Here are questions that ratepayers are asking of their PUD:
Joint Base Lewis-McChord
Plans to Use Mountain Training
Area of Okanogan and Chelan
Counties for Helicopter Low
Altitude Flying and Landing
24 Hours 7 Days a Week
The Aviation Division within the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) proposes to establish three off-base helicopter training areas and one mountain training area. The U.S. Army is the lead Federal agency for the proposed action. The proposed training areas would support training operations stationed out of JBLM, but would be located off-base within Washington State. Training operations would be conducted using aircraft to include the MH/UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, and MH/CH-47 Chinook. The training areas would be available for use day and night, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the exception of Federal holidays.
The Army has prepared a scoping document which is intended to provide interested parties the proposed scope of the Environmental Assessment and to seek additional information pertinent to this analysis. If you have any information that would assist us in conducting an accurate and thorough analysis of the project-specific and cumulative effects associated with the proposed project, you are encouraged to submit them during the scoping period, which has been extended through September 4, 2015. The scoping document including project maps, and a comment form are located at:
To submit comments, send an email to email@example.com
or write to:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC WORKS
ATTN ENVIRONMENTAL DIVISION (NEPA)
2012 LIGGETT AVE, BOX 339500 MS 17
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA 98433-9500
Comments must be received by September 4, 2015
to be considered.
Chief Rob Edward speaks of responsibilities representing his people and the protocols and ceremonies of Creation he follows for guiding his people and listening to the elders guidance, and remembering the history of his cultural experiences.
DNR Lands Not Available to Navy
for Electronic Warfare Training
on Olympic Peninsula
The Grand Entry on Friday night at Similkameen/Ashnola POWWOW of Champions west of Keremeos, BC along the Ashnola River at the Ashnola Pavillion of the Similkameen Indian Bands.
Okanogan PUD Adopts a New 2016 Budget Excluding Two-Thirds of Enloe Electrification Budget
In December of 2015 the Okanogan Public Utility District adopted a new budget for 2016.
The budget for 2016 reveals spending for Enloe Dam was cut from an estimated $3 million to $1 million. Declining revenues and increased operational and maintenance costs have forced the PUD to revise their budget and consequently postpone schedule tasks associated with the upgrade and reenergizing of Enloe Dam.
None-the-less, the remaining expense of $1 million scheduled for 2016 is to conduct a dam safety investigation, a requirement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), prior to further upgrades and operation of the structure.
Effort to continue to pursue re-energizing Enloe Dam is exhibited by PUD staff traveling to Washington D. C. to request an extension from FERC, presumably for 5 years, to allow more time to design and refurbish Enloe Dam for hydro-power production.
Click here to see how the OkPUD eliminated a large portion of Enloe Dam’s funding for 2016.
Junior Wilson, Ho-Chunk, Winnebago Tribe, shares his thoughts and prayers concerning sustaining our natural resources of water and treaty rights for generations to come, and sang his prayer about his relative who, in the 1700s, fought for his people's rights, was changed into a Bear by Creator, and rose on a white cloud when he died.
Similkameen Sunday started with a ceremony at Similkameen Falls with Similkameen Indian Band elders, council members, and invited guests.
Herman Edward, teacher and story teller from Lower Similkameen Indian Band talks about the importance of caring for our natural resources and respecting the natural falls as Creator provided them to us.
Herman Edward sings a prayer for the healing of the river, falls, and the people whose responsibility it is to care for Creator's natural resources.
Colville Tribal elder Marge Jameson talks with Herman Edward after the ceremony as Tony Qualtier, LSIB elder and other guests look on.
Theresa Ann Terbasket, Lower Similkameen Indian Band elder, spoke about the changes we all face—changes in the river, what it should look like—for without water, we become desert, even within ourselves.
Golden Eagle Drum, from Nespelem, kept us focused on how special our gathering in support of the Similkameen River and Falls and the People was on Similkameen Sunday.
Herman Edward, Lower Similkameen Indian Band, sharing songs on the multi-register flute he made.
Mayor Patrick Plumb and children welcome the Similkameen Indian Band members, Colville Confederated Tribal members and the public to Tonasket and Similkameen Sunday.
