Alabama Power Forms Advisory Teams of Stakeholders to Help Develop Application for Relicensing of Coosa and Warrior River Dams
Detailed information on the relicensing process can be found here.
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Alabama Power Company has organized two Resource Advisory Teams (RAT) of basin stakeholders to help develop the company’s application to renew licenses for seven dams on the Coosa River and two on the Warrior River. The teams were formed to address two broad areas of concern in the relicensing process as determined through a series of meetings with stakeholders in both basins. One RAT will evaluate the needs of recreation and land use in the process while another will assess ecological concerns.
Making up each team will be representatives of various federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations (e.g., the Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association), homeowner associations, and any individuals who wish to participate. Also participating in each RAT will be a representative from Alabama Power Company and a professional facilitator to help focus the process.
Overseeing the RATs and helping to resolve overlapping issues will be a Cooperative Relicensing Team (CRT), which will provide an Issue Oversight Group that may address such topics as erosion, drought management, etc. that may overlap the recreation and ecological issues. RATs will develop issue statements, research and develop information, and recommend solutions to the specific issue. Individual issue packages will then be submitted to the CRT for review and resolution of conflicts. The resolutions will then be incorporated into the final application to be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2005.
To date, two RAT meetings have discussed a list of over 300 concerns or issues that have been developed over the past year from various stakeholder meetings. In the Coosa basin, most of the issues in the recreation area have focussed on safety, effects of reservoir operations on recreation opportunities, and shoreline development. Ecological issues have homed in water quality, reservoir management, threatened and endangered species, and wetlands.
The relicensing process is expected to last several years with the final application submitted to FERC in 2005. RATs will meet every two months or so to discuss and refine individual issues. CARIA participates in both recreation and ecological RATs as well as the Coosa Cooperative Relicensing Team, and, at this point, is the only industry-related participant other than Alabama Power in the process.