State and federal officials are meeting in Anchorage this week on a study plan for the proposed Susitna Dam. Emily Ford, a spokesperson for the Alaska Energy Authority, says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC must approve every aspect of the study plan before further action can be taken.
Ford says the study plan is based on information gathered in 2013 and 2014. The Susitna Dam project was put on hold shortly after Governor Walker was elected, but last summer the hold was lifted. Ford says the information was filed with FERC a year and a half ago, and now FERC will review it. The federal agency must give the go ahead for the study program as part of the pre-licensing process for the dam.
But some groups opposed to the dam plan say the study process is flawed. Sam Snyder, with Trout Unlimited, says the state has spent over 193 million dollars on studies for the dam, at a time when the state’s budget crisis is unresolved.
The outcome of the meetings will determine if AEA can proceed with the pre-license proceedings necessary for moving ahead on the project.