Steve Pollard, Steve Bell, Ray Dispenza, and Kyle MacConnel sing and play for us "Similkameen, River of Gold."
Herman Edward shared with us the story of Sinkuleep (Coyote) bringing the salmon up the river.
Bob Turner, Chief Tonasket's great-grandson from Wilbur, spoke about his grandpa's big family, giving him 18 aunts and uncles he learned a lot from, and how important it is for us to get together and share our stories.
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The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is taking comments until Nov 17th on the NEPA process that will be used to make their decision to issue a special use permit for 5 years to the Navy to conduct their Mobile Electronic Warfare Test Sites using Forest Service roads.The comment period will only be extended if they are receiving a lot of comments. (See below for address.) We asked the Navy at the Open House why doesn't the Navy apply to the U.S. Army to use the Yakima Training Center—designed for military use—for their exercises rather than USFS property. Their answer was that the training center is over booked and they cannot schedule its use. Every time we go through that area on Hwy 97, it is completely vacant of activity. Someone needs to check out their schedule and see if the Navy's activities could be worked into their schedule. Click to view OkanWen National Forest Notice of Navy's Plans. Here's an account of Tuesday's Open House the Navy and Okan-Wen National Forest written by Dana Visalli of the Methow Valley.
Some of our concerns are:
(1) It is not clear what attempts were made to gain local comments in determining a “no impact decision” by the U.S. Navy.
(2) Has livestock and wildlife safety been considered with mobile emitters on designated roads?
(3) It is also unclear how Navy will keep humans from using roads for recreation, wood gathering, hunting, etc.
(4) Navy’s EA does identify the general direction (3 degrees vertical from the horizon towards the west), but not the intensity of electronic radiation mobile emitters will be pulsing from our forest service roads.
October 17, the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest sent us a letter stating there will be a 30-day comment period that will only be announced in the Wenatchee World or on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Web site. The comment period will be from Oct 17 to Nov 17. Send your comments to Supervisior Balboni's address below. We have a good chance to extend our comment period if enough comments come pouring into Supervisor Balboni office.
The public comment period has been extended until Nov 28 to submit comments to the Olympic National Forest. There will be a public meeting on Nov 6 from 6-8pm at the Port Angeles City Council Chambers, located at 321 East Fifth Street, Port Angeles, WA where the U.S. Navy and Olympic National Forest Service will answer questions. Send comments to:
• Greg T Wahl, 1835 Black Lake Blvd SW, Suite A, Olympia, WA 983512, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360.956.2375. Comment period ends Nov 28th.
Please request a public meeting closer to the Colville National Forest to explain their process in making a decision to allow the Navy to set up these Military Operation Areas on Forest Service Roads. You can send your comments and requests to:
• Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor, Michael L. Balboni, c/o Phil Christy, 1 West Winesap, Tonasket WA 98855, email@example.com, 509.486.5137. Comment period ends Nov 17 unless it gets extended.
• Colville National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West, c/o Karen Nooney, Colville National Forest, 765 S. Main Street, Colville WA 99114, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509.684.7189. Franklin Pemberton, the CNF Public Affairs Officier, email@example.com, called January 7th to say the Navy has not sent CNF an application as of yet to use CNF forest roads. He did not expect to hear anything until February. He also said that the CNF does not see the Navy's uses of forest roads as being compatible with CNF stewardship of natural resources.
U.S. Navy's Plans for
using Forest Service Roads
Boeing's $10 billion EA-18G Growler next generation Electronic Warfare aircraft flying over our National Forests disturbing wildlife and human dwellings close to the forest.
The Navy's Mobile Electromagnetic Radiation Emitter proposed truck that will be parked at specific areas on forest service roads up to 50 days during a year for up to 8 hr stretches. So far the Navy has not requested the USFS to plow roads during winter months. Radiation will be directed west at a 3 degree arc up from horizon.
Land and Community in the
Upper Columbia River Bioregion
In the first 50 years of operation, cost for building, operating and maintaining Enloe Dam will exceed the revenue generated by the project, according to forecasts made by the Okanogan PUD.
