FERC OKs Lake of the Ozarks boundary redraw, ending encroachments

WASHINGTON 6/7/12 (PennWell) — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a plan by hydro licensee Ameren to redraw the boundary of the 93-mile-long Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to end potential encroachment on project lands by some 4,000 private structures.

The action resolves months of citizen protests and complaints by Missouri’s congressional delegation about a July 26, 2011, FERC order approving the first Shoreline Management Plan for the 85-year-old hydro project.

In November, FERC clarified the July order, declaring that nothing in its order affected any previously issued valid permit authorizing a non-project use of project lands or waters. The commission ordered Ameren to follow through with the utility’s proposal to revise the project boundary to remove from the project any lands that are not needed to operate the project effectively.

FERC’s latest action, June 5, approves a redrawing of the boundary line of the 230.75-MW Osage hydroelectric project (No. 459) on the Osage River. As a result, FERC said, all private residences and commercial structures at the Lake of the Ozarks will now be outside the project boundary.

The new boundary proposed by Ameren generally follows the 662 foot elevation, except in some upstream areas where it follows higher elevations. The 662 foot elevation was chosen because the area below that level is frequently inundated by the project.

“The boundary of about 43 percent of the shoreline is already at 662 feet and would remain unchanged, except for carve-outs to ensure that existing residential and commercial structures are outside of the project boundary,” FERC said.

The commission said no houses or structures now are within the project boundary. However, some “accessory structures,” such as gazebos, piers, and boat docks still are within the boundaries and must be dealt with.

“Ameren has stated that it intends to work with structure owners to determine which were constructed pursuant to a permit, and which conform to Ameren’s permitting guidelines so that they can be grandfathered by Ameren,” FERC said. “For all other gazebos, piers, or boat docks, Ameren will work with owners of these types of structures to determine which structures can be permitted under the proposed SMP (Shoreline Management Plan).”

Ameren is to file a report to FERC within a year addressing how it proposes to remedy each such encroaching structure.

FERC said Shoreline Management Plans have been developed for hydro projects in recent years as a result of various congressional mandates and court orders involving the balancing of competing uses at hydro projects. Ameren developed a plan for the Osage project’s 1,150 miles of shoreline, which was approved by FERC in the July 26 order. FERC rejected a proposal by Ameren that it would continue to allow construction of accessory structures such as decks, walkways, gazebos, and patios within project boundaries.

Previous articleQualifying dates extended to build India’s 520-MW Teesta 4
Next articleU.S. seeks bank stabilization at 786-MW Oahe

No posts to display