[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 151 (Monday, August 7, 2006)]
[Pages 44691-44694]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-12718]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Project No. 2101-074]

Sacramento Municipal Utility District; Notice of Application and 
Applicant-Prepared EA Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Motions To 
Intervene and Protests, and Soliciting Comments, and Final 
Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Prescriptions

July 28, 2006.
    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application and 
applicant-prepared environmental assessment has been filed with the 
Commission and is available for public inspection.
    a. Type of Application: New--Major Modified License.
    b. Project No.: 2101.
    c. Date Filed: July 15, 2005.
    d. Applicant: Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
    e. Name of Project: Upper American River Project.
    f. Location: On the Rubicon River, Silver Creek, and South Fork of 
the American River near Placerville, California. The project affects 
6,375 acres of Federal land administered by the El Dorado National 
Forest and 54 acres of Federal land administered by the Bureau of Land 
    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791 (a)-825(r).
    h. Applicant Contact: David Hanson, Project Manager, Sacramento 
Municipal Utility District, 6301 S Street, Sacramento, California 
95817-1899. Phone: 916-732-6703 or e-mail: dhanson@smud.org.

[[Page 44692]]

    i. FERC Contact: Jim Fargo at (202) 502-6095, or e-mail: 
    j. Deadline for filing motions to intervene and protests, comments, 
and final recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions is 
60 days from the issuance date of this notice; reply comments are due 
105 days from the issuance date of this notice.
    All documents (original and eight copies) should be filed with: 
Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 
First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426.
    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing 
documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each 
person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an 
intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to 
the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a 
particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document 
on that resource agency.
    Motions to intervene and protests, comments, recommendations, terms 
and conditions, and prescriptions may be filed electronically via the 
Internet in lieu of paper. The Commission strongly encourages 
electronic filings. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions 
on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov) under the ``e-
Filing'' link.
    k. This application has been accepted for filing.
    l. Description of project: The project is located on the west slope 
of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, in El Dorado and Sacramento 
counties. The proposed project would be comprised of eight 
developments; seven of which are existing developments (Loon Lake, 
Robbs Peak, Jones Fork, Union Valley, Jaybird, Camino, and Slab Creek/
White Rock) constructed by SMUD from 1959 through 1985 under the 
initial FERC license, and one of which would be a new pumped storage 
development (Iowa Hill) proposed by SMUD to be constructed by 2015. 
Nearly all of the land surrounding the project reservoirs within the 
FERC Project Boundary is owned by the United States and administered by 
the Forest Service as part of the Eldorado National Forest (ENF). There 
are also several project-related recreation facilities, which are owned 
and operated by the ENF, at Loon Lake, Gerle Creek, Union Valley, and 
Ice House reservoirs. These recreation facilities are not project 
     Loon Lake Development--(1) Rubicon Dam--A 36-foot-high by 
644-foot-long, concrete gravity main diversion dam located on the 
Rubicon River, and a concrete gravity auxiliary dam that is 29-foot-
high by 553-foot-long. These structures create the Rubicon Reservoir; 
(2) Rockbound Tunnel--A 0.2-mile-long, 13-foot-diameter unlined 
horseshoe tunnel that diverts water from Rubicon Reservoir to Buck 
Island Reservoir via Rockbound Lake (a non-project facility) located on 
Highland Creek; (3) Buck Island Dam--A concrete gravity diversion dam 
located on the Little Rubicon River that is 23-feet-high by 293-feet-
long, and a 15-foot-high by 244-foot-long concrete gravity auxiliary 