Revised Cost Figure—Summary, p. 11 and Revised Cost Figure—2014 D-2 (excluding sunk costs), p. 15 (OkPUD 2015 Enloe Project Budget).
Between 2019, when electrical generation would start, and 2068 when the 50 years license of operation expires, it is estimated that Enloe Dam would generate about $152 million in income. However, construction would cost at least $62 million (the construction loan of approximately $39 million and $23 million in interest). Operations and maintenance will cost about $168 million during the 50 year period. When costs are subtracted from generation revenue, ratepayers are left with debt of
Since power generation conservatively will stay the same during the 50 year license, at least $1.7 million is added yearly to the cost of Enloe operations, modeled over time using an annual 2.5% escalator on Operations & Maintenance costs. Indeed, the project results in a loss of over $76 million. That is a cost of about $3,918 for each of the PUD’s 20,000 residential customers over the 50 year license, or $6.53 each month. (Model: OkPUD Enloe—Blended Resource).
Note: For more information on the use of this model, please telephone Jeré & Rick Gillespie, 831.332.4778.
Formulas Used to Calculate Numbers:
(Enloe MW Generation) X (hours/Year) = (Enloe MWhrs/Year)
(4.5 MW) X (8,760 hrs/year) = 39,420 MWhrs/year
(Cost $$/MWhr) X (Enloe MWhrs/year) = (Enloe Power Revenue $$/year)
($77/MWhr) X (39,420 MWhrs/year) = $3,035,340/year
In Year 2019:
(Enloe Power Revenue $$/year) + (Enloe Operation & Maintenance $$/year) + (Enloe Construction Debt $$) = (Enloe Debt $$)
Link to Spreadsheet that displays the outcomes for Enloe costs projected over 50 years.
Okanogan Ratepayers Stand Up Against
the Economic Irresponsibility of Enloe Debt
WE, RATEPAYERS AND CITIZENS OF OKANOGAN COUNTY, WASHINGTON, stand in opposition to all further EXPENDITURES by the PUBLIC UTILITY, OKANOGAN PUD NO. 1 toward Electrification of ENLOE DAM on the Similkameen River. These are the “GLARING” reasons we say “NO ON OLD ENLOE!”
1. We, the ratepayers, our children and grandchildren will all shoulder higher energy costs resulting from the estimated $39 million dollars in borrowed money and $23 milion in interest necessary to build this proposed power plant, not to forget the $78 million cumulated each year over the 50 year license of operation. Actual costs of construction could easily run 20% higher or more.
2. Revenue estimates by the PUD show the Enloe Dam Project will lose $1.1-1.7 million dollars annually based on current energy prices and market trend analysis by both PUD and independent experts. More borrowing and compounding interest could even push the final project costs higher topping $140 million dollars by some estimates.
3. New contracts now being worked out with Douglas County PUD will provide Okanogan County with a larger portion of Wells Dam if successfully negotiated, supplying the power we need beyond the year 2048. There is no justification for this very expensive power generation from Enloe Dam.
4. The 4.5 MW average yearly output of power plant proposed by the PUD will only contribute 2% of the electric needs of our Utility. It supplies less than 20% of energy demanded by the Oroville sub-station. The PUD has never justified their expenditures to the ratepayers and to the Okanogan County economy.
5. This project has already drained $12 million from Okanogan County’s economy. It has further impoverished the district ratepayers while enriching elite Bankers, Bond-Brokers, Wealthy Investors, Law Firms and Lobbyists, High priced Engineers and Consultants. It has been a great project for them and they all encourage our commissioners to push on, yet Enloe electrification provides little or no benefit to the ratepayers. It is time to stop wasting time and resources on this miscalculation.
6. We all struggle to maintain our households often on low fixed incomes against rising costs of living. Our savings are gone and the quality of our lives is in decline. The more our “Public Utility” borrows, the higher our rates climb. Serve the People. Stop the spending. Pay Down the debt. Maintain a reliable, safe distribution system.
Scott Vejraska, 509.826.7088, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernie Bolz, 509.486.2553, email@example.com
Steve Houston, 509.429.9248, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please plan to come to OkPUD Meetings at 2:30 pm on Mondays at PUD Auditorum, 1331 2nd Avenue North, Okanogan WA 98840 to voice your reasons to say to commissioners "NO ON ENLOE." Check OkPUD Web site when actual Mondays meetings are held. If you cannot make the meeting, give the Commissioners a call or e-mail them to say your concerns.
