Western Technical College; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment, 51993-52013 [2012-21176]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. Any comments should be filed within 30 days from the date of this notice. Comments may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission’s Web site http:// www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and seven copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please affix Project No. 14368–000 to all comments. For further information, contact Shana Murray at (202) 502–8333 or by email at shana.murray@ferc.gov. Dated: August 21, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–21081 Filed 8–27–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 13417–002–WI] Western Technical College; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s regulations, 18 CFR Part 380 (Order No. 486, 52 FR 47,897), the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for an original license to construct the Angelo Dam Hydropower Project, and has prepared an environmental assessment (EA). The proposed 205-kilowatt project would be located on the La Crosse River in the Township of Angelo, Monroe County, Wisconsin at an existing dam owned by Monroe County. The project would not occupy federal lands. The EA includes staff’s analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the project and concludes that licensing the project, with appropriate protective measures, would not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment. A copy of the EA is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission’s Web site at http:// www.ferc.gov, using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field, to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, or tollfree at (866) 208–3676, or for TTY, (202) 502–8659. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other 51993 pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or tollfree at 1–866–208–3676, or for TTY, (202) 502–8659. Any comments should be filed within 30 days from the date of this notice. Comments may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission’s Web site http:// www.ferc.gov/doc-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact Commission Online Support. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and seven copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please affix Angelo Dam Hydropower Project, P–13417–002 to all comments. Please contact Isis Johnson by telephone at (202) 502–6346, or by email at isis.johnson@ferc.gov, if you have any questions. Dated: August 22, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. Environmental Assessment for Hydropower License; Angelo Dam Hydropower Project FERC Project No. 13417–002; Wisconsin Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Energy Projects, Division of Hydropower Licensing, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. August 2012. Table of Contents srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Paragraph LIST OF FIGURES .................................................................................................................................................................................... LIST OF TABLES ..................................................................................................................................................................................... ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ..................................................................................................................................................... EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .......................................................................................................................................................................... 1.0 INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................................................................................. 1.1 APPLICATION .......................................................................................................................................................................... 1.2 PURPOSE OF ACTION AND NEED FOR POWER ................................................................................................................. 1.2.1 Purpose of Action ........................................................................................................................................................... 1.2.2 Need for Power ............................................................................................................................................................... 1.3 STATUTORY AND REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS ........................................................................................................... 1.3.1 Federal Power Act .......................................................................................................................................................... 1.3.2 Clean Water Act .............................................................................................................................................................. 1.3.3 Endangered Species Act ................................................................................................................................................. 1.3.4 Coastal Zone Management Act ...................................................................................................................................... 1.3.5 National Historic Preservation Act ................................................................................................................................ 1.4 PUBLIC REVIEW AND CONSULTATION ............................................................................................................................... 1.4.1 Scoping ............................................................................................................................................................................ VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 iv iv v vii 1 1 1 1 2 2 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 51994 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices Paragraph 1.4.2 Interventions and Comments ......................................................................................................................................... PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES ................................................................................................................................. 2.1 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE .................................................................................................................................................. 2.2 PROPOSED ACTION ................................................................................................................................................................ 2.2.1 Project Facilities ............................................................................................................................................................. 2.2.2 Project Safety .................................................................................................................................................................. 2.2.3 Project Operation ............................................................................................................................................................ 2.2.4 Environmental Measures ................................................................................................................................................ 2.3 STAFF ALTERNATIVE ............................................................................................................................................................ 3.0 ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS ...................................................................................................................................................... 3.1 GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE RIVER BASIN ................................................................................................................. 3.2 SCOPE OF CUMULATIVE EFFECTS ANALYSIS .................................................................................................................. 3.3 PROPOSED ACTION AND ACTION ALTERNATIVES .......................................................................................................... 3.3.1 Geology and Soils ........................................................................................................................................................... 3.3.2. Aquatic Resources ......................................................................................................................................................... 3.3.3. Terrestrial Resources ..................................................................................................................................................... 3.3.4. Cultural Resources ......................................................................................................................................................... 3.4 NO-ACTION ALTERNATIVE 29 13≥≤4.0 DEVELOPMENTAL ANALYSIS ....................................................................... 4.1 POWER AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT ..................................................................................................... 4.2 COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES ......................................................................................................................................... 4.2.1 No-Action Alternative .................................................................................................................................................... 4.2.2 Applicant’s Proposal ...................................................................................................................................................... 4.2.3 Staff Alternative .............................................................................................................................................................. 4.3 COST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEASURES ............................................................................................................................ 5.0 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................................................... 5.1 COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES ....................................................................................................................................... 5.2 COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT AND RECOMMENDED ALTERNATIVE .................................................................... 5.2.1. Measures Proposed by Western .................................................................................................................................... 5.2.2. Additional Measures Recommended By Staff ............................................................................................................. 5.3 UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE EFFECTS ..................................................................................................................................... 5.4 FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCY RECOMMENDATIONS ....................................................................................................... 5.5 CONSISTENCY WITH COMPREHENSIVE PLANS ................................................................................................................ 6.0 FINDING OF NO SIGNICANT IMPACT ......................................................................................................................................... 7.0 LITERATURE CITED ....................................................................................................................................................................... 8.0 LIST OF PREPARERS ...................................................................................................................................................................... LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Map of Bad Axe—La Crosse River Basin, showing the location of the project (Source: Wisconsin DNR, 2002a; as modified by staff) .................................................................................................................................................................................. Figure 2. Project features for the Angelo Dam Project, FERC No. 13417–002 (Source: License application, as modified by staff) Figure 3. Map of the watersheds in the Bad Axe—La Crosse River Basin, divided by watershed boundaries (Source: Wisconsin DNR, 2002a; modified by Staff) ........................................................................................................................................................... Figure 4. Map of the La Crosse River and tributaries within the Upper, Little, and Lower La Crosse River watersheds (Source: Staff) ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... Figure 5. Spring and summer water depth of the La Crosse River at USGS Gauge 05382325 ........................................................... LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Major statutory and regulatory requirements for the Angelo Dam Project ............................................................................ Table 2. Angelo Pond Specifications ...................................................................................................................................................... Table 3. Mean Monthly discharge rates at USGS Gauge 05382325 from 1992–2011 .......................................................................... Table 4. Ambient Temperatures and Water Quality Criteria for cold water communities ................................................................. Table 5. Fish swim speed information for fish species in the project area (Source: Normandeau Associates, Inc., 2002) .............. Table 6. Sustained and burst swimming speeds of brook and brown trout (Sources: Bell, 1986 and Montana Water Center, 2007) ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... Table 7. Minimum fish length protected by 1-inch trashrack spacing ................................................................................................. Table 8. Parameters for the economic analysis of the Angelo Dam Project (Source: Staff) ................................................................ Table 9. Summary of the annual cost of alternative power and annual project cost for three alternatives for the Angelo Dam Project (Source: Staff) ........................................................................................................................................................................... Table 10. Comparison of effects for each alternative associated with the Angelo Dam Project (Source: Staff) ................................ 2.0 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Acronyms and Abbreviations APE area of potential effects basin Bad Axe—La Crosse River Basin BMP best management practice cfs cubic feet per second Commission Federal Energy Regulatory Commission CWA Clean Water Act CZMA Coastal Zone Management Act DO dissolved oxygen EA environmental assessment EPA Environmental Protection Agency EPRI Electric Power Research Institute ESA Endangered Species Act VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 °F degrees Fahrenheit FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FPA Federal Power Act FWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fps feet per second HCP Wisconsin Habitat Conservation Plan HPMP historic properties management plan Interior U.S. Department of the Interior kV kilovolt kW kilowatt kWh kilowatt-hour msl mean sea level MW megawatt MWh megawatt-hour PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6 6 6 7 7 9 9 10 11 11 11 15 15 15 17 24 27 29 30 31 31 31 32 32 32 32 34 35 35 36 36 37 37 37 39 8 9 13 14 18 3 17 18 19 22 22 23 30 31 33 Michigan SHPO Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer MRO Midwest Reliability Organization MISO Midwest Independent System Operator National Register National Register of Historic Places NEPA National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 NERC North American Electric Reliability Council NHPA National Historic Preservation Act PA Programmatic Agreement project Angelo Dam Hydroelectric Project E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition watershed Upper La Crosse River Watershed Western Western Technical College Wisconsin CMP Wisconsin Coastal Management Program Office Wisconsin DNR Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wisconsin SHPO Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Officer WQC water quality certificate srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Executive Summary On October 21, 2011, Western Technical College (Western) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) for an original, minor license to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed 205-kilowatt (kW) Angelo Dam Hydropower Project No. 13417– 002 (project). The project would be located on the La Crosse River in the Township of Angelo, Monroe County, Wisconsin at the existing Angelo dam owned by Monroe County. The project would not occupy federal lands. Existing Facilities and Operation The Angelo dam was built by Northern States Power in the 1920’s. Northern States Power generated electricity at the Angelo dam until 1969 and then removed the generating equipment and transferred the dam and associated reservoir (Angelo Pond) to Monroe County. In 1998, Monroe County rehabilitated the dam. The Angelo dam has a total length of 615.5 feet and is composed of a left earthen embankment, a concrete spillway and non-overflow structure, and a right earthen embankment. The left earthen embankment has a length of 400 feet and a maximum height of approximately 14 feet. The right earthen embankment has a length of 124 feet and a maximum height of approximately 12 feet. The spillway and non-overflow section are constructed of reinforced concrete and have a total length of 91.5 feet. The spillway is 72.42 feet long and 9.6 feet high from the foundation level to its crest. The spillway has four, 13.5-foot-wide by 11.4-foot-high bays each with 13.5-footwide by 6.9-foot-high steel tainter gates. The non-overflow section is 19.08 feet long, 20 feet high, and 19.7 feet wide. The reservoir has a surface area of 52 acres at elevation 793 feet mean sea level (msl). The reservoir’s storage capacity is 450 acre-feet at the dam’s crest elevation of 795 feet msl. The dam and reservoir currently provide recreational benefits to the project area. There is no hydroelectric generation at the dam. The dam is operated manually in a run-of-river VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 51995 mode (i.e., an operating mode where outflows from the dam and reservoir approximate inflows to the reservoir). state law) to be a general legal matter rather than a specific environmental measure. Proposed Facilities and Operation Western proposes to acquire the rights to and utilize the Angelo dam and reservoir for power generation. Western would convert the dam’s non-overflow section to serve as the project’s intake. The conversion would involve removing a concrete cap and plug that was poured in 1998 when the dam was rehabilitated. Western would also construct, operate, and maintain the following facilities at the dam and reservoir: (1) A 22.84-foot-long by 16.08foot-wide trashrack with 2-inch-clear bar spacing installed at the intake in the non-overflow section; (2) a 20-foot by 20-foot by 20-foot reinforced concrete box forebay; (3) a 26-foot-long by 24.5foot-wide by 40-foot-high powerhouse located at the right abutment of the dam and containing a 205-kW vertical, double-regulated Kaplan turbine; (4) a 30-foot-long, 480-volt overhead transmission line connecting the powerhouse generator to a step-up transformer that would be located on a pole which is part of Northern States Power’s 2.7-kilovolt (kV) distribution line; and (5) appurtenant facilities. The project would be operated in a run-of-river mode using the natural flow of the La Crosse River. The estimated average annual project generation is about 950 megawatt-hours (MWh). Alternatives Considered Proposed Environmental Measures Western proposes the following environmental measures to protect or enhance resources in the vicinity of the proposed project: • An erosion and sediment control plan with provisions for using best management practices, including installing a temporary inflatable cofferdam, and placing hay bales and siltation fabric at locations where sediment-laden runoff could otherwise enter project waters or adjacent nonproject lands; • Operating the project in a run-ofthe-river mode to protect water quality and quantity, and fish and aquatic resources; and • Implementing the Commission’s statewide programmatic agreement (PA) for projects in Wisconsin, and implementing a Historic Properties Management Plan (HPMP) for the project. Western also proposes to comply with all state water quality standards while operating the project. In this environmental assessment (EA), we consider Western’s proposal to comply with state water quality standards (i.e., PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 In addition to Western’s proposed action, this EA considers Western’s proposed action with staff’s modifications (staff alternative), and a no-action alternative. Under the staff alternative, the project would be constructed, operated, and maintained as proposed by Western. The staff alternative also includes a recommendation for Western to develop and implement an operation compliance monitoring plan for proposed run-ofriver operations at the project. Under the no-action alternative, a license would be denied and Western would not construct and operate the project. Public Involvement Before filing its license application, Western conducted pre-filing consultation under the traditional licensing process. The intent of the Commission’s pre-filing process is to initiate public involvement early in the project planning process and to encourage citizens, governmental entities, tribes, and other interested parties to identify and resolve issues prior to an application being formally filed with the Commission. Western filed its license application on October 21, 2011. On April 24, 2012, the Commission issued a notice accepting the license application; soliciting motions to intervene, protests, comments, terms and conditions, recommendations, and prescriptions; stating that the application was ready for environmental analysis; stating staff’s intent to waive scoping; and establishing an expedited schedule for processing. The notice explained that staff intended to waive scoping due to the project’s use of an existing dam, the limited scope of proposed construction at the project site, the applicant’s close coordination with federal and state agencies during the preparation of the application, and the completion of studies during pre-filing consultation. The United States Department of the Interior (Interior) was the only entity that filed a written response to the notice. Interior stated that it had no comments. The primary issues associated with licensing the project are the potential for project effects on soil erosion and sedimentation, water quality and fish entrainment. E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 51996 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices Project Effects Cultural Environmental Assessment Geology and Soils Western conducted cultural resource surveys, covering about 83 percent of the land within the project’s area of potential effects (APE). During the surveys, Western found no archaeological resources that would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (National Register). For the unsurveyed areas, an executed PA and HPMP contain protocols that would be implemented if there are any unanticipated discoveries. The HPMP also contains provisions to lessen, avoid, or mitigate for any adverse effects if the discovered resources are eligible for the National Register. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Energy Projects, Division of Hydropower Licensing, Washington, DC Project construction would require the excavation of approximately 135 cubic yards of bedrock during the construction of the proposed powerhouse and forebay. To minimize the potential for erosion and sedimentation related to the excavation, under the applicant’s proposal and staff alternative, Western would develop and implement an erosion and sediment control plan. Aquatic Resources Under the proposed action and the staff alternative, developing and implementing an erosion and sediment control plan would limit erosion, sedimentation, and increases in river turbidity. Under the proposed action and staff alternative, fish could be entrained through the project’s trashrack and intake, and therefore, be subjected to turbine mortality during operation of the project. However, the amount of entrainment and turbine mortality would likely be small and result in an overall minimal adverse effect on the project reservoir’s (Angelo Pond’s) fish community. Under both the proposed action and staff alternative, run-of-river operation would maintain current aquatic resource habitats in Angelo Pond and in the La Crosse River downstream of the Angelo dam. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Terrestrial Resources While some grassy areas may be temporarily disturbed and soils slightly compacted by the movement of equipment and personnel during construction, no long-term adverse effects to terrestrial resources are anticipated, as the construction area would be relatively small, and occur in an area that has been previously disturbed. Also, the project site is fairly developed and lacks quality habitat for wildlife. Two federally listed species are known to occur in Monroe County, namely the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis or Karners) and northern wild monkshood (Aconitum noveboracense). However, both species have specialized habitat requirements that do not exist in the immediate vicinity of the project. Therefore, project construction and operation would have no effect on federally listed threatened or endangered species. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 No-Action Alternative Under the no-action alternative, a license would be denied, the project would not be constructed, environmental resources in the project area would not be affected, and the renewable energy that would be produced by the project would not be developed. Conclusion Based on our analysis, we recommend licensing the project under the staff alternative. In section 4.0 of the EA, we estimate the likely cost of alternative power for the two action alternatives identified above. Our analysis shows that during the first year of operation under the proposed action alternative, project power would cost $81,589 or $86.20/ MWh less than the likely alternative cost of power. Under the staff alternative, project power would cost $81,297 or $85.47/MWh less than the likely alternative cost of power. We chose the staff alternative as the preferred alternative because: (1) The project would provide a dependable source of electrical energy for the region (about 950 MWh annually); (2) the 205 kW of electric capacity available comes from a renewable resource which does not contribute to atmospheric pollution; and (3) the recommended environmental measures proposed by Western, as modified by staff, would adequately protect and enhance environmental resources affected by the project. The overall benefits of the staff alternative would be worth the cost of the proposed and recommended environmental measures. We conclude that issuing an original license for the project, with the environmental measures we recommend, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Angelo Dam Hydropower Project; FERC Project No. 13417–002 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Application On October 21, 2011, Western Technical College (Western) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) for an original, minor license to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed 205-kilowatt (kW) Angelo Dam Hydropower Project No. 13417– 002 (Angelo Dam Project or project). The project would be located on the La Crosse River in the Township of Angelo, Monroe County, Wisconsin at an existing dam (the Angelo dam) owned by Monroe County and regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR). The estimated average annual project generation is 948.5 megawatt-hours (MWh). The proposed project would not occupy federal lands. 1.2 Purpose of Action and Need for Power 1.2.1 Purpose of Action The purpose of the proposed Angelo Dam Project is to provide a new source of hydroelectric power. Therefore, under the provisions of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Commission must decide whether to issue a license to Western for the Angelo Dam Project and what conditions should be placed on any license issued. In deciding whether to issue a license for a hydroelectric project, the Commission must determine that the project will be best adapted to a comprehensive plan for improving or developing a waterway. In addition to the power and developmental purposes for which licenses are issued (such as flood control, irrigation, or water supply), the Commission must give equal consideration to the purposes of: (1) Energy conservation; (2) the protection of, mitigation of damage to, and enhancement of fish and wildlife resources; (3) the protection of recreational opportunities; and (4) the preservation of other aspects of environmental quality. Issuing an original license for the Angelo Dam Project would allow Western to generate electricity for the term of an original license, making electric power from a renewable resource available to its customers. E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices This environmental assessment (EA) assesses the effects associated with Western’s proposed operation of the project and alternatives to the proposed project. The EA also makes recommendations to the Commission on whether to issue an original license, and if so, what terms and conditions should become a part of any license issued. In this EA, we assess the environmental and economic effects associated with the construction and operation of the project: (1) as proposed by Western; and (2) with staff’s additional recommended measures. We also consider the effects of the no-action alternative. Important issues that are addressed include the potential for project effects on geology and soils, and aquatic, terrestrial, and cultural resources. 1.2.2 Need for Power The proposed Angelo Dam Project would provide hydroelectric generation to meet part of Wisconsin’s power requirements, resource diversity, and capacity needs. The project would have an installed capacity of 205 kW and generate about 950 MWh per year. The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) annually forecasts electrical supply and demand nationally and regionally for a 10-year period. The Angelo Dam Project is located in the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) sub region of the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) region of the NERC. According to NERC’s 2011 forecast, average annual demand requirements for the MISO sub region are projected to grow at a rate of 2.9 percent from 2011 through 2021. MISO projects that resource capacity margins (generating capacity in excess of demand) will range between 15.2 percent and 23.2 percent of firm peak demand during the 10-year forecast period, including estimated new 51997 capacity additions. Over the next 10 years, MRO estimates that about 4,894 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity will be brought on line. We conclude that power from the Angelo Dam Project would help meet a need for power in the MISO sub-region in both the short and long-term. The project would provide low-cost power that displaces generation from nonrenewable sources. Displacing the operation of non-renewable facilities may avoid some power plant emissions, thus creating an environmental benefit. 1.3 Statutory and Regulatory Requirements A license for the proposed project is subject to numerous requirements under the Federal Power Act (FPA) and other applicable statues. The major statutory and regulatory requirements are summarized in table 1 and described below. TABLE 1—MAJOR STATUTORY AND REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ANGELO DAM PROJECT Requirement Agency Section 18 of the FPA—fishway prescriptions. Section 10(j) of the FPA ................. U.S. Department of Interior (Interior). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR). Wisconsin DNR ............................. Clean Water Act (CWA)—section 401 water quality certification (WQC). Endangered Species Act (ESA) ...... Coastal Zone (CZMA). Management Act Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). 1.3.1 FWS ............................................... Wisconsin Department of Intergovernmental Relations, Coastal Management Program Office (Wisconsin CMP). Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Officer (Wisconsin SHPO). Federal Power Act 1.3.1.2 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1.3.1.1 Section 18 Fishway Prescriptions Section 18 of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 811, states that the Commission is to require construction, operation, and maintenance by a licensee of such fishways as may be prescribed by the Secretaries of Commerce or the Interior. No fishway prescriptions, or requests for reservation of authority to prescribe fishways under section 18 of the FPA, have been filed. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Status Jkt 226001 No prescriptions were filed. No recommendations were filed. Application for certification was received on January 24, 2011; action on application was due by January 24, 2012; Wisconsin DNR did not act on the request. On August 18, 2009, Interior stated that no federally-listed threatened or endangered species, or critical habitat, are present in the immediate vicinity of the proposed project. In the EA, staff makes a ‘‘no effect’’ finding with regard to federally listed species; therefore, no ESA consultation with FWS is necessary. On April 12, 2012, the Wisconsin CMP determined that no federal coastal consistency certification is required. A programmatic agreement (PA) with the Wisconsin SHPO and Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer (Michigan SHPO) is in effect that encompasses all hydroelectric project licensing actions in Wisconsin and adjacent portions of Michigan. Section 10(j) Recommendations Under section 10(j) of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 803(j), each hydroelectric license issued by the Commission must include conditions based on recommendations provided by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies for the protection, mitigation, or enhancement of fish and wildlife resources affected by the project. The Commission is required to include these conditions unless it determines that they are inconsistent with the purposes and requirements of the FPA or other applicable law. Before rejecting or modifying an agency recommendation, the Commission is PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 required to attempt to resolve any such inconsistency with the agency, giving due weight to the recommendations, expertise, and statutory responsibilities of such agency. No federal or state fish and wildlife agency filed recommendations pursuant to section 10(j) of the FPA. 1.3.2 Clean Water Act Under section 401(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. 1341(a)(1) a license applicant must obtain certification from the appropriate state pollution control agency verifying compliance with the CWA. On January 20, 2011, Western applied to the E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 51998 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices Wisconsin DNR for 401 WQC for the Angelo Dam Project. The Wisconsin DNR received this request on January 24, 2011. Because Wisconsin DNR has not acted on the request within one year from receipt of the request, the WQC is considered waived. 1.3.3 Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), 16 U.S.C. 1536(a), requires federal agencies to ensure that their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of federally listed threatened and endangered species, or result in the destruction or adverse modification of their designated critical habitat. There are no federally listed threatened and endangered species or designated critical habitat in the immediate project area that would be affected by the construction and operation of the proposed project. Therefore, the proposed project would have no effect on federally listed species. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1.3.4 Coastal Zone Management Act The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972, as amended, requires review of the project’s consistency with a state’s Coastal Management Program for projects within or that would affect the coastal zone. Under section 307(c)(3)(A) of the CZMA, 16 U.S.C. 1456(3)(A), the Commission cannot issue a license for a project within or affecting a state’s coastal zone unless the state’s coastal zone management agency concurs with the license applicant’s certification of consistency with the state’s Coastal Management Program, or the agency’s concurrence is conclusively presumed by its failure to act within 180 days of its receipt of the applicant’s certification. The project is not located within the state-designated coastal management zone, and the project would not affect Wisconsin’s coastal resources. Therefore, the project is not subject to Wisconsin’s coastal zone program review and no consistency certification is needed for the action. By correspondence dated April 12, 2012 (filed on April 13, 2012), Wisconsin’s Department of Intergovernmental Relations, Coastal Management Program Office, concurred with this determination. 