dam. These structures create Buck Island Reservoir; (4) Buck-Loon 
Tunnel--A 1.6-mile-long, 13-foot-diameter unlined modified horseshoe 
tunnel that diverts water from Buck Island Reservoir to Loon Lake 
Reservoir; (5) Loon Lake Dam--A rockfill dam on Gerle Creek that is 
0.4-mile-long by 108-feet-high, with a 250-foot-long side channel 
spillway on the right bank, and a 910-foot-long by 95-foot-high 
rockfill auxiliary dam, and an earthfill dike. These create Loon Lake 
Reservoir; (6) Loon Lake Penstock--A 0.3-mile-long, 14-foot-diameter 
concrete-lined horseshoe tunnel; 10-foot-diameter concrete lined 
vertical shaft; and 8.5-foot-diameter steel lined tunnel that extends 
from Loon Lake Reservoir to Loon Lake Powerhouse; (7) Loon Lake 
Powerhouse--An underground powerhouse, located over 1,100 feet below 
the surface of the Loon Lake Reservoir, consisting of one turbine with 
a rated capacity of 70,479 kW at best gate opening and one generator 
rated at 85,215 kW, with powerhouse maximum capability of 82,000 kW; 
(8) Loon Lake Tailrace Tunnel--A 3.8-mile-long, 18-foot diameter 
unlined horseshoe tunnel that runs from Loon Lake Powerhouse and 
discharges into Gerle Creek Reservoir; and (9) Transmission Lines--Two 
69 kV overhead transmission lines: one extending to the Robbs Peak 
switchyard via the 7.9-mile-long Loon Lake-Robbs Peak Transmission 
Line, and the other extending to the Union Valley Switchyard via the 
12.4-mile-long Loon Lake-Union Valley Transmission Line.
     Robbs Peak Development--(1) Gerle Creek Dam--A 58-foot-
high, 444-foot-long concrete gravity overflow structure located on 
Gerle Creek, upstream of its confluence with SFRR, incorporating the 
intake of Gerle Creek Canal in its left abutment, creating Gerle Creek 
Reservoir; (2) Gerle Creek Canal--An above ground canal, 22-foot-wide 
and 19-foot-deep, extending 1.9 miles from Gerle Creek Reservoir to 
Robbs Peak Reservoir. It is partially lined with gunite; (3) Robbs Peak 
Dam--A 44-foot-high, 320-foot-long concrete gravity overflow structure, 
with 12 steel bulkhead gates, all 6.2-foot-high, on the spillway crest, 
located on the SFRR upstream of its confluence with Gerle Creek, that 
forms Robbs Peak Reservoir; (4) Robbs Peak Tunnel--A 3.2-mile-long, 13-
foot-diameter unlined horseshoe and 10-foot-diameter lined diversion 
tunnel from Robbs Peak Reservoir to Robbs Peak Penstock; (5) Robbs Peak 
Penstock--A 9.75-to 8.5-foot-diameter, 0.4-mile-long steel penstock 
from Robbs Peak Tunnel to Robbs Peak Powerhouse; (6) Robbs Peak 
Powerhouse--Located on the northeast shore of Union Valley Reservoir, 
equipped with one turbine that has a rated capacity at best gate 
opening of 28,125 kW, and one generator rated at 29,700 kW, with 
maximum capability of 29,000 kW; and (7) Robbs Peak-Union Valley 
Transmission Line--A 6.8-mile-long, 69 kV overhead line that connects 
the Robbs Peak switchyard to the Union Valley switchyard.
     Jones Fork Development--(1) Ice House Dam--A rockfill dam 
located on the South Fork Silver Creek, 0.3-mile-long and 150-foot-
high, incorporating a concrete ogee spillway with radial gates, and two 
auxiliary earthfill dikes; these create the Ice House Reservoir; (2) 
Jones Fork Tunnel--A 0.3-mile-long, 8-foot-diameter horseshoe concrete- 
and steel-lined tunnel from Ice House Reservoir to the Jones Fork 
Penstock; (3) Jones Fork Penstock--A 1.6-mile-long, 6-foot-diameter 
steel and concrete penstock from Jones Fork Tunnel to the Jones Fork 
Powerhouse; (4) Jones Fork Powerhouse--Contains a turbine with a rated 
capacity at best gate opening of 10,400 kW, and one generator rated at 
11,495 kW, located on the southeast shore of Union Valley Reservoir; 
with maximum capability of 11,500 kW; and (5) Jones Fork-Union Valley 
Transmission Line--A 69 kV, 4.0-mile-long overhead transmission line 
from the Jones Fork switchyard to the Union Valley switchyard.
     Union Valley Development--(1) Union Valley Dam--An 
earthfill dam located on Silver Creek, 0.3-mile-long and 453-feet-high, 
incorporating a concrete ogee spillway with radial gates, creating 
Union Valley Reservoir; (2) Union Valley Tunnel--A 268-foot-long, 11-
foot-diameter concrete-lined tunnel with an approximately 10-foot-
diameter steel penstock in part of the tunnel and connecting Union 
Valley Reservoir with Union Valley Powerhouse; (3) Union Valley 
Penstock--A 0.3-mile-long, 10-foot-diameter steel penstock that conveys 
water from the outlet of the Union Valley Tunnel to the Union

