PETERSBURG-AK Bellingham-based Cascade Creek LLC has submitted hundreds of pages of documents to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including a study known as a preliminary draft environmental assessment. It&rsquo;s up to FERC officials to decide whether there needs to be a more extensive environmental study as the process continues.&nbsp; <br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The draft application starts a 90 day window for public comment and review by state and federal agencies like the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and The US Forest Service. Officials with both agencies have raised concerns about the project plans, the adequacy of the environmental studies and cascade creek&rsquo;s adherence to the public process. The company says it&rsquo;s followed the process in good faith and has changed its plans in response to public concerns.&nbsp; <br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The proposed development has generated substantial opposition from nearby Petersburg for a variety of reasons. Local residents and officials are concerned over environmental impacts at Swan Lake and Thomas Bay which is a popular recreation and subsistence area. City leaders have also opposed the privatization of local hydro resources. The town is currently powered by a publically-owned hydro plant that also serves Wrangell and Ketchikan.&nbsp; <br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The company estimates the project&rsquo;s construction cost at 190 million dollars. In a complex series of financial transactions last fall, Cascade Creek LLC&rsquo;s owners joined with Canadian investors to set up a new company called Alaska Hydro Corporation in order to raise money for the Swan Lake project in Canadian financial markets. Alaska Hydro bought Cascade Creek and is now trading on the Toronto stock exchange. <br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After the draft license application review, the company has a chance to revise its plans, respond to concerns and submit a final application. The final application also goes out for public comment before FERC ultimately decides whether to issue a license. <br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Cascade Creek&rsquo;s draft license application documents are available through the e-library link at
© Copyright, Narrows Broadcasting Corp.