Project 2105 License Group (2105LG) Approved Meeting Summary
June 22, 2005
Call to order: Patti Kroen, Facilitator at 10:00 a.m.
Attendees: See Attachment 1 for list of attendees that signed in. The attendees introduced themselves and approved the meeting agenda. The Facilitator noted there were no comments or revisions provided for the May 24, 2005 meeting summary and the 2105LG approved the summary without revision. Plumas County inquired about the status of Jerry Mensch as representative of CSPA for the 2105LG. The Facilitator noted that Jerry had signed the settlement agreement as a consultant to CSPA and she had received no indication that his status had changed. Plumas County requested that the Facilitator confirm CSPA’s representative for the 2105LG. Bob Lambert asked for clarification on which document prepared by Plumas County was distributed at the May 24th meeting because he would like to post the exact version of the document on the web site. Plumas County will provide Bob with the correct version for posting.
Review Table for Alternative D
Plumas County provided copies of a chart prepared by Plumas Corporation consultant Jim Wilcox, detailing his 20+ years of hands-on efforts in support of the East Branch, North Fork Feather River restoration program (Attachment 2). The chart identifies projects by sub-watershed and stream name, miles or acres involved in the restoration effort, type of activities either underway or planned, and unit plus total costs. Plumas County noted that the contracts with Feather River CRM have been very cost effective because Mr. Wilcox does most of the work himself, using rental equipment. Plumas County described the multiple funding sources tapped to do this work and PG&E noted their past involvement in funding some of these activities in the upper watershed. The 2105LG discussed the need to add information related to temperature effects and/or monitoring activities designed to determine benefits derived from the restoration efforts and considered inviting someone from Plumas Corporation to attend a future 2105LG meeting to discuss their efforts.
The group discussed the CEQA concept of off-site, compensatory mitigation as an alternative to on-site mitigation options. The FS considers compensatory mitigation in this circumstance to be a viable alternative if no reasonable alternative is identified to mitigate temperature increases within the Project area. The SWRCB pointed out that the consideration of off-site mitigation opens up the possibility that projects could be undertaken far removed from the Project area, including outside the Feather River watershed if it is determined that more benefits would be derived. The 2105LG identified the need to further develop Alternative D with information on appropriate project types and locations and specific dollar amounts to be invested. PG&E reminded the group that an earlier presentation by Mike Kassow reported localized temperature benefits from upper watershed restoration activities but little anticipated change to downstream temperature conditions. Plumas County pointed out that in addition to local temperature benefits, restoration activities have increased water retention in the upper watersheds, resulting in the natural release of stored water to the system occurring later in the season than before these improvements were made to the watersheds. The SWRCB requested that Kassow’s presentation be re-distributed to the 2105LG.
Action Item: PG&E will re-distribute Mike Kassow’s presentation.
CEQA Update and Preliminary Schedule
The SWRCB reported that North State Resources, Inc. has signed the contract to prepare the integrated document for CEQA and Basin Plan compliance. Document transfer has been initiated and the SWRCB indicated that they are currently waiting for additional documents and data from PG&E that they consider critical for development of the Notice of Preparation (NOP), which will identify scoping meeting dates. No schedule was provided but the SWRCB indicated a scoping meeting would not likely occur before Labor Day. Plumas County expressed their concern that if the scoping meeting is delayed until after Labor Day, the local, part-time residents will have left the area and the meeting will not meet their expectations nor would it generate as much attendance as it would if the meeting were held before Labor Day. The SWRCB agreed that they would also rather be further along in the process at this time but their contractors need some time to familiarize themselves with the project issues and specific technical data before holding scoping meetings.
The SWRCB indicated that they would undertake a preliminary evaluation of Alternative A (thermal curtain) as requested by Assemblyman Keene but would not generate a written report. Plumas County and the SWRCB will re-visit the request to ensure that such a preliminary evaluation will not hinder progress on development of the NOP or scoping schedule. The SWRCB also reviewed the status of the 401 Water Quality Certification application that was accepted on September 7, 2004, starting a one-year clock to complete the environmental documentation. The application will likely be re-submitted by PG&E to ‘re-set’ the clock before the current year period expires in September.
Discuss Development of Recommendations to SWRCB
The 2105LG agreed to defer development of recommendations to SWRCB and instead agreed to initiate a sub-group to further develop Alternative D as compensatory mitigation. The alternative will focus on headwater restoration activities and the sub-group will describe anticipated temperature benefits, and identify potential locations and costs, using the template developed during evaluation of the other 24 options to guide the level of detail included. The alternative will focus on cold, fresh water habitat and other beneficial uses as described in the Basin Plan. The sub-group will include representatives from Plumas Corporation, Plumas County, FS, CDFG, and PG&E. Participants are encouraged to review the beneficial uses described in the Basin Plan (located on the SWRCB web site) for Region 5.
Future Meeting Schedule
The group anticipates an update on the CEQA process and schedule at the next meeting. The group will also discuss development of recommendations to the SWRCB at their next full meeting.
The 2105LG agreed to the following meeting schedule:
July 11 Oroville (FS)
July 18 Chico
July 29 Chico
August 24 Chico
September 22 Chico
Attachment 1: List of Attendees
Fred Davis Property Owner
Bill Dennison Plumas County
Wayne Dyok MWH
Tom Hunter Plumas County
Tom Jereb PG&E
Patti Kroen Facilitator
Bob Lambert 2105 Committee
Bruce McGurk PG&E
Stuart Running PG&E
Aaron Seandel 2105 Committee
Fred Shanks Property Owner at Lake Almanor
Terri Simon-Jackson USFS
Sharon Stohrer SWRCB
Mike Taylor USFS
Scott Tu PG&E
Mike Wilhoit 2105 Committee
Attachment 2 (Separate file)