GRASS VALLEY, Calif. March 5, 2017 – NID’s Administrative Practices Committee is meeting tomorrow morning. The committee, composed of Board members Nick Wilcox and William Morebeck will discuss sending a letter to Congressman LaMalfa requesting he bring forward legislation to transfer ownership of six BLM parcels to NID. Five of the parcels (slightly over 210 acres) are located on the Bear River within the proposed Centennial Dam project and one 367-acre parcel would give NID ownership of the area surrounding Chicago Powerhouse.
“NID is requesting that legislation be developed that would authorize the transfer of these identified BLM parcels to NID. The legislation should also include a timeline for this transfer to take place,” the proposed letter to LaMalfa reads.
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The landgrab, according to NID, is “necessary for the safe and controlled operations of existing and proposed NID projects and should therefore be under direct management by the NID.” The proposed Centennial Dam project is located between the existing Rollins and Combie Reservoirs.
It is unclear why NID wants ownership and control of the parcels. Once a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license is approved, private lands can be condemned via the eminent domain process – public lands are not subject to condemnation.
The proposed dam would be approximately 275 ft high and require the rerouting of Dog Bar Road and several smaller roads. Approximately 2,200 acres of land would be affected through inundation and construction activities related to the project, which includes over 6 miles of river channel, according to the Army Corps of Engineers notice of intent to prepare a draft environmental impact statement. The Draft EIS is expected to be available for public review and comment by January 2018.
NID’s Administrative Practices Committee meets on Tuesday, March 7 at 9:00 am in the Board Room at NID – 1036 W. Main Street in Grass Valley. The meeting is open to the public.