If hydropower is so clean, then why are hydropower corporations lobbying Congress to get them
out of complying with the
Clean Water and Endangered Species Act?
On this field trip Drs. Dawes and Lillquist will help us examine the pre-glacial, glacial, and post-glacial geology and geography of the Sinlahekin and Similkameen Valleys— from bedrock that formed far from North America and was later accreted to the continent, to volcanic ash and lava that erupted as the crust was being stretched apart, to the glaciation of the entire region, which reshaped its valleys, altered the course of rivers, and left geologists and geographers with the challenge of deducing the role of ice vs. the role of liquid water in shaping this land.
There is limited space so call to reserve your place on the bus—509.485.3844
The Aviation Division within the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) proposes to establish three off-base helicopter training areas and one mountain training area. The U.S. Army is the lead Federal agency for the proposed action. The proposed training areas would support training operations stationed out of JBLM, but would be located off-base within Washington State. Training operations would be conducted using aircraft to include the MH/UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, and MH/CH-47 Chinook. The training areas would be available for use day and night, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the exception of Federal holidays.
The Army has prepared a scoping document which is intended to provide interested parties the proposed scope of the Environmental Assessment and to seek additional information pertinent to this analysis. If you have any information that would assist us in conducting an accurate and thorough analysis of the project-specific and cumulative effects associated with the proposed project, you are encouraged to submit them during the scoping period, which has been extended through September 4, 2015. The scoping document including project maps, and a comment form are located at:
To submit comments, send an email to email@example.com
or write to:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC WORKS
ATTN ENVIRONMENTAL DIVISION (NEPA)
2012 LIGGETT AVE, BOX 339500 MS 17
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA 98433-9500
Comments must be received by September 4, 2015
to be considered.
DNR Lands Not Available to Navy
for Electronic Warfare Training
on Olympic Peninsula
• Washington Long-Term Water Supply Report: Wetter Wintersand Springs, Drier Summers with Less Snowpack (9.16.16)
• High Country News Founder, Tom Bell, Passes (8.31.16)
•Tribes Band Together to Fight the Oil Pipeline Going Through the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation (8.30.16)
• Study Shows Hidden Pollution Exchange between Oceans, Groundwater, Hot Spots include Pacific Northwest (8.12.16)
• Big Earthquakes in Cascadia Subduction Zone More Frequent, Historically, than Thought (8.12.16)
• EPA Wpn't Regulate Logging Road Runoff: EPA Says the Clean Water Act is Enough to Ensure Stream Health (7.19.16)
• Hungry for Climate Justice: Fasting at the Washington State Capital (7.12.16)
• Navy Growler Noise Test Debunked by Save The Olympic Peninsula (6.20.16)
• Basin Water Managers Expecting Slightly Below Average Runoff from Now to September (6.17.16)
• Study Suggests that Insect Damage May Counter Intense Wildfires (5.4.16)
• U.S. House of Representatives Bills Threaten to Give Away National Forests (2.24.16)
• Fracking Goes on Trial for Human Rights Violations (11.14.15)
• Earth's Nutrient Cycle: Study Shows the "Fertilization" from Ocean to Land is Down 75 Percent (10.30.15)
• Columbia River Basin Agencies Release Draft 2016 Water Management Plan (10.23.15)
• USGS Studying Low 2015 Snowpack and River Flows to Provide Insight into Future Droughts (9.11.15)
• Cascadia Planet Blogspot
• Cliff Mass Weather Blog
• Community Cultural Center of Tonasket
• Conservation Northwest
• Conscious Cultural Festival
• Ferry County Co-op
• Friends of the Trees Society
• Green Okanogan
• Kettle Range Conservation Group
• Lake Roosevelt Forum
• LA Catholic Worker Agitator
• Methow Naturalist
• Methow Valley Citizens Council
• Okanogan Highlands Alliance
• Okanogan Land Trust
• Planet Drum Foundation
• SHAWL Society
• Slow Food Okanogan County
• SolWest Renewable Energy Faire
• Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op
• Wisdom of the 13 Grandmothers
• Sept 17, Columbiana's Geology/Geography Field Trip of Glacial Melt Events on west side of Okanogan River, in Similkameen River drainage, Palmer Lake area, Sinlahekin Valley, and White Stone area, lead by Dr. Ralph Dawes (WVC) and Dr. Karl Lillquist (CWU).
