From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
A draft environmental assessment statement has been completed for a proposed 7-megawatt hydroelectric plant at Pueblo Dam.
The Bureau of Reclamation is accepting comments until Jan. 30 on the project.
The project is a joint eort of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Colorado Springs Utilities and the Pueblo Board of Water Works.
Two generators designed to operate at both high and low flows would be constructed on the North Outlet Works, which was built as part of the Southern Delivery System. A separate connection for hydropower was included in the design.
Electrical generation would not consume any water, operating on flows that already are released from the dam.
The Western Area Power Administration would have first opportunity to purchase power, which would be available to Black Hills Energy or Utilities if WAPA declines.
However, the power lines would be connected to the Black Hills substation that provides electricity to the Juniper Pump Station that provides power for SDS to pump water to Pueblo West and El Paso County.
The assessment notes there would be potential temporary impacts on air quality, water quality and wildlife (including some fish die-o) during construction.
Long-term eects would be less noticeable and not significant, because the flows into the Arkansas River, state fish hatchery, South Outlet Works or the SDS pipeline are not altered, according to the document.
The draft environmental assessment statement may be found at http://usbr.gov/gp/nepa/sopa.
Comments should be addressed to TStroh@usbr.gov.
For copies or more information, call Terence Stroh, 970-962-4369.