1.3.5 National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 of the NHPA, 16 U.S.C. 470, requires that every federal agency ‘‘take into account’’ how each of its undertakings could affect historic properties. Historic properties are districts, sites, buildings, structures, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 traditional cultural properties, and objects significant in American history, architecture, engineering, and culture that are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (National Register). To meet the requirements of section 106 of the NHPA, on December 16, 1993, Commission staff executed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) with the Wisconsin SHPO and Michigan SHPO. The PA contains principals and procedures for the protection of historic properties from the effects of the proposed construction and operation of hydroelectric projects in the state of Wisconsin and adjacent portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The terms of the PA ensure that Western addresses and treats all historic properties identified within the project’s area of potential effects (APE) through implementation of the historic properties management plan (HPMP) entitled, Cultural Resource Management Plan for the Proposed Licensing of the Angelo Dam Hydroelectric Facility in Angelo Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin, FERC Project 13417, Report of Investigations, No. 1865, June 2011 filed on October 21, 2011, and amended by letter filed on June 14, 2012. 1.4 Public Review and Consultation The Commission’s regulations, 18 CFR 4.38 and 16.8, require that applicants consult with appropriate resource agencies and other entities before filing an application for a license. This consultation is the first step in complying with the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, ESA, NHPA, and other federal statutes. Pre-filing consultation must be complete and documented according to the Commission’s regulations. 1.4.1 Scoping Due to the location of the proposed project, the minor nature of environmental effects, and the lack of response to our public notice regarding the project,1 we waived formal scoping. 1.4.2 Interventions and Comments On April 24, 2012, the Commission issued a notice accepting Western’s license application and asking for motions to intervene and protests. The U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) was the only entity that filed a written response to the notice. Interior filed a letter with the Commission on June 20, 2012, stating that it had no comments. No motions to intervene were filed. 1 The Commission issued a notice on April 24, 2012, stating that it intended to waive scoping for this project. PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives 2.1 No-Action Alternative The no-action alternative is license denial. Under the no-action alternative, the project would not be built, environmental resources in the project area would not be affected, and the renewable energy that would be produced by the project would not be developed. 2.2 2.2.1 Proposed Action Project Facilities The proposed hydropower project would generate electricity using the head created by the existing Angelo dam which is currently owned by Monroe County. The Angelo dam is an earthen embankment with a maximum height of 14 feet and a spillway with a short nonoverflow section. The dam has a total length of 615.5 feet. The spillway and a short non-overflow section are constructed of reinforced concrete and have a total length of 91.5 feet. The spillway is 72.42 feet long, 9.6 feet high from the foundation level to its crest, and contains four, 13.5-foot-wide by 11.4-foot-high bays each with 13.5-footwide by 6.9-foot-high steel tainter gates. The non-overflow section is 19.08 feet long, 20 feet high, and 19.7 feet wide and would be converted to serve as the project’s intake after removing the concrete cap and plug that was poured in 1998 when the dam was rehabilitated. In addition to the dam, the proposed project would consist of the following new elements: (1) A 22.84-foot-long by 16.08-foot-wide trashrack with 2-inchclear bar spacing installed at the intake in the non-overflow section; (2) a 20foot by 20-foot by 20-foot reinforced concrete box forebay; (3) a 26-foot-long by 24.5-foot-wide by 40-foot-high powerhouse located at the right abutment of the dam containing a 205kW vertical, double-regulated Kaplan turbine; (4) a 30-foot-long, 480-volt overhead transmission line connecting the powerhouse generator to a step-up transformer that would be located on a pole which is part of Northern States Power’s 2.7-kilovolt distribution line; and (5) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual project generation is about 950 MWh. The reservoir, referred to locally as Angelo Pond, has a surface area of 52 acres and a gross storage of 450 acre-feet at normal water elevation 793-feet mean sea level (msl). The project boundary, with a total area of 79.38 acres, includes E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices and Monroe County Board have a signed agreement for the sale of the dam and transfer of the necessary water rights by Monroe County to the applicant. There are no federal or tribal lands within the project boundary. BILLING CODE 6717–01–P BILLING CODE 6717–01–C 2 See email communication record between staff and the applicant filed on July 19, 2012. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 EN28AU12.010</GPH> srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES the pond up to elevation 795.0 msl,2 the existing dam, the new forebay, powerhouse, and the 30-foot-long project transmission line. The applicant 51999 52000 Project Safety As part of the licensing process, the Commission would prepare a Safety and Design Assessment covering the adequacy of the project facilities. Special articles would be included in any license issued, as appropriate. Operational inspections would focus on the continued safety of the structures, identification of unauthorized modifications, efficiency and safety operations, compliance with the terms of the license, and proper maintenance. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 2.2.3 Project Operation The dam and reservoir currently provide recreational benefits to the project area. There is currently no hydroelectric generation at the dam. The dam is operated manually in a run-ofriver mode (i.e., an operating mode where outflows from the dam and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 reservoir approximate inflows to the reservoir). The proposed project would be operated in an automatic, run-of-river mode using the 17 feet of head created by the existing Angelo dam. The automatic mode would be achieved by use of a head pond elevation gage that would allow the project to operate within a foot from the maximum pond elevation of 793.6 msl. When the reservoir elevation exceeds 793.6 msl, the tainter gates would be opened to release flow under the gates to maintain a target pond elevation between 793.0 and 793.6 msl, the normal operating elevation range for the project. The headpond has a maximum storage capacity of 450 acre-feet at elevation 793.0 msl (top of the tainter gates). The estimated plant hydraulic capacity is 168 cubic feet per second (cfs) at full load and 32 cfs at minimum load. The water used for project PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 generation would flow through the proposed trashracks and the new opening in the dam, continuing through an old penstock and the proposed forebay, into the powerhouse. The flow out of the powerhouse would discharge into the existing pool immediately downstream of the dam. Flows that exceed the project’s maximum hydraulic capacity would be discharged over or under the dam spillway tainter gates. Currently, the spillway gates are opened manually, but the applicant would automate them to provide opening information as part of the proposed Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to be installed prior to project operation. SCADA would monitor and control the powerplant from a central location. The project would be run automatically with the help of water surface elevation controls. Maintenance staff would visit the facility regularly, as well as during E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 EN28AU12.011</GPH> 2.2.2 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices alarm conditions based on the automated call-in alarm to be built into the station control system. 2.2.4 Environmental Measures Western proposes to incorporate the following environmental measures into the design, operation, and maintenance of the proposed project: • Developing and implementing an erosion and sediment control plan with provisions for using best management practices (BMP), including installing a temporary inflatable cofferdam, and placing hay bales and siltation fabric at locations where sediment-laden runoff could otherwise enter project waters or adjacent non-project lands; • Operating the project in a run-ofthe-river mode to minimize impacts on water quality and quantity, and fish and aquatic resources; and • Implementing the PA, executed on December 16, 1993, and the HPMP, filed on October 21, 2011, and amended by letter filed on June 14, 2012. Western also proposes to comply with all state water quality standards while operating the project. We consider this proposal to comply with state law to be a general legal matter, rather than a specific environmental measure. 2.3 Staff Alternative srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Under the staff alternative, the project would include Western’s proposed environmental measures. Because Western’s proposal to comply with state water quality laws is a general legal matter, we do not adopt it as an environmental measure under the staff alternative. We note, however, that below in section 3, we do assess the effects of proposed project construction VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:30 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 and operation on water quality, including the need for specific environmental measures to mitigate any adverse water quality effects. The staff alternative also includes a condition to implement an operation compliance monitoring plan, to verify proposed runof-river operations at the project. 3.0 Environmental Analysis In this section, we present: (1) A general description of the project vicinity; (2) an explanation of the scope of our cumulative effects analysis; and (3) our analysis of Western’s proposed actions and other recommended environmental measures. Sections are organized by resource area (e.g., aquatics, terrestrial, etc.). Under each resource area, historic conditions are first described. The existing condition is the baseline against which the environmental effects of Western’s proposed actions and alternatives are compared, including an assessment of the effects of Western’s proposed mitigation, protection, and enhancement measures, and any potential cumulative effects of Western’s proposed actions and alternatives. Staff conclusions and recommended measures are discussed in section 5.2, Comprehensive Development and Recommended Alternative of the EA.3 3.1 General Description of the River Basin The Angelo Dam Project would be located on the La Crosse River, near 3 Unless noted otherwise, the sources of our information are the license application (Western, 2011a) and additional information filed by Western (2012). PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52001 Angelo Township, in Monroe County, Wisconsin. The La Crosse River flows from north central Monroe County in a southwesterly direction for approximately 64 miles before reaching the Mississippi River. The La Crosse River exists entirely within the Bad Axe—La Crosse River Basin (basin), and the project area is located more specifically, in the Upper La Crosse River Watershed (watershed) where Silver Creek enters the La Crosse River (figures 3 and 4). The watershed has a drainage area of approximately 126 square miles, more than half of which is located in the Fort McCoy Military Reservation (Wisconsin DNR, 2002b).4 The surrounding land area in this region is characterized by steep slopes, and narrow stream valleys.5 Approximately 46 percent of the basin is forested, although agriculture is another major land use. Several dams are located on the La Crosse River, including: (1) Hazel Dell dam, forming a 2-acre reservoir; (2) Alderwood dam, forming an 11-acre reservoir; (3) Angelo dam, the location of the proposed project, forming a 52acre reservoir; (4) Perch Lake dam, forming a 33-acre reservoir; and (5) the Lake Neshonoc dam,6 forming a 600acre reservoir (Wisconsin DNR, 2002a). BILLING CODE 6717–01–P 4 Fort McCoy is used for military training and contains firing ranges, classrooms, and airborne drop zones. 5 These characteristics are typical of the Driftless Area and Coulee Section ecoregions of Wisconsin (EPA, 2012). 6 The Neshonoc dam and 600-acre reservoir are project facilities of the Neshonoc Water Power Project, FERC Project No. 6476. E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices 18:30 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 EN28AU12.012</GPH> srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 52002 52003 BILLING CODE 6717–01–C VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 EN28AU12.013</GPH> srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices 52004 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 3.2 Scope of Cumulative Effects Analysis According to the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 40 CFR 1508.7, a cumulative effect is the effect on the environment which results from adding the effects of a proposed action to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (federal or non-federal) or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative effects can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time, including hydropower and other land and water development activities. Based on our review of the license application, no environmental resources would be cumulatively affected by licensing the Angelo Dam Project. The project is located in a rural area, with very little existing or planned future developmental activity. While several other dams, both with and without hydropower facilities, are located on the La Crosse River, the run-of-river operating regime proposed by Western would maintain reservoir levels and flows consistent with existing conditions. As such, operation of the project would not affect reservoirs either upstream or downstream of Angelo dam. 3.3 Proposed Action and Action Alternatives In this section, we discuss the effects of the project alternatives on environmental resources. For each resource, we first describe the affected environment, which is the existing condition and baseline against which we measure effects. We then discuss and analyze the site-specific environmental issues. Only the resources that would be affected are addressed in this EA. Based on this, we have determined that geology and soils, and aquatic, terrestrial, and cultural resources may be affected by the proposed action and action alternatives. We have not identified any substantive issues related to recreation, land use, aesthetics, or socioeconomic resources. We present our recommendations in section 5.1, Comprehensive Development and Recommended Alternative. 3.3.1 Geology and Soils Affected Environment The proposed project is located in an unglaciated region of Wisconsin characterized by an upper layer of limestone, eroded over time, followed VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 by a layer of Potsdam sandstone surface rock. The Potsdam sandstone layer of this western upland region is about 800 to 900 feet thick, and is Cambrian to Lower Silurian-aged. Below this layer is Archaean-age basement rock, namely highly metamorphic gneiss, granite, and schists. The basin is mostly composed of sand and clay deposits with a very shallow, gradual slope. Soils in the project area are poorly drained and level, classified as sands of the Dawson Peat and Newson sandy loam variety. These soil types are potentially erodible, although several areas along the river are protected by concrete retaining walls or rip rap. Environmental Effects Land-disturbing activities associated with construction of the proposed project primarily involve development of the powerhouse and forebay. The combined footprint of the powerhouse and forebay is approximately 740 square feet (20 feet by 37 feet), and would require about 135 cubic yards of excavation along the right (west) embankment. This area is usually dry and consists primarily of exposed bedrock with little to no soil. Western is not proposing to alter the slope or drainage patterns at the project. To minimize the potential for erosion related to project construction, Western proposes to: (1) Develop and implement an erosion and sediment control plan; (2) install an inflatable cofferdam; and (3) use hay bales and siltation fabric. Western would use excavated material as riprap along the river embankments. Western also states that Wisconsin DNR and Monroe County’s shoreland zoning program both require approval of erosion control methods. Heavy equipment would be limited to cranes sitting on the right embankment, and no access via the river bank is anticipated. The embankment in this area is also protected by a retaining wall. Less than 0.5 acre of land adjacent to the west side of the dam would be used as a staging area, as equipment and materials would generally be delivered on site from storage buildings on the Sparta Campus of the Technical College, which is located across the street from the construction area. Our Analysis Project construction would require some ground-disturbance, though most of this material would be rock, as opposed to soil. The area of disturbance is relatively small and the new powerhouse would occupy roughly the same footprint as the original one, which was removed in 1968. The staging area and heavy equipment use PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 would be located on lands that are paved, or covered with grass, reducing the likelihood of significant soil movement. Further, the control measures and BMPs proposed by Western would minimize any potential erosion and sedimentation. Consultation with the Wisconsin DNR and Monroe County would further ensure that proper control measures are used, and any project effects would be mitigated. As the project would be operated run-of-river, and the reservoir elevation would vary by less than 1 foot, it is unlikely that the project’s operating regime would affect the occurrence of erosion or sedimentation over the course of any license issued. 3.3.2. Aquatic Resources Affected Environment Water Quantity and Quality The headwaters of the La Crosse River originate in Monroe County northeast of the proposed project near the Fort McCoy Military Reservation. The La Crosse River flows in a southwesterly direction for about 64 miles through Monroe and La Crosse counties before reaching the Mississippi River. Five dams on the La Crosse River create Lake Neshonoc in West Salem, Perch Lake in Sparta, Angelo Pond in the Town of Angelo, and Alderwood Lake and Hazel Dell Pond both of which lie within the Fort McCoy Military Reservation. The Angelo dam is located approximately 5 miles south of Fort McCoy’s main post entrance. The drainage area of the dam site is about 115 square miles. The Angelo dam forms a 52-acre reservoir known locally as Angelo Pond. Table 2 details the specific physical characteristics of Angelo Pond. TABLE 2—ANGELO POND SPECIFICATIONS Pond surface area Maximum volume .............. Maximum depth ................. Mean depth ........................ Flushing rate ...................... Shoreline length ................. Composition ....................... 52 acres 450 acre-ft. 8 ft. 4 ft. 121 hours. 2.62 miles. Gravel, sand, and mud. Downstream of the Angelo dam, the La Crosse River flows south 2.5 miles to the city of Sparta, Wisconsin where the USGS gauge station #05382325 is located. The period of record for gauge 05382325 is from July 1992 to present. Table 3 shows the mean monthly discharge rate (cfs) for the La Crosse River for the period of record. The La Crosse River has a continuous, steady discharge flow of 100–200 cfs E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 52005 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices throughout the year, with the highest flows occurring in June and the lowest flows occurring in January. TABLE 3—MEAN MONTHLY DISCHARGE RATES AT USGS GAUGE 05382325 FROM 1992–2011 Jan Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec 131 Mean Monthly Discharge (cfs) ................. Feb 142 171 185 178 205 166 150 151 152 149 138 The La Crosse River in the area of the proposed project is relatively shallow. Figure 5 depicts the La Crosse River depth at gauge 05382325, located 2.5 miles downstream of the Angelo dam. River depths increase during periods of high discharge (April–June). The Wisconsin DNR has determined the La Crosse River at the Angelo dam to be a ‘‘Fish and Aquatic Life Use of a Cold Water Community’’. The Wisconsin DNR further breaks down cold water communities, and recognizes the La Crosse River as a ‘‘Coldwater Category 5.’’ This coldwater category includes inland trout waters with brook and brown trout, but no whitefish, cisco, or other trout or salmonid species. The water classification and standards for Wisconsin water quality parameters are as follows: 7 (1) Dissolved oxygen (DO) in classified trout streams shall not be artificially lowered to less than 6.0 milligrams per liter (mg/L) at any time, nor shall the DO be lowered to less than 7.0 mg/L during the spawning season; (2) pH shall be within a range of 6.0 to 9.0; and (3) water temperature may not exceed 86 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) while maintaining natural daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations. Additional water temperature criteria are shown in Table 4. The primary use of water in Angelo Pond and around the Angelo dam is for recreation. Ambient temperature (°F) Month January ...................................................................................................................... February ..................................................................................................................... Sub-lethal water quality criteria 35 36 47 47 7 All water quality criteria for Wisconsin are contained in four Administrative Code chapters, NR 102, 103, 104, and 105. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 Acute water quality criteria (°F) 68 68 EN28AU12.014</GPH> srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES TABLE 4—AMBIENT TEMPERATURES AND WATER QUALITY CRITERIA FOR COLD WATER COMMUNITIES 52006 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices TABLE 4—AMBIENT TEMPERATURES AND WATER QUALITY CRITERIA FOR COLD WATER COMMUNITIES—Continued Ambient temperature (°F) Month March ......................................................................................................................... April ............................................................................................................................ May ............................................................................................................................ June ........................................................................................................................... July ............................................................................................................................. August ........................................................................................................................ September ................................................................................................................. October ...................................................................................................................... November .................................................................................................................. December .................................................................................................................. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Fishery Resources The existing fish and aquatic communities include coldwater, freshwater fish such as brook and rainbow trout throughout the La Crosse River. Trout are present in Angelo Pond; however, no anadromous species inhabit the La Crosse River or Angelo Pond. Due to the size and shallow depth of Angelo Pond, it is seasonally a warmwater surface source, with warm-water fish species present during those times. Angelo Pond has regularly been stocked with largemouth bass and rainbow trout since 1984, and is listed as an impaired waterway on the Wisconsin Impaired Water List. Based on the Wisconsin DNR Trout Stream Classification, the La Crosse River upstream of Angelo Pond is a Class II trout stream. A Class II trout stream is categorized as having some natural reproduction, but not enough to utilize available food and space. Therefore, stocking is required to maintain a desirable sport fishery. These streams have good survival and carryover of adult trout, often producing some fish larger than average size. Angelo Pond is upstream 5 miles from Perch Lake, and both surface water bodies are connected by the La Crosse River. The segment of the La Crosse River between Angelo Pond and Perch Lake is classified as a Class III trout stream. Class III trout streams are categorized by waters with marginal trout habitat, and no natural reproduction. Annual stocking of trout is required to provide for trout fishing, and there is generally no carryover of trout from one year to the next. According to the Wisconsin DNR, Angelo Pond impounds the La Crosse River where Silver Creek enters the river. Both streams traverse Fort McCoy Military Installation, for a significant amount of their length. The La Crosse River contains a sand bottom, which is slowly filling Angelo Pond. This reservoir also slows the river’s current down enough to allow fine sediment to VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 39 47 56 62 64 63 57 49 41 37 settle out. These fine sediments in Angelo Pond maintain a robust aquatic plant community. Environmental Effects Water Quality Western proposes to operate the proposed project in a run-of-river mode to minimize the impacts on water quality and quantity, and fish and aquatic resources. Western also proposes to operate the project to ensure discharges from the project meet state water quality standards during project operation, construction, and maintenance. Our Analysis DO, water temperature, and pH, 2.5 miles downstream of the proposed project, are at levels in the La Crosse River that are currently consistent with the levels specified by Wisconsin state water quality standards.8 USGS data shows that DO concentrations were measured six times from May 2002– October 2002, and ranged from 8.9–11.9 mg/L. During the fall, when brown and brook trout typically spawn, DO concentrations never fell below 8.9 mg/ L, which is well above the state water quality standard minimum concentration of 7.0 mg/L. The pH was also measured six times during the same time period with values ranging from 7.2–7.7. Temperature measurements were taken 29 times between July 1992 and October 2002. The temperatures ranged from 32.9 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) to 72.4 °F. November through March typically experienced the coldest water temperatures, with January 12, 1994 being the coldest day measured. June through August typically experienced the warmest water temperatures with July 17, 2002 being the warmest day measured. Of the 29 8 USGS Gauge 05382325 La Crosse River at Sparta, WI, water quality samples from July 29, 1992–October 15, 2002. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Sub-lethal water quality criteria 51 57 63 67 67 65 60 53 48 47 Acute water quality criteria (°F) 69 70 72 72 73 73 72 70 69 69 measured observations, none exceeded the state water quality standards. The proposed project design and operation would not interfere with the flow of water downstream of the Angelo dam since the proposed project will operate run-of-river. Water will continue to be discharged at the foot of the dam or flow either over or under the existing tainter gates. The run-of-river operations proposed by Western should ensure that project operation would not change current DO, water temperature, or pH levels in the La Crosse River. However, with the construction activities at the Angelo dam there is a potential to temporarily increase river turbidity, which would reduce water quality relative to existing conditions. Implementing a short-term erosion and sediment control plan that incorporates, at a minimum, the BMPs discussed in section 3.3.1, Geology and Soils should ensure that any degradation of water quality would be temporary and minimal. Operation Compliance Monitoring Operation compliance monitoring is a standard requirement in all Commission-issued licenses. Development and implementation of an operation compliance monitoring plan and schedule would be beneficial in this instance in that it would document the procedures Western Technical College would employ to demonstrate compliance with its proposed project operations. Entrainment and Impingement Water intake structures at hydropower projects can injure or kill fish that are entrained through turbines. Typically, fish injury or mortality is caused by fish being struck by turbine blades, or being exposed to pressure changes, sheer forces in turbulent flows, and water velocity accelerations (Knapp et al., 1982). Fish vulnerability to entrainment relates to powerhouse and spillway operations, fish sizes, movement patterns, swimming speeds, approach E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 52007 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices velocities, trashrack bar spacing, and intake configurations. The survival rate of fish passing through turbines varies for different sizes of fish and for turbines with different design characteristics. For example, Winchell et al. (2000) reports mean survival rate of fish less than 8 inches was 94.8 percent and 95.4 percent for fish less than 4 inches. Aside from fish size (with larger fish being more susceptible to injury), species type (some fish species are hardier than others and some species are more susceptible to entrainment), and behavior (migratory species are more likely to be entrained) along with the fish’s burst swim speed could also influence percentages of fish subjected to potential injury or mortality from turbine entrainment. TABLE 5—FISH SWIM SPEED INFORMATION FOR FISH SPECIES IN THE PROJECT AREA [Source: Normandeau Associates, Inc., 2002] Species Life stage Size (inches) Largemouth bass .................................................... Largemouth bass .................................................... Crappie ................................................................... Juvenile .................................................................. Juvenile .................................................................. Juvenile .................................................................. Burst swim speed (feet/sec or fps) 2–4 5.9–10.6 3 3.2 4.3 1–2 TABLE 6—SUSTAINED AND BURST SWIMMING SPEEDS OF BROOK AND BROWN TROUT [Sources: Bell, 1986 and Montana Water Center, 2007] Species Life stage Sustained swimming speed (fps) Prolonged swimming speed (fps) Brook Trout ........................ Brown Trout ....................... Juvenile ............................. Adult .................................. Not documented ................ 7.0–7.8 .............................. 2.0 ..................................... Not documented ................ Tables 5 and 6 show typical sustained, prolonged, and burst swim speeds for fish species commonly found in the project area. Most juvenile and adult game fish burst speeds exceed the average approach velocity of 0.5 feet per second (fps) that would occur in front of the project’s intake, suggesting that most life stages of most reservoir species would be able to escape from velocities near, and at, the intake face and thereby avoid entrainment. For smaller reservoir fish that would pass through the intake, we expect turbine mortality to be relatively minor. We note that at Wisconsin hydroelectric projects where entrainment studies have been conducted, small fish (less than 4 inches long) accounted for 79 percent of fish entrained during the field studies (Electric Power Research Institute, or EPRI, 1997). Due to their small size, the vast majority of small fish from the study survived turbine passage into downstream aquatic habitats. The survival of these smaller fish was relatively high, because they were less prone to mechanical injury from turbine passage than larger fish. Smaller fish also are less prone to injury resulting from shear stresses and rapid pressure changes. Therefore, it is likely that the majority of the entrained fish would be composed of the poorest swimmers (i.e., Burst swimming speed (fps) Not documented 12.2–12.8 very small fish), and most of these fish would survive turbine passage. In addition to entrainment effects, fish can become impinged on the bars of a trashrack if they are not able to overcome the approach velocity and are not able to pass between the trashrack bars due to their larger body size. Lawler et. al. (1991) developed an equation to determine minimum fish length protected by a trashrack or screen. The equation is TL=10 caret;[log(w/a)/b], where TL is total length, w is trashrack spacing, and alpha and beta are standard values. TABLE 7—MINIMUM FISH LENGTH PROTECTED BY 1-INCH TRASHRACK SPACING Trashrack spacing (w) Species srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Black crappie ................................................................................... Brown trout ...................................................................................... Rainbow trout ................................................................................... Trout-perch ...................................................................................... White sucker .................................................................................... Yellow perch .................................................................................... Based on the results of the studies conducted by Lawler et. al (1991), we calculate that the trashrack’s 2-inch spacing between the trashrack’s bars would generally not allow passage of brown trout greater than 15.4 inches total length, black crappie greater than 20.3 inches total length, and yellow perch greater than 22.4 inches total length. The average velocity in front of VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 alpha (a) 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 the trashrack would be approximately 0.5 fps. Brown trout larger than 15.4 inches, black crappie larger than 20.3 inches, yellow perch larger than 22.4 inches are in the adult life stage. Table 5 shows that a juvenile black crappie is capable of a burst swim speed 1–2 fps. Table 6 shows that an adult brown trout is capable of a sustained swimming speed of 7.0–7.8 fps with a burst swim PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 beta(b) 0.059347 0.129648 0.028369 0.032855 0.055538 0.034100 1.166856 1.000168 1.287580 1.388542 1.187414 1.307944 Total length (TL) 20.3 15.4 27.2 19.2 20.4 22.4 speed of 12.2–12.8 fps. Since burst speeds are typically short in duration (1–3 seconds), a brown trout could burst ahead of the trashrack’s influence and swim at a sustained speed safely in front of the trashrack. Therefore, impingement at the project would not be likely as most of the fish that are large enough to be subject to impingement, such as adult brown E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 52008 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices trout, yellow perch, and black crappie, would easily be able to escape the intake’s approach velocity. To summarize, we conclude that the overall effect on the fishery due to entrainment and turbine mortality would be minimal. We also conclude that impingement of fish on the project’s trashrack would be unlikely. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 3.3.3. Terrestrial Resources Affected Environment The Bad Axe-La Crosse Basin is characterized by steep slopes and narrow river valleys, which is a distinctive attribute of the Coulee ecoregion. Much of the land in the basin is used for agriculture, particularly for beef and dairy farms. Outside of agricultural lands, vegetation in the basin consists of oak forest and savanna, grassland prairie, and bottom hardwoods (Wisconsin DNR, 2002a). Most of the forests in the basin are oakhickory (56 percent), followed by elmash-cottonwood (16 percent), mapleash-basswood (16 percent), aspen-birch (8 percent), and pine (4 percent). This habitat supports a wide variety of wildlife species including wild turkey, Cooper’s hawk, ovenbird, blue jay, brown snake, bull snake, gray tree frog, white-tailed deer, gray squirrel, and gray fox. Avian species known to occur within the project site include: several species of songbirds, waterfowl (e.g., geese, herons, and ducks), birds of prey (i.e. hawks and owls), and other common species (e.g., crows and black birds). Wetlands in the basin account for approximately 2 percent of the total land area, with about 4,000 acres in the Upper La Crosse River watershed. While no wetlands appear to be present adjacent to the dam or project facilities, palustrine scrub-shrub and palustrine forested wetlands are located in the vicinity of the project (1) to the north and east of the upper half of the reservoir, as well as (2) downstream of the dam. Some freshwater emergent (marsh) habitat is also located near the northeastern section of Angelo Pond. Upland vegetation in the immediate vicinity of the proposed project includes mostly grasses, sedges, and shrubs. As several residential homes are located around the reservoir, some of the shoreline areas near and around Angelo Pond are maintained as lawns. Several species of invasive plants are known to occur in Monroe County, including Canada thistle, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, common reed, and purple loosestrife, to name a few. The only species known to occur in Angelo Pond according to the VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 Wisconsin DNR, is curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), though the specific location and density of the population is unclear. Curly-leaf pondweed becomes invasive in some areas due to its tolerance for low light and low water temperatures, which allows for the species to grow and bloom earlier in the season and outcompete native plants in the spring. As the species begin to die off midsummer, it can contribute to a critical loss of DO and increase nutrients to encourage algal blooms. Curly-leaf pondweed also forms surface mats that interfere with aquatic recreation (Wisconsin DNR, 2012a). Staff review of the FWS (2012a) endangered species list found that the following threatened and endangered (T&E) species are known to occur in Monroe County: the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis or Karners) and northern wild monkshood (Aconitum noveboracense). The Karner blue butterfly is an endangered species found in the northern part of wild lupine’s range, and is most widespread in Wisconsin. Habitat loss for the Karners is the result of land development, and lack of natural disturbances (i.e, wildfires and large mammal grazing) to discourage encroaching forests. In May of 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a bulletin for the Karners, noting that use of an insecticide called Intrepid (methoxyfenozide) could cause potential and actual harm to the species. As such, Western noted that it would not use Intrepid, for any reason, either during or after construction. Northern monkshood is a threatened species found only in Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and New York. Northern monkshood is often found on shaded to partially shaded cliffs, algific talus slopes,9 or along cool streamsides, as it prefers cool soil, cold air drainage, and/ or cold groundwater flowage. In a letter filed with the Commission on August 18, 2009, Interior stated that no threatened or endangered species exist in the project area. Environment Effects As discussed in section 3.3.1, Geology and Soils, the total area of disturbance is 875 square feet, including 135 square feet for excavation for the draft tube and 740 square feet for the powerhouse and forebay, which would only require surface cleaning and concrete bonding. The project would generate electricity using a 205-kW, 480-volt generator. The main power leads would leave the 9 Algific talus slopes are also called ‘‘cold air slopes.’’ PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 powerhouse overhead and connect to an existing distribution line less than 30 feet away. No land-disturbing activities are associated with the transmission line. Access to the project works would be from the existing cul-de-sac near the west side of the dam and created during the realignment of the old Highway 21. The cul-de-sac is approximately 130 feet west of the project works. Limited staging of equipment during project construction would occur on 0.5 acre of land, with most of the necessary equipment stored off-site. While some grassy areas may be temporarily disturbed and soils slightly compacted by the movement of equipment and personnel during the construction of the proposed project, no long-term adverse effects to terrestrial resources are anticipated. The construction area would be relatively small, and would occur over an area that has been previously disturbed, due to changes in land use over time (e.g., sawmill, installation and subsequent removal of the former powerhouse). The dam is located in an area with a fair amount of development, including Highway 21, the Sparta Campus of Western Technical College, some residential development, and the Fort McCoy Military Reservation. As such, the project site is lacking in high quality habitat for wildlife. While there may be some noise associated with the grounddisturbing activities that could temporarily deter some species, any impacts would be minor and short-term. While curly-leaf pondweed was found in Angelo Pond in 2006, all grounddisturbing activities are happening in the dry, away from the impoundment. Further, the water levels in the reservoir will not change and as such project operations would likely have no effect on any existing pondweed populations. The wetlands in the vicinity of the project are also located well outside of the construction zone and would not be otherwise affected by project operation due to the proposed run-of-river operating regime. Karners rely primarily on the presence of wild lupine (Lupinus perennis), a perennial wildflower that prefers sandy areas in open or partially shaded landscapes. In Wisconsin, this habitat is typically dry, sandy openings, including openings in oak savannas, jack pine stands, and dune or sandplain communities. Other areas with wild lupine may include utility, or road rights-of-way, abandoned agricultural fields, and military training areas and bombing ranges (FWS, 2012b), as wild lupine responds well to occasional ground-disturbance. While these species E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices are known to occur in Monroe County, it is unlikely that either species are present in the area of disturbance. Although the soils in the proposed area of disturbance include sands and sandy loams, the soils are poorly drained, and therefore, unsuitable for wild lupine. In addition, most of the construction area is bedrock, with little to no soil. The algific talus slopes required by northern monkshood are rare communities with steep, fractured limestone slopes that retain ice throughout the growing season. These slopes support mountain maple (Acer spicatum), extensive beds of bulbet fern (Cystopteris bulbifera) and mosses (Wisconsin DNR, 2012b). The project area is not located on an algific talus slope, which are more common further west toward the Mississippi River, and in Grant County Wisconsin. The project area is relatively level, and, where vegetation exists, is mainly composed of grasses. To summarize, because there are no Karners, northern monkshood, nor habitat for either species within the project area, project construction and operation would have no effect on these species. 3.3.4. Cultural Resources Affected Environment srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Area of Potential Effects Under section 106 of the NHPA, the Commission must take into account whether any historic property within the project’s APE could be affected by the issuance of a license. The APE is defined as the geographic area in which an undertaking may directly or indirectly cause alterations in the character or use of a historic property, if any such property exists. In this case, the APE for the project is the proposed project boundary. Regional History The earliest evidence of Native American occupation in Wisconsin dates to the Paleo-Indian period (10,000–8500 B.C.). Occupation continued through the Archaic (8,000– 1,000 B.C.), Woodland (1000–300 B.C.), and Mississippian periods (A.D. 900– 1600). Upon European contact, much of Wisconsin, including the project area, was occupied by the Ho-Chunk. Beginning in 1840, there were a series of forcible relocations throughout the state, which resulted in the Ho-Chunk being moved to lands west of the Mississippi River. The forcible relocations continued until 1875, at which time a majority of the remaining Ho-Chunk were relocated to Monroe and Jackson counties, Wisconsin. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 European settlement in Monroe County occurred in 1842. Between 1852 and 1854, Dr. Seth Angle built a dam and sawmill at the site of the current Angelo dam. The sawmill prospered, and the village of Athens was settled around the mill and dam in 1856. The village’s name was later changed to Angelo. By the 1900’s, the population of Angelo had declined because of the high price of land and because the railroad did not travel by the town. In 1897, the sawmill was converted into the Sparta Electric Plant. The Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company purchased the plant, and in 1920, rebuilt the dam. In 1947, Northern States Power Company bought the facility, and in 1968 refurbished the dam and demolished the powerhouse. In 1969, Northern States Power Company ceased operation of the facility. In 1998, the refurbished dam was demolished, and Angelo dam was constructed in its place (Salkin, 2011). Archaeological and Historic Resources A phase I survey of the APE, conducted in 2010, revealed no surface or sub-surface archaeological resources, Euro-American artifacts, or buildings or structures that would be eligible for the National Register. The existing Angelo dam is not eligible for the National Register, because it is less than 50 years old. A portion of the APE to be surveyed was inaccessible during the initial survey; therefore, a second phase I survey was conducted in March and April of 2012. No surface or sub-surface archaeological resources were discovered during the second survey. In total, the two surveys covered about 87 percent of the APE. The Wisconsin SHPO, in letters filed on October 21, 2011, and June 14, 2012, concurred with the two surveys’ findings. Environmental Effects Proposed project construction and operation may affect unknown historic properties within the APE. The executed PA requires that every proposed hydroelectric project in Wisconsin develop an HPMP to avoid, lessen, or mitigate for any adverse effects on both identified and unidentified historic properties within the APE. To address any potential adverse effects on unidentified historic properties,10 Western proposes to implement its HPMP, filed on October 21, 2011 and amended by letter filed on June 14, 2012. The HPMP contains policies and procedures for: (1) The 10 There are no known historic properties within the APE. PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52009 completion of a phase I survey of the unsurveyed areas within the APE; (2) treatment of unanticipated archaeological resource discoveries or human remains; (3) the determination of the National Register-eligibility of any discovered archaeological resource; (4) the treatment of any unknown historic property over the term of any license issued; and (5) the appointment of an HPMP coordinator. In letters filed on October 21, 2011 and June 14, 2012, the Wisconsin SHPO accepted the proposed HPMP with its amendments.11 Our Analysis Western conducted two cultural resource surveys, but was unable to survey about 17 percent of the land within the project’s APE. In these unsurveyed areas, project operations could adversely affect unknown archaeological resources that could be eligible for the National Register. Also during project construction or operation, unknown archaeological sites or human remains may be discovered. The proposed HPMP contains protocols and procedures to adequately address any unanticipated discoveries during future surveys or proposed project construction and operation. Also the proposed HPMP contains provisions to lessen, avoid, or mitigate for any adverse effects if the discovered properties are eligible for the National Register or if human remains are discovered. We anticipate that any effects on unknown historic properties would be taken into account through the executed PA and the proposed HPMP. The documents would ensure that any adverse effects on historic properties within the APE would be resolved. 3.4 No-Action Alternative Under the no action alternative, a license for the project would not be issued and the Angelo Dam Project would not be constructed. There would be no changes to the physical, biological, or cultural resources in the area, and there would be no hydroelectric generation at the dam to contribute to the regional need for power. 4.0 Developmental Analysis In this section, we look at Western’s use of the La Crosse River for hydropower purposes to see what effects various environmental measures would have on the projects’ costs and 11 Pursuant to section II.B., Historic Resources Management Plan, of the executed PA, if the Wisconsin SHPO agrees with the HPMP, then Western shall implement the HPMP, if a license is issued. E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 52010 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices power generation. Under the Commission’s approach to evaluating the economics of hydropower projects, as articulated in Mead Corp.,12 the Commission compares the current project cost to an estimate of the cost of obtaining the same amount of energy and capacity using a likely alternative source of power for the region (cost of alternative power). In keeping with Commission policy as described in Mead Corp, our economic analysis is based on current electric power cost conditions and does not consider future escalation of fuel prices in valuing the hydropower project’s power benefits. For each of the licensing alternatives, our analysis includes an estimate of: (1) The cost of individual measures considered in the EA for the protection, mitigation and enhancement of environmental resources affected by the project; (2) the cost of alternative power; (3) the total project cost (i.e., for construction, operation, maintenance, and environmental measures); and (4) the difference between the cost of alternative power and total project cost. If the difference between the cost of alternative power and total project cost is positive, the project produces power for less than the cost of alternative power. If the difference between the cost of alternative power and total project cost is negative, the project produces power for more than the cost of alternative power. This estimate helps to support an informed decision concerning what is in the public interest with respect to a proposed license. However, project economics is only one of many public interest factors the Commission considers in determining whether, and under what conditions, to issue a license. 4.1 Power and Economic Benefits of the Project Table 8 summarizes the assumptions and economic information we use in our analysis. This information was provided by Western in its license application and subsequent submittal. We find that the values provided by Western are reasonable for the purposes of our analysis. Cost items common to all alternatives include: Taxes and insurance costs; estimated capital investment required to develop the project; licensing costs; normal operation and maintenance cost; and Commission fees. TABLE 8—PARAMETERS FOR THE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE ANGELO DAM PROJECT—Continued [Source: Staff] Parameter Value Discount rate ............................. 10 percent.c a Western was awarded $1,200,000 in public funding. Staff assumes that the remainder of the cost to develop the project would be financed. b Western is a state entity, and therefore, does not pay taxes. c See license application at 7. The Angelo Dam Project would have an installed capacity of 205 kW and would generate an average of 948.5 MWh annually. Table 8 includes an energy value of $90/MWh which is the price at which Western would sell the project power to Northern States Power as agreed in a Power Purchase TABLE 8—PARAMETERS FOR THE ECO- Agreement between the two entities.13 NOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE ANGELO The capacity value of $159,000/MWyear (table 8) is based on the DAM PROJECT amortization and fixed operation and [Source: Staff] maintenance cost for a simple-cycle combustion turbine. Parameter Value Period of analysis (years) ......... Term of financing (years) ......... Taxes (real estate, local, federal). Project cost ............................... Licensing cost, $ ....................... Operation and maintenance, $/ year. Energy value ($/MWh) .............. Capacity value ($/MW-year) ..... Interest rate ............................... 4.2 30. 20.a $0.b $1,376,000. $50,000. $10,000. $90. $159,000. 10 percent.c Comparison of Alternatives Table 9 summarizes the installed capacity, annual generation, cost of alternative power, estimated total project cost, and difference between the cost of alternative power and total project cost for each of the alternatives considered in this EA: no-action, the applicant’s proposal, and the staff alternative. TABLE 9—SUMMARY OF THE ANNUAL COST OF ALTERNATIVE POWER AND ANNUAL PROJECT COST FOR THREE ALTERNATIVES FOR THE ANGELO DAM PROJECT [Source: Staff] Western’s proposal No action Installed capacity (kW) ................................................................................................ Annual generation MWh) ............................................................................................. Dependable Capacity (kW) .......................................................................................... Annual cost of alternative power ($/MWh) .................................................................. Annual project cost ($/MWh) ....................................................................................... Difference between the cost of alternative power and project cost ($/MWh) ............. a See srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 4.2.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 205 948.5 205 a 124.86 38.35 86.20 Staff alternative 205 948.5 205 124.86 38.65 80.71 license application at 23. No-Action Alternative 4.2.2 Applicant’s Proposal Under the no-action alternative, the Angelo Dam Project would not be constructed and there would be no hydropower generation, costs, or benefits at this site. Western proposes to construct a new hydropower facility at the existing Angelo dam. Upon completion of the construction, the proposed project would have a total installed capacity of 205 kW, a dependable capacity of 205 kW, and an average annual generation of 12 See Mead Corporation, Publishing Paper Division, 72 FERC ¶ 61,027 (July 13, 1995). In most cases, electricity from hydropower would displace some form of fossil-fueled generation, in which fuel cost is the largest component of the cost of electricity production. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 948.5 MWh. Additionally, Western proposes to implement the executed PA and an associated HPMP at a capital cost of $27,000 and an annual cost of $1,500, which is included in the total project cost of $1,376,000. In addition, Western proposes to develop and implement an erosion and sediment 13 See E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM license application at 9. 28AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices control plan, use BMPs, and operate the project in run-of-river mode. The costs of these measures are included in the total project costs. The average annual cost of alternative power would be $118,432, or $124.86/MWh. The capital cost of the project including protection, mitigation, and enhancement measures is estimated to be $1,376,000. In total, the average annual project cost would be $36,371, or $38.65/MWh. Overall, the project as proposed would produce power at a cost which is $81,589, or $86.20 MWh less than the cost of alternative power. 4.2.3 Staff Alternative The staff alternative includes the same developmental and environmental measures as Western’s proposal and, therefore, would have the same capacity and energy attributes. In addition to applicant’s environmental measures, staff recommends that Western develop and implement an operation compliance monitoring plan and schedule, for Angelo dam at a cost of $2,500 in capital expenditure. Based on a total installed capacity of 205 kW, a dependable capacity of 205 kW, and an average annual generation of 948.5 MWh, the cost of alternative power would be $118,432, or about $124.86/MWh. The average annual project cost would be $36,663, or about $38.65/MWh. Overall, the project would produce power at a cost which is $81,297, or $85.471/MWh, less than the cost of alternative generation. 4.3 Cost of Environmental Measures Western is proposing to implement the executed PA and associated HPMP at a capital cost of $27,000 and an annual cost of $1,500 which is included in the total project cost of $1,376,000. The costs associated with Western’s proposal to develop and implement an erosion and sediment control plan, use BMPs, and operate the project in run-ofriver mode, as stated above, are included in the total project costs. Staff is recommending that an operation compliance monitoring plan and 52011 schedule be developed at a capital cost of $2,500, to ensure compliance with the proposed run-of-river operating regime. We convert all costs to equal annual (levelized) values over a 30-year period of analysis to give a uniform basis for comparing the benefits of a measure to its cost. Staff’s recommended operation compliance monitoring plan would add about $292 to the project cost, annually. 5.0 Conclusions and Recommendations 5.1 Comparison of Alternatives In this section, we compare the developmental and non-developmental effects of Western’s proposal, Western’s proposal as modified by staff, and the no-action alternative. We estimate the annual generation of the project under the three alternatives identified above. Our analysis shows that the annual generation would be 948.5 MWh for the proposed action, 948.5 MWh for the staff alternative, and 0 MWh for the no-action alternative. TABLE 10—COMPARISON OF EFFECTS FOR EACH ALTERNATIVE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ANGELO DAM PROJECT [Source: Staff] Resource No action alternative Proposed action Staff recommended alternative Generation ..................................... No hydroelectric generation ......... Geologic and Soils Resources ...... No changes to geology or soils at or near the proposed project site. 948.5 MWh of electricity produced annually. Same as proposed action. Aquatic Resources ......................... No changes to current water quality conditions where DO, water temperature, and pH are at levels consistent with state water quality standards. No changes to existing terrestrial resources. 948.5 MWh of electricity produced annually. Western would excavate approximately 135 cubic yards of bedrock to construct the proposed powerhouse and forebay. To ensure the protection of project resources from sedimentation and erosion, Western would develop, and implement (BMPs) during project construction as well as develop and implement an erosion and sediment control plan. There would, nonetheless, be the potential for temporary and minor erosion and sedimentation at the site. There would be temporary, minor increases in turbidity associated with construction. Run-of-river operation would maintain current water quality. Project construction would cause minor, short-term disturbance of grassy areas, compaction of soils, and generation of noise associated with excavation activities. Construction and operation of the proposed project could adversely affect unknown historic properties. Western proposes to implement the HPMP filed on October 21, 2011, and amended by letter filed on June 14, 2012, to mitigate for any adverse effects on newly discovered historic properties. Terrestrial ....................................... srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Cultural Resources ........................ VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 No changes to the current conditions where there are no known historic properties. There would be no potential for unknown historic properties to be affected by the project. Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM Same as proposed action. Same as proposed action. Same as proposed action. 28AUN1 52012 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices 5.2 Comprehensive Development and Recommended Alternative Sections 4(e) and 10(a) of the FPA require the Commission to give equal consideration to the power development purposes and to the purposes of energy conservation; the protection, mitigation of damage to, and enhancement of fish and wildlife; the protection of recreational opportunities; and the preservation of other aspects of environmental quality. Any license issued shall be such as in the Commission’s judgment will be best adapted to a comprehensive plan for improving or developing waterway or waterways for all beneficial public uses. This section contains the basis for, and a summary of, our recommendations for licensing the Angelo Dam Project. We weigh the costs and benefits of our recommended alternative against other proposed measures. Based on our independent review of the environmental and economic effects of the proposed project and its alternatives, we selected Western’s proposal with staff’s modifications as the preferred alternative. We recommend this alternative because: (1) Issuance of an original hydropower license by the Commission would allow the applicant to construct and operate the project as an economically beneficial and dependable source of electrical energy; (2) the 205 kW of electric capacity would come from a renewable resource which does not contribute to atmospheric pollution; (3) the public benefits of this alternative would exceed those of the no-action alternative; and (4) the recommended measures would protect, mitigate, and enhance environmental resources affected by building, operating, and maintaining the project. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 5.2.1. Measures Proposed by Western Based on our environmental analysis of Western’s proposal in section 3, and the costs presented in section 4, we conclude that the following environmental measures proposed by Western would protect and enhance environmental resources and would be worth the cost. Therefore, we recommend including these measures in any license issued for the project: • Developing and implementing an erosion and sediment control plan with provisions for using BMPs, including installing a temporary inflatable cofferdam, and placing hay bales and siltation fabric at locations where sediment-laden runoff could otherwise enter project waters or adjacent nonproject lands; VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 • Operating the project in a run-ofthe-river mode to minimize impacts on water quality and quantity, and fish and aquatic resources; and • Implementing the PA, executed on December 16, 1993, and the HPMP, filed on October 21, 2011, and amended by letter filed on June 14, 2012. 5.2.2. Additional Measures Recommended By Staff In addition to Western’s proposed measures noted above, we recommend that Western develop and implement an operation compliance monitoring plan and schedule to monitor compliance with run-of-river operations. In section 3.3.2, Aquatic Resources, we determined that such a plan would ensure that Western would be able to demonstrate compliance with its proposed run-of-river operating regime. In section 4, staff concluded that developing and implementing an operation compliance monitoring plan would have an annualized cost of $292. The benefits of the plan justify the annualized cost of $292. As noted in section 2.2.4, Western also proposes to comply with all state water quality standards while operating the project. We consider this proposal to comply with state law to be a general legal matter rather than a specific environmental measure, and therefore, do not adopt it as an environmental measure under the staff alternative. Nevertheless, in section 3, we analyzed the effects of proposed project construction and operation on water quality in the La Crosse River and concluded that with the exception of the potential for short-term, minor increases in turbidity during construction, Western’s proposal to operate the project in a run-of-river mode would ensure that there would be no long-term adverse effects on water quality. 5.3 Unavoidable Adverse Effects As discussed in section 3.3.1, Geology and Soils Resources, 135 cubic yards of rock would be permanently excavated. Also, any potential erosion or sedimentation that would occur during project construction would be minimized through the development and implementation of an erosion and sediment control plan. As discussed in section 3.3.2, Aquatic Resources, construction activities may cause minor, short-term adverse effects on water turbidity, but developing and implementing an erosion and sediment control plan would limit the severity and scope of these effects. The operation of the proposed project would also result in some entrainment and mortality of resident fish. However, PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 these effects would likely be minor as most large fish would be able to escape the intake’s approach velocity, and the majority of small fish are more likely to survive passage through the project turbine. Therefore, any adverse effects would be minimal and are unlikely to negatively impact the project reservoir’s (Angelo Pond’s) fish community as a whole. 5.4 Fish and Wildlife Agency Recommendations Under section 10(j) of the FPA, 16 USC 803(j), each hydroelectric license issued by the Commission must include conditions based on recommendations provided by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies for the protection, mitigation, or enhancement of fish and wildlife resources affected by the project. No federal or state fish and wildlife agency filed recommendations pursuant to section 10(j) of the FPA. 5.5 Consistency With Comprehensive Plans Section 10(a)(2) of the FPA, 16 USC 803(a)(2)(A), requires the Commission to consider the extent to which a project is consistent with federal or state comprehensive plans for improving, developing, or conserving a waterway or waterways affected by a project. We reviewed three plans that are applicable to the project and found no inconsistencies.14 6.0 Finding of No Signicant Impact On the basis of our independent analysis, the issuance of an original license for the Angelo Dam Project, as proposed, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. 7.0 Literature Cited Bell, Milo C. 1986. Fisheries handbook of engineering requirements & biological criteria. University of Michigan Library, Michigan. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). 1997. Turbine survival and entrainment database—field tests. EPRI Report No. TR–108630. Prepared by Alden Research Laboratory, Inc. Holden, MA. Knapp, W.E., B. Kynard, and S.P. Gloss. 1982. Potential effects of Kaplan, Ossberger, and Bulb turbines on anadromous fishes of the northeast United States. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Massachusetts. Lawler, Matucky and Skelly Engineers. 1991. 14 (1) The Department of the Interior. 1993. The Nationwide Rivers Inventory; (2) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Undated. Fisheries USA: The recreational fisheries policy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and (3) Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 1995. Wisconsin’s forestry best management practices for water quality. E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 28, 2012 / Notices Length/width size estimation. In fish entrainment monitoring program at Hodenpyl Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 2599, Application. Jackson, MI: Consumers Power Company, 1991. Montana Water Center. February 2007. http:// wildfish.montana.edu Normandeau Associates, Inc., Tapoco Hydroelectric Project—FERC No. 2169— Fish and Aquatics Study 5, Fish Entrainment Assessment, Draft, APGI Tapoco Division, 2002. Salkin, P. 2011. A Cultural Resources Study of the Project Corridor for the Proposed Angelo Dam Hydroelectric Project in Angelo Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin, FERC Project 13417, Report of Investigations, No. 1851. Archaeological Consulting and Services, Inc., Verona, Wisconsin May 2011. ____ . 2012. An Addendum to the Cultural Resources Study of the Project Corridor for the Angelo Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin and the Cultural Resources Management Plan, Report of Investigations, No. 1892. Archaeological Consulting and Services, Inc., Verona, Wisconsin. May 2012. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2012. Western Ecology Division: Ecoregions of Wisconsin. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/wed/pages/ ecoregions/wi_eco.htm. Accessed June 15, 2012. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). 2012a. Midwest Region: State and County Lists—Wisconsin. http://www.fws.gov/ midwest/endangered/lists/wisc-cty.html ____ . 2012b. Midwest Region: Karner Blue Butterfly—Wisconsin Statewide HCP Questions and Answers. Available at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/ endangered/insects/kbb/kbbhcpfs.html Western Technical College (Western). 2012. Angelo Dam Hydroelectric Project. FERC Project No. 13417, Response to Deficiency of License Application and Request for Additional Information. February 10, 2012. ____ . 2011a. Angelo Hydropower Project Application, FERC Project No. 13417– 002. October 21, 2011. ____ . 2011b. Cultural Resource Management Plan for the Proposed Licensing of the Angelo Dam Hydroelectric Facility in Angelo Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin, FERC Project 13417 Report of Investigations, No. 1865. Archaeological Consulting and Services, Inc., Verona, Wisconsin. June 2011. Winchell, F., S. Amaral, and D. Dixon. 2000. Hydroelectric turbine entrainment and survival database: An alternative to field studies, Hydrovision 2000—New Realities, New Responses, CD–ROM, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 8–11, 2000. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR). 2012a. Invasive Species: Curly-leaf Pondweed. Available at: http://dnr.wi.gov/invasives/fact/ curlyleaf_pondweed.htm ____ . 2012b. Topics—Endangered Resources: Aligific Talus Slope. Available at: http:// dnr.wi.gov/topic/EndangeredResources/ Communities.asp?mode=detail&Code= VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:39 Aug 27, 2012 Jkt 226001 CTGEO085WI ____ . 2002a. State of the Bad Axe—La Crosse River Basin. PUBL WT 557 2002. http:// dnr.wi.gov/water/basin/balax/index.htm. Accessed June 29, 2012. ____ . 2002b. Wisconsin Watershed Database: Watershed—Upper La Crosse River (BLO6). http://dnr.wi.gov/water/ watershedDetail.aspx?code=BL06& Name=Upper %20La%20Crosse%20River 8.0 List of Preparers Janet Hutzel—Cultural Resources (Outdoor Recreation Planner; B.S., Environmental Analysis and Planning; M.S.,Geography) Isis Johnson—Project Coordinator, Geology and Soils, Terrestrial Resources, (Environmental Biologist; M.S. Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology, B.S Wildlife Conservation and Entomology) Bryan Roden-Reynolds—Aquatic Resources (Fisheries Biologist; B.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Science) Sergiu Serban—Need for Power and Developmental Analysis (Civil Engineer; B.S. and M.S., Civil Engineering) [FR Doc. 2012–21176 Filed 8–27–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP12–484–000] East Tennessee Natural Gas, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Wacker Polysilicon Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Wacker Polysilicon Project involving construction and operation of facilities proposed by East Tennessee Natural Gas, LLC (ETNG) in Bradley and Maury Counties, Tennessee. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity. This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. Please note that the scoping period will close on September 20, 2012. You may submit comments in written form. Further details on how to submit written comments are in the PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52013 Public Participation section of this notice. This notice is being sent to the Commission’s current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern. If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law. ETNG provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled ‘‘An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?’’. This fact sheet addresses a number of typically-asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission’s proceedings. It is also available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). Summary of the Proposed Project ETNG proposes to construct 2,800 feet of 8-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline that would extend from a new metering facility located on ETNG’s existing 12inch-diameter pipeline (3200–1) to a proposed new receiver station on the Wacker Polysilicon Plant property in Bradley County, Tennessee. The new pipeline would supply 5,700 Dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of natural gas to the Wacker Polysilicon facility which is currently being built under Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) land use and 26A approval (TVA 2008–74). Also, in order to provide additional pressure and flow capacity in Line 3200–1, ETNG would install piping modifications and a pressure limiting device (relief valve) on Line 3200–1 in Maury County, Tennessee. The general location of the project facilities are shown in Appendix 1.1 1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called ‘‘eLibrary’’ or from the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM Continued 28AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 167 (Tuesday, August 28, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51993-52013]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21176]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Project No. 13417-002-WI]