[[Page 44693]]

Valley Powerhouse; (4) Union Valley Powerhouse--The powerhouse is 
equipped with one turbine with a rated capacity at best gate opening of 
40,074 kW, and one generator rated at 44,400 kW, located at the base of 
Union Valley Dam; with maximum capability of 46,700 kW; and (5) 
Transmission Lines--Two 230 kV overhead transmission lines, one to the 
Camino switchyard via the 11.8-mile-long Union Valley-Camino 
Transmission Line, and the other to the Jaybird switchyard via the 5.9-
mile-long Union Valley-Jaybird Transmission Line.
     Jaybird Development--(1) Junction Dam--A double curvature, 
concrete overflow arch dam located on Silver Creek that is 525 feet 
long and 168 feet high, creating Junction Reservoir; (2) Jaybird 
Tunnel--An 11- to 14-foot-diameter modified horseshoe tunnel 4.4-mile-
long, connecting Junction Reservoir and the Jaybird Penstock; (3) 
Jaybird Penstock--A 6- to 10-foot-diameter steel penstock with a surge 
tank that is 0.5-mile-long, connecting Jaybird Tunnel and Jaybird 
Powerhouse; (4) Jaybird Powerhouse--The powerhouse is equipped with two 
Pelton turbines, one with a rated capacity of 61,607 kW and the other 
61,574 kW at best gate opening, and two generators, each rated at 
84,450 kW; with total powerhouse maximum capability of 144,000 kW; and 
(5) Jaybird-White Rock Transmission Line--A 15.9-mile-long, 230 kV 
overhead transmission line connecting the Jaybird and White Rock 
     Camino Development--(1) Camino Dam--A concrete double 
curvature arch dam located on Silver Creek that is 470-foot-long and 
133-foot-high, and has three integral bulkhead gates. These structures 
create Camino Reservoir; (2) Camino Tunnel--A 5-mile-long power tunnel 
with a diameter ranging from 13 feet to 14 feet; and including a surge 
tank that connects Camino Reservoir with the Camino Penstock; (3) Brush 
Creek Dam--A double curvature arch dam located on Brush Creek, 213 feet 
high and 780 feet long, creating Brush Creek Reservoir; (4) Brush Creek 
Tunnel--An approximately 14-foot-diameter modified horseshoe tunnel 
extending 0.8 mile from Brush Creek Reservoir to the lower end of 
Camino Tunnel; (5) Camino Penstock--A 5-foot to 12-foot-diameter, 0.3-
mile-long above ground steel penstock connecting Camino Tunnel and 
Camino Powerhouse; (7) Camino Powerhouse--The powerhouse is located on 
the SFAR and is equipped with two turbines: One with a rated capacity 
of 73,760 kW and the other with a rated capacity at best gate opening 
of 70,769 kW with total powerhouse maximum capability of 150,000 kW. 
The powerhouse is also equipped with two generators rated at 90,820 kW 
each. Both generators are installed with secondary oil containment; and 
(8) Transmission Lines--Two 230 kV overhead transmission lines 
originate at the Camino Switchyard, one (Camino-Lake) is 31.7-mile-long 
and connects to SMUD's Lake Substation and the other (Camino-White 
Rock) is 10.0 miles long and connects to the White Rock Switchyard.
    Slab Creek/White Rock Development--(1) Slab Creek Dam--A double 
curvature variable radius concrete arch dam that stretches across the 
South Fork American River is 250 feet high and 817 feet long, with a 
central uncontrolled overflow spillway. The structures create Slab 
Creek Reservoir; (2) Slab Creek Penstock--A 40-foot-long, 24-inch-
diameter steel penstock that passes through the dam and connects Slab 
Creek Reservoir with Slab Creek Powerhouse; (3) Slab Creek Powerhouse--
The powerhouse, which is located at the base of Slab Creek Dam and 
utilizes minimum stream flow releases, has one turbine with a rated 
capacity at best gate opening of 450 kW, and one generator rated at 485 
kW, with a total powerhouse maximum capability of 400 kW; (4) White 
Rock Tunnel--an approximately 20- to 24-foot-diameter modified 
horseshoe tunnel 4.9-mile-long and has a surge shaft that connects Slab 
Creek Reservoir with White Rock Penstock; (5) White Rock Penstock--A 9- 
to 15-foot-diameter, 0.3-mile-long above-ground steel penstock that 
connects White Rock Tunnel to White Rock Powerhouse; (6) White Rock 
Powerhouse--The powerhouse is equipped with two turbines, one rated at 
112,976 kW and the other at 120,000 kW at best gate opening, and two 
generators, rated at 109,250 kW and 133,000 kW, with total powerhouse 
maximum capability of 224,000 kW; and (7) Transmission Lines--There are 
two 230 kV overhead transmission lines and one 12 kV distribution line. 
The two transmission lines, both 21.8 miles in length, connect the 
White Rock switchyard to SMUD's Folsom Junction. The 600-foot-long 12 
kV Slab Creek tap line connects the Slab Creek Powerhouse to the 
junction with Pacific Gas and Electric Company's 12-kV distribution 
    SMUD's Proposed Action includes the addition of the Iowa Hill 
Development. The development would be composed of the following 
