Industries Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Drum-Spaulding Project (P-2310-173) and Yuba-Bear Hydroelectric Project (P-2266-096)
Issued: May 17, 2013
Commission Staff prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the relicensing of Pacific Gas & Electric Companyís (PG&E) existing 192.5-megawatt (MW) Drum-Spaulding Hydroelectric Project No. 2310 and Nevada Irrigation Districtís (NID) existing 79.32-MW Yuba-Bear Project No. 2266.
PG&E filed an application on April 12, 2011 for the Drum-Spaulding Project, located within three primary river basins, the South Yuba River, Bear River, and North Fork of the North Fork American River, in Nevada and Placer Counties, California. The project consists of ten developments and occupies 978.3 acres administered by the Forest Service), 5.1 acres administered by the Bureau of Reclamation, and 10.6 acres administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). PG&E proposes to retire Alta powerhouse unit 2, decreasing the installed capacity of the project to 191.5 MW.
NID filed an application on April 15, 2011 for the Yuba-Bear Project, located within three major river basins, the Middle Yuba River, South Yuba River, and Bear River, in Sierra, Nevada, and Placer Counties, California. The project consists of four developments and occupies 1,540.8 acres administered by the Forest Service and 208.5 acres administered by BLM. NID proposes to increase the installed capacity of the project to 90.72 MW.
The primary issues associated with relicensing the projects are erosion control and restoration measures; flow regimes in project-affected reaches for aquatic resources; spill cessation schedules following high-flow periods to mimic natural conditions and for whitewater boating opportunities; protection of wildlife resources; recreation enhancements; and protection of cultural resources.
In the draft EIS, Commission staff recommended the staff alternative, which consists of measures included in PG&Eís and NIDís proposals, as well as some of the mandatory conditions and recommendations made by state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations, and some additional measures developed by the staff.