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selection by all six village corporations, in accordance with their Section 12(b) Agreement. … As was the case when section 12(a) selections were made in 1974, all six villages will have a fair opportunity to select some of these potentially valuable lands, at the same time, with equal information available to judge their desirability.”

Compiling Data

In the meantime, AEA convened public meetings in February and early March, covering topics like socioeconomics, transportation, recreation, aesthetics, cultural resources, subsistence, terrestrial resources, fisheries and aquatics and instream flow, geomorphology, water quality and ice processes. Dyok says a wealth of information from the 1980s effort to get a Susitna River dam built provides a baseline of data. “In fact, more than 3,000 individual reports were compiled at that time. This past year has been spent identifying data gaps and developing study plans to determine what additional information is needed.”

Various state agencies, like the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, have continued studies and the AEA is forming agreements to use that information. “In addition, AEA is committed to gathering three more years of data to be able to build models to predict future trends and potential impacts” from the facility and develop necessary protection, mitigation and enhancement measures, Dyok says. FERC scoping meetings held in late March in Anchorage, Wasilla, Sunshine, Fairbanks and Glennallen also explored those issues. “The [AEA] is committed to an open, honest and transparent process and is working with all stakeholders to provide them with the information needed to keep involved, address their concerns and incorporate their comments during the planning process,” Dyok says. Comments on the pre-application document and requests for studies are due April 27. A proposed study plan will be filed June 11, with study plan meetings scheduled July 9-11. Once study plans are determined at the end of November, studies will

take place in 2013-2014. A preliminary licensing proposal and comments on the proposal are tentatively scheduled for submission in 2015. “Our goal anticipates receiving the license at the end of 2016 or in 2017,” Dyok says, “and have construction starting in 2017, completing it by the end of 2023.”

Revisiting Former Plans

The history of events leading to the recent revival of interest in a Susitna River dam extends back to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation first studied the Susitna River’s hydroelectric potential. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a subsequent review in the 1970s and then in 1980, the Alaska Power Authority—the AEA’s predecessor agency—commissioned a comprehensive analysis to determine whether hydroelectric development on the Susitna River was viable. Based on those studies, the APA submitted a license application to FERC in 1983 for the Watana/Devil Canyon project on the Susitna River (commonly known as the Susitna Hydroelectric

www.akbizmag.com • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

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April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  
April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  

Alaska Business Monthly’s 2012 Corporate 100 annual special section begins on page 86. Top citizens of industry are highlighted in this annu...