Western Technical College; Notice of Availability of 
Environmental Assessment

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's regulations, 18 CFR Part 
380 (Order No. 486, 52 FR 47,897), the Office of Energy Projects has 
reviewed the application for an original license to construct the 
Angelo Dam Hydropower Project, and has prepared an environmental 
assessment (EA). The proposed 205-kilowatt project would be located on 
the La Crosse River in the Township of Angelo, Monroe County, Wisconsin 
at an existing dam owned by Monroe County. The project would not occupy 
federal lands.
    The EA includes staff's analysis of the potential environmental 
impacts of the project and concludes that licensing the project, with 
appropriate protective measures, would not constitute a major federal 
action that would significantly affect the quality of the human 
environment.
    A copy of the EA is available for review at the Commission in the 
Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at 
http://www.ferc.gov, using the ``eLibrary'' link. Enter the docket 
number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field, to 
access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at 
FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, or toll-free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, 
(202) 502-8659.
    You may also register online at  http://www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm to be notified via email of new filings and issuances 
related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC 
Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll-free at 1-866-208-
3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659.
    Any comments should be filed within 30 days from the date of this 
notice. Comments may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 
CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web 
site http://www.ferc.gov/doc-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit 
brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, 
using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the 
end of your comments. For assistance, please contact Commission Online 
Support. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, 
documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and 
seven copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please affix 
Angelo Dam Hydropower Project, P-13417-002 to all comments.
    Please contact Isis Johnson by telephone at (202) 502-6346, or by 
email at isis.johnson@ferc.gov, if you have any questions.

    Dated: August 22, 2012.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.

Environmental Assessment for Hydropower License; Angelo Dam Hydropower 
Project

FERC Project No. 13417-002; Wisconsin

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Energy Projects, 
Division of Hydropower Licensing, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 
20426.
August 2012.

