SUSITNA DAM COMMITTEE
A brief history of the Susitna Dam committee. The state is pursuing the construction of a dam on the Susitna River directly upstream of the Chase Community Boundaries as such this issue concerns the area residents. There was an advisory vote placed on a previous CCC election ballot as to whether the area residents were for or against the construction of said dam. The advisory vote results were a unanimous opposition to the proposed dam. At such time a committee was formed to monitor the activities of the dam licensing process among other things. The following statements and attachments at the bottom of this page are some of the items that have been addressed by our Susitna Dam Committee
The Susitna River Coalition has gotten the signatures they need to but their ballot initiative on the ballot it deals with responsible development. They are also checking into water reservation rights.
9-17-2014 recent event by Molly Wood
We have been invited to sign on to another procedural letter to FERC regarding the Susitna Dam licensing process. In this case, the letter is submitted to FERC to help ensure that the upcoming public process for the Fall Interim Study Report public review process is up to snuff. I have attached the draft. In summary, it asks for the following:
· FERC Staff attendance at the review meetings
· FERC provide advance insight into its findings in review of the ISR.
· FERC Staff’s strong participation and leadership during the upcoming ISR meetings
· Encourage open discussion and opportunity to voice public concerns and questions
· Clarification about how 2014 study season data should be handled to comply with FERC regulations.
I am recommending that we sign on. This does not present any opinion about the studies but it helps to show our support for a fair and complete review process. Please let me know if you have any concerns about this and if I do not hear any, I'll put my name on it as a member of the Board.
Also, as a heads-up here is the near-term schedule going forward. Chase CC will need to prepare comments for submission to FERC later in the Fall. Individuals will also be welcome to submit comments. Mike and I will be doing that. If anyone else is interested, please let me know and I will happily keep you more in the loop.
SCHEDULE FOR COMMENT PROCESS FOR FERC INTERIM STUDY REPORT:
Sept. 15 – Independent consultant’s draft comments due
Oct 1 – Federal agencies (NMFS) to file comments
Oct. 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22 – ISR meetings in Anchorage
By end of Oct – Susitna River Coalition will send an Action Alert to solicit comments
Oct. 30 – AEA files Meeting Summary of comments with FERC
Dec. 1 – All comments are due
See draft letter below 9-17
Susitna Dam Committee
A letter was submitted by CCC, TCC and numerous other intervening entities to FERC to address procedural issues in anticipation of the Interim Study Report. In order to help make the review process manageable for stakeholders, the letter asked that all 50 plus study reports follow a consistent format, include an executive summary and address key issues of concern to stakeholders, including: a summary of variances from the original study plans.
A draft letter was circulated to members for review. It proposed that the CCC (in cooperation with the TCC) submit letters to Senator Dunleavy and Representative Keller asking for their consideration of a request to the Legislative Audit and Budget Committee to authorize an audit of the Alaska Energy Authority’s (AEA) proposed Susitna-Watana Hydro Project.
Chase Community Council signed a letter pertaining to the Susitna Watana Dam licensing schedule a copy of this letter is attached at the bottom of this web page. This is in line with the vote taken in the area showing 100% opposition to the dam project.
We are asking AEA to stick to the previously agreed upon schedule and postpone any second year studies until after AEA completes its required study report and the review by licensing participants is completed.
The dozer was successfully removed from the lake this spring, hauled to the RR and removed from the Chase area.
A brief history of the Dozer incident. A dozer that was part of a convoy made to Stephan Lake in the late spring of 2013 (that was taken on to supply the summer 2013 Susitna Dam survey season) broke through the ice of a Chase area lake and as of now (1-27-2014) is still in said lake. No action at the time was planned by government authorities to address this environmental issue as such Chase area residents felt it was their duty to do so. After much effort on their part the fuel and battery was removed from the lake but at this time no further action is planned. A meeting was held between the Chase Dozer Committee and DNR see attachment at bottom of this page for results of said meeting.
The following statement and attachments at the bottom of this page represent some if not all of the committee that was formed to address this issues effort.
Mike wood asked about the status of the Public Information Requests that were sent from the CCC to DNR and AEA for information related to the bulldozer incident last spring. It was reported that both organizations required payment for the public information to be made available. AEA’s costs were reported to be exorbitant – in excess of $6,000. DNR’s costs were felt be excessive also but possibly manageable. It is possible that the costs could be challenged but one member reported that they have been defensible in court in the past. The CCC has been silent in response to the required fees. We have not said that we will or will not pay them. Mike proposed that we remain open to payment – given the significance of the events that transpired and the loss of a life. There is concern that the state agencies have not taken appropriate action in response and future permits are likely to be an issue. The CCC can play an important public role in promoting agency accountability and oversight.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE
Our updated Chase Comprehensive Plan is now passed all phases and is the current plan for our area the full plan can be found on the borough web site https://www.matsugov.us/plans?cck=plans&plan_type=Comprehensive+Plan&boxchecked=0&search=plans&task=search
The Chase Comprehensive plan was written in the 80’s and as such could use some revision to bring it up to date. A link to the plan can be found on the links page of this website. Also note that several of the other area plans on the borough website have been updated. In order for our plan to have credibility a committee has been formed to work on an update. The following statement was taken from the minutes of the 1-2014 CCC meeting.
· A new committee was established to review and update the Chase Comprehensive Plan. Beth Pike, Paul Bratton (absent but previously expressed interest), James Tunnel and Mike Wood agreed to work together and propose revisions by the end of 2014.