News

Joint Agency Hydro meeting 2 24 2011

Monroe Cold Spring Hydroelectric Project

Record of Joint Agency/Public Meeting

1:00 p.m. on February 24, 2011

 

Monroe City Office

10 North Main

Monroe, Utah 84754

 

Introductions:

-          Monroe City representatives

o   Warren Monroe, City Councilman

o   Devin Magleby, Monroe City

o   Doug Gadd, City Councilman

o   Josey Parsons, Monroe City

o   John Spendlove, Jones & DeMille Engineering, Inc.

 

-          Agencies

o   Jason Kling, Forest Service

o   Dave Christensen, Forest Service

o   Rhett Boswell, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

o   Elliot Yassie – Piute Tribe

 

-          Public - none

 

Project Description: This is a proposed small conduit hydroelectric facility with a planned capacity of 50 kW, which will generate electricity from an existing culinary water pipe line that provides culinary water to Monroe City.  The City plans to file for an application for a license exemption.

 

Facilities:

-          Existing 6 inch diameter conduit (culinary water pipe line)

-          Existing power transmission line

-          New power house

John passed out copies of project location map, showing Cold Spring and existing water pipeline going from Cold Spring to water treatment plant on edge of Forest Service Boundary. Two thirds of the way down the canyon on private property is where the power house will be located near an existing building.  The existing pipeline is 6” diameter PVC rated for 200 PSI.  The pressure at powerhouse will be regulated to 200 PSI maximum head.  The average flow is around 1cfs and varies depending time of year.  The City has 3 Hydroelectric Plants in use; the upper power house is at first left hand and the lower powerhouse is by water treatment plant.  Another facility is a license exemption and is by the Highrow Dairy.  It generates electricity from the irrigation pond during off season.  The power transmission line runs from the upper to the lower hydro and parallels the access road in the canyon. The new powerhouse will be connected to the existing transmission line. The new facility will include a powerhouse approximately 14’ x 20’.  We anticipate using concrete block similar to the lower powerhouse building at the mouth of the canyon.  There will also be some connecting piping to connect to the existing piping that goes along the road.  Construction work will be around the location of the new powerhouse and will be located on private property.

 

Construction:

-          Anticipate starting construction – Fall 2011 assuming that the permitting can be done rather quickly. 

 

Operation:

-          Run of the river type operation based on water through the pipe.  No peaking or storing water.  Using culinary stream to generate more power.  Not proposing to do anything with the existing building.  Warren likes split face block to match with the natural landscape.  Shouldn’t be too much noise.  Will have a chain link fence around structure.  From the Division of Wildlife’s point of view, they would like to have a fence so wildlife can’t get to it. The City will need to discuss the fencing and whether or not it will include around the existing building.

-          Manual operation

 

Environmental Concerns/protection Measures (potentially may be affected by construction and operation of the project):

-          Biological Resources - Plants and animal species – plan to do a biological evaluation having a biologist review the site making sure there aren’t any sensitive species.  Will coordinate with agencies to make sure we have the current list of species.  Earthtouch will do both the Biological and Cultural.  Earthtouch did the environmental studies for the lower hydro. Jones & DeMille Engineering has a proposal from Earthtouch, but haven’t told them to move forward because we want to make sure there is an agreement of what to do. After this meeting there is a 30 day comment period.  April will be when we would like the environmental study to start.   The agencies would like Earthtouch to get in touch with them to coordinate the studies.

-          Cultural Resources will do a literature review and then have someone go on site to look at the site. Paiute Indian Tribe does not have any cultural or religious resources there.  Need a letter from tribe to that affect.  When FERC will give the order to issue the conduit exemption there will likely be a term on it, but John is not sure for how long. We are assuming that as far as biological and cultural resources they won’t find anything that will affect the project. 

-          Reseed disturbed areas after construction.  Will put gravel around the building for ease of maintenance, but will reseed other areas to keep erosion down.  Seed mix will be coordinated with the Agencies. Construction footprint is around 30’x40’.                       

Schedule:

-          Discussed ways to shorten consultation process. At the end of the consultation package that was sent out there is a schedule for the project   The City would like to shorten the schedule as much as we can.  If possible, they would like to start construction in July. A feasibility study was done a year ago and we are doing minimal project to get maximum benefit.  Planning on following FERC’s traditional licensing process, but with conduit exemption will request shortened time frame.

-          First Stage consultation – Is in process and will be complete after 30 day comment period. FERC comment period is usually 60 days but would like to shorten to 30 days to have comments back to Jones & DeMille Engineering for additional studies and if you are ok with the schedule.  John will issue a letter to ask for comments within 30 days.

-          2nd Stage consultation – FERC typically requires a draft application be sent out for comments. We are requesting that because this is a simple project to eliminate the draft application during second stage. We will do environmental studies and submit to agencies and FERC. We will verbally talk to agencies to make sure there is no effect. If there is something found that causes a problem, the project will have to slow down and do whatever has to be done to take care of project mitigation.  We will ask to eliminate draft application and comment period.  After studies are done, we will prepare an application.

-          3rd  Stage – Submit application to FERC and agencies and ask for reduced comment period from 60 to 30 days.  After that it is in FERC’s court to issue license exemption.  Once application is submitted to FERC, we will be doing design work,  but  won’t go to bid until FERC issues the license

 

Based on assumptions we are asking if the schedule is ok with the agencies.  Plant and animal surveys should be done in the spring or summer.  Plant and animal surveys have been done in the area for other projects.  Lower project had relicensing done four years ago.  Yellow billed cuckoo was not found and there weren’t large habitat areas. US Fish & Wildlife Service will give a list of species that might be located in the project area.  Penstock on that project runs right by this site.  Agencies said the studies may not be required because the project is on private land. We are more comfortable doing studies and verifying there are no environmental issues.

 

Jones & DeMille Engineering will send out letter tomorrow reiterating what studies will be done and request 30 day comment period.  Will also request shortened schedule.as discussed.

 

We will have Earthtouch contact the agencies and do literature reviews.  If there are GIS layers of actual site the Division of Wildlife Resources will review the site to see what information regarding sensitive species they have in their records.  If there are no wildlife issues, they will indicate that is the case.

 

Consult with Forest Service on reseeding mix.

 

Site Visit:

 

Everyone was familiar with the site and didn’t see a need to make a site visit.

 

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