Interested parties can e-subscribe to Project updates and be added to the Commission's Project mailing list by registering at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.
Peabody Trout Creek Reservoir LLC (PTCR) is committed to facilitating open communication, cooperation, and coordination among all interested parties throughout the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP). In developing the proposed Peabody Trout Creek Reservoir Project (Project), PTCR has and will continue to consult with federal, state, and local agencies, Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations, certified local governments, municipalities, members of the public, and other interested parties.
The goals of the consultation include soliciting information about the Project area, updating the parties on the Project, understanding the resource goals and objectives of the interested parties, identifying licensing issues, identifying potential studies/data gaps, and obtaining available information.
To involve potentially interested parties in this Project early on, PTCR mailed this letter to a preliminary list of agencies and stakeholders on March 30, 2012 that provided background information concerning the Project location, facilities, and operation. The letter solicited information on site-specific and regional studies, data, reports, and management plans for the resources considered relevant for the Project area, issues that should be considered, and other projects that are proposed or taking place in the Project area that are relevant to the Project.
Representatives from PTCR and URS also met with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) representatives at the Commission's headquarters in Washington, D.C. on April 4, 2012 to provide an overview of the Project and path forward and to begin developing a regulatory framework for the Project. View this meeting summary.
Additionally, on May 9, 2012, representatives from PTCR and URS met with Board Members of the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District to provide an overview of the proposed Project and to solicit questions/concerns about the Project. View this meeting summary.
In mid-2012, Peabody also sent correspondence to six landowners in or adjacent to the Project area that would be impacted by the Project. The correspondence provided the landowners with an update on the proposed Project and notice of federal licensing activity. View this correspondence.
On August 9, 2012, PTCR filed its Notice of Intent (NOI) and Pre-Application Document (PAD) with the Commission. Concurrent with that filing, PTCR distributed compact disks containing these files to its stakeholder distribution list. That distribution was accompanied with a Dear Interested Party letter (view this letter) that provided stakeholders with a Project update.
On September 5, 2012, the Commission mailed invitations to participate in the ILP for the Peabody Trout Creek Reservoir Project to the Ute Tribal Business Council, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and Southern Ute Indian Tribe and requested a response by October 4, 2012. No interest was expressed by any of those tribes at that time. Shana Murray, the Commission's Project Coordinator for the Project at that time, again contacted the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe multiple times by phone in October 2012. No response or indication of interest or involvement has been received to date. On April 11, 2013, the Southern Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs submitted a letter to Brian Yansen, PTCR, indicating they had no jurisdiction within the Project area and there were no concerns that the proposed Project would impact Indian trust lands with the Southern Plains Region jurisdiction. The Southern Plains Regional office suggested PTCR contact the Southwest Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to check for interest in the Project – PTCR has and will continue to contact that region, though no interest has been expressed to date.
As required by the Commission, PTCR completed and e-filed Form FERC-587 and map, which identify the location of Federal lands within the Project boundary that would be subject to withdrawal by the Project under Section 24 of the Federal Power Act of 1920, as amended. In addition to submitting this form (and accompanying map) to the Commission, PTCR also submitted those to the state office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as required by the Commission (see BLM transmittal).
The Commission issued a Notice of Intent and Scoping Document 1 on October 5, 2012. The Commission held a site visit and two scoping meetings on October 24 and 25, 2012 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado to obtain input on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that it plans to prepare for the Project. Interested agencies, Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations, and individuals were invited to attend the scoping meetings and site visit.
On November 30, 2012, PTCR filed an Application for Preliminary Permit with the Commission. On December 4, 2012, the Commission notified PTCR that its Application for Preliminary Permit had been accepted by the Commission and requested that one copy of the Application be sent to the BLM, Branch of Realty Programs (CO-935) and one copy be sent to the BLM, Little Snake Field Office. PTCR transmitted a copy of its Application to those two BLM offices on December 7, 2012. Additionally, on December 4, 2012, the Commission issued a Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions to Intervene, and Competing Applications for Peabody Trout Creek Reservoir LLC. The deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications with the Commission was 60 days from the issuance of that notice.
