Public meeting is Tuesday for North Fork hydropower proposal

Damming the North Fork to generate electricity is the subject of several public meetings Tuesday, June 19 at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center auditorium, 19901 Cedar Falls Road SE, North Bend.

Members of the public are invited to learn about the proposed project, a development of Black Canyon Hydro of Bellingham, and to offer their testimony  at scoping meetings set for 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., or at a virtual site review at 2 p.m. that day.

Black Canyon's proposal is to install a run-of-the-river hydropower project, capable of generating 25 megawatts, on the North Fork of the Snoqualmie River. The components of the project would all be installed on private land, according to Black Canyon's application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The components include an inflatable dam, up to seven feet high and 156 feet long, installed upstream of Ernie's Grove, in an area known as Black Canyon; a 4.2 acre water impoundment area, 8,200 feet of piping, a 60 by 100 foot powerhouse located at approximately river-mile 2.5, a 40 by 150-foot long tailrace to return diverted water back into the river, 4.2 miles of overhead electrical transmission lines, and construction or extension of roads to the facilities.

Black Canyon submitted a notice of intent to file for a project license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission March 26, 2012. The upcoming public meetings are part of the scoping process for the project. All public comments are entered in the project's documented record.

All comments on the project must be submitted to FERC by July 24. Following the meetings, FERC will revise its scoping document on the project, if needed, by Sept. 7, and another public meeting will be held Oct. 8, with all comments due by Dec. 6. The project timeline includes time for dispute resolution and additional studies, if needed.


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