Hydropower Licensing

 


Enclosure:  Schedule A
Project No. 14655-001

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

1. In section (iii) of Exhibit 2 of your application, you request a waiver of section 4.81(c)(2) of the Commission’s regulations, which requires the filing of a work plan for new dam construction. S Bar Ranch, LLC, in its motion to intervene and protest, objects to this waiver request.

Section 4.81(c)(3) of the Commission’s regulations allows the Commission to waive the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) upon a showing by the applicant that the field studies, tests, and other activities to be conducted under the permit would not adversely affect cultural resources or endangered species and would cause minor alterations or disturbances of lands and waters, and that any land altered or disturbed would be adequately restored. The federally listed bull trout and its critical habitat are within the proposed project boundary at the Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Neither your permit or the project record clearly describes if you intend to conduct geotechnical studies during the term of the successive permit.

If you intend to conduct geotechnical studies, you must either demonstrate that the studies will not affect cultural resources or endangered species and result in minimal disturbance to land and waters, or file a work plan. In the latter case, the work plan must contain: (i) a description, including the approximate location, of any field study, test, or other activity that may alter or disturb lands or waters in the vicinity of the proposed project, including floodplains and wetlands; measures that would be taken to minimize any such disturbance; and measures that would be taken to restore the altered or disturbed areas; and (ii) a proposed schedule (a chart or graph may be used), the total duration of which does not exceed the proposed term of the permit, showing the intervals at which the studies, investigations, tests, and surveys, identified under this paragraph are proposed to be completed.

2. As explained in your original permit, the proposed project would require a Lease of Power Privilege (LOPP) from the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) for the use of Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Letters filed by Reclamation on April 4, 2017 and January 31, 2019, indicate that you have begun that LOPP process by receiving approval from Reclamation on October 17, 2016 to be a preliminary leasee for a five- year period. The January 31, 2019 filing also indicates that you have entered into a contributed-funds-agreement contract with Reclamation on May 9, 2017. However both letters indicate that you have not provided the required funding for Reclamation’s review of the project, entered into a preliminary LOPP agreement with Reclamation, or begun conducting the studies required by Reclamation to evaluate project impacts. The letters also indicate that Reclamation does not intend to commit resources to processing your proposed project until the required funding is provided. Reclamation’s January 31, 2019, filing states that if you are still interested in this project that it is critical to initiate these steps to attempt to complete the required LOPP steps by October 16, 2021.

Therefore, please file an update on your efforts at conducting the LOPP process steps with noted in Reclamation’s January 31, 2019 letter.

 

 

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