Transmission towers could cross Temescal Valley

What’s next for the LEAPS project?

What’s the next step for Nevada Hydro’s Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage project (LEAPS), now that the deadline has passed for additional study requests?

We contacted James Fargo at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC.) It appears the process will be a long one with the first step being a review of all requests submitted for additional studies and the determination of which requests are valid.

Here’s what Fargo stated in an email:

The issuance of the Ready for Environmental Analysis (REA), Notice and subsequent milestones will not occur until the additional information needs of Commission staff on the final license application have been satisfied, which may include the completion of any needed additional studies.  The milestones that provide opportunities for stakeholder input are highlighted in red.

  • Additional study requests due
  • Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments
  • Public Scoping Meetings
  • Comments on Scoping Document 1 due
  • Issue Scoping Document 2 (if necessary)
  • Issue REA Notice soliciting comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions
  • Comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions due
  • Issue updated EIS
  • Comments on updated EIS due
  • Issue final EIS (if necessary)

Several requests for studies were submitted just prior to the Dec. 1 deadline, including one from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with concerns about the Cleveland National Forest – among them the Decker Canyon Reservoir, the design of the transmission lines, fire hazards and the outdated Environmental Impact Statement.

Many study requests came from Sycamore Creek residents and one petition (many different ones, plus form letters were submitted), had more than 1,000 signatures.

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS FRIDAY. DEC. 1

(Published Nov. 28, 2017)

HOW TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL STUDY REQUESTS
Requests for additional studies can be submitted to FERC via its eComment page on the website. Use an Internet Explorer browser:
https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx

Follow the directions on the page. It’s best to prewrite your comments in a Word doc and then copy and paste into the eComment template. The docket number is P-14227. Begin your comments with:
Re: Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project
Project No. P-14227-003

NEW INFO: A copy of your request sent to FERC for additional studies also MUST BE emailed to Rex Waite at Nevada Hydro:
Rex@leapshydro.com

Here are the latest the comments sent to FERC:

From Congressman Ken Calvert
From Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez
From Riverside County
From Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority

UPDATE ON LEAPS …

(Published Nov. 9, 2017)

There seems to be disagreement between Southern California Edison and Nevada Hydro Co. about the connection point of the LEAPS project’s northern transmission lines, which could change the path of those lines if the hydro-power project is approved.

Speaking at the Nov. 8 Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting, Edison’s Jeremy Goldman said the lines will connect to the proposed Alberhill substation. If the substation plan gains approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, it will be constructed on 124 acres of SCE-owned land at the corner of Temescal Canyon and Concordia Ranch roads east of the 1-15 and close to the 1,900-home Horsethief Canyon Ranch neighborhood.

In filing its Final License Application with FERC, Nevada Hydro shows the connection point to be a switchyard it will build near Lee Lake with the lines continuing north to join Edison’s Valley-Serrano lines that run across the Temescal Mountains. The path to the Lee Lake switchyard would pass very close to the Glen Eden, Terramor, Sycamore Creek and Horsethief Canyon communities.

If the connection point is the Alberhill substation, about three miles south of the proposed  Lee Lake switchyard, it is presumed the path of the lines would be changed, with major impact to  Horsethief Canyon Ranch residents.

When questioned further, Goldman directed people to read Edison’s communication to FERC dated Sept. 22, 2017.

Here’s the Edison Letter:
http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/SCE.pdf

In the meantime, the countdown continues toward the Friday, Dec. 1 deadline for requests to be submitted to FERC asking for additional scientific studies for the LEAPS project.

The We Are Temescal Valley Development Committee urges residents, especially those living in Sycamore Creek, Glen Eden, Terramor and Horsethief Canyon Ranch, to request a new Environmental Impact Statement for the project.

The EIS that Nevada Hydro is using for the project was prepared in January 2007. Since that time, Riverside County has approved land use changes to property adjacent to and under the path of the proposed northern transmission lines, including Terramor and new Sycamore Creek neighborhoods. The impact of such an intensive project should be studied under current conditions, not those of almost 11 years ago.

The city of Lake Elsinore, the Riverside County Transportation & Land Management Agency and the Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority soon will be submitting requests for additional studies. Local Congressman Ken Calvert is resubmitting his request next week.

