Industries Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Yadkin and Yadkin-Pee Dee River Hydroelectric Projects, Nos. 2197-073 and 2206-030
Issued: April 18, 2008
Commission staff prepared a final Environmental Impact Statement (final EIS) for the relicensing of six existing hydroelectric developments that compose the Alcoa Power Generating, Inc.’s (Alcoa Generating’s) 210-megawatt (MW) Yadkin Hydroelectric Project No. 2197, and Progress Energy Carolina’s (Progress Energy’s) 108.6-MW Yadkin-Pee Dee River Hydroelectric Project No. 2206. Both projects are located in central North Carolina, with the Yadkin Project located on the Yadkin River in Davidson, Davie, Montgomery, Rowan, and Stanly counties and the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Project located on the Yadkin and Pee Dee Rivers in Anson, Montgomery, Richmond and Stanly counties.
Alcoa Generating filed a license application with the Commission for the Yadkin Project on April 25, 2006, and filed a settlement agreement with the Commission on May 7, 2007. Progress Energy filed a license application with the Commission for the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Project on April 26, 2006, and filed a settlement agreement with the Commission on July 30, 2007. There are no federal lands affected by either project.
The settlements filed for the two projects included a wide range of measures to enhance, mitigate, and protect the resources affected by the continued operation of the projects. The measures proposed in both settlements replaced actions originally proposed in the license applications.
The primary environmental issues associated with the Yadkin Project are: (1) reservoir fluctuations and their effect on aquatic resources and recreational activities, (2) dissolved oxygen in river reaches downstream of the project developments, and (3) alteration of sediment transport in the Yadkin River and its effects on sedimentation rates and flood frequency.
The primary environmental issues associated with the Yadkin-Pee Dee Project are: (1) minimum flows for recreation and the support of aquatic life, (2) dissolved oxygen in river reaches downstream of the project developments, (3) adequacy of recreation access at project reservoirs, and (4) fish passage for American shad and American eel.
In the final EIS, Commission staff recommends the staff alternative, which consists of the proposed action with additional measures recommended by staff.