The Turlock Irrigation District continues to make significant progress with the Don Pedro Project — a relicensing process that has been moving forward since 2011.
Last Tuesday, TID and the Modesto Irrigation District worked together to file their Draft License Application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. According to TID, the DLA provides an opportunity for public review and comment on the application before the two districts file the Final License Application in April 2014.
For the Don Pedro Project, the two districts chose FERC’s Integrated Licensing Process, which requires the applicant to turn in the DLA no later than 150 days prior to the official date to file the final license application.
Since 2011, the districts have undergone multiple studies while holding a series of meetings with the relicensing participants to discuss study plans. These studies, which primarily began in 2012, are compiled in the DLA which includes proposals for future plans for operating the Don Pedro Project when the next license term comes around. However, as some of the relicensing studies are still currently in progress, the DLA only includes a limited number of firm proposals for future operations.
After filing the draft, relicensing participants have 90 days to comment on the DLA. According to the two districts, the plans proposed in the DLA include the development of a Bald Eagle Management Plan, a Historic Properties Management Plant and a Vegetation Management Plan.
On Dec. 10, the districts will file an Updated Study Report with FERC, which will include all of the studies completed in the second year of studies as part of relicensing. The report is expected to include a second year of bald eagle studies, a study of salmon and steelhead/rainbow trout spawning areas, a computer model of the populations in the lower Tuolumne River, the completion of the Operations Model and two water temperature models. The report will also provide updates on several other relicensing studies, such as the studies conducted on boating flows in the lower Tuolumne River with new information.
A public meeting to review the Updated Study Report will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the MID Multipurpose Room located at 1231 11th Street, Modesto.
Both MID and TID are continually working on the development of the final licensing application, which is expected to include more detailed proposals for future project operations. The final application must be turned in to FERC by April 30, 2014, with the official new license, terms and conditions to be issued by FERC in 2016.