On December 14, 2012, URS, on behalf of PTCR, submitted a letter and two maps to History Colorado requesting the State Historic Preservation Officer’s (SHPO's) concurrence with the definition of the Area of Potential Effects (APE) for the proposed Project. On December 28, 2012, History Colorado issued a letter indicating non-concurrence with the proposed APE for direct and indirect effects and requested that PTCR re-define those. Subsequently, on January 14, 2013, PTCR proposed revised APEs for direct and indirect Project effects for History Colorado’s review. On January 17, 2013, the SHPO issued a letter concurring with the revised definitions of the Project APEs for direct and indirect effects.
On January 18, 2013, PTCR filed its Proposed Study Plan for the Peabody Trout Creek Reservoir Project with the Commission. Copies of the Proposed Study Plan on disk were provided to the six landowners in the Project area on January 21, 2013 (see copy of landowner transmittal). Additionally, a letter was sent to those landowners and the stakeholder distribution list on January 22, 2013, that notified them of the availability of the Proposed Study Plan and invited them to participate in a Proposed Study Plan meeting held at URS Corporation, 8181 East Tufts Avenue, Denver, Colorado, 80237, on February 12, 2013, beginning at 9 a.m. The letter notified stakeholders that a conference call line would be available for anyone wishing to participate in the meeting who was not available to attend in person. The purposes of the Proposed Study Plan meeting were to clarify any questions that pertained to the Proposed Study Plan and explain any initial information gathering needs. A second invitation was mailed to the landowners and the stakeholder distribution list on January 23, 2013, noting that Wednesday, February 13, 2013, had been reserved as an additional meeting day at URS Corporation if all Proposed Study Plan items could not be covered on the 12th; however, a second meeting day was not required.
Additional subset calls and meetings took place following the Proposed Study Plan Meeting on February 12, 2013 (view the call notes from the subset conference call held on March 13, 2013 regarding the water quality and aquatics studies and the cultural resources study call that took place on March 21, 2013). Per a commitment PTCR made to its stakeholders at the February 12th meeting, a Revised Proposed Study Plan was made available to all stakeholders on March 15, 2013. The updates made were those that resulted from the discussions that took place at the February 12th Proposed Study Plan Meeting and the subset conference calls that transpired following that meeting. PTCR mailed a letter notifying stakeholders of the availability of the Revised Proposed Study Plan on March 15, 2013. That letter also contained a reminder to stakeholders that the review/comment period on the Proposed Study Plan extended through April 18, 2013. On May 17, 2013, PTCR e-filed its Revised Study Plan with the Commission; that document reflected the updates that resulted from coordination and consultation with agency stakeholders following the March 15, 2013 filing. The Commission’s Determination on the Revised Study Plan was released on June 11, 2013. The Commission’s Determination indicated all 19 of the studies included in PTCR’s Revised Study Plan were approved as filed, and that pursuant to Section 5.15(c)(1) of the Commission’s regulations, the Initial Study Report for all studies in the approved study plan must be filed one year from the date of the Commission’s Determination (i.e., June 11, 2014).
Peabody completed the required key land acquisitions for the Project in the second quarter of 2013. Efforts to begin work for the various studies followed those land acquisitions, as described in the August 30, 2013, Study Plan Progress Report filed with the Commission and distributed to the stakeholder distribution list. In keeping with the ILP timeline, PTCR filed its second interim Study Plan Progress Report on February 28, 2014. Survey crews returned to the field in the spring of 2014 and work on several of the remaining resource studies and continued making progress on their studies; that progress was reported in the August 29, 2014 Study Plan Progress Report to the Commission, which was distributed to stakeholders the same day.
An Initial Study Report was electronically filed with the Commission on June 11, 2014, and paper copies of that report were mailed to the Bud Werner Memorial Library, West Routt Library, and Oak Creek Public Library for public viewing. Stakeholders were also mailed notice of availability of the Initial Study Report filing the same day.
On June 12, 2014, an invite to the Initial Study Report Meeting was mailed to the stakeholder distribution list, inviting stakeholders to participate in the Initial Study Report Meeting. The Initial Study Report Meeting was held in the 4 Main Conference Room of URS Corporation located at 8181 East Tufts Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80237, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, beginning at 8:30 a.m. (Mountain Daylight Time). The purpose of that meeting was to discuss the Initial Study Report with resource agencies and interested members of the public. An Initial Study Report Meeting Summary was electronically filed with the Commission on July 9, 2014 and a copy of that summary was mailed to the Project stakeholder distribution list.
