FERC flooded with opposition to Little Colorado River dam proposals

By Scott Buffon | Arizona Daily Sun     

Many of the comments filed before the comment window closed criticized Pumped Hydro Storage LLC’s applications for four dams in the Little Colorado River.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permits, if granted, would allow Pumped Hydro Storage to study the impacts of constructing the four possible dams. The Navajo Nation owns the land where the dams are proposed, and would need to approve any project for development. The first proposal is a half mile from the boundary of the Grand Canyon National Park and is called the Little Colorado River Pumped Storage Project. The other is five miles upstream and called the Salt Trail Canyon Pumped Storage Project.

The comments filed stem from many groups, including conservation and recreation groups as well as Native American tribes.

Earthjustice, a legal environmental organization, filed a motion to intervene in the process on behalf of seven conservation groups: Save the Colorado, Grand Canyon Trust, Living Rivers, Colorado Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance Inc., and Wildearth Guardians. Some of these conservation groups also filed comments on behalf of other members of the public.

The filing argues that allowing the corporations to conduct the studies would be a waste of FERC’s time, Earthjustice’s attorney Michael Hiatt said.

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