The best way to get up to speed about the threat to Sunset Falls and the Skykomish river is to visit
This is condensed information mostly from snoPUD's 1000 page Draft License Application filed in January 2016.
SnoPUD is currently preparing their Final License Application to be filed with FERC. Once this is officially filed with FERC, it will trigger The Last 90 Day Public Comment Period before the project potentially gets approved. This will be a critical time to let FERC know how the people feel about it. This could occur this winter or in the spring. Construction would begin 2019.
Here are the basic talking points on the project:
A hydroelectric facility on the South Fork Skykomish is Against The Public Interest, Against The Law, and just a Bad Deal all around. It’s NOT a dam, by the way. It’s a run-of-river diversion. The semantics on that are important.
******-Bad for the Fish: Reduced flows would go against efforts to sustain ESA juvenile salmon and minimum flows set by Dept. Of Ecology (WAC 173-507-020).
******-Bad for Ratepayers: Costing $225+ million to be paid at 5% interest over 30 years is unjustifiable for such minimal energy, likely costing ratepayers 10-18 cents per kwh only to add 1-3% to snoPUD’s energy portfolio.
******-Bad for local Homeowners: blasting a 22 foot diameter tunnel through bedrock just 330 feet from an active landslide threatens safety and undermines water quality.
******-Bad for Washington: As a State Scenic River protected by RCW 79A.55, its free flowing status is an asset to future generations of people and salmon alike.
It will not produce reliable, or affordable power. There are many reasons why this proposal remains sketchy at best. Most notably, snoPUD’s commissioners seem disconnected from their own dismal financial data, and they don’t understand the hydrological cycles of the Skykomish and what the future looks like in the face of Climate Change.
Visit www.ratepayersforaccountability.org for details. Please comment today. Your voice makes a difference!