Table of Contents

 
                                                               Paragraph
 
LIST OF FIGURES.............................................          iv
LIST OF TABLES..............................................          iv
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS..................................           v
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...........................................         vii
1.0 INTRODUCTION............................................           1
    1.1 APPLICATION.........................................           1
    1.2 PURPOSE OF ACTION AND NEED FOR POWER................           1
        1.2.1 Purpose of Action.............................           1
        1.2.2 Need for Power................................           2
    1.3 STATUTORY AND REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS...............           2
        1.3.1 Federal Power Act.............................           4
        1.3.2 Clean Water Act...............................           4
        1.3.3 Endangered Species Act........................           5
        1.3.4 Coastal Zone Management Act...................           5
        1.3.5 National Historic Preservation Act............           5
    1.4 PUBLIC REVIEW AND CONSULTATION......................           6
        1.4.1 Scoping.......................................           6

[[Page 51994]]

 
        1.4.2 Interventions and Comments....................           6
2.0 PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES........................           6
    2.1 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE...............................           6
    2.2 PROPOSED ACTION.....................................           7
        2.2.1 Project Facilities............................           7
        2.2.2 Project Safety................................           9
        2.2.3 Project Operation.............................           9
        2.2.4 Environmental Measures........................          10
    2.3 STAFF ALTERNATIVE...................................          11
3.0 ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS..................................          11
    3.1 GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE RIVER BASIN..............          11
    3.2 SCOPE OF CUMULATIVE EFFECTS ANALYSIS................          15
    3.3 PROPOSED ACTION AND ACTION ALTERNATIVES.............          15
        3.3.1 Geology and Soils.............................          15
        3.3.2. Aquatic Resources............................          17
        3.3.3. Terrestrial Resources........................          24
        3.3.4. Cultural Resources...........................          27
    3.4 NO-ACTION ALTERNATIVE 29 13>4.0                    29
     DEVELOPMENTAL ANALYSIS.................................
    4.1 POWER AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT..........          30
    4.2 COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES..........................          31
        4.2.1 No-Action Alternative.........................          31
        4.2.2 Applicant's Proposal..........................          31
        4.2.3 Staff Alternative.............................          32
    4.3 COST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEASURES......................          32
5.0 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.........................          32
    5.1 COMPARISON OF ALTERNATIVES..........................          32
    5.2 COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT AND RECOMMENDED                     34
     ALTERNATIVE............................................
        5.2.1. Measures Proposed by Western.................          35
        5.2.2. Additional Measures Recommended By Staff.....          35
    5.3 UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE EFFECTS.........................          36
    5.4 FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCY RECOMMENDATIONS............          36
    5.5 CONSISTENCY WITH COMPREHENSIVE PLANS................          37
6.0 FINDING OF NO SIGNICANT IMPACT..........................          37
7.0 LITERATURE CITED........................................          37
8.0 LIST OF PREPARERS.......................................          39
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Map of Bad Axe--La Crosse River Basin, showing the           8
 location of the project (Source: Wisconsin DNR, 2002a; as
 modified by staff).........................................
Figure 2. Project features for the Angelo Dam Project, FERC            9
 No. 13417-002 (Source: License application, as modified by
 staff).....................................................
Figure 3. Map of the watersheds in the Bad Axe--La Crosse             13
 River Basin, divided by watershed boundaries (Source:
 Wisconsin DNR, 2002a; modified by Staff)...................
Figure 4. Map of the La Crosse River and tributaries within           14
 the Upper, Little, and Lower La Crosse River watersheds
 (Source: Staff)............................................
Figure 5. Spring and summer water depth of the La Crosse              18
 River at USGS Gauge 05382325...............................
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Major statutory and regulatory requirements for the           3
 Angelo Dam Project.........................................
Table 2. Angelo Pond Specifications.........................          17
Table 3. Mean Monthly discharge rates at USGS Gauge 05382325          18
 from 1992-2011.............................................
Table 4. Ambient Temperatures and Water Quality Criteria for          19
 cold water communities.....................................
Table 5. Fish swim speed information for fish species in the          22
 project area (Source: Normandeau Associates, Inc., 2002)...
Table 6. Sustained and burst swimming speeds of brook and             22
 brown trout (Sources: Bell, 1986 and Montana Water Center,
 2007)......................................................
Table 7. Minimum fish length protected by 1-inch trashrack            23
 spacing....................................................
Table 8. Parameters for the economic analysis of the Angelo           30
 Dam Project (Source: Staff)................................
Table 9. Summary of the annual cost of alternative power and          31
 annual project cost for three alternatives for the Angelo
 Dam Project (Source: Staff)................................
Table 10. Comparison of effects for each alternative                  33
 associated with the Angelo Dam Project (Source: Staff).....
 

Acronyms and Abbreviations

APE area of potential effects
basin Bad Axe--La Crosse River Basin
BMP best management practice
cfs cubic feet per second
Commission Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
CWA Clean Water Act
CZMA Coastal Zone Management Act
DO dissolved oxygen
EA environmental assessment
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
EPRI Electric Power Research Institute
ESA Endangered Species Act
[deg]F degrees Fahrenheit
FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FPA Federal Power Act
FWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
fps feet per second
HCP Wisconsin Habitat Conservation Plan
HPMP historic properties management plan
Interior U.S. Department of the Interior
kV kilovolt
kW kilowatt
kWh kilowatt-hour
msl mean sea level
MW megawatt
MWh megawatt-hour
Michigan SHPO Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer
MRO Midwest Reliability Organization
MISO Midwest Independent System Operator
National Register National Register of Historic Places
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
NERC North American Electric Reliability Council
NHPA National Historic Preservation Act
PA Programmatic Agreement
project Angelo Dam Hydroelectric Project

[[Page 51995]]

SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
watershed Upper La Crosse River Watershed
Western Western Technical College
Wisconsin CMP Wisconsin Coastal Management Program Office
Wisconsin DNR Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin SHPO Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Officer
WQC water quality certificate

Executive Summary

    On October 21, 2011, Western Technical College (Western) filed an 
application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) 
for an original, minor license to construct, operate, and maintain the 
proposed 205-kilowatt (kW) Angelo Dam Hydropower Project No. 13417-002 
(project). The project would be located on the La Crosse River in the 
Township of Angelo, Monroe County, Wisconsin at the existing Angelo dam 
owned by Monroe County. The project would not occupy federal lands.

Existing Facilities and Operation

    The Angelo dam was built by Northern States Power in the 1920's. 
Northern States Power generated electricity at the Angelo dam until 
1969 and then removed the generating equipment and transferred the dam 
and associated reservoir (Angelo Pond) to Monroe County. In 1998, 
Monroe County rehabilitated the dam.
    The Angelo dam has a total length of 615.5 feet and is composed of 
a left earthen embankment, a concrete spillway and non-overflow 
structure, and a right earthen embankment. The left earthen embankment 
has a length of 400 feet and a maximum height of approximately 14 feet. 
The right earthen embankment has a length of 124 feet and a maximum 
height of approximately 12 feet. The spillway and non-overflow section 
are constructed of reinforced concrete and have a total length of 91.5 
feet. The spillway is 72.42 feet long and 9.6 feet high from the 
foundation level to its crest. The spillway has four, 13.5-foot-wide by 
11.4-foot-high bays each with 13.5-foot-wide by 6.9-foot-high steel 
tainter gates. The non-overflow section is 19.08 feet long, 20 feet 
high, and 19.7 feet wide.
    The reservoir has a surface area of 52 acres at elevation 793 feet 
mean sea level (msl). The reservoir's storage capacity is 450 acre-feet 
at the dam's crest elevation of 795 feet msl.
    The dam and reservoir currently provide recreational benefits to 
the project area. There is no hydroelectric generation at the dam. The 
dam is operated manually in a run-of-river mode (i.e., an operating 
mode where outflows from the dam and reservoir approximate inflows to 
the reservoir).

Proposed Facilities and Operation

    Western proposes to acquire the rights to and utilize the Angelo 
dam and reservoir for power generation. Western would convert the dam's 
non-overflow section to serve as the project's intake. The conversion 
would involve removing a concrete cap and plug that was poured in 1998 
when the dam was rehabilitated. Western would also construct, operate, 
and maintain the following facilities at the dam and reservoir: (1) A 
22.84-foot-long by 16.08-foot-wide trashrack with 2-inch-clear bar 
spacing installed at the intake in the non-overflow section; (2) a 20-
foot by 20-foot by 20-foot reinforced concrete box forebay; (3) a 26-
foot-long by 24.5-foot-wide by 40-foot-high powerhouse located at the 
right abutment of the dam and containing a 205-kW vertical, double-
regulated Kaplan turbine; (4) a 30-foot-long, 480-volt overhead 
transmission line connecting the powerhouse generator to a step-up 
transformer that would be located on a pole which is part of Northern 
States Power's 2.7-kilovolt (kV) distribution line; and (5) appurtenant 
facilities.
    The project would be operated in a run-of-river mode using the 
natural flow of the La Crosse River. The estimated average annual 
project generation is about 950 megawatt-hours (MWh).

Proposed Environmental Measures

    Western proposes the following environmental measures to protect or 
enhance resources in the vicinity of the proposed project:
     An erosion and sediment control plan with provisions for 
using best management practices, including installing a temporary 
inflatable cofferdam, and placing hay bales and siltation fabric at 
locations where sediment-laden runoff could otherwise enter project 
waters or adjacent non-project lands;
     Operating the project in a run-of-the-river mode to 
protect water quality and quantity, and fish and aquatic resources; and
     Implementing the Commission's statewide programmatic 
agreement (PA) for projects in Wisconsin, and implementing a Historic 
Properties Management Plan (HPMP) for the project.
    Western also proposes to comply with all state water quality 
standards while operating the project. In this environmental assessment 
(EA), we consider Western's proposal to comply with state water quality 
standards (i.e., state law) to be a general legal matter rather than a 
specific environmental measure.

Alternatives Considered

    In addition to Western's proposed action, this EA considers 
Western's proposed action with staff's modifications (staff 
alternative), and a no-action alternative. Under the staff alternative, 
the project would be constructed, operated, and maintained as proposed 
by Western. The staff alternative also includes a recommendation for 
Western to develop and implement an operation compliance monitoring 
plan for proposed run-of-river operations at the project. Under the no-
action alternative, a license would be denied and Western would not 
construct and operate the project.

Public Involvement

    Before filing its license application, Western conducted pre-filing 
consultation under the traditional licensing process. The intent of the 
Commission's pre-filing process is to initiate public involvement early 
in the project planning process and to encourage citizens, governmental 
entities, tribes, and other interested parties to identify and resolve 
issues prior to an application being formally filed with the 
Commission.
    Western filed its license application on October 21, 2011. On April 
24, 2012, the Commission issued a notice accepting the license 
application; soliciting motions to intervene, protests, comments, terms 
and conditions, recommendations, and prescriptions; stating that the 
application was ready for environmental analysis; stating staff's 
intent to waive scoping; and establishing an expedited schedule for 
processing. The notice explained that staff intended to waive scoping 
due to the project's use of an existing dam, the limited scope of 
proposed construction at the project site, the applicant's close 
coordination with federal and state agencies during the preparation of 
the application, and the completion of studies during pre-filing 
consultation. The United States Department of the Interior (Interior) 
was the only entity that filed a written response to the notice. 
Interior stated that it had no comments.
    The primary issues associated with licensing the project are the 
potential for project effects on soil erosion and sedimentation, water 
quality and fish entrainment.

[[Page 51996]]

Project Effects

Geology and Soils
    Project construction would require the excavation of approximately 
135 cubic yards of bedrock during the construction of the proposed 
powerhouse and forebay. To minimize the potential for erosion and 
sedimentation related to the excavation, under the applicant's proposal 
and staff alternative, Western would develop and implement an erosion 
and sediment control plan.
Aquatic Resources
    Under the proposed action and the staff alternative, developing and 
implementing an erosion and sediment control plan would limit erosion, 
sedimentation, and increases in river turbidity.
    Under the proposed action and staff alternative, fish could be 
entrained through the project's trashrack and intake, and therefore, be 
subjected to turbine mortality during operation of the project. 
However, the amount of entrainment and turbine mortality would likely 
be small and result in an overall minimal adverse effect on the project 
reservoir's (Angelo Pond's) fish community.
    Under both the proposed action and staff alternative, run-of-river 
operation would maintain current aquatic resource habitats in Angelo 
Pond and in the La Crosse River downstream of the Angelo dam.
Terrestrial Resources
    While some grassy areas may be temporarily disturbed and soils 
slightly compacted by the movement of equipment and personnel during 
construction, no long-term adverse effects to terrestrial resources are 
anticipated, as the construction area would be relatively small, and 
occur in an area that has been previously disturbed. Also, the project 
site is fairly developed and lacks quality habitat for wildlife.
    Two federally listed species are known to occur in Monroe County, 
namely the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis or 
Karners) and northern wild monkshood (Aconitum noveboracense). However, 
both species have specialized habitat requirements that do not exist in 
the immediate vicinity of the project. Therefore, project construction 
and operation would have no effect on federally listed threatened or 
endangered species.
Cultural
    Western conducted cultural resource surveys, covering about 83 
percent of the land within the project's area of potential effects 
(APE). During the surveys, Western found no archaeological resources 
that would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places 
(National Register). For the unsurveyed areas, an executed PA and HPMP 
contain protocols that would be implemented if there are any 
unanticipated discoveries. The HPMP also contains provisions to lessen, 
avoid, or mitigate for any adverse effects if the discovered resources 
are eligible for the National Register.

No-Action Alternative

    Under the no-action alternative, a license would be denied, the 
project would not be constructed, environmental resources in the 
project area would not be affected, and the renewable energy that would 
be produced by the project would not be developed.

Conclusion

    Based on our analysis, we recommend licensing the project under the 
staff alternative.
    In section 4.0 of the EA, we estimate the likely cost of 
alternative power for the two action alternatives identified above. Our 
analysis shows that during the first year of operation under the 
proposed action alternative, project power would cost $81,589 or 
$86.20/MWh less than the likely alternative cost of power. Under the 
staff alternative, project power would cost $81,297 or $85.47/MWh less 
than the likely alternative cost of power.
    We chose the staff alternative as the preferred alternative 
because: (1) The project would provide a dependable source of 
electrical energy for the region (about 950 MWh annually); (2) the 205 
kW of electric capacity available comes from a renewable resource which 
does not contribute to atmospheric pollution; and (3) the recommended 
environmental measures proposed by Western, as modified by staff, would 
adequately protect and enhance environmental resources affected by the 
project. The overall benefits of the staff alternative would be worth 
the cost of the proposed and recommended environmental measures.
    We conclude that issuing an original license for the project, with 
the environmental measures we recommend, would not constitute a major 
federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human 
environment.

Environmental Assessment

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Energy Projects, 
Division of Hydropower Licensing, Washington, DC

Angelo Dam Hydropower Project; FERC Project No. 13417-002

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Application

    On October 21, 2011, Western Technical College (Western) filed an 
application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) 
for an original, minor license to construct, operate, and maintain the 
proposed 205-kilowatt (kW) Angelo Dam Hydropower Project No. 13417-002 
(Angelo Dam Project or project). The project would be located on the La 
Crosse River in the Township of Angelo, Monroe County, Wisconsin at an 
existing dam (the Angelo dam) owned by Monroe County and regulated by 
the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR). The 
estimated average annual project generation is 948.5 megawatt-hours 
(MWh). The proposed project would not occupy federal lands.

1.2 Purpose of Action and Need for Power

1.2.1 Purpose of Action

    The purpose of the proposed Angelo Dam Project is to provide a new 
source of hydroelectric power. Therefore, under the provisions of the 
Federal Power Act (FPA), the Commission must decide whether to issue a 
license to Western for the Angelo Dam Project and what conditions 
should be placed on any license issued. In deciding whether to issue a 
license for a hydroelectric project, the Commission must determine that 
the project will be best adapted to a comprehensive plan for improving 
or developing a waterway. In addition to the power and developmental 
purposes for which licenses are issued (such as flood control, 
irrigation, or water supply), the Commission must give equal 
consideration to the purposes of: (1) Energy conservation; (2) the 
protection of, mitigation of damage to, and enhancement of fish and 
wildlife resources; (3) the protection of recreational opportunities; 
and (4) the preservation of other aspects of environmental quality.
    Issuing an original license for the Angelo Dam Project would allow 
Western to generate electricity for the term of an original license, 
making electric power from a renewable resource available to its 
customers.

[[Page 51997]]

    This environmental assessment (EA) assesses the effects associated 
with Western's proposed operation of the project and alternatives to 
the proposed project. The EA also makes recommendations to the 
Commission on whether to issue an original license, and if so, what 
terms and conditions should become a part of any license issued.
    In this EA, we assess the environmental and economic effects 
associated with the construction and operation of the project: (1) as 
proposed by Western; and (2) with staff's additional recommended 
measures. We also consider the effects of the no-action alternative. 
Important issues that are addressed include the potential for project 
effects on geology and soils, and aquatic, terrestrial, and cultural 
resources.

1.2.2 Need for Power

    The proposed Angelo Dam Project would provide hydroelectric 
generation to meet part of Wisconsin's power requirements, resource 
diversity, and capacity needs. The project would have an installed 
capacity of 205 kW and generate about 950 MWh per year.
    The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) annually 
forecasts electrical supply and demand nationally and regionally for a 
10-year period. The Angelo Dam Project is located in the Midwest 
Independent System Operator (MISO) sub region of the Midwest 
Reliability Organization (MRO) region of the NERC. According to NERC's 
2011 forecast, average annual demand requirements for the MISO sub 
region are projected to grow at a rate of 2.9 percent from 2011 through 
2021. MISO projects that resource capacity margins (generating capacity 
in excess of demand) will range between 15.2 percent and 23.2 percent 
of firm peak demand during the 10-year forecast period, including 
estimated new capacity additions. Over the next 10 years, MRO estimates 
that about 4,894 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity will be brought 
on line.
    We conclude that power from the Angelo Dam Project would help meet 
a need for power in the MISO sub-region in both the short and long-
term. The project would provide low-cost power that displaces 
generation from non-renewable sources. Displacing the operation of non-
renewable facilities may avoid some power plant emissions, thus 
creating an environmental benefit.

1.3 Statutory and Regulatory Requirements

    A license for the proposed project is subject to numerous 
requirements under the Federal Power Act (FPA) and other applicable 
statues. The major statutory and regulatory requirements are summarized 
in table 1 and described below.