The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is taking comments until Nov 17th on the NEPA process that will be used to make their decision to issue a special use permit for 5 years to the Navy to conduct their Mobile Electronic Warfare Test Sites using Forest Service roads.The comment period will only be extended if they are receiving a lot of comments. (See below for address.) We asked the Navy at the Open House why doesn't the Navy apply to the U.S. Army to use the Yakima Training Center—designed for military use—for their exercises rather than USFS property. Their answer was that the training center is over booked and they cannot schedule its use. Every time we go through that area on Hwy 97, it is completely vacant of activity. Someone needs to check out their schedule and see if the Navy's activities could be worked into their schedule. Click to view OkanWen National Forest Notice of Navy's Plans. Here's an account of Tuesday's Open House the Navy and Okan-Wen National Forest written by Dana Visalli of the Methow Valley.
Some of our concerns are:
(1) It is not clear what attempts were made to gain local comments in determining a “no impact decision” by the U.S. Navy.
(2) Has livestock and wildlife safety been considered with mobile emitters on designated roads?
(3) It is also unclear how Navy will keep humans from using roads for recreation, wood gathering, hunting, etc.
(4) Navy’s EA does identify the general direction (3 degrees vertical from the horizon towards the west), but not the intensity of electronic radiation mobile emitters will be pulsing from our forest service roads.
October 17, the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest sent us a letter stating there will be a 30-day comment period that will only be announced in the Wenatchee World or on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Web site. The comment period will be from Oct 17 to Nov 17. Send your comments to Supervisior Balboni's address below. We have a good chance to extend our comment period if enough comments come pouring into Supervisor Balboni office.
The public comment period has been extended until Nov 28 to submit comments to the Olympic National Forest. There will be a public meeting on Nov 6 from 6-8pm at the Port Angeles City Council Chambers, located at 321 East Fifth Street, Port Angeles, WA where the U.S. Navy and Olympic National Forest Service will answer questions. Send comments to:
• Greg T Wahl, 1835 Black Lake Blvd SW, Suite A, Olympia, WA 983512, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360.956.2375. Comment period ends Nov 28th.
Please request a public meeting closer to the Colville National Forest to explain their process in making a decision to allow the Navy to set up these Military Operation Areas on Forest Service Roads. You can send your comments and requests to:
• Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor, Michael L. Balboni, c/o Phil Christy, 1 West Winesap, Tonasket WA 98855, email@example.com, 509.486.5137. Comment period ends Nov 17 unless it gets extended.
• Colville National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West, c/o Karen Nooney, Colville National Forest, 765 S. Main Street, Colville WA 99114, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509.684.7189. Franklin Pemberton, the CNF Public Affairs Officier, email@example.com, called January 7th to say the Navy has not sent CNF an application as of yet to use CNF forest roads. He did not expect to hear anything until February. He also said that the CNF does not see the Navy's uses of forest roads as being compatible with CNF stewardship of natural resources.
In the first 50 years of operation, cost for building, operating and maintaining Enloe Dam will exceed the revenue generated by the project, according to forecasts made by the Okanogan PUD.
Revised Cost Figure—Summary, p. 11 and Revised Cost Figure—2014 D-2 (excluding sunk costs), p. 15 (OkPUD 2015 Enloe Project Budget).
Between 2019, when electrical generation would start, and 2068 when the 50 years license of operation expires, it is estimated that Enloe Dam would generate about $152 million in income. However, construction would cost at least $62 million (the construction loan of approximately $39 million and $23 million in interest). Operations and maintenance will cost about $168 million during the 50 year period. When costs are subtracted from generation revenue, ratepayers are left with debt of
Since power generation conservatively will stay the same during the 50 year license, at least $1.7 million is added yearly to the cost of Enloe operations, modeled over time using an annual 2.5% escalator on Operations & Maintenance costs. Indeed, the project results in a loss of over $76 million. That is a cost of about $3,918 for each of the PUD’s 20,000 residential customers over the 50 year license, or $6.53 each month. (Model: OkPUD Enloe—Blended Resource).