features: (1) Iowa Hill Reservoir--A new off-stream, rock filled 
earthen dike of varying height depending on natural terrain (maximum 
height 280 feet) and 5,900 feet in circumference with a geotextile 
liner on the reservoir floor and inside surface of the dike; (2) Iowa 
Hill Tunnel--A new underground water conduit extending from Iowa Hill 
Reservoir and connecting to Slab Creek Reservoir, and comprised of: a 
1,120-foot-long, 19.02-foot-diameter, concrete-lined vertical shaft; a 
1,110-foot-long, 19.02-foot-diameter concrete-lined high pressure 
tunnel; a 250-foot-long, 15.74-foot-diameter, steel-lined high pressure 
tunnel; a 150-foot-long, 12.45-foot-diameter, steel manifold; three 
180-foot-long, 7.87-foot-diameter, steel penstocks; three 450-foot-
long, 12.46-foot-diameter draft tube extensions; a 150-foot-long, 
17.22-foot-diameter steel manifold; and a 1,230-foot-long, 20-93-foot-
diameter, concrete-lined low pressure tunnel; (3) Iowa Hill 
Powerhouse--A new underground powerhouse along the Iowa Hill Tunnel 
that would include three variable speed turbines each with a nominal 
rating of 133 MW, and a three generators each rated at 170 MW as a pump 
motor. The powerhouse would have a maximum capability of 400 MW; (4) 
Iowa Hill Switchyard--A new Iowa Hill Switchyard; and (5) Transmission 
Line--A new 230 kV transmission line that would connect the Iowa Hill 
Switchyard to the existing Camino-White Rock Transmission Line. SMUD 
anticipates that from the time a new project license is issued by FERC 
and accepted by SMUD, seven years would be required to complete the 
engineering, procurement, and construction of the Iowa Hill 
    In addition, as part of the License Application, SMUD proposes to 
exclude from the project description and FERC Project Boundary certain 
transmission line sections included in the current license and FERC 
Project Boundary. The excluded sections are: (1) A 9.3-mile long 
section of 230 kV line from Folsom Junction to Orangevale Substation; 
(2) a 17.8-mile long section of 230 kV line from Folsom Junction to 
Hedge Substation; and (3) a 1.9-mile long section of 230 kV line from 
Folsom Junction to Lake Substation.
    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the 
Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the 
Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the ``eLibrary'' 
link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the 
docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact 
FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll-free at 1-
866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available

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for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.
    n. Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene 
in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 
18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to 
take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments 
filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with 
the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any 
comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or 
before the specified comment date for the particular application.
    All filings must (1) Bear in all capital letters the title 
(2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project 
number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the 
name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or 
intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 
385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, recommendations, terms and 
conditions or prescriptions must set forth their evidentiary basis and 
otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). Agencies may 
obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of 
any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each 
representative of the applicant specified in the particular 
application. A copy of all other filings in reference to this 
application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons 
listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this 
proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.
    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via e-mail of new filings and 
issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, 
contact FERC Online Support.
    o. Procedural schedule: The application will be processed according 
to the following Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule 
will be made if the Commission determines it necessary to do so:

                Milestone                          Tentative date
Notice of the availability of the draft    March 2007.
Notice of the availability of the final    August 2007.
Ready for Commission's decision on the     October 2007.

Magalie R. Salas,
 [FR Doc. E6-12718 Filed 8-4-06; 8:45 am]