City of Spearfish 401 Water Quality Certification Request - Issued
The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) originally received a request for Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the city of Spearfish in September 2008. That request was withdrawn and resubmitted August 2009 and again July 2010. The request was submitted in support of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing of the Spearfish Hydroelectric Project. The certification is required pursuant to Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act and the Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD) 74:51:01:63, 74:51:01:64, and 74:51:01:65.
Under current operation, all or up to 120 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water is diverted from Spearfish Creek approximately 7.3 miles upstream from the power house at Maurice Dam. The diverted water travels approximately 5 miles through an aqueduct to the hydroelectric plant. The remaining diverted water is returned to Spearfish Creek at the tailrace of the plant.
The City proposed, in its FERC license and 401 Certification applications, to modify the existing operation by allowing stream flows to bypass the Maurice diversion and remain in the upstream reach at Maurice. This bypassed flow will enhance the existing flows in the upstream reach that is currently producing a cold water permanent fishery. The amount of flow to remain in the upstream reach will vary depending on the season and the amount of flow going through the power plant.
The department's proposed 401 certification was public noticed August 24, 2010. The last day for the public to comment on the proposed 401 certification or file a petition was September 23, 2010. Four comment letters were received. No petition letters for a contested case hearing were received. The department has reviewed the application, the proposed 401 certification, the public comments and Secretary Pirner has issued the final 401 certification, November 24, 2010.
Below you will find links to several documents regarding the City of Spearfish Hydroelectric Power Plant Section 401 Water Quality Certification.