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Final Environmental Impact Statement


Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Swan Lake North Pumped Storage Project (P-13318-003)
Issued January 25, 2019

Commission staff prepared a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the licensing of Swan Lake North Hydro LLC’s (Swan Lake North Hydro) proposed 393.3-megawatt Swan Lake North Pumped Storage Project No. 13318.

Swan Lake North Hydro filed an application on October 28, 2015 for construction and operation of the closed-loop Swan Lake North Project, in Klamath County, Oregon. Water to initially fill the reservoirs and to replace water lost to evaporation and seepage would come from groundwater supplied by the local groundwater agricultural pumping system and delivered to the lower reservoir via an existing underground agricultural irrigation network. The proposed project would consist of a new upper and lower reservoir, a high-pressure steel penstock between the upper reservoir and the powerhouse, a powerhouse with generating/pumping facilities, three low-pressure steel penstocks from the powerhouse to the lower reservoir, a transmission line and substation, access roads to the lower and upper reservoirs, and accompanying facilities. The project would occupy 730 acres of federal land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and 1,310 acres of state, county, and private lands.

The primary issues associated with licensing the Swan Lake North Project are effects of project construction and operation on soils, water quality, terrestrial resources, recreation and land use, and most significantly, cultural resources of importance to the Klamath Tribes.

In the final EIS, Commission staff recommended the staff alternative, which consists of measures included in Swan Lake North Hydro’s proposal, as well as many of the recommendations made by county, state, and federal agencies, and some additional measures developed by the staff.