FERC staff in a in a draft environmental impact statement recommended relicensing the 84.8 MW Bucks Creek hydroelectric project in California’s Plumas County.

The study was released June 14 for 60 days of ­public comment.

The project, owned by Pacific Gas & Electric and the City of Santa Clara, Calif., consists of the 65-MW Bucks Creek and 19.8-MW Grizzly developments located on Bucks, Grizzly, and Milk Ranch creeks, which are tributaries to the North Fork Feather River [P-619].

The licensees propose reducing the project’s ­acreage, from the current 1,540 acres to 1,316 acres. The reduction would use boundary changes that would remove land and roads currently within the boundary not required for project purposes, and that would reduce the shoreline buffer along project impoundments where ­project infrastructure and recreation facilities are in ­proximity to the shoreline.

The licensees are not proposing to increase the project’s capacity or make major modifications, the draft EIS said.

Relicensing conditions recommended by FERC staff include adding minimum instream-flow r­equirements in reaches of Bucks Creek, Milk Ranch Creek and South Fork Grouse Hollow Creek that are not currently subject to flow standards.

The deadline to comment on the draft EIS is Aug. 13, 2019.

Bucks Dam was completed in 1929, and the ­Grizzly powerhouse, owned by the City of Santa Clara, was added in the early 1990s.

News Editor - Clearing Up

Rick Adair has been with NewsData since 2003, and is news editor for Clearing Up and editor for Water Power West. Previously, he covered environmental and energy issues in the Lake Tahoe area. He has a doctorate in earth sciences.