Let us know
you have made contact. THANKS!
Columbiana, 509.485.3844, email@example.com
NOAA Could Still Take the Lead on Removal of
Decision Could be Made
to Remove Enloe Dam
Oroville, WA –Enloe Dam has been out of the news since the “No on Enloe” Campaign put its collective foot down last February. It was clearly demonstrated, using PUD estimates, Enloe Dam Electrification would lose $1.2-1.7 million dollars annually. The $40-50 million dollar construction price tag will require continuous rate increases no one can afford and creates a downward spiral of debt that could bankrupt more than just the PUD.
The ratepayers of Okanogan County have voted twice on this issue, turning out two incumbent PUD Commissioners who campaigned for electrification. Recognizing the net economic loses that would result from electrification of Enloe Dam, our current commissioners told ratepayers they needed a “large federal agency with deep pockets” to assume all liability for Enloe Dam before they could walk away.
Tuesday, June 30th, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) met with Commissioner Vejraska, Manager John Grubich and other staff, to discuss their interest in becoming the lead agency for the removal of Enloe Dam. This is great news. We may have the lead agency we have been waiting for. This meeting with NOAA/NMFS was discussed at the PUD meeting on July 13th. The PUD moved the goal post by wanting $13 million of NOAA.
It is time to get back down to the PUD and get involved in what is going on. Ratepayers and local residents should contact their Commissioners and attend August 10 meeting to help the PUD make the right decisions. —Joseph Enzensperger
Why are the Commissioners taking another vote on Enloe?
Will it be to remove the dam now that the PUD has a draft dam removal plan, the money for removal has been shown to be available if and when the PUD decides on removal (with little to zero cost to the PUD), and they have a federal agency interested in becoming the lead agency?
If not a vote for removal, what has changed regarding the power and economic value of Enloe? Based on the PUD’s 2014 revised cost figures, dam construction is expected to now cost between $40 - $50 million. With operating costs totaling $3,193,696 it will cost OPUD $1.1 million more each year to operate the Enloe Project than it would cost to purchase the power on the open market.
From these numbers, Enloe seems like a really bad deal for the PUD and for ratepayers. Why then is the PUD moving ahead with borrowing money to build out Enloe?
The PUD is now asking to be reimbursed for the full costs of getting the license, in order to satisfy bond holders. Didn’t the funds for the license come out of the general fund each year? The PUD has written off other debt. Isn’t this simply a new roadblock thrown up by PUD staff who want to continue to borrow & build, in spite of the costs to the ratepayers?
Can someone in the PUD explain to us how not recovering the full $14 million in Enloe sunk costs will jeopardize the PUD getting loans from the bond market? Is this information verifiable by auditors? Due Diligence to the ratepayers requires the PUD to have its statements on financial matters verified by authorized experts.
Why should ratepayers support a project that will lose this much money for at least the foreseeable future? Commissioner Houston has said that Enloe will lose money for at least the first 40 years. The PUD’s revised numbers show Enloe losing about $1 M per year and at the net present value it may never generate a profit.
Why is the PUD taking such a hard line on providing basic information needed for a lead agency decision? So far, both the Colville Tribe and NOAA have expressed interest in becoming lead agency. To move forward, they have asked for basic information on sediment behind the dam and dam safety information, and to date the PUD has refused to share this information.
What is behind the dam and why has the PUD blocked any attempt to find out? What are they afraid of? Agencies, tribes and nonprofits contracted with the USGS to develop a sediment study, fully funded that study with no cost to the PUD or its ratepayers, and proposed to complete the study this summer during very low flows. To date, the PUD has refused to let that study move forward.
PUD expenditures & rate hikes have been a continuing drain for its ratepayers. Just recently, the PUD has said it needs to recover the nearly $14M that it has spent on the Enloe project so far. The reason given was that without recovering the $$, the PUD could not keep its bond ratings up and was at risk to default. What is the status on the bond, what has changed, and why is the PUD just figuring this out now?