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Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEISs)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Lassen Lodge Hydroelectric Project (P-12496-002)
Issued: December 4, 2017

Commission staff prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for Rugraw LLC’s (Rugraw) proposed 5.0-megawatt (MW) Lassen Lodge Hydroelectric Project No. 12496-002. Rugraw used the Traditional Licensing Process (TLP) and filed its application for an original license on April 21, 2014.

The project would be located on upper South Fork Battle Creek in Tehama County, California, about 1.5 miles west of the town of Mineral. The project would occupy no federal land or Indian reservations. Rugraw has recorded long-term and/or Grant Deed easements for project facilities on approximately 0.4 percent (82 acres) of the project area. The primary project purpose is for 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; aquatic habitat and fauna, botanical, and wildlife habitat; effects on aesthetics; and protection of cultural resources.

In the draft EIS, Commission staff recommend licensing the project as proposed by Rugraw with some staff modifications and additional measures. Commission staff determined that: (1) the project would provide a dependable source of electrical energy for the region (25,000 MWh annually); (2) the 5.0 MW of electric capacity would come from a renewable resource that would not contribute to atmospheric pollution, including greenhouse gases; and (3) the recommended environmental measures proposed by Rugraw, as modified by staff, would adequately protect and enhance environmental resources affected by the project. The overall benefits of the staff alternative would be worth the cost of the proposed and recommended environmental measures. The deadline to comment on the draft EIS is February 2, 2018.