 Table 1--Major Statutory and Regulatory Requirements for the Angelo Dam
                                 Project
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Requirement                 Agency               Status
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 18 of the FPA--fishway  U.S. Department    No prescriptions were
 prescriptions.                  of Interior        filed.
                                 (Interior).
Section 10(j) of the FPA......  U.S. Fish and      No recommendations
                                 Wildlife Service   were filed.
                                 (FWS).
                                Wisconsin
                                 Department of
                                 Natural
                                 Resources
                                 (Wisconsin DNR).
Clean Water Act (CWA)--section  Wisconsin DNR....  Application for
 401 water quality                                  certification was
 certification (WQC).                               received on January
                                                    24, 2011; action on
                                                    application was due
                                                    by January 24, 2012;
                                                    Wisconsin DNR did
                                                    not act on the
                                                    request.
Endangered Species Act (ESA)..  FWS..............  On August 18, 2009,
                                                    Interior stated that
                                                    no federally-listed
                                                    threatened or
                                                    endangered species,
                                                    or critical habitat,
                                                    are present in the
                                                    immediate vicinity
                                                    of the proposed
                                                    project. In the EA,
                                                    staff makes a ``no
                                                    effect'' finding
                                                    with regard to
                                                    federally listed
                                                    species; therefore,
                                                    no ESA consultation
                                                    with FWS is
                                                    necessary.
Coastal Zone Management Act     Wisconsin          On April 12, 2012,
 (CZMA).                         Department of      the Wisconsin CMP
                                 Intergovernmenta   determined that no
                                 l Relations,       federal coastal
                                 Coastal            consistency
                                 Management         certification is
                                 Program Office     required.
                                 (Wisconsin CMP).
Section 106 of the National     Wisconsin State    A programmatic
 Historic Preservation Act       Historic           agreement (PA) with
 (NHPA).                         Preservation       the Wisconsin SHPO
                                 Officer            and Michigan State
                                 (Wisconsin SHPO).  Historic
                                                    Preservation Officer
                                                    (Michigan SHPO) is
                                                    in effect that
                                                    encompasses all
                                                    hydroelectric
                                                    project licensing
                                                    actions in Wisconsin
                                                    and adjacent
                                                    portions of
                                                    Michigan.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.3.1 Federal Power Act

1.3.1.1 Section 18 Fishway Prescriptions
    Section 18 of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 811, states that the Commission is 
to require construction, operation, and maintenance by a licensee of 
such fishways as may be prescribed by the Secretaries of Commerce or 
the Interior.
    No fishway prescriptions, or requests for reservation of authority 
to prescribe fishways under section 18 of the FPA, have been filed.
1.3.1.2 Section 10(j) Recommendations
    Under section 10(j) of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 803(j), each 
hydroelectric license issued by the Commission must include conditions 
based on recommendations provided by federal and state fish and 
wildlife agencies for the protection, mitigation, or enhancement of 
fish and wildlife resources affected by the project. The Commission is 
required to include these conditions unless it determines that they are 
inconsistent with the purposes and requirements of the FPA or other 
applicable law. Before rejecting or modifying an agency recommendation, 
the Commission is required to attempt to resolve any such inconsistency 
with the agency, giving due weight to the recommendations, expertise, 
and statutory responsibilities of such agency.
    No federal or state fish and wildlife agency filed recommendations 
pursuant to section 10(j) of the FPA.
1.3.2 Clean Water Act
    Under section 401(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. 
1341(a)(1) a license applicant must obtain certification from the 
appropriate state pollution control agency verifying compliance with 
the CWA. On January 20, 2011, Western applied to the

[[Page 51998]]

Wisconsin DNR for 401 WQC for the Angelo Dam Project. The Wisconsin DNR 
received this request on January 24, 2011. Because Wisconsin DNR has 
not acted on the request within one year from receipt of the request, 
the WQC is considered waived.
1.3.3 Endangered Species Act
    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), 16 
U.S.C. 1536(a), requires federal agencies to ensure that their actions 
are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of federally 
listed threatened and endangered species, or result in the destruction 
or adverse modification of their designated critical habitat. There are 
no federally listed threatened and endangered species or designated 
critical habitat in the immediate project area that would be affected 
by the construction and operation of the proposed project. Therefore, 
the proposed project would have no effect on federally listed species.
1.3.4 Coastal Zone Management Act
    The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972, as amended, 
requires review of the project's consistency with a state's Coastal 
Management Program for projects within or that would affect the coastal 
zone. Under section 307(c)(3)(A) of the CZMA, 16 U.S.C. 1456(3)(A), the 
Commission cannot issue a license for a project within or affecting a 
state's coastal zone unless the state's coastal zone management agency 
concurs with the license applicant's certification of consistency with 
the state's Coastal Management Program, or the agency's concurrence is 
conclusively presumed by its failure to act within 180 days of its 
receipt of the applicant's certification.
    The project is not located within the state-designated coastal 
management zone, and the project would not affect Wisconsin's coastal 
resources. Therefore, the project is not subject to Wisconsin's coastal 
zone program review and no consistency certification is needed for the 
action. By correspondence dated April 12, 2012 (filed on April 13, 
2012), Wisconsin's Department of Intergovernmental Relations, Coastal 
Management Program Office, concurred with this determination.
1.3.5 National Historic Preservation Act
    Section 106 of the NHPA, 16 U.S.C. 470, requires that every federal 
agency ``take into account'' how each of its undertakings could affect 
historic properties. Historic properties are districts, sites, 
buildings, structures, traditional cultural properties, and objects 
significant in American history, architecture, engineering, and culture 
that are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic 
Places (National Register).
    To meet the requirements of section 106 of the NHPA, on December 
16, 1993, Commission staff executed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) with 
the Wisconsin SHPO and Michigan SHPO. The PA contains principals and 
procedures for the protection of historic properties from the effects 
of the proposed construction and operation of hydroelectric projects in 
the state of Wisconsin and adjacent portions of the Upper Peninsula of 
Michigan. The terms of the PA ensure that Western addresses and treats 
all historic properties identified within the project's area of 
potential effects (APE) through implementation of the historic 
properties management plan (HPMP) entitled, Cultural Resource 
Management Plan for the Proposed Licensing of the Angelo Dam 
Hydroelectric Facility in Angelo Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin, 
FERC Project 13417, Report of Investigations, No. 1865, June 2011 filed 
on October 21, 2011, and amended by letter filed on June 14, 2012.

1.4 Public Review and Consultation

    The Commission's regulations, 18 CFR 4.38 and 16.8, require that 
applicants consult with appropriate resource agencies and other 
entities before filing an application for a license. This consultation 
is the first step in complying with the Fish and Wildlife Coordination 
Act, ESA, NHPA, and other federal statutes. Pre-filing consultation 
must be complete and documented according to the Commission's 
regulations.

1.4.1 Scoping

    Due to the location of the proposed project, the minor nature of 
environmental effects, and the lack of response to our public notice 
regarding the project,\1\ we waived formal scoping.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Commission issued a notice on April 24, 2012, stating 
that it intended to waive scoping for this project.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.4.2 Interventions and Comments

    On April 24, 2012, the Commission issued a notice accepting 
Western's license application and asking for motions to intervene and 
protests. The U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) was the only 
entity that filed a written response to the notice. Interior filed a 
letter with the Commission on June 20, 2012, stating that it had no 
comments. No motions to intervene were filed.

2.0 Proposed Action and Alternatives

2.1 No-Action Alternative

    The no-action alternative is license denial. Under the no-action 
alternative, the project would not be built, environmental resources in 
the project area would not be affected, and the renewable energy that 
would be produced by the project would not be developed.

2.2 Proposed Action

2.2.1 Project Facilities

    The proposed hydropower project would generate electricity using 
the head created by the existing Angelo dam which is currently owned by 
Monroe County.
    The Angelo dam is an earthen embankment with a maximum height of 14 
feet and a spillway with a short non-overflow section. The dam has a 
total length of 615.5 feet. The spillway and a short non-overflow 
section are constructed of reinforced concrete and have a total length 
of 91.5 feet. The spillway is 72.42 feet long, 9.6 feet high from the 
foundation level to its crest, and contains four, 13.5-foot-wide by 
11.4-foot-high bays each with 13.5-foot-wide by 6.9-foot-high steel 
tainter gates. The non-overflow section is 19.08 feet long, 20 feet 
high, and 19.7 feet wide and would be converted to serve as the 
project's intake after removing the concrete cap and plug that was 
poured in 1998 when the dam was rehabilitated.
    In addition to the dam, the proposed project would consist of the 
following new elements: (1) A 22.84-foot-long by 16.08-foot-wide 
trashrack with 2-inch-clear bar spacing installed at the intake in the 
non-overflow section; (2) a 20-foot by 20-foot by 20-foot reinforced 
concrete box forebay; (3) a 26-foot-long by 24.5-foot-wide by 40-foot-
high powerhouse located at the right abutment of the dam containing a 
205-kW vertical, double-regulated Kaplan turbine; (4) a 30-foot-long, 
480-volt overhead transmission line connecting the powerhouse generator 
to a step-up transformer that would be located on a pole which is part 
of Northern States Power's 2.7-kilovolt distribution line; and (5) 
appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual project generation is 
about 950 MWh.
    The reservoir, referred to locally as Angelo Pond, has a surface 
area of 52 acres and a gross storage of 450 acre-feet at normal water 
elevation 793-feet mean sea level (msl). The project boundary, with a 
total area of 79.38 acres, includes

[[Page 51999]]

the pond up to elevation 795.0 msl,\2\ the existing dam, the new 
forebay, powerhouse, and the 30-foot-long project transmission line. 
The applicant and Monroe County Board have a signed agreement for the 
sale of the dam and transfer of the necessary water rights by Monroe 
County to the applicant. There are no federal or tribal lands within 
the project boundary.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See email communication record between staff and the 
applicant filed on July 19, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN28AU12.011

2.2.2 Project Safety

    As part of the licensing process, the Commission would prepare a 
Safety and Design Assessment covering the adequacy of the project 
facilities. Special articles would be included in any license issued, 
as appropriate. Operational inspections would focus on the continued 
safety of the structures, identification of unauthorized modifications, 
efficiency and safety operations, compliance with the terms of the 
license, and proper maintenance.

2.2.3 Project Operation

    The dam and reservoir currently provide recreational benefits to 
the project area. There is currently no hydroelectric generation at the 
dam. The dam is operated manually in a run-of-river mode (i.e., an 
operating mode where outflows from the dam and reservoir approximate 
inflows to the reservoir).
    The proposed project would be operated in an automatic, run-of-
river mode using the 17 feet of head created by the existing Angelo 
dam. The automatic mode would be achieved by use of a head pond 
elevation gage that would allow the project to operate within a foot 
from the maximum pond elevation of 793.6 msl. When the reservoir 
elevation exceeds 793.6 msl, the tainter gates would be opened to 
release flow under the gates to maintain a target pond elevation 
between 793.0 and 793.6 msl, the normal operating elevation range for 
the project.
    The headpond has a maximum storage capacity of 450 acre-feet at 
elevation 793.0 msl (top of the tainter gates). The estimated plant 
hydraulic capacity is 168 cubic feet per second (cfs) at full load and 
32 cfs at minimum load. The water used for project generation would 
flow through the proposed trashracks and the new opening in the dam, 
continuing through an old penstock and the proposed forebay, into the 
powerhouse. The flow out of the powerhouse would discharge into the 
existing pool immediately downstream of the dam. Flows that exceed the 
project's maximum hydraulic capacity would be discharged over or under 
the dam spillway tainter gates. Currently, the spillway gates are 
opened manually, but the applicant would automate them to provide 
opening information as part of the proposed Supervisory Control and 
Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to be installed prior to project 
operation. SCADA would monitor and control the powerplant from a 
central location. The project would be run automatically with the help 
of water surface elevation controls. Maintenance staff would visit the 
facility regularly, as well as during

[[Page 52001]]

alarm conditions based on the automated call-in alarm to be built into 
the station control system.

2.2.4 Environmental Measures

    Western proposes to incorporate the following environmental 
measures into the design, operation, and maintenance of the proposed 
project:
     Developing and implementing an erosion and sediment 
control plan with provisions for using best management practices (BMP), 
including installing a temporary inflatable cofferdam, and placing hay 
bales and siltation fabric at locations where sediment-laden runoff 
could otherwise enter project waters or adjacent non-project lands;
     Operating the project in a run-of-the-river mode to 
minimize impacts on water quality and quantity, and fish and aquatic 
resources; and
     Implementing the PA, executed on December 16, 1993, and 
the HPMP, filed on October 21, 2011, and amended by letter filed on 
June 14, 2012.
    Western also proposes to comply with all state water quality 
standards while operating the project. We consider this proposal to 
comply with state law to be a general legal matter, rather than a 
specific environmental measure.

2.3 Staff Alternative

    Under the staff alternative, the project would include Western's 
proposed environmental measures. Because Western's proposal to comply 
with state water quality laws is a general legal matter, we do not 
adopt it as an environmental measure under the staff alternative. We 
note, however, that below in section 3, we do assess the effects of 
proposed project construction and operation on water quality, including 
the need for specific environmental measures to mitigate any adverse 
water quality effects. The staff alternative also includes a condition 
to implement an operation compliance monitoring plan, to verify 
proposed run-of-river operations at the project.

3.0 Environmental Analysis

    In this section, we present: (1) A general description of the 
project vicinity; (2) an explanation of the scope of our cumulative 
effects analysis; and (3) our analysis of Western's proposed actions 
and other recommended environmental measures. Sections are organized by 
resource area (e.g., aquatics, terrestrial, etc.). Under each resource 
area, historic conditions are first described. The existing condition 
is the baseline against which the environmental effects of Western's 
proposed actions and alternatives are compared, including an assessment 
of the effects of Western's proposed mitigation, protection, and 
enhancement measures, and any potential cumulative effects of Western's 
proposed actions and alternatives. Staff conclusions and recommended 
measures are discussed in section 5.2, Comprehensive Development and 
Recommended Alternative of the EA.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Unless noted otherwise, the sources of our information are 
the license application (Western, 2011a) and additional information 
filed by Western (2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.1 General Description of the River Basin

    The Angelo Dam Project would be located on the La Crosse River, 
near Angelo Township, in Monroe County, Wisconsin. The La Crosse River 
flows from north central Monroe County in a southwesterly direction for 
approximately 64 miles before reaching the Mississippi River. The La 
Crosse River exists entirely within the Bad Axe--La Crosse River Basin 
(basin), and the project area is located more specifically, in the 
Upper La Crosse River Watershed (watershed) where Silver Creek enters 
the La Crosse River (figures 3 and 4). The watershed has a drainage 
area of approximately 126 square miles, more than half of which is 
located in the Fort McCoy Military Reservation (Wisconsin DNR, 
2002b).\4\ The surrounding land area in this region is characterized by 
steep slopes, and narrow stream valleys.\5\ Approximately 46 percent of 
the basin is forested, although agriculture is another major land use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Fort McCoy is used for military training and contains firing 
ranges, classrooms, and airborne drop zones.
    \5\ These characteristics are typical of the Driftless Area and 
Coulee Section ecoregions of Wisconsin (EPA, 2012).
    \6\ The Neshonoc dam and 600-acre reservoir are project 
facilities of the Neshonoc Water Power Project, FERC Project No. 
6476.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several dams are located on the La Crosse River, including: (1) 
Hazel Dell dam, forming a 2-acre reservoir; (2) Alderwood dam, forming 
an 11-acre reservoir; (3) Angelo dam, the location of the proposed 
project, forming a 52-acre reservoir; (4) Perch Lake dam, forming a 33-
acre reservoir; and (5) the Lake Neshonoc dam,\6\ forming a 600-acre 
reservoir (Wisconsin DNR, 2002a).
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[[Page 52002]]

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[[Page 52003]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN28AU12.013

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[[Page 52004]]

3.2 Scope of Cumulative Effects Analysis

    According to the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations for 
implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 40 CFR 
1508.7, a cumulative effect is the effect on the environment which 
results from adding the effects of a proposed action to other past, 
present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what 
agency (federal or non-federal) or person undertakes such other 
actions. Cumulative effects can result from individually minor but 
collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time, 
including hydropower and other land and water development activities.
    Based on our review of the license application, no environmental 
resources would be cumulatively affected by licensing the Angelo Dam 
Project. The project is located in a rural area, with very little 
existing or planned future developmental activity. While several other 
dams, both with and without hydropower facilities, are located on the 
La Crosse River, the run-of-river operating regime proposed by Western 
would maintain reservoir levels and flows consistent with existing 
conditions. As such, operation of the project would not affect 
reservoirs either upstream or downstream of Angelo dam.

3.3 Proposed Action and Action Alternatives

    In this section, we discuss the effects of the project alternatives 
on environmental resources. For each resource, we first describe the 
affected environment, which is the existing condition and baseline 
against which we measure effects. We then discuss and analyze the site-
specific environmental issues.
    Only the resources that would be affected are addressed in this EA. 
Based on this, we have determined that geology and soils, and aquatic, 
terrestrial, and cultural resources may be affected by the proposed 
action and action alternatives. We have not identified any substantive 
issues related to recreation, land use, aesthetics, or socioeconomic 
resources. We present our recommendations in section 5.1, Comprehensive 
Development and Recommended Alternative.

3.3.1 Geology and Soils

Affected Environment
    The proposed project is located in an unglaciated region of 
Wisconsin characterized by an upper layer of limestone, eroded over 
time, followed by a layer of Potsdam sandstone surface rock. The 
Potsdam sandstone layer of this western upland region is about 800 to 
900 feet thick, and is Cambrian to Lower Silurian-aged. Below this 
layer is Archaean-age basement rock, namely highly metamorphic gneiss, 
granite, and schists. The basin is mostly composed of sand and clay 
deposits with a very shallow, gradual slope. Soils in the project area 
are poorly drained and level, classified as sands of the Dawson Peat 
and Newson sandy loam variety. These soil types are potentially 
erodible, although several areas along the river are protected by 
concrete retaining walls or rip rap.
Environmental Effects
    Land-disturbing activities associated with construction of the 
proposed project primarily involve development of the powerhouse and 
forebay. The combined footprint of the powerhouse and forebay is 
approximately 740 square feet (20 feet by 37 feet), and would require 
about 135 cubic yards of excavation along the right (west) embankment. 
This area is usually dry and consists primarily of exposed bedrock with 
little to no soil. Western is not proposing to alter the slope or 
drainage patterns at the project.
    To minimize the potential for erosion related to project 
construction, Western proposes to: (1) Develop and implement an erosion 
and sediment control plan; (2) install an inflatable cofferdam; and (3) 
use hay bales and siltation fabric. Western would use excavated 
material as riprap along the river embankments. Western also states 
that Wisconsin DNR and Monroe County's shoreland zoning program both 
require approval of erosion control methods.
    Heavy equipment would be limited to cranes sitting on the right 
embankment, and no access via the river bank is anticipated. The 
embankment in this area is also protected by a retaining wall. Less 
than 0.5 acre of land adjacent to the west side of the dam would be 
used as a staging area, as equipment and materials would generally be 
delivered on site from storage buildings on the Sparta Campus of the 
Technical College, which is located across the street from the 
construction area.
Our Analysis
    Project construction would require some ground-disturbance, though 
most of this material would be rock, as opposed to soil. The area of 
disturbance is relatively small and the new powerhouse would occupy 
roughly the same footprint as the original one, which was removed in 
1968. The staging area and heavy equipment use would be located on 
lands that are paved, or covered with grass, reducing the likelihood of 
significant soil movement. Further, the control measures and BMPs 
proposed by Western would minimize any potential erosion and 
sedimentation.
    Consultation with the Wisconsin DNR and Monroe County would further 
ensure that proper control measures are used, and any project effects 
would be mitigated. As the project would be operated run-of-river, and 
the reservoir elevation would vary by less than 1 foot, it is unlikely 
that the project's operating regime would affect the occurrence of 
erosion or sedimentation over the course of any license issued.

3.3.2. Aquatic Resources

Affected Environment
Water Quantity and Quality
    The headwaters of the La Crosse River originate in Monroe County 
northeast of the proposed project near the Fort McCoy Military 
Reservation. The La Crosse River flows in a southwesterly direction for 
about 64 miles through Monroe and La Crosse counties before reaching 
the Mississippi River. Five dams on the La Crosse River create Lake 
Neshonoc in West Salem, Perch Lake in Sparta, Angelo Pond in the Town 
of Angelo, and Alderwood Lake and Hazel Dell Pond both of which lie 
within the Fort McCoy Military Reservation. The Angelo dam is located 
approximately 5 miles south of Fort McCoy's main post entrance. The 
drainage area of the dam site is about 115 square miles.
    The Angelo dam forms a 52-acre reservoir known locally as Angelo 
Pond. Table 2 details the specific physical characteristics of Angelo 
Pond.

                   Table 2--Angelo Pond Specifications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Pond surface area                         52 acres
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maximum volume.........................  450 acre-ft.
Maximum depth..........................  8 ft.
Mean depth.............................  4 ft.
Flushing rate..........................  121 hours.
Shoreline length.......................  2.62 miles.
Composition............................  Gravel, sand, and mud.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Downstream of the Angelo dam, the La Crosse River flows south 2.5 
miles to the city of Sparta, Wisconsin where the USGS gauge station 
05382325 is located. The period of record for gauge 05382325 
is from July 1992 to present. Table 3 shows the mean monthly discharge 
rate (cfs) for the La Crosse River for the period of record. The La 
Crosse River has a continuous, steady discharge flow of 100-200 cfs

[[Page 52005]]

throughout the year, with the highest flows occurring in June and the 
lowest flows occurring in January.

                                       Table 3--Mean Monthly Discharge Rates at USGS Gauge 05382325 From 1992-2011
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Jan      Feb      Mar      Apr      May      Jun      Jul      Aug      Sept     Oct      Nov      Dec
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mean Monthly Discharge (cfs)................     131      142      171      185      178      205      166      150      151      152      149      138
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The La Crosse River in the area of the proposed project is 
relatively shallow. Figure 5 depicts the La Crosse River depth at gauge 
05382325, located 2.5 miles downstream of the Angelo dam. River depths 
increase during periods of high discharge (April-June).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN28AU12.014

    The Wisconsin DNR has determined the La Crosse River at the Angelo 
dam to be a ``Fish and Aquatic Life Use of a Cold Water Community''. 
The Wisconsin DNR further breaks down cold water communities, and 
recognizes the La Crosse River as a ``Coldwater Category 5.'' This 
coldwater category includes inland trout waters with brook and brown 
trout, but no whitefish, cisco, or other trout or salmonid species. The 
water classification and standards for Wisconsin water quality 
parameters are as follows: \7\ (1) Dissolved oxygen (DO) in classified 
trout streams shall not be artificially lowered to less than 6.0 
milligrams per liter (mg/L) at any time, nor shall the DO be lowered to 
less than 7.0 mg/L during the spawning season; (2) pH shall be within a 
range of 6.0 to 9.0; and (3) water temperature may not exceed 86 
degrees Fahrenheit ([deg]F) while maintaining natural daily and 
seasonal temperature fluctuations. Additional water temperature 
criteria are shown in Table 4. The primary use of water in Angelo Pond 
and around the Angelo dam is for recreation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ All water quality criteria for Wisconsin are contained in 
four Administrative Code chapters, NR 102, 103, 104, and 105.

