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Notice of Request To Use Alternative Procedures in Preparing a License Application

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Start Preamble May 2, 2002.

Take notice that the following request to use alternative procedures to prepare a license application has been filed with the Commission.

a. Type of Application: Request to use alternative procedures to prepare a new license application.

b. Project No.: 2545.

c. Date filed: April 24, 2002.

d. Applicant: Avista Corporation.

e. Name of Project: Spokane River Hydroelectric Project.

f. Location: On the Spokane River, in Spokane, Stevens, and Lincoln Counties, Washington and Kootenai and Benewah Counties, Idaho. The project occupies federal lands of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and tribal lands of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation.

g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 USC §§ 791(a)—825(r).

h. Applicant Contact: Bruce Howard, Spokane River License Manager, Avista Corporation, 1411 East Mission, P.O. Box 3727, MSC-1, Spokane, Washington 99220, (509) 495-2941, or e-mail: bruce.howard@avistacorp.com.

i. FERC Contact: Nan Allen at (202) 219-2938, or e-mail: nan.allen@ferc.gov.

j. Deadline for Comments: June 2, 2002.

All documents (original and eight copies) should be filed with: Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426.

Comments may be filed electronically via the Internet in lieu of paper. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's web site (http://www.ferc.gov) under the “e-Filing” link.

k. The project consists of five developments and appurtenant facilities. The Post Falls development consists of the 48,000-acre Coeur d'Alene Lake with a useable storage capacity of 223,100 acre-feet; a 431-foot-long and 31-foot-high spillway dam across the north channel, a 127-foot-long and 25-foot-high spillway dam across the south channel, and a 215-foot-long and 64-foot-high dam across the middle channel and forming the east wall of the powerhouse; six 56-foot-long penstocks; and a powerhouse with an installed capacity of 15 megawatts (MW).

The Upper Falls development consists of a 366-foot-long, 39-foot-high dam at 1,871 feet elevation; an 800-acre-foot reservoir; a channel leading to an intake structure; a 350-foot-long penstock, and a powerhouse with an installed capacity of 10 MW.

The Monroe Street development consists of a 240-foot-long, 24-foot-high dam with crest elevation of 1,806 feet; a 30-acre-foot reservoir; a 435-foot-long penstock; and an underground powerhouse with an installed capacity of 14.82 MW.

The Nine Mile development consists of a 464-foot-long, 58-foot-high dam with a crest elevation of 1596.6 feet without flashboards and 1606.6 feet with flashboards; a reservoir with 4,600 acre-feet of storage capacity; and a powerhouse with an installed capacity of 26 MW.

The Long Lake development consists of a 593-foot-long, 247-foot-high dam; a 108,080-acre-foot reservoir with a normal pool elevation of 1,536 feet; four 216-foot-long penstocks, and a powerhouse with an installed capacity of 71 MW.

l. A copy of the request to use alternative procedures is on file with the Commission and is available for public inspection. This filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “RIMS” link—select “Docket #” and follow the instructions (call 202-208-2222 for assistance). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in h above.

m. Avista Corporation has met with federal and state resources agencies, NGOs, elected officials, flood control and downstream interests, environmental groups, business and economic development organizations, recreation groups, and members of the public regarding the Spokane River Project and believes that a consensus exists that the use of alternative procedures is appropriate in this case. Avista Corporation intends to file 6-month progress reports during the alternative procedures process that leads to the filing of a license application by July 31, 2005. Avista Corporation has demonstrated that it has made an effort to contact all federal and state resources agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and others affected by the project. Avista Corporation has submitted a communications protocol that is supported by the stakeholders.

The purpose of this notice is to invite any additional comments on Avista Corporation's request to use the alternative procedures, pursuant to Section 4.34(i) of the Commission's regulations. Additional notices seeking comments on the specific project proposal, interventions and protests, and recommended terms and conditions will be issued at a later date. Avista Corporation will complete and file a preliminary Environmental Assessment, in lieu of Exhibit E of the license application. This differs from the traditional process, in which an applicant consults with agencies, Indian tribes, NGOs, and other parties during preparation of the license application and before filing the application, but the Commission staff performs the environmental review after the application is filed. The alternative procedures are intended to simplify and expedite the licensing process by combining the pre-filing consultation and environmental review processes into a single process, to facilitate greater participation, and to improve communication and cooperation among the participants.

Start Signature

Magalie R. Salas,

Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 02-11406 Filed 5-7-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P