Avista Corp. and the Bureau of Land Management announced a settlement agreement July 12 that is to enhance recreation in the vicinity of the 14.75-MW Post Falls hydroelectric project while securing BLM’s support to relicense the development, currently part of the 136-MW Spokane River project.
“Avista has proposed a set of actions that protect and enhance natural resources associated with the project, while ensuring sustainable clean energy production,” Avista Relicensing Manager Bruce Howard said. “We believe the conditions we’ve proposed are supported by a majority of stakeholders.”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering an application in which Avista is seeks to relicense Post Falls (No. 12606) as a separate project from the Spokane River project, which also is being relicensed (No. 2545). Avista has said Post Falls, in Post Falls, Idaho, presents relicensing issues that might take longer to resolve than the rest of the Spokane River project.
Under terms of the Post Falls agreement, Avista is to cooperate with BLM to develop or enhance water-based recreation facilities on Coeur d’Alene Lake and its tributaries. Avista would spend up to $200,000 on new BLM facilities, and $33,000 annually to supplement BLM’s operation and maintenance costs.
Avista said it would file the settlement agreement with FERC immediately, as terms and conditions from resource agencies, tribes, and others were due by July 17. If FERC approves, measures in the agreement would become part of a new operating license.
The remainder of the Spokane River project, whose license expires in July 2007, includes the 10-MW Upper Falls, 14.82-MW Monroe Street, 26.34-MW Nine Mile, and 70-MW Long Lake developments, on the border of Idaho and Washington.