               Table 4--Ambient Temperatures and Water Quality Criteria for Cold Water Communities
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Ambient                             Acute water
                         Month                              temperature      Sub-lethal water   quality criteria
                                                              ([deg]F)       quality criteria       ([deg]F)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January................................................                 35                 47                 68
February...............................................                 36                 47                 68

[[Page 52006]]

 
March..................................................                 39                 51                 69
April..................................................                 47                 57                 70
May....................................................                 56                 63                 72
June...................................................                 62                 67                 72
July...................................................                 64                 67                 73
August.................................................                 63                 65                 73
September..............................................                 57                 60                 72
October................................................                 49                 53                 70
November...............................................                 41                 48                 69
December...............................................                 37                 47                 69
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fishery Resources
    The existing fish and aquatic communities include coldwater, 
freshwater fish such as brook and rainbow trout throughout the La 
Crosse River. Trout are present in Angelo Pond; however, no anadromous 
species inhabit the La Crosse River or Angelo Pond. Due to the size and 
shallow depth of Angelo Pond, it is seasonally a warm-water surface 
source, with warm-water fish species present during those times. Angelo 
Pond has regularly been stocked with largemouth bass and rainbow trout 
since 1984, and is listed as an impaired waterway on the Wisconsin 
Impaired Water List.
    Based on the Wisconsin DNR Trout Stream Classification, the La 
Crosse River upstream of Angelo Pond is a Class II trout stream. A 
Class II trout stream is categorized as having some natural 
reproduction, but not enough to utilize available food and space. 
Therefore, stocking is required to maintain a desirable sport fishery. 
These streams have good survival and carryover of adult trout, often 
producing some fish larger than average size. Angelo Pond is upstream 5 
miles from Perch Lake, and both surface water bodies are connected by 
the La Crosse River. The segment of the La Crosse River between Angelo 
Pond and Perch Lake is classified as a Class III trout stream. Class 
III trout streams are categorized by waters with marginal trout 
habitat, and no natural reproduction. Annual stocking of trout is 
required to provide for trout fishing, and there is generally no 
carryover of trout from one year to the next.
    According to the Wisconsin DNR, Angelo Pond impounds the La Crosse 
River where Silver Creek enters the river. Both streams traverse Fort 
McCoy Military Installation, for a significant amount of their length. 
The La Crosse River contains a sand bottom, which is slowly filling 
Angelo Pond. This reservoir also slows the river's current down enough 
to allow fine sediment to settle out. These fine sediments in Angelo 
Pond maintain a robust aquatic plant community.
Environmental Effects
Water Quality
    Western proposes to operate the proposed project in a run-of-river 
mode to minimize the impacts on water quality and quantity, and fish 
and aquatic resources. Western also proposes to operate the project to 
ensure discharges from the project meet state water quality standards 
during project operation, construction, and maintenance.
Our Analysis
    DO, water temperature, and pH, 2.5 miles downstream of the proposed 
project, are at levels in the La Crosse River that are currently 
consistent with the levels specified by Wisconsin state water quality 
standards.\8\ USGS data shows that DO concentrations were measured six 
times from May 2002-October 2002, and ranged from 8.9-11.9 mg/L. During 
the fall, when brown and brook trout typically spawn, DO concentrations 
never fell below 8.9 mg/L, which is well above the state water quality 
standard minimum concentration of 7.0 mg/L. The pH was also measured 
six times during the same time period with values ranging from 7.2-7.7. 
Temperature measurements were taken 29 times between July 1992 and 
October 2002. The temperatures ranged from 32.9 degrees Fahrenheit 
([deg]F) to 72.4[emsp14][deg]F. November through March typically 
experienced the coldest water temperatures, with January 12, 1994 being 
the coldest day measured. June through August typically experienced the 
warmest water temperatures with July 17, 2002 being the warmest day 
measured. Of the 29 measured observations, none exceeded the state 
water quality standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ USGS Gauge 05382325 La Crosse River at Sparta, WI, water 
quality samples from July 29, 1992-October 15, 2002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed project design and operation would not interfere with 
the flow of water downstream of the Angelo dam since the proposed 
project will operate run-of-river. Water will continue to be discharged 
at the foot of the dam or flow either over or under the existing 
tainter gates. The run-of-river operations proposed by Western should 
ensure that project operation would not change current DO, water 
temperature, or pH levels in the La Crosse River.
    However, with the construction activities at the Angelo dam there 
is a potential to temporarily increase river turbidity, which would 
reduce water quality relative to existing conditions. Implementing a 
short-term erosion and sediment control plan that incorporates, at a 
minimum, the BMPs discussed in section 3.3.1, Geology and Soils should 
ensure that any degradation of water quality would be temporary and 
minimal.
Operation Compliance Monitoring
    Operation compliance monitoring is a standard requirement in all 
Commission-issued licenses. Development and implementation of an 
operation compliance monitoring plan and schedule would be beneficial 
in this instance in that it would document the procedures Western 
Technical College would employ to demonstrate compliance with its 
proposed project operations.
Entrainment and Impingement
    Water intake structures at hydropower projects can injure or kill 
fish that are entrained through turbines. Typically, fish injury or 
mortality is caused by fish being struck by turbine blades, or being 
exposed to pressure changes, sheer forces in turbulent flows, and water 
velocity accelerations (Knapp et al., 1982). Fish vulnerability to 
entrainment relates to powerhouse and spillway operations, fish sizes, 
movement patterns, swimming speeds, approach

[[Page 52007]]

velocities, trashrack bar spacing, and intake configurations. The 
survival rate of fish passing through turbines varies for different 
sizes of fish and for turbines with different design characteristics. 
For example, Winchell et al. (2000) reports mean survival rate of fish 
less than 8 inches was 94.8 percent and 95.4 percent for fish less than 
4 inches. Aside from fish size (with larger fish being more susceptible 
to injury), species type (some fish species are hardier than others and 
some species are more susceptible to entrainment), and behavior 
(migratory species are more likely to be entrained) along with the 
fish's burst swim speed could also influence percentages of fish 
subjected to potential injury or mortality from turbine entrainment.

                    Table 5--Fish Swim Speed Information for Fish Species in the Project Area
                                   [Source: Normandeau Associates, Inc., 2002]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                Burst swim speed
                  Species                              Life stage             Size (inches)    (feet/sec or fps)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Largemouth bass............................  Juvenile.....................                2-4                3.2
Largemouth bass............................  Juvenile.....................           5.9-10.6                4.3
Crappie....................................  Juvenile.....................                  3                1-2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Table 6--Sustained and Burst Swimming Speeds of Brook and Brown Trout
                              [Sources: Bell, 1986 and Montana Water Center, 2007]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Sustained swimming  Prolonged swimming    Burst swimming
             Species                  Life stage          speed (fps)         speed (fps)         speed (fps)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brook Trout.....................  Juvenile..........  Not documented....  2.0...............  Not documented
Brown Trout.....................  Adult.............  7.0-7.8...........  Not documented....  12.2-12.8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tables 5 and 6 show typical sustained, prolonged, and burst swim 
speeds for fish species commonly found in the project area. Most 
juvenile and adult game fish burst speeds exceed the average approach 
velocity of 0.5 feet per second (fps) that would occur in front of the 
project's intake, suggesting that most life stages of most reservoir 
species would be able to escape from velocities near, and at, the 
intake face and thereby avoid entrainment.
    For smaller reservoir fish that would pass through the intake, we 
expect turbine mortality to be relatively minor. We note that at 
Wisconsin hydroelectric projects where entrainment studies have been 
conducted, small fish (less than 4 inches long) accounted for 79 
percent of fish entrained during the field studies (Electric Power 
Research Institute, or EPRI, 1997). Due to their small size, the vast 
majority of small fish from the study survived turbine passage into 
downstream aquatic habitats. The survival of these smaller fish was 
relatively high, because they were less prone to mechanical injury from 
turbine passage than larger fish. Smaller fish also are less prone to 
injury resulting from shear stresses and rapid pressure changes. 
Therefore, it is likely that the majority of the entrained fish would 
be composed of the poorest swimmers (i.e., very small fish), and most 
of these fish would survive turbine passage.
    In addition to entrainment effects, fish can become impinged on the 
bars of a trashrack if they are not able to overcome the approach 
velocity and are not able to pass between the trashrack bars due to 
their larger body size. Lawler et. al. (1991) developed an equation to 
determine minimum fish length protected by a trashrack or screen. The 
equation is TL=10\[caret]\[log(w/[alpha])/[beta]], where TL is total 
length, w is trashrack spacing, and alpha and beta are standard values.

                       Table 7--Minimum Fish Length Protected by 1-Inch Trashrack Spacing
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Trashrack                                           Total length
                 Species                     spacing (w)     alpha ([alpha])    beta([beta])          (TL)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Black crappie...........................               2.0          0.059347          1.166856              20.3
Brown trout.............................               2.0          0.129648          1.000168              15.4
Rainbow trout...........................               2.0          0.028369          1.287580              27.2
Trout-perch.............................               2.0          0.032855          1.388542              19.2
White sucker............................               2.0          0.055538          1.187414              20.4
Yellow perch............................               2.0          0.034100          1.307944              22.4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the results of the studies conducted by Lawler et. al 
(1991), we calculate that the trashrack's 2-inch spacing between the 
trashrack's bars would generally not allow passage of brown trout 
greater than 15.4 inches total length, black crappie greater than 20.3 
inches total length, and yellow perch greater than 22.4 inches total 
length. The average velocity in front of the trashrack would be 
approximately 0.5 fps. Brown trout larger than 15.4 inches, black 
crappie larger than 20.3 inches, yellow perch larger than 22.4 inches 
are in the adult life stage. Table 5 shows that a juvenile black 
crappie is capable of a burst swim speed 1-2 fps. Table 6 shows that an 
adult brown trout is capable of a sustained swimming speed of 7.0-7.8 
fps with a burst swim speed of 12.2-12.8 fps. Since burst speeds are 
typically short in duration (1-3 seconds), a brown trout could burst 
ahead of the trashrack's influence and swim at a sustained speed safely 
in front of the trashrack. Therefore, impingement at the project would 
not be likely as most of the fish that are large enough to be subject 
to impingement, such as adult brown

[[Page 52008]]

trout, yellow perch, and black crappie, would easily be able to escape 
the intake's approach velocity.
    To summarize, we conclude that the overall effect on the fishery 
due to entrainment and turbine mortality would be minimal. We also 
conclude that impingement of fish on the project's trashrack would be 
unlikely.

3.3.3. Terrestrial Resources

Affected Environment
    The Bad Axe-La Crosse Basin is characterized by steep slopes and 
narrow river valleys, which is a distinctive attribute of the Coulee 
ecoregion. Much of the land in the basin is used for agriculture, 
particularly for beef and dairy farms. Outside of agricultural lands, 
vegetation in the basin consists of oak forest and savanna, grassland 
prairie, and bottom hardwoods (Wisconsin DNR, 2002a). Most of the 
forests in the basin are oak-hickory (56 percent), followed by elm-ash-
cottonwood (16 percent), maple-ash-basswood (16 percent), aspen-birch 
(8 percent), and pine (4 percent). This habitat supports a wide variety 
of wildlife species including wild turkey, Cooper's hawk, ovenbird, 
blue jay, brown snake, bull snake, gray tree frog, white-tailed deer, 
gray squirrel, and gray fox. Avian species known to occur within the 
project site include: several species of songbirds, waterfowl (e.g., 
geese, herons, and ducks), birds of prey (i.e. hawks and owls), and 
other common species (e.g., crows and black birds).
    Wetlands in the basin account for approximately 2 percent of the 
total land area, with about 4,000 acres in the Upper La Crosse River 
watershed. While no wetlands appear to be present adjacent to the dam 
or project facilities, palustrine scrub-shrub and palustrine forested 
wetlands are located in the vicinity of the project (1) to the north 
and east of the upper half of the reservoir, as well as (2) downstream 
of the dam. Some freshwater emergent (marsh) habitat is also located 
near the northeastern section of Angelo Pond. Upland vegetation in the 
immediate vicinity of the proposed project includes mostly grasses, 
sedges, and shrubs. As several residential homes are located around the 
reservoir, some of the shoreline areas near and around Angelo Pond are 
maintained as lawns.
    Several species of invasive plants are known to occur in Monroe 
County, including Canada thistle, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, 
common reed, and purple loosestrife, to name a few. The only species 
known to occur in Angelo Pond according to the Wisconsin DNR, is curly-
leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), though the specific location and 
density of the population is unclear. Curly-leaf pondweed becomes 
invasive in some areas due to its tolerance for low light and low water 
temperatures, which allows for the species to grow and bloom earlier in 
the season and outcompete native plants in the spring. As the species 
begin to die off mid-summer, it can contribute to a critical loss of DO 
and increase nutrients to encourage algal blooms. Curly-leaf pondweed 
also forms surface mats that interfere with aquatic recreation 
(Wisconsin DNR, 2012a).
    Staff review of the FWS (2012a) endangered species list found that 
the following threatened and endangered (T&E) species are known to 
occur in Monroe County: the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa 
samuelis or Karners) and northern wild monkshood (Aconitum 
noveboracense). The Karner blue butterfly is an endangered species 
found in the northern part of wild lupine's range, and is most 
widespread in Wisconsin. Habitat loss for the Karners is the result of 
land development, and lack of natural disturbances (i.e, wildfires and 
large mammal grazing) to discourage encroaching forests. In May of 
2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a bulletin for 
the Karners, noting that use of an insecticide called Intrepid 
(methoxyfenozide) could cause potential and actual harm to the species. 
As such, Western noted that it would not use Intrepid, for any reason, 
either during or after construction.
    Northern monkshood is a threatened species found only in Iowa, 
Wisconsin, Ohio, and New York. Northern monkshood is often found on 
shaded to partially shaded cliffs, algific talus slopes,\9\ or along 
cool streamsides, as it prefers cool soil, cold air drainage, and/or 
cold groundwater flowage. In a letter filed with the Commission on 
August 18, 2009, Interior stated that no threatened or endangered 
species exist in the project area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Algific talus slopes are also called ``cold air slopes.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Environment Effects
    As discussed in section 3.3.1, Geology and Soils, the total area of 
disturbance is 875 square feet, including 135 square feet for 
excavation for the draft tube and 740 square feet for the powerhouse 
and forebay, which would only require surface cleaning and concrete 
bonding. The project would generate electricity using a 205-kW, 480-
volt generator. The main power leads would leave the powerhouse 
overhead and connect to an existing distribution line less than 30 feet 
away. No land-disturbing activities are associated with the 
transmission line.
    Access to the project works would be from the existing cul-de-sac 
near the west side of the dam and created during the realignment of the 
old Highway 21. The cul-de-sac is approximately 130 feet west of the 
project works. Limited staging of equipment during project construction 
would occur on 0.5 acre of land, with most of the necessary equipment 
stored off-site.
    While some grassy areas may be temporarily disturbed and soils 
slightly compacted by the movement of equipment and personnel during 
the construction of the proposed project, no long-term adverse effects 
to terrestrial resources are anticipated. The construction area would 
be relatively small, and would occur over an area that has been 
previously disturbed, due to changes in land use over time (e.g., 
sawmill, installation and subsequent removal of the former powerhouse). 
The dam is located in an area with a fair amount of development, 
including Highway 21, the Sparta Campus of Western Technical College, 
some residential development, and the Fort McCoy Military Reservation. 
As such, the project site is lacking in high quality habitat for 
wildlife. While there may be some noise associated with the ground-
disturbing activities that could temporarily deter some species, any 
impacts would be minor and short-term.
    While curly-leaf pondweed was found in Angelo Pond in 2006, all 
ground-disturbing activities are happening in the dry, away from the 
impoundment. Further, the water levels in the reservoir will not change 
and as such project operations would likely have no effect on any 
existing pondweed populations. The wetlands in the vicinity of the 
project are also located well outside of the construction zone and 
would not be otherwise affected by project operation due to the 
proposed run-of-river operating regime.
    Karners rely primarily on the presence of wild lupine (Lupinus 
perennis), a perennial wildflower that prefers sandy areas in open or 
partially shaded landscapes. In Wisconsin, this habitat is typically 
dry, sandy openings, including openings in oak savannas, jack pine 
stands, and dune or sandplain communities. Other areas with wild lupine 
may include utility, or road rights-of-way, abandoned agricultural 
fields, and military training areas and bombing ranges (FWS, 2012b), as 
wild lupine responds well to occasional ground-disturbance. While these 
species

[[Page 52009]]

are known to occur in Monroe County, it is unlikely that either species 
are present in the area of disturbance. Although the soils in the 
proposed area of disturbance include sands and sandy loams, the soils 
are poorly drained, and therefore, unsuitable for wild lupine. In 
addition, most of the construction area is bedrock, with little to no 
soil.
    The algific talus slopes required by northern monkshood are rare 
communities with steep, fractured limestone slopes that retain ice 
throughout the growing season. These slopes support mountain maple 
(Acer spicatum), extensive beds of bulbet fern (Cystopteris bulbifera) 
and mosses (Wisconsin DNR, 2012b). The project area is not located on 
an algific talus slope, which are more common further west toward the 
Mississippi River, and in Grant County Wisconsin. The project area is 
relatively level, and, where vegetation exists, is mainly composed of 
grasses.
    To summarize, because there are no Karners, northern monkshood, nor 
habitat for either species within the project area, project 
construction and operation would have no effect on these species.

3.3.4. Cultural Resources

Affected Environment
Area of Potential Effects
    Under section 106 of the NHPA, the Commission must take into 
account whether any historic property within the project's APE could be 
affected by the issuance of a license. The APE is defined as the 
geographic area in which an undertaking may directly or indirectly 
cause alterations in the character or use of a historic property, if 
any such property exists. In this case, the APE for the project is the 
proposed project boundary.
Regional History
    The earliest evidence of Native American occupation in Wisconsin 
dates to the Paleo-Indian period (10,000-8500 B.C.). Occupation 
continued through the Archaic (8,000-1,000 B.C.), Woodland (1000-300 
B.C.), and Mississippian periods (A.D. 900-1600). Upon European 
contact, much of Wisconsin, including the project area, was occupied by 
the Ho-Chunk. Beginning in 1840, there were a series of forcible 
relocations throughout the state, which resulted in the Ho-Chunk being 
moved to lands west of the Mississippi River. The forcible relocations 
continued until 1875, at which time a majority of the remaining Ho-
Chunk were relocated to Monroe and Jackson counties, Wisconsin.
    European settlement in Monroe County occurred in 1842. Between 1852 
and 1854, Dr. Seth Angle built a dam and sawmill at the site of the 
current Angelo dam. The sawmill prospered, and the village of Athens 
was settled around the mill and dam in 1856. The village's name was 
later changed to Angelo. By the 1900's, the population of Angelo had 
declined because of the high price of land and because the railroad did 
not travel by the town.
    In 1897, the sawmill was converted into the Sparta Electric Plant. 
The Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company purchased the plant, 
and in 1920, rebuilt the dam. In 1947, Northern States Power Company 
bought the facility, and in 1968 refurbished the dam and demolished the 
powerhouse. In 1969, Northern States Power Company ceased operation of 
the facility. In 1998, the refurbished dam was demolished, and Angelo 
dam was constructed in its place (Salkin, 2011).
Archaeological and Historic Resources
    A phase I survey of the APE, conducted in 2010, revealed no surface 
or sub-surface archaeological resources, Euro-American artifacts, or 
buildings or structures that would be eligible for the National 
Register. The existing Angelo dam is not eligible for the National 
Register, because it is less than 50 years old.
    A portion of the APE to be surveyed was inaccessible during the 
initial survey; therefore, a second phase I survey was conducted in 
March and April of 2012. No surface or sub-surface archaeological 
resources were discovered during the second survey. In total, the two 
surveys covered about 87 percent of the APE. The Wisconsin SHPO, in 
letters filed on October 21, 2011, and June 14, 2012, concurred with 
the two surveys' findings.
Environmental Effects
    Proposed project construction and operation may affect unknown 
historic properties within the APE. The executed PA requires that every 
proposed hydroelectric project in Wisconsin develop an HPMP to avoid, 
lessen, or mitigate for any adverse effects on both identified and 
unidentified historic properties within the APE. To address any 
potential adverse effects on unidentified historic properties,\10\ 
Western proposes to implement its HPMP, filed on October 21, 2011 and 
amended by letter filed on June 14, 2012. The HPMP contains policies 
and procedures for: (1) The completion of a phase I survey of the 
unsurveyed areas within the APE; (2) treatment of unanticipated 
archaeological resource discoveries or human remains; (3) the 
determination of the National Register-eligibility of any discovered 
archaeological resource; (4) the treatment of any unknown historic 
property over the term of any license issued; and (5) the appointment 
of an HPMP coordinator. In letters filed on October 21, 2011 and June 
14, 2012, the Wisconsin SHPO accepted the proposed HPMP with its 
amendments.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ There are no known historic properties within the APE.
    \11\ Pursuant to section II.B., Historic Resources Management 
Plan, of the executed PA, if the Wisconsin SHPO agrees with the 
HPMP, then Western shall implement the HPMP, if a license is issued.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our Analysis
    Western conducted two cultural resource surveys, but was unable to 
survey about 17 percent of the land within the project's APE. In these 
unsurveyed areas, project operations could adversely affect unknown 
archaeological resources that could be eligible for the National 
Register. Also during project construction or operation, unknown 
archaeological sites or human remains may be discovered. The proposed 
HPMP contains protocols and procedures to adequately address any 
unanticipated discoveries during future surveys or proposed project 
construction and operation. Also the proposed HPMP contains provisions 
to lessen, avoid, or mitigate for any adverse effects if the discovered 
properties are eligible for the National Register or if human remains 
are discovered.
    We anticipate that any effects on unknown historic properties would 
be taken into account through the executed PA and the proposed HPMP. 
The documents would ensure that any adverse effects on historic 
properties within the APE would be resolved.

