“We have been trying for the new license since 2005,” said Keisa Sharpe-Johnson, a spokeswoman for Alabama Power Company. “This has been a long time in the making. Overall, we are pleased this license was issued.”
Sharpe-Johnson said most of the APC proposals were approved.
“Alabama Power did request variances for Logan Martin and Weiss lakes, but we are disappointed that those were not approved,” she said. “Alabama Power requested a two-foot winter pool increase for Logan Martin Lake and a three-foot winter pool increase for Weiss Lake. The summer pool levels would remain the same. FERC officials said they couldn’t approve new winter pool levels without the Army Corps of Engineers incorporating it into their new reservation regulation manuals.”
Sharpe-Johnson said APC has completed its analysis and FERC has indicated the next action must come from the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the issue of higher winter pool variances for Logan Martin and Weiss lakes.
“APC is requesting the winter pool variances because it is a major stakeholder issue for recreation enhancements,” she said. “We want to thank our stakeholders and partners who helped with the re-licensing process.”
Sharpe-Johnson said the new license calls for $250 million in project enhancements over the 30-year license term.
“We were hoping for a longer term, but it is 30 years before we have to get a new license,” she said.
Sharpe-Johnson said some project enhancements will conclude sooner than others, depending on the scope of the project.
She said some of the projects affecting Logan Martin Lake include:
• Installation of systems to improve water quality downstream of Weiss, Neely Henry and Logan Martin dams.
• Comprehensive shoreline management plans for shoreline protection and enhancement on all lakes.
• Partnership with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for a habitat enhancement program and aquatic culture facility.
“Our partnership with the ADCNR includes supporting programs they develop and implement, and supporting its existing aquatic culture facility which raises aquatic species for reintroduction into the waterways,” Sharpe-Johnson said.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at email@example.com.