HOW TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL STUDY REQUESTS
Requests for additional studies can be submitted to FERC via its eComment page on the website. Use an Internet Explorer browser:
https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx

Follow the directions on the page. It’s best to prewrite your comments in a Word doc and then copy and paste into the eComment template. The docket number is P-14227. Begin your comments with:
Re: Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project
Project No. P-14227-003

NEW INFO: A copy of your request sent to FERC for additional studies also MUST BE emailed to Rex Waite at Nevada Hydro:
Rex@leapshydro.com

Comments also can be snail-mailed to:
The Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426

DEADLINE: FRIDAY, DEC. 1

Here’s the FERC Public Notice announcing the current filing period:
http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/notice.pdf

Here’s Nevada Hydro’s cover letter for the Final License Application:
http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/FLA.pdf

Here’s the Final License Application:
http://nevadahydro.com/index.php/projects/final-license-application/

The following entities already have sent letters opposing the project and/or requesting State and local agency review:

Glen Eden Corporation
Sycamore Creek Community Association
Horsethief Canyon Ranch Community Association
The Retreat Community Association
Terramor at Temescal Valley
Lakeside Temescal Valley
Riverside County 1st District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries
U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert, 42nd Congressional District
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, 67th Assembly District
Riverside County Transportation & Land Management Agency
City of Lake Elsinore
Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District
Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
California Water Resources Control Board
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians
Center for Biodiversity
Sierra Club
San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society
Southern California Edison

PATH OF THE LINES: This illustration is from the Final License Application and shows the path of the transmission lines through Temescal Valley.

LATE-BREAKING NEWS …

(Published Oct. 12, 2017)

Nevada Hydro rep Rex Wait, speaking at the Oct. 11 TV MAC meeting, announced a 60-day public comment period to request additional studies for the LEAPS project.

Request DEADLINE IS DEC. 1. If you submitted earlier comments, those comments must be resubmitted and phrased to request the need for additional studies and your reason for seeking the study.

HOW TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL STUDY REQUESTS
Requests for additional studies can be submitted to FERC via its eComment page on the website. Use an Internet Explorer browser:

https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx

Follow the directions on the page. It’s best to prewrite your comments in a Word doc and then copy and paste into the eComment template. The docket number is P-14227. Begin your comments with:
Re: Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project
Project No. P-14227-003

Comments also can be snail-mailed to:
The Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426

FERC allows license application to be filed and waives requirement for additional review and public scoping

(Published Oct. 7, 2017)

WHO:     Nevada Hydro Speaker
WHAT:   Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council
WHEN:   7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11
WHERE:  The Trilogy Lodge, 24503 Trilogy Parkway.

Despite protests from many state, county and city agencies, as well as elected officials and concerned citizens, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 29 issued its approval to accept a draft license application for a significant hydro-power project without requiring further review or public scoping. This action opened the door for the Nevada Hydro Company Inc. to file a final license application for its LEAPS project, which it did Oct. 2.

This application, with little exception, is based on a 10-year-old environmental impact statement. What comes next? We hope the Nevada Hydro representative who will speak at the Wednesday, Oct. 11 Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council  meeting can answer that question. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Trilogy Lodge, 24503 Trilogy Parkway.

Here’s the FERC approval: http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/FERC.pdf

Here’s Nevada Hydro’s cover letter for the Final License Application: http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/FLA.pdf

Here’s the Final License Application:
http://nevadahydro.com/index.php/projects/final-license-application/

NEVADA HYDRO SIMULATION: Looking to the east from De Palma Road, south of the Shops at Sycamore Creek center and north of Glen Eden. Yellow building at right is the proposed lake switchyard. Lee Lake can be viewed behind the switchyard. 

Nevada Hydro resubmits LEAPS application to FERC

(Published Aug. 8, 2017)

A request to submit a draft license application for a controversial power project that would greatly impact the Temescal Valley scenic view could be approved at any time by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC is reviewing the application resubmitted by Nevada Hydro Company Inc. to build its Lake Elsinore Advanced Pump Storage (LEAPS) project in the Cleveland National Forest with 32 miles of 500 kV transmission lines and 170 high-voltage steel towers. Nevada Hydro is asking FERC to accept the draft license application without additional review and public scoping.

ACTION NEEDED NOW

Deadline for comments is
Sept. 22, 2017

Comments can be submitted to FERC via its eComment page — use an Internet Explorer browser:

https://ferconline.ferc.gov/
QuickComment.aspx

Follow the directions on the page. It’s best to prewrite your comments in a Word doc and then copy and paste into the eComment template. FERC prefers that comments be kept short and to the point. The docket number is P-14227

Comments also can be snail-mailed to:
The Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426

Begin your comments with:
Re: Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project
Project Number 14227
Comments to The Nevada Hydro Company’s May 31, 2017 Notification of Intent to File License Application

Letters should be copied to Jim Fargo at the above FERC address. He has primary responsibility for the LEAPS project and can be reached by email at: james.fargo@ferc.gov or phone at 202-502-6095.

The plan calls for water from Lake Elsinore to be pumped at night into a to-be-constructed reservoir and then returned via gravity to generate electricity through turbines.

One set of transmission lines would run northeast across the Santa Ana mountains then head east, crossing Temescal Valley and the I-15 to connect to Edison’s Valley-Serrano lines that run across the Temescal Mountains. Glen Eden, Terramor, Sycamore Creek and Horsethief Canyon Ranch would be the closest communities to the lines.

