Avista and the US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have signed a settlement agreement, in which both parties agree to specific measures for enhanced recreation opportunities in the vicinity of the Post Falls hydroelectric project.
The measures will also become part of a new operating licence for the Post Falls project, located in the state of Idaho, if approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
BLM has been a participant in the collaborative relicensing effort undertaken by Avista since 2002. Numerous studies and discussions have led to a set of proposed conditions that would apply to a new operating licence.
Avista will cooperate with BLM to develop or enhance water-based recreation facilities on Coeur d’Alene lake and its tributaries. The agreement calls for Avista to spend up to US$200,000 on developing new BLM facilities plus an additional US$33,000 per year to supplement BLM’s operation and maintenance costs over the term of the new licence.
Avista’s operating licence expires in July of 2007. The licence application for Post Falls was filed in August 2005. The application addresses the issues identified and studied in the process.
FERC is currently in the process of reviewing Avista’s licence application and proposed terms and conditions. FERC has also called for terms and conditions from resource agencies, tribes and others, which are due by 17 July.