Project 2105 License Group (2105LG) Approved Meeting Summary – June 12, 2003
Call to order: Patti Kroen, Facilitator at 9:10 a.m.
Attendees: See Attachment 1 for list of attendees. Participants approved the June 12, 2003 meeting agenda and the May 22, 2003 meeting summary without revision.
The Facilitator reviewed the progress on action items since the last 2105LG meeting. PG&E is investigating access across private property near Westwood. PG&E is preparing a letter describing several options to obtain an easement from the three landowners involved but is not optimistic and reported only one owner showing any positive interest. PG&E confirmed that condemnation is an option however, not one they wish to explore. Tom Jereb noted that comments on Hamilton Branch amendment are due July 11, 2003 and added that he expects to know if the amendment will be filed with FERC by the end of July. The decision is dependent on the bankruptcy court’s ruling on the company’s Plan for Reorganization.
Bill Dennison described the status of the MOU between PG&E and Plumas County. While there is agreement on a number of components included in the draft MOU, Tom Jereb confirmed that PG&E does not intend to sign an MOU at this time but is preparing a letter that will outline what they plan to do. Bill reported that Plumas County is preparing a paper and will request the safety details from the MOU be included in the 2105 license.
Bob Lambert described the website he maintains for the 2105 Committee and will post the approved meeting summaries and protocol provided by the Facilitator. The website address is www.project2105.org.
Wayne Dyok drafted a letter to FERC requesting a delay in their scheduled notice of ‘ready for environmental analysis’ (REA) to accommodate the collaborative and, through a series of e-mails the letter was finalized, signed by PG&E on behalf of the 2105LG collaborative and sent to FERC on June 3, 2003 (Attachment 2). Tom Jereb reported that FERC in Washington, D.C. has contacted the San Francisco FERC office to discuss this project. Tom will contact John Mudrie with FERC on Monday (June 16, 2003) to follow-up on the letter.
Wayne reported that the settlement agreement language acceptable to NOAA Fisheries and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and based in large part on the Rock Creek-Cresta Settlement Agreement has been forwarded to PG&E to begin work on the boilerplate sections of the settlement agreement. The language will be adjusted as necessary to fit the needs of the 2105 settlement agreement; the sample agreement or ‘template’ is meant to be guidance only and does not imply acceptance by any stakeholder.
The Facilitator noted that the subcommittee to discuss whitewater flows met earlier in the week and deferred an update on that meeting to later in the agenda. Tom Jereb reported that Stu Running would provide the Thomas Payne Lake Almanor fishery study scope via e-mail upon his return. Jerry Mensch reported that he had received no comments on the wetland and riparian proposal. Tom Jereb responded that PG&E would wait until the Hamilton Branch amendment issue is resolved before addressing the proposal. Jerry suggested that the proposal be considered as part of the 2105 license even without the amendment.
Plumas County, PG&E and the private gravel operator met to discuss the potential marina/dredging project at Chester and Bill Dennison’s notes from that meeting were distributed (see Attachment 3) and reviewed. Tom Jereb reported that PG&E is preparing a letter response to the channel/access project and noted that they are not in favor of the proposal and prefer the North Shore campground access alternative because that site is centrally located and completely on PG&E land. Tom noted that PG&E is responsible for reasonable access and cited the expense and uncertainty of a project that would require an agreement between PG&E, the Forest Service and a private, third party. He noted that if the County wanted to enter into a partnership with others to construct and operate the project, they could submit a proposal to PG&E for consideration.
There is no swimming facility planned for the North Shore site and the 2105LG discussed the adequacy of the North Shore area in late summer when water levels begin to drop. John Mintz with PG&E distributed a figure indicating shoreline management zones (Attachment 4) and pointed out that the conservation designation, chosen to protect wildlife characteristics, proposed for the area of the proposed channel and marina complicates the channel issue and would need to be adjusted to consider the proposed access in the future. California Waterfowl has suggested a channel across the area would impact hunters by truncating access laterally along the shoreline. Dennison requested that the conservation designation be removed from this portion of the shoreline to allow future consideration of the channel and marina proposal.
Draft Water Quality Monitoring and Coordination:
Aaron Seandel discussed the differences between the 2105 Committee’s water quality monitoring program and the changes proposed by PG&E. The participants reviewed the current role of DWR in sampling Lake Almanor and the uncertainty of their future participation. Aaron stressed the importance of water quality to the local community and their desire to have a comprehensive monitoring program. The participants suggested that the licensee should have the responsibility to coordinate and compile data collected by PG&E, DWR and others. The 2105 Committee requested provisions be included for cost increases over time to continue support of the monitoring program and discussed the need for analytical assistance. Sharon Stohrer pointed out that a monitoring plan without an action plan is of little value.
