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Dam delays Preliminary Application

by Lorien Nettleton ~ October 28th, 2011

The Alaska Energy Authority has postponed filing the Preliminary Application Document for the Susitna Watana Dam while it negotiates with State and Federal Agencies to outline the studies and workflow of the massive hydro-electric project.

The Preliminary Application Document, or PAD, identifies project details, resources and anticipated impacts of the proposed Susitna Dam, and establishes a series of strict deadlines for the licensing process. Once the PAD is filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, it starts the clock on the project, establishing a strict timeline in which studies, scoping, and hearings must all be completed. The AEA originally planned to file the PAD in November, but multiple State and Federal agencies said the timeframe wouldn’t allow them time to complete studies of the proposed Dam’s impact.

In an announcement released Thursday night, the AEA says it has filed a Preliminary Permit Application for the Dam. The announcement says filing the Preliminary Permit Application gives a priority to the AEA’s license application, effectively holding the Susitna Dam project’s place in line while issues between AEA, Alaska State Agencies and Federal Agencies can be resolved.

At meetings on Monday and Tuesday of this week, representatives from State and Federal Agencies met to discuss studies that will need to be completed in the summer of 2012 after the PAD is filed. More than one agency representative reiterated their objection to the strict deadlines, saying that the agencies would have to reprioritize a number of projects and reallocate personnel to meet the requirements of this filing.

According to the AEA’s press release, the PAD will be filed on December 29th.

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