Note: For more information on the use of this model, please telephone Jeré & Rick Gillespie, 831.332.4778.
Formulas Used to Calculate Numbers:
(Enloe MW Generation) X (hours/Year) = (Enloe MWhrs/Year)
(4.5 MW) X (8,760 hrs/year) = 39,420 MWhrs/year
(Cost $$/MWhr) X (Enloe MWhrs/year) = (Enloe Power Revenue $$/year)
($77/MWhr) X (39,420 MWhrs/year) = $3,035,340/year
In Year 2019:
(Enloe Power Revenue $$/year) + (Enloe Operation & Maintenance $$/year) + (Enloe Construction Debt $$) = (Enloe Debt $$)
$3,035,340/year + ($-1,719,000) + ($-2,018,000) = $-701,660
In Year 2069:
$3,035,340/year + ($-5,764,283) + ($0) = $-2,728,943
Potential Costs to each ratepayer over 50 years:
(Enloe costs) / (20,000 residential customers) / (50 years) / (12 months/yr = (Ratepayer cost/month)
$78,366,596 / 20,000 / 50 years / 12 months/year = $6.53/month
Link to Spreadsheet that displays the outcomes for Enloe costs projected over 50 years.
Please plan to come to OkPUD Meetings at 2:30 pm on Mondays at PUD Auditorum, 1331 2nd Avenue North, Okanogan WA 98840 to voice your reasons to say to commissioners "NO ON ENLOE." Check OkPUD Web site when actual Mondays meetings are held. If you cannot make the meeting, give the Commissioners a call or e-mail them to say your concerns.
Let us know you have made contact. THANKS!
Columbiana, 509.485.3844, firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are the Commissioners taking another vote on Enloe?
Will it be to remove the dam now that the PUD has a draft dam removal plan, the money for removal has been shown to be available if and when the PUD decides on removal (with little to zero cost to the PUD), and they have a federal agency interested in becoming the lead agency?
If not a vote for removal, what has changed regarding the power and economic value of Enloe? Based on the PUD’s 2014 revised cost figures, dam construction is expected to now cost between $40 - $50 million. With operating costs totaling $3,193,696 it will cost OPUD $1.1 million more each year to operate the Enloe Project than it would cost to purchase the power on the open market.
From these numbers, Enloe seems like a really bad deal for the PUD and for ratepayers. Why then is the PUD moving ahead with borrowing money to build out Enloe?
The PUD is now asking to be reimbursed for the full costs of getting the license, in order to satisfy bond holders. Didn’t the funds for the license come out of the general fund each year? The PUD has written off other debt. Isn’t this simply a new roadblock thrown up by PUD staff who want to continue to borrow & build, in spite of the costs to the ratepayers?
Can someone in the PUD explain to us how not recovering the full $14 million in Enloe sunk costs will jeopardize the PUD getting loans from the bond market? Is this information verifiable by auditors? Due Diligence to the ratepayers requires the PUD to have its statements on financial matters verified by authorized experts.
Why should ratepayers support a project that will lose this much money for at least the foreseeable future? Commissioner Houston has said that Enloe will lose money for at least the first 40 years. The PUD’s revised numbers show Enloe losing about $1 M per year and at the net present value it may never generate a profit.
Why is the PUD taking such a hard line on providing basic information needed for a lead agency decision? So far, both the Colville Tribe and NOAA have expressed interest in becoming lead agency. To move forward, they have asked for basic information on sediment behind the dam and dam safety information, and to date the PUD has refused to share this information.
What is behind the dam and why has the PUD blocked any attempt to find out? What are they afraid of? Agencies, tribes and nonprofits contracted with the USGS to develop a sediment study, fully funded that study with no cost to the PUD or its ratepayers, and proposed to complete the study this summer during very low flows. To date, the PUD has refused to let that study move forward.
PUD expenditures & rate hikes have been a continuing drain for its ratepayers. Just recently, the PUD has said it needs to recover the nearly $14M that it has spent on the Enloe project so far. The reason given was that without recovering the $$, the PUD could not keep its bond ratings up and was at risk to default. What is the status on the bond, what has changed, and why is the PUD just figuring this out now?