The 2105LG discussed the desire to include a general discussion of and commitment to the water quality-monitoring plan within the license but to leave out many of the specific details to allow for adjustments over time. The participants discussed the need to have SWRCB involvement and DWR buy-in on the program with a future level of commitment from the State identified. Aaron will coordinate a meeting to include Jerry Boles with DWR, Sharon Stohrer with SWRCB, and representatives of the Lassen National Forest, Plumas County, PG&E, and the 2105 Committee to consider the suggested additions and finalize the proposal. Christi Goodman will work with Aaron to provide appropriate draft language for inclusion in the 2105 license and settlement and bring the draft to the 2105LG for review and approval.
Whitewater Subcommittee Update:
The Facilitator described the efforts of the Whitewater subcommittee to identify issues and specific study needs during their meeting earlier in the week. She reminded the 2105LG that American Whitewater had previously presented their flow proposal to the 2105LG and currently LAWLAF is incorporating the flow schedule in model runs to determine effects on water supply (lake level) and temperatures. The Whitewater subcommittee identified biological and recreation or social issues and began to describe the specific information needs for decision-making. Issues include cold water pool availability, effects on aquatic resources, changes to the terrestrial-riparian interface, water quality effects, impacts on angler use, safety concerns, effects on other recreation users and changes to existing management approach. She explained that the subcommittee began to identify specific studies needed and will continue that effort. Specific questions to answer include acceptability of the proposed flow schedule, whether additional facilities such as campgrounds, parking and access points would address the Forest Service concerns with carrying capacity, and if funding is available for additional facilities. The subcommittee plans to meet again on July 16th at the Forest Service Office in Oroville and again on July 25th. The subcommittee is interested in incorporating a field visit with the July 25th meeting date.
Sue Norman representing the Forest Service indicated that the Regional Office has an interest in becoming more involved with the lake level discussions. They are meeting in late June to develop their goals using current flows and also considering seasonal and special flow opportunities and Sue added they expect to have something to share by July 16th.
Text Revisions to SMP:
Christi Goodman reported that Plumas County staff and consultants have compared the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) to the County General Plan and have several recommendations for changes where the SMP is inconsistent with county zoning. None of the changes are considered significant or controversial. Plumas County and PG&E are scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss the revisions to this and the Recreation Management Plan (RMP).
Text Revisions to RMP:
Text revisions related to three items will be discussed by Plumas County and PG&E tomorrow and brought to the 2105LG for consideration at their June 26th meeting: 1) inclusion of the language provided and approved earlier related to identification of alternative sites for recreation development in the event the proposed sites are determined to be inappropriate for development due to cultural or endangered species concerns, 2) clarification of construction triggers, and 3) closer vehicle access for Catfish Beach. Harry Williamson suggested language in the RMP related to whitewater flows needs to be revised because currently such flows are specifically excluded from consideration. The 2105LG agreed to note that the provision of whitewater flows is an issue under consideration. Tom Jereb added that PG&E would provide cost estimates to the 2105LG for whitewater flows in the near future.
The 2105LG discussed the Red River Deed and agreed that although it is an important document for shoreline property owners, it is not appropriate to include it in the FERC license.
LAWLAF Scenario Development Update:
Christi Goodman provided a brief update on the continuing efforts of the LAWLAF. She reported that the subcommittee has made good progress in understanding the constraints of the system and feels confident that they are on the right track to provide a flow recommendation that is supported by the attribute tables and rationale document. The models developed by Bruce McGurk and Scott Tu have been tested and refined and are currently providing valuable data to the LAWLAF. She added that the subcommittee would provide a detailed recommendation at the next 2105LG meeting.
The 2105LG briefly discussed the potential to alter the Western Canal Agreement and PG&E noted that there would be little incentive for the Western Canal directors to alter the agreement that delivers water to them through the Oroville facilities. Bill Dennison noted that he might contact the directors to determine if there is any interest in delaying delivery 15 days to assist in maintaining Lake Almanor lake level later in the season.
Steven Schoenberg representing the FWS asked if the subcommittee had made any decisions on pulse flows within Butt Creek. Christi responded that the LAWLAF has focused on trying to define flows in the Seneca and Belden reaches and the brief discussion on Butt Creek reach to date in the subcommittee has identified the reach as very steep and prone to increased sediment inflow with high flows. FWS has an interest in seeing the documentation related to potential environmental effects of pulse flows in the Butt Creek reach. Christi will take the issue back to the LAWLAF and encouraged FWS to attend the next meeting if possible.
Tom Jereb reported that PG&E is funding a trip for interested members of the 2105LG to visit the University of Iowa Prattville temperature modification model. The model was constructed under the Rock Creek-Cresta project agreement. The tour will take place during the week of June 16th.
