So I am in a very privileged position to have a number of different agencies keeping me informed on what otherwise might not become greater public knowledge. Here in Washington we are celebrating the removal of a dam on the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula, hopefully returning river to a state compels consideration of future dam removals on other rivers. Under the radar, the following is happening right here in Seattle’s backyard read below:
It just came to my attention today that a FERC pre-application has been filed by Black Canyon Hydro LLC to develop a 25 MW hydroelectric project in the NF Snoqualmie that would divert up to 900 cfs of the river’s flow from a 1.5 mile stretch, Ernie’s Canyon, one of the premier whitewater runs in King County (FERC Project No. P-14110). The comment period on the pre-app closes July 10.
The NF only averages about 500 cfs annually! So, the sizing of the facility is likely intended to capture high flow events. They would be required (by permit conditions) to guarantee a certain amount of flow in the river at all times, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t substantially dry it up. The plan is to have a small diversion dam (about 7 ft tall) with an associated water intake. The water would then flow through a pipe for about 1.4 miles to a powerhouse further down the river. The elevation change is what creates the head for the power. So, the water would return to the river about 1.5 miles later.
The whitewater community is out in force against it but much of the angling community is likely unaware of this. While the water does get returned to the river, this could be devastating to the section between the dam and the return point as well as all the habitat upriver of the dam that would be flooded.
If it means anything to you, seek it out and get your voice in there here using this as the Docket Number P-14110:
FERC Ecomment siteShort comment fewer than 6,000 characters
Long Comment with Attachements
Receive all filings associated with this and other projects