PUGET POWER FILES FINAL SNOQUALMIE RELICENSING PLAN
PUGET POWER FILES FINAL SNOQUALMIE RELICENSING PLAN BELLEVUE, Wash., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Puget Sound Power & Light
Co. (NYSE: PSD) announced today it plans to submit its final license application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Nov. 25 to relicense the Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project. The license to operate the hydro electric project expires in December 1993, and the company is seeking a new federal license to continue to generate electricity for the next 40 years.
Puget Power has been conducting extensive studies and has been in consultation with various agencies and interested parties for about two-and-a-half years. Proposed project improvements were described in the draft license application, which was released for comment in May 1991. As as a result of follow-up discussions, some revisions to the plan have been made and incorporated into the final license application. The company still proposes to increase the generation (electricity needed to serve Puget Power's customers) at the project from 42 to 73 megawatts. The company has also added some new elements to the proposed instream flow (water over the falls) program in response to additional input from the public and Native Americans. In addition to the daytime aesthetic flow of 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) and nighttime flow of 25 cfs, two new elements have been added. "Our final license application proposes a higher flow of 450 cfs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. over Snoqualmie Falls for all weekend days between Memorial Day and Labor Day," said Virginia Pistorese, project manager for Puget Power. "In addition, we would provide the same higher flow for aesthetic purposes on six holidays including Mother's Day, Easter, Snoqualmie Days, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day. This higher flow should provide the maximum public benefit because it provides a different visual appearance than 100 cfs, and it will be available when many people are visiting the falls and park," she said. The final element of the instream flow program addresses Native American concerns. Puget Power has offered to provide Native Americans with a specific volume of flows totalling 1,050 second-foot days (sfd) as a "bank" or "water budget" to be used for spiritual and cultural purposes at any time. The only requirement is that 24-hour notice is given, and that Puget Power's ability to serve its customers is not compromised. In addition to providing higher flows, the company also has agreed not to build an Interpretive Center as originally proposed because it was believed by some to be incompatible with the open and natural character of the park. The company said it still plans to include information about Native Americans in the museum that's planned for the existing transformer house. Pistorese said the company is committed to preserving Three Forks Island in its natural state. The 37-acre island is located four miles upstream, where the north, middle and south forks of the Snoqualmie River join. Preservation of the island is related to a future adjacent King County park. "Puget Power has been a good neighbor of Snoqualmie for more than 100 years -- longer than we've been a city," said Mayor Jeanne Hansen. "We would expect them to include us in the planning process, and they have." Stan Cross, director of secondary education for the Puyallup School District supports Puget Power's proposal. "As an educator, I am amazed at their sincere interest in our land, water, wildlife, student/adult education programs and the people of the state of Washington. I am confident that Puget Power will ensure an educational program for our students so they can learn at an early age how water is converted into power for our homes," he said. "We've worked hard to put together a plan that we believe respects all the uses enjoyed by many people at the falls, as well as continuing to provide a clean and renewable resource to our customers," said John Ellis, chairman and chief executive officer of Puget Power. "Being the caretaker of such a wondrous Pacific Northwest landmark is a responsibility we have taken and will continue to take extremely seriously," he added. After FERC accepts the final application, there will be a 60-day public comment period announced in the Federal Register. -0- 11/22/91 /CONTACT: Teri Van Duine of Puget Sound Power & Light Co., 206-462-3744/ (PSD) CO: Puget Sound Power & Light Co. ST: Washington IN: UTI SU: LM-JH -- SE001 -- 6318 11/22/91 11:02 EST
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|Date:||Nov 22, 1991|
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