In April 2014, the Yuba County Water Agency (YCWA) filed an application for the relicensing of the Yuba River Hydroelectric Project in California. The Yuba River Project is located on Yuba River, Middle Yuba River and Oregon Creek in Yuba County, California. The Yuba River Project consists of one reservoir, two diversion dams, three hydroelectric power plants and multiple recreation facilities. The hydroelectric power plants have a power capacity of 361.9 MW.
In the relicensing application, the YCWA proposed the following:
1) Restoration of floodplains in the lower Yuba River
2) Flow regimes in project-affected reaches for aquatic resources
3) Spill cessation schedules following high-flow periods for whitewater boating opportunities
4) Protection of plant and wildlife resources and special-status species
5) Effects on threatened and endangered species
6) Recreation enhancements
7) Protection of cultural resources
In June 2016, the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the relicensing of the Yuba River Project. The FERC recommended in the draft EIS most of the recommendations in the YCWA’s initial application and additional recommendations from federal and state agencies. The FERC has requested comments on the draft EIS by July 30, 2018.
Personally, I am appalled the FERC took over two years to file a draft EIS on the Yuba River Project. Hydroelectric power provides low cost power without greenhouse gases. A bipartisan group of United States Senators and Congressmen are working together to reduce unnecessary bureaucratic red tape on applications and re-applications for hydroelectric projects. I fully support the bipartisan support for hydroelectric power in America.