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E-M:/ Au Train River Hydroelectric FERC permit

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

Enviro-Mich List recipients will be interested in the following 
response from a Michigan DNR official
on the Au Train River Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission permit....

PS  IMHO, for what it is worth, the mouth of the Au Train 
River has got to be one of the best family swimming spots
in the State of Michigan....(nothing to do with the dam 
on M-94 several miles upstream)....


>From bin  Mon Jul  7 11:50:01 1997
From: whelang@dnrserver1.dnr.state.mi.us
Date: Mon, 07 Jul 97 11:53:34 -0500
Subject: Au Train River Hydroelectric Project
To: asagady@sojourn.com


The announcement concerning the Final Environmental Assessment does concern
the licensing of the AuTrain Hydroelectric Project.  This is the first
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for this project which is operated by
Upper Peninsula Power Co. who bought the project from CCI.  There are a
number of very positive articles in this license including modified
run-of-river operation (no peaking with daily flood and drought flows) with
a 50 cfs minimum flow at all times, a minimum reservoir elevation of 773.7
feet (8 feet of total allowable drawdown vs. unlimited now), an emergency
flow system for plant shutdowns (none exist now when the reservoir is below
the spillway), a good compliance record system including funding the
existing USGS gauging station below the powerhouse, exotic plant control
plan for purple loosestrife and Eurasian milfoil control (if and when
found), woody debris transport, a riparian buffer zone averaging 200 feet,
bald eagle protection measures in the rip!
arian buffer zone (approx. 200 feet from the shoreline), a wildlife
management plan in the riparian buffer zone, recreational site improvements
(to include an Upper AuTrain Falls viewing area, better signage, site
maintenance funds for the existing DNR Forest Campground, maintenance of the
primitive access site on the eastside)and bank erosion control.  While we
did not obtain all of the resource protections that we sought, we did
achieve sizeable improvements over the current and past situations which
will result in more fish and wildlife in the Au Train Basin and River.

If more information is needed, please contact me.


*  Gary E. Whelan                 *
*  Habitat Protection Specialist  *
*  Michigan Department of         *
*    Natural Resources            *
*  Fisheries Division             *
*  P.O. Box 30446                 *
*  Lansing, MI 48909              *
*                                 *
*  Phone (517) 373-6948           *
*  FAX   (517) 373-0381           *

>[Federal Register: July 2, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 127)]
>[Page 35802-35803]
>>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
>Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
>[Project No. 10856-002]
>Upper Peninsula Power Company; Notice of Availability of
>Environmental Assessment
>June 26, 1997.
>    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
>and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission's)
>Regulations, 18 CFR 380 (Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897), the Office of
>Hydropower Licensing has reviewed the application for an original
>license for the Au Train Hydroelectric Project, located on the Au Train
>River, in Alger County, Michigan; and has prepared an Environmental
>Assessment (EA) for the project. In the EA, the Commission's staff has
>analyzed the potential environmental impacts of the existing project
>and has concluded that approval of the project, with appropriate
>environmental protection measures, would not constitute a major federal
>action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.
>    Copies of the EA are available for review in the Public Reference
>Branch, Room 2-A, of the Commission's offices at 888 First Street N.E.,
>Washington, D.C. 20426. For further information,
>[[Page 35803]]
>please contact Frank Karwoski at (202) 219-2782.
>Lois D. Cashell,
>[FR Doc. 97-17330 Filed 7-1-97; 8:45 am]

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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