Project 2105 License Group (2105LG) Approved Meeting Summary – August 15, 2003
Call to order: Patti Kroen, Facilitator at 9:00 a.m.
Attendees: See Attachment 1 for list of attendees. Participants approved the August 15, 2003 meeting agenda and noted some potential re-ordering that might be necessary depending on key participant availability. The 2105LG reviewed a revision to the July 31, 2003 meeting summary provided by Bob Lambert and agreed to a minor revision with clarification that the 2105 Committee’s request for information described in the second paragraph of page 3 refers to flow data out of Lake Almanor. The 2105LG approved the July 31, 2003 meeting summary with the suggested revision.
Action Item #33: Regarding resolution of water quality monitoring program issues, a meeting is scheduled for August 11 with a report to the 2105LG on August 28.
Action Items #35 and 36: Tom Hunter provided runway orientation information included in the airport expansion plans and transferred electronic map files to John Mintz.
Action Item # 41: Regarding additional modeling and graphics for County proposed flow revisions, the 2105LG recognized that the discussion would be more productive if Bruce McGurk were available to participate and deferred the topic to the August 28th meeting.
Action Item #42: Revisions to Natural Hazards Safety Plan will be reviewed at this meeting. See discussion below.
Action Items #44: PG&E distributed the boilerplate documents.
Action Item #45: FS distributed recreation proposal.
Discussion on Revised LAWLAF Tables:
Mike Taylor reported that LAWLAF met on August 12th to revise the summary tables and better quantify the information when possible. He noted that due to the absence of both Scott Tu and Bruce McGurk, the sub-group was unable to include modeling results for the most recent County proposed runs. He distributed a table comparing flow proposals using physical, biological and social attributes and pointed out that the handout includes a brief description of the rationale used in developing the table (see Attachment 2). The 2105LG suggested columns be added for the existing 35cfs and the PG&E proposed 75cfs and the table completed for habitat attributes.
Stu Running distributed a table describing maximum wetted usable area (WUA) for all water year types under the LAWLAF scenario (Attachment 3) and a table describing WUA under critical dry conditions for the Seneca 2 (75 cfs average), current 35cfs and PG&E proposed 75cfs release (Attachment 4). The 2105LG suggested that for comparisons, it would be useful to compare the results for normal water year condition. Plumas County expressed concern with the increased flows proposed above 75cfs and suggested that since current flows support a good fishery, more than doubling that to 75cfs should afford good improvement. The County asked for justification for increasing flows beyond that. Mike Taylor noted the FS goal is a great fishery in both the river and the lake and will not sacrifice one for the other. The County supported that goal. Jerry Mensch asked for clarification on the County’s concern that the lake fishery and lake levels would be impacted by the LAWLAF flow proposal. Plumas County suggested that an adaptive management approach to flows might be appropriate to consider. The 2105LG was reminded that the Seneca 1 and 2 flow proposals were designed to provide bookends on a range of flows for consideration.
The table will be revised to include the existing 35cfs and PG&E’s original proposed 75cfs. Angling satisfaction will also be reviewed based on the angling study that was performed. Bruce McGurk is needed to run the model using County lake level constraints and provide impacts on power generation. Scott Tu is needed to provide temperature impacts and Stu Running will complete the tables for habitat values.
Natural Hazard Plan Revision Review:
Bill Zemke distributed a document outlining Plumas County comments on the proposed Natural Hazard Safety Plan and PG&E’s responses (See Attachment 5). PG&E will include Butt Valley Reservoir in the plan. The buoys were described and photos reviewed confirming those in use meet state and federal standards. PG&E commits to developing a bathometric base map for Lake Almanor but does not agree to conduct helicopter surveys for floating debris. Plumas County continues to disagree on the decision regarding helicopter surveys. The snag near Dorado Inn has been removed according to PG&E. PG&E will not install lighted buoys as requested by Plumas County. The number and location of buoys at Bucks Lake will be verified.
FS Recreation Proposal Discussion:
Mike Taylor reported that Michael Condon was unable to attend this meeting because he is currently participating in an internal Forest Service meeting intended to better define the FS position on whitewater flows. He added that the FS has another meeting scheduled for September 5th to discuss the current recreation proposed 4(e) conditions submitted to PG&E and copied to the 2105LG (Attachment 6). He requested that discussion on the draft conditions be deferred to the September 11th 2105LG meeting.
Tom Jereb offered PG&E’s perspective on their shared recreation responsibilities as reflected in their FERC application. He added that PG&E is currently developing a cost estimate based on the FS proposed condition and believes that it may equal the proposed new $7 million eastside campground. Tom also informed the 2105LG that FERC may ask for any final amendments to the license application within 60 days and possibly as early as the end of August. He will need to make a decision at that time whether any revisions will need to be made to the proposed recreation plan to accommodate the latest FS proposal for 4(e) conditions.
Tom Jereb briefly reviewed questions PG&E posed to the FS related to the proposal and the 2105LG discussed the potential to set user fees to recover capital improvements and/or operations and maintenance costs. The 2105LG reviewed Bill Dennison’s comments distributed to the group in advance of the meeting. Regarding the new license term, Tom noted that the term is negotiable but PG&E has always been asking for a 50-year term, understanding that FERC will likely decide on something less than 50 years and may consider lining up the licenses within the watershed to expire in concert. Eric Theiss stated NOAA Fisheries’ desire to see the Upper North Fork license term linked to Rock Creek-Cresta, Poe, and Oroville license terms.
