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Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEISs)


Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Project (P-13563-003)
Issued: October 29, 2015

Commission staff, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for Juneau Hydropower, Inc.’s (Juneau Hydro) proposed 19.8-megawatt (MW) Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13563-003. Juneau Hydro used the Alternative Licensing Process (ALP) and filed its application for an original license on May 29, 2014.

The project would be located on Sweetheart Lake and Sweetheart Creek in the City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska. The project would occupy 2,058.24 acres of federal lands within the Tongass National Forest, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

The primary issues associated with constructing and operating the project include: erosion and sedimentation; instream flows in Sweetheart Creek; fish entrainment; effects on fish habitat in Sweetheart Lake and Sweetheart Creek; maintaining a personal-use fishery for sockeye salmon; loss of vegetation, wetlands, and wildlife habitat; effects on marine mammals including the federally listed humpback whale and Western DPS Steller sea lion; effects on aesthetics; and protection of cultural resources.

In the draft EIS, Commission staff recommended the staff alternative, which consists of measures included in Juneau Hydro’s proposal, as well as additional mandatory conditions and recommendations made by state and federal agencies, and some measures developed by the staff.

Comments on the draft EIS must be filed by Tuesday, December 29, 2015, and should reference Project No. 13563-003.