Industries Environmental Documents
Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Yadkin and Yadkin-Pee Dee River Projects Nos. 2197-073 and 2206-030
Issued: September 28, 2007
Commission staff prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the relicensing of six existing hydroelectric developments that compose Alcoa Power Generating, Inc.'s (Alcoa Generating) 210 megawatt (MW) Yadkin Project No. 2197 (four developments) and Progress Energy Carolina's (Progress Energy) 108.6 MW Yadkin-Pee Dee River Project No. 2206 (two developments). Both projects are located in central North Carolina with the Yadkin Project located on the Yadkin River and the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Project located downstream of the Yadkin Project on the Yadkin and Pee Dee rivers.
Alcoa Generating filed a license application with the Commission for the Yadkin Project on April 25, 2006, and a settlement agreement with the Commission for the project 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 a settlement agreement with the Commission for the project on July 30, 2007. There are no federal lands affected by either project.
The two settlements filed for both 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 the Proposed Actions originally filed with the license applications.
The key environmental issues associated with the proposed Yadkin Project are: (1) reservoir fluctuations and their effect on aquatic resources and recreational activities, (2) low dissolved oxygen levels below all four developments, and (3) alteration of sediment transport in the Yadkin River caused by the presence of High Rock reservoir and its effects on the rate of sedimentation and frequency of flooding of a municipal water intake and wastewater facilities.
The key environmental issued associated with the proposed Yadkin-Pee Dee River Project are: (1) minimum flows below both developments, (2) low dissolved oxygen levels below both projects, (3) need for improved recreational facilities at project reservoirs, and (4) development of fish passage facilities for American shad and American eel at the Blewett Falls development.
In the draft EIS, Commission staff recommends the staff alternative, which consists of the proposed action, with some staff-recommended changes to the proposed action.
Comments on the draft EIS are due by December 4, 2007.