3.4 No-Action Alternative

    Under the no action alternative, a license for the project would 
not be issued and the Angelo Dam Project would not be constructed. 
There would be no changes to the physical, biological, or cultural 
resources in the area, and there would be no hydroelectric generation 
at the dam to contribute to the regional need for power.

4.0 Developmental Analysis

    In this section, we look at Western's use of the La Crosse River 
for hydropower purposes to see what effects various environmental 
measures would have on the projects' costs and

[[Page 52010]]

power generation. Under the Commission's approach to evaluating the 
economics of hydropower projects, as articulated in Mead Corp.,\12\ the 
Commission compares the current project cost to an estimate of the cost 
of obtaining the same amount of energy and capacity using a likely 
alternative source of power for the region (cost of alternative power). 
In keeping with Commission policy as described in Mead Corp, our 
economic analysis is based on current electric power cost conditions 
and does not consider future escalation of fuel prices in valuing the 
hydropower project's power benefits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ See Mead Corporation, Publishing Paper Division, 72 FERC ] 
61,027 (July 13, 1995). In most cases, electricity from hydropower 
would displace some form of fossil-fueled generation, in which fuel 
cost is the largest component of the cost of electricity production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For each of the licensing alternatives, our analysis includes an 
estimate of: (1) The cost of individual measures considered in the EA 
for the protection, mitigation and enhancement of environmental 
resources affected by the project; (2) the cost of alternative power; 
(3) the total project cost (i.e., for construction, operation, 
maintenance, and environmental measures); and (4) the difference 
between the cost of alternative power and total project cost. If the 
difference between the cost of alternative power and total project cost 
is positive, the project produces power for less than the cost of 
alternative power. If the difference between the cost of alternative 
power and total project cost is negative, the project produces power 
for more than the cost of alternative power. This estimate helps to 
support an informed decision concerning what is in the public interest 
with respect to a proposed license. However, project economics is only 
one of many public interest factors the Commission considers in 
determining whether, and under what conditions, to issue a license.

4.1 Power and Economic Benefits of the Project

    Table 8 summarizes the assumptions and economic information we use 
in our analysis. This information was provided by Western in its 
license application and subsequent submittal. We find that the values 
provided by Western are reasonable for the purposes of our analysis. 
Cost items common to all alternatives include: Taxes and insurance 
costs; estimated capital investment required to develop the project; 
licensing costs; normal operation and maintenance cost; and Commission 
fees.

 Table 8--Parameters for the Economic Analysis of the Angelo Dam Project
                             [Source: Staff]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Parameter                              Value
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Period of analysis (years)................  30.
Term of financing (years).................  20.\a\
Taxes (real estate, local, federal).......  $0.\b\
Project cost..............................  $1,376,000.
Licensing cost, $.........................  $50,000.
Operation and maintenance, $/year.........  $10,000.
Energy value ($/MWh)......................  $90.
Capacity value ($/MW-year)................  $159,000.
Interest rate.............................  10 percent.\c\
Discount rate.............................  10 percent.\c\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Western was awarded $1,200,000 in public funding. Staff assumes that
  the remainder of the cost to develop the project would be financed.
\b\ Western is a state entity, and therefore, does not pay taxes.
\c\ See license application at 7.

    The Angelo Dam Project would have an installed capacity of 205 kW 
and would generate an average of 948.5 MWh annually. Table 8 includes 
an energy value of $90/MWh which is the price at which Western would 
sell the project power to Northern States Power as agreed in a Power 
Purchase Agreement between the two entities.\13\ The capacity value of 
$159,000/MW-year (table 8) is based on the amortization and fixed 
operation and maintenance cost for a simple-cycle combustion turbine.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ See license application at 9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.2 Comparison of Alternatives

    Table 9 summarizes the installed capacity, annual generation, cost 
of alternative power, estimated total project cost, and difference 
between the cost of alternative power and total project cost for each 
of the alternatives considered in this EA: no-action, the applicant's 
proposal, and the staff alternative.

 Table 9--Summary of the Annual Cost of Alternative Power and Annual Project Cost for Three Alternatives for the
                                               Angelo Dam Project
                                                 [Source: Staff]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                Western's
                                                              No action          proposal      Staff alternative
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Installed capacity (kW).................................                 0             205                205
Annual generation MWh)..................................                 0             948.5              948.5
Dependable Capacity (kW)................................                 0         205 \a\                205
Annual cost of alternative power ($/MWh)................                 0             124.86             124.86
Annual project cost ($/MWh).............................                 0              38.35              38.65
Difference between the cost of alternative power and                     0              86.20              80.71
 project cost ($/MWh)...................................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ See license application at 23.

4.2.1 No-Action Alternative

    Under the no-action alternative, the Angelo Dam Project would not 
be constructed and there would be no hydropower generation, costs, or 
benefits at this site.

4.2.2 Applicant's Proposal

    Western proposes to construct a new hydropower facility at the 
existing Angelo dam. Upon completion of the construction, the proposed 
project would have a total installed capacity of 205 kW, a dependable 
capacity of 205 kW, and an average annual generation of 948.5 MWh. 
Additionally, Western proposes to implement the executed PA and an 
associated HPMP at a capital cost of $27,000 and an annual cost of 
$1,500, which is included in the total project cost of $1,376,000. In 
addition, Western proposes to develop and implement an erosion and 
sediment

[[Page 52011]]

control plan, use BMPs, and operate the project in run-of-river mode. 
The costs of these measures are included in the total project costs. 
The average annual cost of alternative power would be $118,432, or 
$124.86/MWh. The capital cost of the project including protection, 
mitigation, and enhancement measures is estimated to be $1,376,000. In 
total, the average annual project cost would be $36,371, or $38.65/MWh. 
Overall, the project as proposed would produce power at a cost which is 
$81,589, or $86.20 MWh less than the cost of alternative power.

4.2.3 Staff Alternative

    The staff alternative includes the same developmental and 
environmental measures as Western's proposal and, therefore, would have 
the same capacity and energy attributes. In addition to applicant's 
environmental measures, staff recommends that Western develop and 
implement an operation compliance monitoring plan and schedule, for 
Angelo dam at a cost of $2,500 in capital expenditure.
    Based on a total installed capacity of 205 kW, a dependable 
capacity of 205 kW, and an average annual generation of 948.5 MWh, the 
cost of alternative power would be $118,432, or about $124.86/MWh. The 
average annual project cost would be $36,663, or about $38.65/MWh. 
Overall, the project would produce power at a cost which is $81,297, or 
$85.471/MWh, less than the cost of alternative generation.

4.3 Cost of Environmental Measures

    Western is proposing to implement the executed PA and associated 
HPMP at a capital cost of $27,000 and an annual cost of $1,500 which is 
included in the total project cost of $1,376,000. The costs associated 
with Western's proposal to develop and implement an erosion and 
sediment control plan, use BMPs, and operate the project in run-of-
river mode, as stated above, are included in the total project costs. 
Staff is recommending that an operation compliance monitoring plan and 
schedule be developed at a capital cost of $2,500, to ensure compliance 
with the proposed run-of-river operating regime. We convert all costs 
to equal annual (levelized) values over a 30-year period of analysis to 
give a uniform basis for comparing the benefits of a measure to its 
cost. Staff's recommended operation compliance monitoring plan would 
add about $292 to the project cost, annually.

5.0 Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Comparison of Alternatives

    In this section, we compare the developmental and non-developmental 
effects of Western's proposal, Western's proposal as modified by staff, 
and the no-action alternative.
    We estimate the annual generation of the project under the three 
alternatives identified above. Our analysis shows that the annual 
generation would be 948.5 MWh for the proposed action, 948.5 MWh for 
the staff alternative, and 0 MWh for the no-action alternative.

           Table 10--Comparison of Effects for Each Alternative Associated With the Angelo Dam Project
                                                 [Source: Staff]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            Staff recommended
               Resource                 No action alternative       Proposed action            alternative
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Generation...........................  No hydroelectric         948.5 MWh of             948.5 MWh of
                                        generation.              electricity produced     electricity produced
                                                                 annually.                annually.
Geologic and Soils Resources.........  No changes to geology    Western would excavate   Same as proposed
                                        or soils at or near      approximately 135        action.
                                        the proposed project     cubic yards of bedrock
                                        site.                    to construct the
                                                                 proposed powerhouse
                                                                 and forebay. To ensure
                                                                 the protection of
                                                                 project resources from
                                                                 sedimentation and
                                                                 erosion, Western would
                                                                 develop, and implement
                                                                 (BMPs) during project
                                                                 construction as well
                                                                 as develop and
                                                                 implement an erosion
                                                                 and sediment control
                                                                 plan. There would,
                                                                 nonetheless, be the
                                                                 potential for
                                                                 temporary and minor
                                                                 erosion and
                                                                 sedimentation at the
                                                                 site.
Aquatic Resources....................  No changes to current    There would be           Same as proposed
                                        water quality            temporary, minor         action.
                                        conditions where DO,     increases in turbidity
                                        water temperature, and   associated with
                                        pH are at levels         construction. Run-of-
                                        consistent with state    river operation would
                                        water quality            maintain current water
                                        standards.               quality.
Terrestrial..........................  No changes to existing   Project construction     Same as proposed
                                        terrestrial resources.   would cause minor,       action.
                                                                 short-term disturbance
                                                                 of grassy areas,
                                                                 compaction of soils,
                                                                 and generation of
                                                                 noise associated with
                                                                 excavation activities.
Cultural Resources...................  No changes to the        Construction and         Same as proposed
                                        current conditions       operation of the         action.
                                        where there are no       proposed project could
                                        known historic           adversely affect
                                        properties. There        unknown historic
                                        would be no potential    properties. Western
                                        for unknown historic     proposes to implement
                                        properties to be         the HPMP filed on
                                        affected by the          October 21, 2011, and
                                        project.                 amended by letter
                                                                 filed on June 14,
                                                                 2012, to mitigate for
                                                                 any adverse effects on
                                                                 newly discovered
                                                                 historic properties.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 52012]]

5.2 Comprehensive Development and Recommended Alternative

    Sections 4(e) and 10(a) of the FPA require the Commission to give 
equal consideration to the power development purposes and to the 
purposes of energy conservation; the protection, mitigation of damage 
to, and enhancement of fish and wildlife; the protection of 
recreational opportunities; and the preservation of other aspects of 
environmental quality. Any license issued shall be such as in the 
Commission's judgment will be best adapted to a comprehensive plan for 
improving or developing waterway or waterways for all beneficial public 
uses. This section contains the basis for, and a summary of, our 
recommendations for licensing the Angelo Dam Project. We weigh the 
costs and benefits of our recommended alternative against other 
proposed measures.
    Based on our independent review of the environmental and economic 
effects of the proposed project and its alternatives, we selected 
Western's proposal with staff's modifications as the preferred 
alternative. We recommend this alternative because: (1) Issuance of an 
original hydropower license by the Commission would allow the applicant 
to construct and operate the project as an economically beneficial and 
dependable source of electrical energy; (2) the 205 kW of electric 
capacity would come from a renewable resource which does not contribute 
to atmospheric pollution; (3) the public benefits of this alternative 
would exceed those of the no-action alternative; and (4) the 
recommended measures would protect, mitigate, and enhance environmental 
resources affected by building, operating, and maintaining the project.

5.2.1. Measures Proposed by Western

    Based on our environmental analysis of Western's proposal in 
section 3, and the costs presented in section 4, we conclude that the 
following environmental measures proposed by Western would protect and 
enhance environmental resources and would be worth the cost. Therefore, 
we recommend including these measures in any license issued for the 
project:
     Developing and implementing an erosion and sediment 
control plan with provisions for using BMPs, including installing a 
temporary inflatable cofferdam, and placing hay bales and siltation 
fabric at locations where sediment-laden runoff could otherwise enter 
project waters or adjacent non-project lands;
     Operating the project in a run-of-the-river mode to 
minimize impacts on water quality and quantity, and fish and aquatic 
resources; and
     Implementing the PA, executed on December 16, 1993, and 
the HPMP, filed on October 21, 2011, and amended by letter filed on 
June 14, 2012.

5.2.2. Additional Measures Recommended By Staff

    In addition to Western's proposed measures noted above, we 
recommend that Western develop and implement an operation compliance 
monitoring plan and schedule to monitor compliance with run-of-river 
operations. In section 3.3.2, Aquatic Resources, we determined that 
such a plan would ensure that Western would be able to demonstrate 
compliance with its proposed run-of-river operating regime. In section 
4, staff concluded that developing and implementing an operation 
compliance monitoring plan would have an annualized cost of $292. The 
benefits of the plan justify the annualized cost of $292.
    As noted in section 2.2.4, Western also proposes to comply with all 
state water quality standards while operating the project. We consider 
this proposal to comply with state law to be a general legal matter 
rather than a specific environmental measure, and therefore, do not 
adopt it as an environmental measure under the staff alternative. 
Nevertheless, in section 3, we analyzed the effects of proposed project 
construction and operation on water quality in the La Crosse River and 
concluded that with the exception of the potential for short-term, 
minor increases in turbidity during construction, Western's proposal to 
operate the project in a run-of-river mode would ensure that there 
would be no long-term adverse effects on water quality.

5.3 Unavoidable Adverse Effects

    As discussed in section 3.3.1, Geology and Soils Resources, 135 
cubic yards of rock would be permanently excavated. Also, any potential 
erosion or sedimentation that would occur during project construction 
would be minimized through the development and implementation of an 
erosion and sediment control plan.
    As discussed in section 3.3.2, Aquatic Resources, construction 
activities may cause minor, short-term adverse effects on water 
turbidity, but developing and implementing an erosion and sediment 
control plan would limit the severity and scope of these effects. The 
operation of the proposed project would also result in some entrainment 
and mortality of resident fish. However, these effects would likely be 
minor as most large fish would be able to escape the intake's approach 
velocity, and the majority of small fish are more likely to survive 
passage through the project turbine. Therefore, any adverse effects 
would be minimal and are unlikely to negatively impact the project 
reservoir's (Angelo Pond's) fish community as a whole.

5.4 Fish and Wildlife Agency Recommendations

    Under section 10(j) of the FPA, 16 USC 803(j), each hydroelectric 
license issued by the Commission must include conditions based on 
recommendations provided by federal and state fish and wildlife 
agencies for the protection, mitigation, or enhancement of fish and 
wildlife resources affected by the project.
    No federal or state fish and wildlife agency filed recommendations 
pursuant to section 10(j) of the FPA.

5.5 Consistency With Comprehensive Plans

    Section 10(a)(2) of the FPA, 16 USC 803(a)(2)(A), requires the 
Commission to consider the extent to which a project is consistent with 
federal or state comprehensive plans for improving, developing, or 
conserving a waterway or waterways affected by a project. We reviewed 
three plans that are applicable to the project and found no 
inconsistencies.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ (1) The Department of the Interior. 1993. The Nationwide 
Rivers Inventory; (2) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Undated. 
Fisheries USA: The recreational fisheries policy of the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service; and (3) Wisconsin Department of Natural 
Resources. 1995. Wisconsin's forestry best management practices for 
water quality.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6.0 Finding of No Signicant Impact

    On the basis of our independent analysis, the issuance of an 
original license for the Angelo Dam Project, as proposed, would not 
constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality 
of the human environment.

7.0 Literature Cited

Bell, Milo C. 1986. Fisheries handbook of engineering requirements & 
biological criteria. University of Michigan Library, Michigan.
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). 1997. Turbine survival and 
entrainment database--field tests. EPRI Report No. TR-108630. 
Prepared by Alden Research Laboratory, Inc. Holden, MA.
Knapp, W.E., B. Kynard, and S.P. Gloss. 1982. Potential effects of 
Kaplan, Ossberger, and Bulb turbines on anadromous fishes of the 
northeast United States. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Massachusetts.
Lawler, Matucky and Skelly Engineers. 1991.

[[Page 52013]]

Length/width size estimation. In fish entrainment monitoring program 
at Hodenpyl Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 2599, Application. 
Jackson, MI: Consumers Power Company, 1991.
Montana Water Center. February 2007. http://wildfish.montana.edu
Normandeau Associates, Inc., Tapoco Hydroelectric Project--FERC No. 
2169--Fish and Aquatics Study 5, Fish Entrainment Assessment, Draft, 
APGI Tapoco Division, 2002.
Salkin, P. 2011. A Cultural Resources Study of the Project Corridor 
for the Proposed Angelo Dam Hydroelectric Project in Angelo 
Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin, FERC Project 13417, Report of 
Investigations, No. 1851. Archaeological Consulting and Services, 
Inc., Verona, Wisconsin May 2011.
-------- . 2012. An Addendum to the Cultural Resources Study of the 
Project Corridor for the Angelo Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin 
and the Cultural Resources Management Plan, Report of 
Investigations, No. 1892. Archaeological Consulting and Services, 
Inc., Verona, Wisconsin. May 2012.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2012. Western Ecology 
Division: Ecoregions of Wisconsin. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/wed/pages/ecoregions/wi_eco.htm. Accessed June 15, 2012.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). 2012a. Midwest Region: State 
and County Lists--Wisconsin. http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/lists/wisc-cty.html
-------- . 2012b. Midwest Region: Karner Blue Butterfly--Wisconsin 
Statewide HCP Questions and Answers. Available at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/kbb/kbbhcpfs.html
Western Technical College (Western). 2012. Angelo Dam Hydroelectric 
Project. FERC Project No. 13417, Response to Deficiency of License 
Application and Request for Additional Information. February 10, 
2012.
-------- . 2011a. Angelo Hydropower Project Application, FERC 
Project No. 13417-002. October 21, 2011.
-------- . 2011b. Cultural Resource Management Plan for the Proposed 
Licensing of the Angelo Dam Hydroelectric Facility in Angelo 
Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin, FERC Project 13417 Report of 
Investigations, No. 1865. Archaeological Consulting and Services, 
Inc., Verona, Wisconsin. June 2011.
Winchell, F., S. Amaral, and D. Dixon. 2000. Hydroelectric turbine 
entrainment and survival database: An alternative to field studies, 
Hydrovision 2000--New Realities, New Responses, CD-ROM, Charlotte, 
North Carolina, August 8-11, 2000.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR). 2012a. 
Invasive Species: Curly-leaf Pondweed. Available at: http://dnr.wi.gov/invasives/fact/curlyleaf_pondweed.htm
-------- . 2012b. Topics--Endangered Resources: Aligific Talus 
Slope. Available at: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/EndangeredResources/Communities.asp?mode=detail&Code=CTGEO085WI
-------- . 2002a. State of the Bad Axe--La Crosse River Basin. PUBL 
WT 557 2002. http://dnr.wi.gov/water/basin/balax/index.htm. Accessed 
June 29, 2012.
-------- . 2002b. Wisconsin Watershed Database: Watershed--Upper La 
Crosse River (BLO6). http://dnr.wi.gov/water/watershedDetail.aspx?code=BL06&Name=Upper%20La%20Crosse%20River

8.0 List of Preparers

Janet Hutzel--Cultural Resources (Outdoor Recreation Planner; B.S., 
Environmental Analysis and Planning; M.S.,Geography)
Isis Johnson--Project Coordinator, Geology and Soils, Terrestrial 
Resources, (Environmental Biologist; M.S. Sustainable Development 
and Conservation Biology, B.S Wildlife Conservation and Entomology)
Bryan Roden-Reynolds--Aquatic Resources (Fisheries Biologist; B.S., 
Wildlife and Fisheries Science)
Sergiu Serban--Need for Power and Developmental Analysis (Civil 
Engineer; B.S. and M.S., Civil Engineering)

[FR Doc. 2012-21176 Filed 8-27-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P