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Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) evaluates Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (LEAPS) Project on Lake Elsinore and San Juan Creek in California (P-11858-002)
Issued: February 17, 2006

This draft EIS evaluates the potential natural resource benefits, environmental effects, and economic costs associated with granting a FERC license for the entire LEAPS Project and granting a Forest Service special use permit for the transmission lines associated with the project.

The co-applicants' (Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and the Nevada Hydro Company, Inc.) proposed action consists of an upper reservoir in Morrell Canyon, a powerhouse at the Santa Rosa location, and a transmission line that crosses the Cleveland National Forest. The co-applicants propose numerous measures to address the potential effects of the proposed LEAPS Project on environmental resources in the project area. The co-applicants' proposal would disrupt flows in the San Juan Creek drainage, displace Lion Spring, remove about 20 acres of wetlands and riparian forest, re-route Morgan Trail, interfere with fire suppression activities, and curtail the use of hang gliding launching sites in Cleveland National Forest and the informal landing site at Ortega Oaks.

The Staff alternative consists of an upper reservoir at the Decker Canyon site, a powerhouse at the Ortega Oaks site, and a mid-slope transmission alignment. The staff alternative would avoid effects on Morrell Canyon, Lion Spring, and Morgan Trail, and would reduce the amount of loss of wetlands and riparian forest. The staff alternative mid-slope transmission alignment, which runs west of the most popular hang gliding launch sites in Cleveland National Forest, may reduce some of the effects of the proposed project on hang gliding activities and would avoid conflicts with fire suppression activities

Staff does not recommend an alternative in the draft EIS but rather seeks comments on the proposed project and the alternatives analyzed in the document.

Comments on this draft EIS can be eFiled.