PG&E provided a presentation on the Prattville intake structure alternatives under study at a public meeting in Chester on Monday evening May 24th that was arranged and facilitated by Supervisor Bill Dennison. The purpose of the meeting was to update the local community on the on-going water temperature studies and provide an opportunity for them to ask questions and comment on the alternatives. Attached are the comments recorded on flip charts during the meeting. Responses are not included but were provided for many of the questions either at the meeting or in supplemental information provided before the meeting.
· Will it ruin the fishery in Lake Almanor as noted in the report from University of Iowa?
· You have three alternatives and the focus is on the one that should have been thrown out (the curtain).
· Why take water from Almanor to cool downstream reaches? Should take the water from someplace else.
· Is tonight’s presentation on the web site?
· You are considering spending so much to provide benefits to a few downstream anglers; it is an elitist idea to benefit a few at the cost to many.
· How are kayak releases related to lost power?
· Does 1-2º C. really make a difference to the fish? Will there be more expense associated with the DO (dissolved oxygen) problem?
· Did downstream relicensing make this temperature decrease necessary? If so, it was a bad deal to strike?
· What are the flow changes necessary to achieve temperatures downstream?
· How do the atmospheric conditions affect downstream water temperatures?
· Are there any alternatives that do not involve Lake Almanor?
· Who determines ‘beneficial uses’ and how can those be changed?
· The Rock Creek-Cresta agreement was a bad deal and the current modeling will not give the answers.
· Lake Almanor too valuable to be messed with. The construction would be too disruptive and unpredictable results. The example lakes with curtains are twice as deep as Lake Almanor.
· The plan will be compressing the cold water pool in the Lake.
· What is known about nutrient loading in the Lake? Concerned with algal blooms with temperature changes.
· Have you reviewed the recommendations provided by the retired CDFG employee (Dakota)?
· What are the suspected historic water temperatures without any of the facilities?
· This decision is driven by Rock Creek-Cresta agreements. Can those be renegotiated to relieve PG&E from this requirement?
· Clarify the logic behind the term ‘reasonableness’ when considering the impacts of these alternatives VS the benefits.
· Environmental impact modeling just scratches the surface: issues include multi-year drought scenarios, thermocline shift impacts, algae blooms triggered by temperature changes, cost, including litigation brought by property owners to mitigate for lost aesthetics and property values.
· Will there be an EIR prepared for this project?
· How does this decision affect license and provisions of signed settlement agreement?
· The modeling is for a fixed curtain – did you evaluate a mobile curtain to be deployed at certain times only?
· Curtain may be expensive experiment. Will you remove it if it proves to be a failure? Will the removal be at no charge to the ratepayer?
· Monitoring to determine success?
· How does this decision affect the license term? Would you do it if the license term were shorter?
· The community needs more timely release of information.
· The hooded pipe alternative didn’t seem to get a full evaluation.
· What is the change in temperature needed to initiate algae growth? Would a couple of degrees trigger a bloom?
· West side of the Lake has areas with marginal temperatures in the summer currently. This project could change the temperatures in these areas, crowding the fish into a smaller area. This could have impacts that don’t seem to have been considered. This project could require reconsideration of the fish planting numbers.
· East side fish structure in the Lake could be lost.
· What are the effects of the powerhouses on water temperature?
· What’s in it for us?
· Agreements are potentially affected by this proposal?
· How are the economics considered and water quality agreements compromised by this issue?
· Water quality testing may be needed more frequently.
· What does ‘reasonable’ mean? Does SWRCB need to prove ‘reasonable’?
· What is the timeline – when do you need to make a decision?
· Native fish introductions are requiring the cold water?
· Yellow Creek Powerhouse reduced fishery below Caribou. Were studies done at that time (that supported the decision) and how can you be sure of what this action will do?
· Studies at existing curtain structures? Have there been studies of economic and fishery impacts or benefits at those sites?
· Any benefits for Lake Almanor?
· Economic impacts to boat operators and repair shops if fishing declines?
· Eliminated options because they were too expensive – seems to ignore the impacts to Lake Almanor community. May work technically but it should not be considered feasible.
· Is diversion capped? What is that figure? Are you currently operating at maximum capacity?
· Have you done Secchi disk water clarity studies and modeled changes with temperature changes?
· Water quality of the Lake should be as important as the water quality downstream.
· How do we know that 20º C. will work? Seems like a lot of money to spend for a risky target.
· CDFG – fish ladder proposal had similar promises of success and that didn’t work. This is too risky for the Lake.
· Difference of temperature input VS output from powerhouses? Doesn’t it warm 2-3º as it passes through the turbines?
· This is about creating ideal conditions in the river that may or may not have existed in the past. The community needs to get organized and get behind blocking this experiment.
· Relicensing brought this on us?
· These are impacts on a broad community of stakeholders. How are you (PG&E) interacting with those people to hear the other side of the argument?
· How is the media covering both sides of the issue?
· What is required to counter those that favor this proposal?
· Will the web site be updated with this information?
· Have you ever ice-fished on this lake? Will withdrawal of cold water affect the ice forming in winter?
· Cost of a degraded lake to the local businesses?
· Algae growth on rainbow trout – is this a product of temperature conditions in the lake and will this worsen with the project? Have you studied this?
· Will aquatic weeds return with the curtain placement and impact multi-use recreation currently enjoyed at the lake?
· Have lawsuits been filed to force this action? By fishing organizations?
· Can SWRCB require this?
· If PG&E decommissioned the powerhouses, would the water cool down? Who would be the target to pay for lowering temperatures then?
· What was the ditch created for? Seems close to Goose Island – will that be affected by temperature changes?
· Where were the other meetings and who attended?
· Will all alternatives be detailed and discussed at the collaborative meetings before a decision is made? When are the future meetings?
· Comparing Whiskeytown to Almanor – how do you consider economic development at Almanor?
· How will you be able to impact the Butt Valley trout fishery - will CDFG permit that?
· Provide information through Bill Dennison’s newspaper column in a timely manner.
· Do the fishermen downstream know the effects they are going to have on the fishermen upstream at the Lake?
· Do we direct questions regarding ‘reasonableness’ to the SWRCB?
· Details of the construction effort including timing and level of lake during construction and dredging, placement of the curtain and drawdown.
· Why can’t you place a refrigeration unit on the pipeline to the powerhouse and leave the Lake alone? Has this been studied?
· How will the ice impact the curtain?
· What started the SWRCB on this idea?
· How can SWRCB support the dredging and placement of all that material? Seems contradictory.