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Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEISs)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project (P-12486-008)
Issued: September 30, 2015

Commission staff prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for Twin Lake Canal Company’s (Twin Lakes) proposed 10-megawatt (MW) Bear River Narrows Project No. 12486-008. Twin Lakes used the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) and filed its application for an original license on November 27, 2013.

The project would be located on the main stem of the Bear River in Franklin County, Idaho, about 9 miles northeast of the city of Preston. The project would occupy 658 acres of land, 243 acres of which is federal land administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. The primary project purposes are water storage for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.

The primary issues associated with constructing and operating the project are effects of project construction, operation, and maintenance on instream flows and water quality; loss of fish, botanical, and wildlife habitat; loss of recreational resources; effects on aesthetics; offsite mitigation for lost habitat in the portion of the Bear River to be inundated by the proposed reservoir, including aquatic (especially BCT), terrestrial, riparian, wetland, and wildlife habitat; protection and management of federally listed and special status species; vegetation management; management of noxious weeds and invasive plants; recreation access; management and maintenance of recreation sites; and protection of cultural resources.

In the draft EIS, Commission staff recommend the no action alternative (license denial) as the preferred alternative. Commission staff determined that the overall, unavoidable adverse environmental effects of licensing the project would outweigh the power and water storage benefits it would provide. The deadline to comment on the draft EIS is November 30, 2015.