Comments on any existing studies and/or requests for new/additional studies were due by August 8, 2014. To date, no comments or requests for additional studies or study modifications have been received. On September 5, 2014, PTCR e-filed its formal response to comments and distributed that response to its Project stakeholder distribution list.
Dan Haas, BLM-Colorado State Archeologist, contacted Gordon Tucker of URS/AECOM (PTCR’s Consultant on the proposed Project) on March 3, 2015, relative to the artifacts that URS’ cultural survey team collected during its field surveys in support of the Class III Intensive Pedestrian Cultural Resources Survey Study (the report for which was finalized and distributed in July 2014 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s [FERC’s] limited Cultural Resources Working Group for the PTCR Project, due to its privileged and confidential nature). Mr. Haas had reconciled BLM’s permit records with repository collection deposit records for the PTCR collections listed in the table below and requested follow-up by URS.
|Permit||Permittee||Year||Project Type||Site Collection||Accession #|
|C-62878||URS||2013||Inventory||5RT3247 and 5RT3248||MWC|
Twentymile Coal Company was the landowner on record at the time the artifacts were collected from the sites listed in the above table. In compliance with URS’ BLM-Colorado Cultural Resource Use Permit No. C-62878, the artifacts inventoried either needed to be submitted for curation at the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction, Colorado or be returned to the lawful owner of the artifacts, Twentymile Coal Company. Upon notification of its rights to the said artifacts, Brian Yansen, the authorized representative from Twentymile Coal Company, exercised his company rights to hold free and clear title to the artifacts and specimens collected and to retain possession of those. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Twentymile Coal Company and URS, and the artifacts and specimens were returned to the lawful owner on March 19, 2015 (completing URS’ commitments under BLM-Colorado Cultural Resource Use Permit No. C-62878). Mr. Haas, BLM, was notified of these actions in an e-mail dated March 25, 2015.
The table below identifies other upcoming major milestones in the PTCR licensing process.
PTCR Licensing Schedule – Upcoming Major Milestones
|Licensing Milestone||Due Date|
|File Interim Study Progress Report #6||February 29, 2016|
|File Third Study Report||June 10, 2016|
|Third Study Report Meeting||June 24, 2016|
|File Third Study Report Meeting Summary||July 8, 2016|
|Study Disputes/Requests to Modify Study Plans Filed with FERC (if necessary)||August 5, 2016|
|File Interim Study Progress Report #7||August 31, 2016|
|File Responses to Disputes (if necessary)||September 2, 2016|
|Director’s Study Plan Determination||October 3, 2016|
|File Interim Study Progress Report #8||February 28, 2017|
|File Fourth Study Report||June 9, 2017|
|Fourth Study Report Meeting||June 23, 2017|
|File Fourth Study Report Meeting Summary||July 7, 2017|
|Study Disputes/Requests to Modify Study Plans Filed with FERC (if necessary)||August 4, 2017|
|File Interim Study Progress Report #9||August 31, 2017|
|File Responses to Disputes (if necessary)||September 1, 2017|
|Director’s Study Plan Determination||October 2, 2017|
|File Preliminary License Proposal||October 5, 2017|
|Comment Period on Preliminary License Proposal||December 27, 2017|
|File License Application||February 28, 2018|
|Ready for Environmental Analysis (REA)||March 1, 2018|
On April 15, 2015, PTCR e-filed and distributed an April 2015 Preliminary Draft Hydrology and Streamflow Assessment Study Report for the Project to the Stakeholder Distribution List for a 30-day review and comment period on the study methodology (which is the first phase of that study) being proposed. The transmittal letter that accompanied the report release requested comments/feedback be submitted by Friday, May 15, 2015, so that ample time for any follow-up contact was allowed and so FERC and PTCR could consider comments and feedback for current and future phases of the Hydrology and Streamflow Assessment Study. No comments or feedback were received on the April 2015 Preliminary Draft Hydrology and Streamflow Assessment Study Report; as such, the study is now proceeding as proposed.
