On Oct. 17, 2003 Chelan County PUD submitted a Comprehensive Settlement Agreement to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Comprehensive Settlement Agreement is estimated to cost $65-70 million over a proposed 50-year license term. The Settlement Agreement was signed by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Colville Confederated Tribes, the city of Chelan and the American Whitewater Affiliation.
After submission of the Comprehensive Settlement Agreement, a major roadblock delayed FERC’s review in 2004. Though Ecology had issued a state water quality certification for the dam in the spring of 2003, it was challenged before the state Pollution Control Hearing Board (PCHB). Chelan PUD and Ecology successfully defended the certification in March, 2004 and Ecology issued a final certification in June, 2004.
Before it could complete its environmental review, FERC also needed a biological opinion from NOAA Fisheries. A biological opinion discusses whether issuing the new license would adversely affect endangered species - in this case, salmon and steelhead. NOAA Fisheries issued its final biological opinion in October, 2005.
FERC Approves License
On November 6, 2006, a new 50-year license was received for the Lake Chelan Hydroelectric Project. The new license is based on the settlement agreement submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on October 17, 2003.
The new license contains requirements for operating the 48-megawatt Lake Chelan Project that are estimated to cost Chelan County PUD approximately $65-70 million over the 50 years, including provisions for a year-round minimum flow in the Chelan River, maintaining existing parks, regulating lake levels, fish habitat enhancements in the Chelan River, adding a trail that improves access to the Chelan River, and a variety of other actions.
Chelan County PUD’s application to FERC was developed in an Alternative Licensing process that included wide-ranging input from members of the community. Broad support for the license application included the National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, city of Chelan, the People for Lake Chelan, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation, and American Whitewater.
On December 6, 2006, Chelan PUD filed a request for rehearing of the new license order. The reason for the rehearing was because of three major material changes in the New License from the settlement agreement submitted on October 8, 2003:
On April 19, 2007, Chelan PUD received a FERC ruling on its rehearing request:
This site is an information resource for agencies, organizations and public interest groups, as well as anyone else interested in the implementation of the Lake Chelan Hydroelectric Project new license.
The index on your left is divided into sections on the implementation process, meeting schedules and minutes, correspondence logs, study plans, and the Initial Consultation Document. Please note that some sections will appear blank until information is completed and/or published.
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Public Utility District No.1 of Chelan County
327 North Wenatchee Avenue
P.O. Box 1231
Wenatchee, Washington 98807-1231
toll-free in Washington State (888) 663-8121