Revisiting SMP …

Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

An aerial shot of one scenic stretch of Grand Lake’s 1,300 miles shoreline… Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its order modifying and approving the shoreline management plan for Grand.

An aerial shot of one scenic stretch of Grand Lake’s 1,300 miles shoreline… Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its order modifying and approving the shoreline management plan for Grand.

On Thursday, October 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its order modifying and giving approval to the Grand Lake Shoreline Management Plan (SMP). That order is the latest action in the long SMP process which dates all the way back to June 2005, when the Grand River Dam Authority Board of Directors — at the request of FERC — gave its approval to the development of an SMP that would encompass Grand Lake’s 1,300 miles of shoreline.

Over the course of the next several years, GRDA and Grand Lake area stakeholders worked to shape the plan. Public input was provided by those stakeholders both at working group meetings and at 27 public meetings held across the lake area, as well as in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. By February 2009, GRDA had submitted the final SMP draft materials to FERC.

Since that was really the latest step prior to last week’s FERC order, we thought it might be a good time to revisit three of the FAQs related to the SMP. Here is a brief summary of one important “what” as well as a couple of “whys”:

What is a Shoreline Management Plan?
A Shoreline Management Plan is a comprehensive plan to manage the multiple resources (i.e., recreation, land use, aquatic habitat, terrestrial, cultural, etc) and uses of the project’s shorelines in a manner that is consistent with license requirements and project purposes and addresses the needs of the public. Since the SMP process began, it has been described as a “road map” for future development and management of Grand Lake’s shoreline.

Why does GRDA have to do a SMP?
GRDA voluntarily developed the SMP to assist in providing consistent and long-term stewardship of the Grand Lake shoreline. One goal of the SMP was to assist GRDA in effectively analyzing appropriate land use within the Pensacola Project boundary, as well as to provide supportable and defensible means for land use and permitting decisions.

Why is FERC involved in this project?
FERC licenses and inspects private, municipal, and state hydroelectric projects, including GRDA’s three hydroelectric facilities (Pensacola, Robert S. Kerr Dam and the Salina Pumped Storage Project).

Space does not allow for much more detail here, but for more information, including more FAQs on SMP, as well as the final plan and the order issued by FERC last week, visit us online at grda.com.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable electricity touches75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

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