Local News

Water quality certification for hydropower license at Enloe Dam considered

Feb 10, 2012

As part of the licensing process for the Enloe Hydroelectric Project on the Similkameen River, the Washington Department of Ecology has prepared a draft document describing the conditions necessary for the project to meet state water quality standards for up to 50 years.

Public Utility District No. 1 of Okanogan County owns the existing dam near Oroville and is in the process of licensing a new hydroelectric project through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The dam was constructed in 1920, but ceased operation in 1959 because the generating equipment had become obsolete. The new proposed project would be located on the opposite side of the river from the old power plant. It would generate 9 megawatts of power - enough to power to serve about 7,200 homes.

The project doesn't currently have a federal operating license. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires non-federal projects to obtain a certification that the project will comply with the state's water quality standards for aquatic life and water quality standards such as temperature and dissolved oxygen.

Comments on the Enloe Dam 401 certification will be accepted until March 16, 2012. Comments may be sent either by e-mail to pirl461@ecy.wa.gov or mailed to Pat Irle, 15 W Yakima Ave, Suite 200, Yakima, WA 98902.
A copy of the draft water quality certification will be posted online on Feb. 15 at: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/ferc/draftwqcerts.html.

More information about the project is available online from the Okanogan PUD's website at http://www.okanoganpud.org/enloe/enloe.htm.

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