Monday, 08 August 2022

FERC - Pacific Gas and Electric Company Project No. 77-311

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

Pacific Gas and Electric Company Project No. 77-311

NOTICE OF APPLICATION ACCEPTED FOR FILING AND SOLICITING COMMENTS, MOTIONS TO INTERVENE, AND PROTESTS

(May 20, 2022)

Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

 

  1.   Application Type:  Application for Temporary Variance of Flow Requirements
  2.   Project No:  77-311
  3.   Date Filed:  May 16, 2022
  4.   Applicant:  Pacific Gas and Electric Company (licensee)
  5.   Name of Project:  Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project
  6.   Location:  The project is located on the Eel River and East Fork of the Russian River in Lake and Mendocino counties, California
  7.   Filed Pursuant to:  Federal Power Act, 16 USC 791a – 825r
  8.   Applicant Contact:  Jackie Pope, License Coordinator; Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Mail Code N11D, P.O. Box 770000, San Francisco, CA 94177; Phone: (530) 245-4007
  9.   FERC Contact:  Alicia Burtner, (202) 502-8038, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  10.   Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests:  June 9, 2022. 

The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing.  Please file comments, motions to intervene, and protests using the Commission’s eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.  Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp.  You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments.  For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY).  In lieu of electronic filing, you may submit a paper copy.  Submissions sent via the U.S. Postal Service must be addressed to:  Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC  20426.  Submissions sent via any other carrier must be addressed to:  Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 12225 Wilkins Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20852.  The first page of any filing should include the docket number P-77-311.  Comments emailed to Commission staff are not considered part of the Commission record.  

The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person whose name appears on the official service list for the project.  Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

k.  Description of Request:  The licensee requests a temporary variance of its minimum flow requirements in the East Fork of the Russian River and the maximum irrigation releases to the Potter Valley Irrigation District (PVID).  Due to ongoing drought conditions and operating restrictions, the storage in Lake Pillsbury is severely depleted and is expected to reach critical levels by late fall, whereby bank sloughing in the vicinity of the outlet works and impaired flow releases could occur.  In order to conserve water and ensure project operability, the licensee is proposing to reclassify the water year type to reduce flow releases to Eel River below Scott Dam from the current normal water year requirement of 60 cfs to a critical water year flow floor set by the minimum opening of the low-level outlet of approximately 35 cubic feet per second (cfs); flow releases to the East Fork of the Russian River from normal water year requirements of 75 cfs to between 5 and 25 cfs based on storage projections; and flow releases to the PVID from 50 cfs to a demand-based schedule not to exceed 50 cfs.  The licensee additionally requests that compliance with flow requirements to the East Fork of the Russian River be measured as a target flow with no buffer versus a minimum flow with a buffer.  The licensee would operate the project to maintain at least 30,000 acre-feet of storage in Lake Pillsbury to limit the depletion of the cold-water pool for salmonid protection.  The May 16, 2022 filing includes provisions for regular water monitoring and consultation throughout implementation of the proposed variance.  The licensee requests that the drought-related variance conclude when Lake Pillsbury storage exceeds 36,000 acre-feet following October 1, 2022 or is superseded by another variance.  

l. Locations of the Application:  This filing may be viewed on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov using the "eLibrary" link.  Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document.  You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects.  At this time, the Commission has suspended access to the Commission’s Public Reference Room, due to the proclamation declaring a National Emergency concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), issued by the President on March 13, 2020.  For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for TTY, call (202) 502-8659.  Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant.  

m.  Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

n.  Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene:  Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214, respectively.  In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding.  Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

o.  Filing and Service of Documents:  Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting, protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005.  All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis.  Any filing made by an intervenor must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2010.

Kimberly D. Bose,

Secretary.

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