The other set of lines would head southwest from the pumped storage facility to connect with San Diego Gas & Electric lines.

The project’s intent is to provide additional electricity during peak power usage and to replace electrical output lost with the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

The project was originally submitted in 1995. FERC initially approved the application in the early 2000s but then dismissed it in 2011 because of uncertainty over whether Nevada Hydro had rights to use Lake Elsinore water.

The previous project partner, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD), backed out of the project and terminated its agreement with Nevada Hydro in 2011. A lawsuit on the water rights issue is scheduled to begin before a San Diego County Superior Court jury on Sept. 22.

The WeAreTV Development Committee is sending a letter to FERC outlining reasons why the application should be denied:

DOWNED POWER LINE SAFETY: According to the Riverside County General Plan’s Temescal Canyon Area Plan, the Temescal Valley portion of the project would traverse a very high wildfire susceptibility area, a 100-year flood and dam inundation zone, and a seismic activity area associated with the Elsinore Fault Zone. Weather-wise, the project lies in the Elsinore Convergence Zone noted for extreme weather patterns including tornados.

The lines would cross both the I-15 freeway and Temescal Canyon Road, the only two north-south evacuation routes in Temescal Valley in case of a major disaster. There are no east-west roadways into or out of the area.

CHANGE IN CONDITIONS: Riverside County has approved land use changes to property adjacent to and under the planned transmission lines since the project’s dismissal in 2011. New development has been constructed. A draft Federal Environmental Impact Statement under National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), guidelines was released in January 2007 — 10 years ago. The impact of such an intensive project should be studied under current conditions, not those of 10 or 20 years ago.

CONSERVATION: The lines would traverse land area within the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA), jurisdiction. Construction of the towers and associated facilities would disturb endangered and threatened species of animals and plants protected by the RCA’s Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.

VISTAS: The transmission towers, lines and the construction of related facilities would impact the view from the I-15 freeway, which has been designated a State Eligible Scenic Highway.

EDISON PROJECTS: The final Environmental Impact Report has been released for Edison’s Valley-IvyGlen transmission lines and the Alberhill Substation. A public hearing on these projects soon will be scheduled by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). If approved, Edison’s 115 kV subtransmission lines will cross the I-15 freeway almost exactly where the Nevada Hydro transmission towers are proposed.

LACK OF STATE APPROVALS: FERC has indicated it may grant the new application with no additional review. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, there is only an outdated Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project that was never approved. There is no current project application before the California Public Utilities Commission.

 

8 thoughts on “Transmission towers could cross Temescal Valley

  1. Karla Golbert

    Do not want this in our neighborhood ! All neighbors that are being affected should get together so we can explore what our legal recourse is! We bought at Sycamore canyon and were told that nothing would be built on the Cleveland National Forest that was the determining factor in buying our home. This was not disclosed to us nor our neighbors on the cual de sac! I am going to contact a lawyer and see what our rights are. Please call me, Karla at 714-797-7791 or email me at karla.golbert@gmail.com if you would like to be informed on what I find regarding our legal options and how we can stop this hydra plant from ruining our property values and nature! This must be stopped and we need to come together! Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Caroline Gerardo

    The following endangered species live, nest, and survive in the area: California condors (seen daily flying) southwestern willow flycatchers nest in Cleveland National Park nearby, Arroyo toads and red-legged frogs live in the soil and burrow in the surrounds. There are two kit fox dens in the area. It is a federal crime to disturb endangered creatures- to move them, touch them, dig, grade, or harm them is prison time and $50000 fines. Take photos of these animals/ creatures and send to Jim Fargo. If FERC employees approve without study they are liable. Having power lines over your property will lower value more than $50000 -perhaps $200000. There are known health risks to being under power lines. I live off Ortega, not in the line of sight but changing the water table and water rights takes the rights of any private water owners in the surrounds

    Reply
  3. Aldo Diaz

    they towers would definitely suck and kill our little bit bit of undisturbed hillside we have left here. frigg off towers.

    Reply
  4. Tim Griffin

    When I bought this house there were no transmission lines present. If there had been I would not have purchased the home. PUTTING MAJOR TRANSMISSION LINES OVER MY HOME WILL TAKE ABOUT $50,000 OFF THE VALUE OF MY HOME. DOES THE COMPANY THAT WANTS TO BUILD THESE POWER LINES INTEND TO COMPENSATE ME FOR MY FINANCIAL LOSS?

    Reply
    1. marcela vargas

      When we bought this house there were not plan to build this towers to get some body rich and make our home value plunge I DO NOT WANT THIS TOWERS IN OUR NEIBORHOOD

      Reply

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