A Second Study Report was electronically filed with the Commission on June 11, 2015, and paper copies of that report were mailed to the Bud Werner Memorial Library, West Routt Library, and Oak Creek Public Library for public viewing. Stakeholders were also mailed a notice of availability of the Second Study Report filing the same day.
On June 11, 2015, an invite to the Second Study Report Meeting was mailed to the stakeholder distribution list, inviting stakeholders to participate in the Second Study Report Meeting. The Second Study Report Meeting was held in the 4th Floor Main Conference Room of AECOM (previously URS Corporation) located at 8181 East Tufts Avenue, Denver, Colorado, 80237, on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (Mountain Daylight Time). The purpose of that meeting was to discuss the Second Study Report with resource agencies and interested members of the public. A conference call line and web connection was made available to those who were unable to attend that meeting in person. In accordance with the ILP, a Second Study Report Meeting Summary was electronically filed with the Commission on July 9, 2015, and a copy of that summary was also mailed to the Project stakeholder distribution list that day, with this transmittal letter. Comments on existing studies and any requests for modifications to existing studies and/or new studies were due by August 7, 2015. Four comment submissions were received: one from the Western Area Power Administration (Western) (an e-mail dated July 17, 2015), one from FERC (a letter dated July 28, 2015), one from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8 (a letter dated August 6, 2015), and one from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) (a letter dated August 7, 2015).
On August 6, 2015, under Section 5 of the Federal Power Act, PTCR requested a two-year extension for the Project, extending the date for filing a License Application to February 28, 2018 (extending the preliminary permit term by two years beyond the three years previously permitted, for a total term of five years). While PTCR intends to continue with this Project, the economics of the coal industry have impacted the ability of PTCR to continue with the significant capital investments needed to execute and complete the required resource studies this year to develop this Project. Additionally, PTCR needs a more intensive/longer hydrologic record to assess the viability of the hydropower component of this Project. Note that during the two-year time extension, PTCR will continue to submit semi-annual progress reports to the Commission, and pursue good faith and reasonable diligence efforts towards the development of this hydropower Project.
In response to FERC’s July 28, 2015 comment submission, PTCR e-filed and distributed an August 21, 2015 letter response that included an updated process plan and updated schedule as attachments. The updated plan and schedule reflect the revised dates and timelines through the filing of a License Application, based on the two-year extension request that PTCR filed on August 6, 2015, and that the Commission approved on September 11, 2015, via its Order Granting Extension of Term for Preliminary Permit.
In response to FERC’s, Western’s, EPA’s, and CDPHE’s comment submissions on the Second Study Report and Meeting Summary, and as required by the ILP, PTCR filed and distributed an August 21, 2015 Second Study Report Response to Comments. The Director’s Study Plan Determination on the Second Study Report was due October 5, 2015. PTCR was notified on October 7, 2015, that the Commission did not see any unresolved issues from the Second Study Report and associated meeting and comments that warranted a Director’s Determination. Therefore, the Commission opted not to file a Determination. Based on the comments received, PTCR plans to continue to progress the resource studies as described in the June 11, 2015 Second Study Report, and summarized in the July 9, 2015 Second Study Report Meeting, with the time and study extensions that result from PTCR’s two-year extension request that was filed on August 6, 2015. PTCR will modify the water quality sample protocols for sample analysis to comply with CDPHE’s stated requests, including the collection of hardness data. As noted in the July 9, 2015 Second Study Report Meeting Summary, PTCR will also consider and coordinate with Matt Rice, American Rivers, regarding his suggestion at the June 25, 2015 Second Study Report Meeting to share and discuss the hydrologic data and associated modeling and results, when available and organized, with stakeholders from the Yampa Valley (including a broader list than that reflected on PTCR’s current stakeholder list). PTCR looks forward to continuing resource study discussions and stakeholder involvement with the studies. PTCR filed and distributed its fifth Interim Study Progress Report on August 21, 2015; the next report will be filed on February 29, 2016.
PTCR has gone to great lengths to exercise due diligence in obtaining information relevant to the Project and to involve interested parties in the ILP for the Project and will continue to do so through Project completion.
Directions to URS DTC (Denver Tech Center) Office
Click to open directions in Google Maps