Save the Snow River! Stop Chugach Electric From building 3 massive dams!!

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On March 22, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission published the following issuance:

Dockett: P-14810-000 - Order Issuing Preliminary Permit and Granting Priority to File License Application re: Chugach Electric Association, Inc.

This order gives Chugach Electric priority to file a license application to begin the process of building a dam on the Kenai River's most significant and major tributary, the Snow River. The Snow River is home to thousands of spawning salmon, rainbow trout and dolly varden. The Snow River is a major contributor to the health of the entire Kenai River system.  

The public comment period has just ended and the FERC has ISSUED an ORDER granting priority for Chugach to file for a license.

Hydroelectric power is not the renewable, green energy it claims to be. Dams contribute significantly to global warming by emmitting methane gas that is the equivalent of 7.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. Upstream fish migrations are completely stopped and critical spawning and rearing habitat is lost forever. This project will also significantly impact the home range of Brown Bears and Moose who use this watershed extensively.

Trapping massive amounts of sediment, debris and ice behind the proposed dam walls will choke off the natural process of a healthy river system. This will do permanent, irreversible damage to the entirety of the Kenai River, both above and below this dam project. Regulation of flows will also critically affect temperature, threatening the health of young salmon and trout.

There is also the myth that this project will create jobs and provide an economic boost for the area. Most jobs to design and build dams go to highly trained engineers and contractors who are brought in from outside the area, not local people. Maintaining and operating dams provides very few full-time jobs, so the long-term job benefit is minimal.  

This preliminary permit gives Chugach Electric permission to study the feasibility of The Snow River Hydroelectric Project, a project that would threaten 16,890 acres of land owned by the US Forest Service by building a 5,321 acre reservoir to trap water upstream of the dam and choke off the river valley.  The project area is larger than Kenai Lake which is over 22 miles long!!  

This project proposes 3 dams in total. The main Dam would be 700 feet wide and 300 feet tall, while the other two dams would be 500 feet wide/80 foot tall and 300 feet wide/60 feet tall. These are massive structures that would not only damage the environment, but also take away from the wild, untouched allure that this part of Alaska is known for, drawing tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world annually.

In this day-in-age, dams have been proven time and time again not to be the renewable, green energy they claim to be. Significant effort is being taken to remove dams worldwide instead of building them. Let's send Chugach Electric the message that rivers in Alaska are meant to run wild and free!

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