The Facilitator reminded participants that the next 2105LG meeting is scheduled for June 26, 2003 at the Forest Service Office on Mitchell Avenue in Oroville. The agenda is expected to include the review of text revisions for the Shoreline Management Plan, the Recreation Management Plan, and an in-depth presentation and recommendations from LAWLAF.
q Action Item 31: Facilitator will provide Bob Lambert with approved meeting summaries for posting to the 2105 Committee website.
Due Date: June 2003 and then on-going
q Action Item 32: Tom Jereb will follow-up by telephone with John Mudrie of FERC regarding the letter requesting delay.
Due Date: June 26, 2003.
q Action Item 33: Coordinate with DWR, SWRCB, Lassen National Forest, Plumas County, PG&E and 2105 Committee to resolve issues related to the water quality monitoring program and prepare language for inclusion in the 2105 license and settlement agreement. (This action item replaces Action Item #18).
Due Date: July 10, 2003.
· The 2105LG agreed to note that the provision of whitewater flows is an issue under consideration.
· The 2105LG agreed that although the Red River Deed is important to shoreline property owners, it is not appropriate to include it in the FERC license.
Upcoming 2105LG meeting dates and tentative locations:
June 26 Oroville
July 10 Chico
July 24 Chico
July 31 Chester
Attachment 1: List of Attendees
Marvin Alexander 2105 Committee
Kathy Brown USFWS
Bill Dennison Plumas County Supervisor
Wayne Dyok* MWH
Christi Goodman Plumas County
Tom Jereb PG&E
Patti Kroen Kroen
Bob Lambert 2105 Committee
Jerry Mensch* CSPA
Sue Norman* USFS
Lisa Randle PG&E
Steve Robinson MMC
Steven Schoenberg USFWS
Aaron Seandel 2105 Committee
Sharon Stohrer* SWRCB
Charles White PG&E
Harry Williamson National Parks Service
Attachment 2: Letter to FERC: Request for Change in Issuance Date
of Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis (hard copy available on request)
Attachment 3: Meeting Notes: Proposed Chester/Lake Almanor Access from feather River Rock Area, May 9, 2003
Proposed Chester/Lake Almanor Access
Feather River Rock Area
May 9th, 2003
Attendees: Judi Lee (Feather River Rock Owner), Rouland Cantu (Feather River Rock employee), Mike Willhoit, 2105 Committee member, Mark Sanford (PG&E Land Management staff representing Tom Jereb), Marty Byrne (Plumas County Engineering, representing Tom Hunter), Lois Charlton (USFS representing Lake Almanor Ranger District and the Lassen N.F. Supervisor’s office) and Bill Dennison, Plumas County Supervisor and Chairman of the 2105 Committee.
The meeting at the Feather River Rock Co. office was arranged by Dennison as the first step toward developing details to a proposal to provide public access for boating, swimming and other recreational opportunities to the Chester area. It was understood that this was an exploratory meeting to be used in moving the proposal forward in time to be included in the FERC #2105 Relicensing project, but would not develop any obligation on the part of PG&E at this time.
Dennison and the attendees reviewed some of the following issues about the project:
Mark Sanford summarized the project that PG&E had developed preliminary engineering and other project costs at a site near the mouth of the NFFR. Some of the details included:
From the discussion above, Dennison requested that Sanford determine if PG&E would be the proponent for the project and let him know.
Feather River Rock presented their details for consideration of the project, which included the following:
The Group discussed the physical needs of the project:
From the discussions above, it was agreed that:
I will appreciate additions, or corrections to my meeting notes.
(e-mail to Mark Sanford from Bill Dennison)
Here are my notes from our May 9, 2003 meeting. Please review them for corrections and additions and let me know if there is need for amendments. Also, note the action items requested including the determination of whether or not we can expect PG&E to assist us by assuming the position of a project proponent.
One significant item that was not discussed, is that the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) should eliminate the Conservation zoning designation in the area we are proposing for the channel to be constructed. That is being proposed in the Plumas County SMP amendments.
Plumas County also must be able to review the cultural sites map to ascertain if there are situations that will require special consideration.
In summary, this is a very important proposal to be included in the FERC #2105 relicensing proposal. I am aware of several obstacles, however I believe that with positive attitudes from all parties the project is realistic. With the potential savings of eliminating the North Shore Campground proposal, the Swim Beach area on the West Shore, authorizing the utilization of gravel removal within the channel boundaries (without charge), some supplemental costs for permit fees, over-burden removal, de-waterization and cooperation by PG&E, Plumas County, Feather River Rock Co. and Forest Service this project can be accomplished.
After we have received the feasibility/work plan from Feather River Rock I will request a meeting with Tom Jereb to determine details for further action on the proposed project.
Thank you for taking the time to meet with us and review the plans that PG&E had developed for the same type of project north of this proposal. Your expertise will be important to us as we move forward to determine the final project requirements.
Attachment 4: Figure 5-1: Shoreline Management Zones (hard copy available on request)