PG&E noted that the marina remains of interest to the County and confirmed that an application from another entity would be considered but PG&E would not construct. PG&E also confirmed their position that a swimming pool in Chester is not project-related however could potentially be negotiated within Appendix B. Wayne Dyok requested that the following language contained in 18CFR 2.7 be included in the meeting summary:
“The Commission will not object to licensees and operators of recreational facilities within the boundaries of a project charging reasonable fees to users of such facilities in order to help defray the cost of constructing, operating, and maintaining such facilities.”
Document Section Review:
Wayne Dyok distributed a revised Lake Almanor Water Levels article for review and discussion at the August 28th meeting (See Attachment 7). PG&E will try to determine the effects of the proposed water levels on successive dry years for the discussion at the next meeting.
RMP – Results of Zoning Review:
John Mintz provided a handout summarizing the Plumas County zoning classifications and allowed uses (See Attachment 8) and a revised map indicating shoreline management zones as proposed by PG&E (Attachment 9). Using oversized maps displayed on the walls the 2105LG discussed revisions based on Plumas County comments. John explained that during a 2105 Environmental Inspection, FERC expressed concern with marina congestion and PG&E’s policy to address the issue. He added that the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) attempts to address FERC’s concern and focus additional marina development in areas that can accommodate the growth.
John explained that PG&E is interested in establishing some areas as conservation zones consistent with the resource values of the areas. Plumas County asked if the zoning is consistent with terms of the Red River Deed and if it could potentially preclude development of marinas even with mitigation for impacts unless language specifically allowing for reconsideration is included? The County pointed out the term ‘zone’ has a specific meaning to the County and perhaps a different word should be used to avoid confusion with County zoning designations. PG&E asked Plumas County to suggest language that would give them the flexibility they need, perhaps as a preamble to Section 5 of the SMP for review by the 2105LG. PG&E will investigate consistency with the Red River Deed and report back to the 2105LG.
John shared a preliminary map under development to locate sensitive fishery and wetland habitat at Lake Almanor. The map is currently being reviewed by California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and is considered very preliminary but represents one of the tools under development to assist in resource management for Lake Almanor.
Bill Zemke provided copies of a video shot during test pulse flows on Rock Creek-Cresta to interested participants and offered to send copies to anyone that requests one.
The Facilitator reminded participants that the next 2105LG meeting is scheduled for August 28, 2003 at the PG&E facility on Rio Lindo in Chico. The meeting agenda is expected to include continued discussion of flow schedule proposals and modeling results with information from Bruce McGurk and Scott Tu. In addition, the agenda will include a report on the development of draft article language for water quality monitoring and a review of the lake level article revision. The 2105LG also agreed to discuss oversight at the August 28th 2105LG meeting and potentially revisions to RMP related to sensitive shoreline habitats.
The FS proposed 4(e) conditions will be discussed at the September 11th 2105LG meeting.
q Action Item 46: LAWLAF table will be revised to include the existing 35cfs and PG&E’s original proposed 75cfs. Angling satisfaction will also be reviewed based in the angling study that was performed. Bruce McGurk will run the model using County lake level constraints and provide impacts on power generation. Scott Tu will provide temperature impacts and Stu Running will complete the tables for habitat values.
Due Date: September 11, 2003
q Action Item 47: Verify number and location of buoys at Bucks Lake.
Due Date: September 11, 2003.
q Action Item 48: Use Bruce McGurk’ s model to determine the effects of the proposed Lake Almanor water levels on successive dry years.
Due Date: August 28, 2003.
q Action Item 49: Plumas County will provide additional language describing consideration for marina development within conservation zone.
Due Date: September 11, 2003.
q Action Item 50: Investigate consistency of conservation zones to Red River Deed.
Due Date: September 11, 2003.
Upcoming 2105LG meeting dates and tentative locations:
Date Group Location
August 19 Whitewater Sacramento, 9am-3pm
August 28 2105LG PG&E office, Rio Lindo, Chico, 9am-3:30pm
September 11 2105LG Holiday Inn, Chico, 9am-3:30pm
September 17 2105LG TBD, 9am-3:30pm
September 29 2105LG PG&E office, Rio Lindo, Chico, 9am-3:30pm
Attachment 1: List of Attendees
Wayne Dyok MWH
Robert Hughes* CDFG
Tom Hunter Plumas County
Tom Jereb PG&E
Patti Kroen Kroen
Bob Lambert 2105 Committee
Mike Meinz* CDFG
Jerry Mensch* CSPA
John Mintz PG&E
Stu Running PG&E
Mark Sanford PG&E
Steven Schoenberg FWS
Mike Taylor USFS
Eric Theiss NOAA Fisheries
Mike Willhoit 2105 Committee
Harry Williamson NPS
Bill Zemke PG&E
* Via telephone
Attachment 2: Summary table provided by LAWLAF (hardcopy available on request)
Attachment 3: Seneca Reach LAWLAF Flow WUA (hardcopy available on request)
Attachment 4: Seneca Reach Multiple Flow WUA (hardcopy available on request)
Attachment 5: Plumas County Proposals for Natural Hazard Safety Plan (hardcopy available on request)
Attachment 6: Draft 2105 Preliminary Recreation 4(e) License Conditions – Forest Service (hardcopy available on request)
Attachment 7: Revised Article – Lake Almanor Water Levels (hardcopy available on request)
Attachment 8: Plumas County Zoning Classifications and Allowed Uses (hardcopy available on request)
Attachment 9: Revised Figure 5-1: Shoreline Management Zones (hardcopy available on request)