The hydropower licensing of the La Grange Project on the Tuolumne River has begun. The licensing was ordered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) after the Conservation Groups including CSPA and the National Marine Fisheries Service submitted evidence that La Grange Powerhouse is subject to FERC’s jurisdiction.
FERC held scoping meetings for the licensing on June 18. CSPA gave comments in support of studies of fish passage past La Grange Dam, as well as past Don Pedro Dam and Don Pedro Reservoir. FERC previously denied study requests concerning passage because it considered La Grange Dam only as an irrigation facility, not a power producing facility, and FERC therefore claimed it had no jurisdiction. While CSPA and others disputed FERC’s earlier study denial, the new licensing process leaves no grounds for disputing that study of fish passage and study of reintroduction of salmon to the upper Tuolumne River is appropriate.