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Erosion

Erosion

As part of the Spokane River Project License, Avista has developed Erosion Control Programs for the Post Falls Hydroelectric Development's shorelines that lie within and outside the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation.  The programs and associated activities will help protect and improve water quality, aquatic and riparian habitat over time.  The primary elements of these programs include:

  • Inventory and Assessment – An erosion analysis of the Post Falls Hydroelectric Development’s shorelines.
  • Design and Implement Erosion Control Measures – Erosion control designs for designated sites, work with agencies and stakeholders during the design and permitting processes, and install the measures once all permits have been obtained.
  • Education and Awareness - Increase public awareness of how shoreline homeowners and recreationists can help reduce shoreline erosion.

Avista is currently working with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to identify and prioritize sites in need of shoreline erosion control. Some of our most current work includes the following:

  • Water Quality Improvement and Erosion Control Plan, for shorelines outside the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation, 2010–2014.

Our first project under this Plan is to implement shoreline erosion control along a one-mile stretch of Avista and IDFG owned shoreline located on the St. Joe River.  This project is located adjacent to and immediately downstream of the Shadowy St. Joe Forest Service Campground and complements a wetland restoration project on the same property.  Our goal is to begin constructing the erosion control measures once all the appropriate permits have been obtained. 

  • Coeur d’Alene Reservation Lake and Tributary Shoreline Erosion Control Inventory and Assessment, for shorelines within the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation.

During 2009 and 2010, Avista and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe completed an erosion inventory and assessment along Coeur d’Alene Lake and the Lower St. Joe River ‘s shoreline within the Tribe's Reservation.

The inventory and assessment included a prioritized list of recommended erosion control sites for 12 miles of shoreline along the Lower St. Joe River.  Avista and the Tribe are now developing an Erosion Control Implementation Plan,  which will include site-specific erosion control designs for a select number of erosion sites, to be implemented within the next ten years.

Sediment management

Avista will develop a Sediment Management Plan for Nine Mile Reservoir and Lake Spokane by June 2013. The Plan will address sediment that is a result of shoreline erosion that primarily occurs in Hangman Creek, a tributary to the Spokane River, located upstream of the Nine Mile Reservoir. Erosion along Hangman Creek is a result of past and current land use practices, including agricultural, road and railroad construction, logging, residential development, etc.   The Plan will address sediment transport and impacts to the river, sediment characterization, monitoring; deposition and transport rates and patterns within the reservoirs, the final disposition of the sediments, and enhancements to fish and wildlife habitat relative to the sediment.  (Avista is not planning to dredge or remove sediments from the two reservoirs, unless it interferes with its Project operations or access needs.)

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Erosion Work Plans and Reports

As part of the Spokane River Project License, we are implementing erosion control programs in consultation with various regulators, agency partners, and stakeholders.

Work plans and reports associated with each of these programs, along with agencies and stakeholders, include the following:

Post Falls Hydroelectric Development Shorelines off the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation

Water Quality Improvement and Erosion Control Plan, 2010 to 2014 

Agencies and Stakeholders: the Benewah Soil & Water Conservation District, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Kootenai-Shoshone Soil & Water Conservation District, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Post Falls Hydroelectric Development Shorelines within the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation

Coeur d’Alene Reservation Lake and Tributary Shoreline Erosion Control Inventory and Assessment Plan (available upon request due to size) 

Agencies and Stakeholders: the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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Erosion Correspondence

Communication and correspondence between Avista, regulators, agency and tribal partners, and stakeholders is essential as Avista implements its erosion control programs. The following correspondence is provided for your reference:

Post Falls Hydroelectric Development Shorelines off the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation

Avista Consultation Letters to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Requesting Comments and Recommendations on the Water Quality Improvement and Erosion Control Plan 2010 to 2014 (dated April 20, 2010)
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Comment E-mail (dated May 18, 2010)
Idaho Department of Fish and Game Comment E-mail (dated May 28, 2010) 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service Comment E-mail (dated May 25, 2010)
Avista Submittal of the  Water Quality Improvement and Erosion Control Plan 2010 to 2014 for Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Approval (dated June 1, 2010)
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Approval Letter (dated June 10, 2010)  
Avista Submittal of the Water Quality Improvement and Erosion Control Plan 2010 to 2014 for FERC Approval (dated June 10, 2010)
FERC Order Modifying and Approving Water Quality Improvement and Erosion Control Plan for the Post Falls Development – Article 401 (dated October 13, 2010)  

Post Falls Hydroelectric Development Shorelines within the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation

Avista Submittal of the Coeur d'Alene Reservation Lake and Tributary Shoreline Erosion Control Inventory and Assessment for Interior Approval (dated April 4, 2011)
Avista Letter to FERC requesting Extension of Time for Filing the Coeur d'Alene Reservation Lake and Tributary Shoreline Erosion Control Inventory and Assessment (dated June 3, 2011)
FERC Order Granting Extension of Time to File Coeur d'Alene Reservation Lake and Tributary Shoreline Erosion Control Inventory and Assessment (dated June 20, 2011)
Avista Submittal of the Coeur d'Alene Reservation Lake and Tributary Shoreline Erosion Control Inventory  and Assessment for FERC Approval (dated December 15, 2011)
FERC Letter Approving Coeur d’Alene Reservation Lake and Tributary Shoreline Erosion Control Inventory and Assessment (dated February 9, 2012)  

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Erosion Contacts

The agency partners that we work with, as we implement the erosion control measures, and their contact information is provided below:

Benewah Soil & Water Conservation District – http://www.northidahoswcds.org/

Coeur d’Alene Tribe – http://www.cdatribe-nsn.gov/

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – http://www.ferc.gov/

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality – http://www.deq.idaho.gov/

Idaho Department of Fish and Game – http://www.fishandgame.idaho.gov/

Kootenai-Shoshone Soil & Water Conservation District – http://www.northidahoswcds.org/kootenai-shoshone/index.htm

Natural Resources Conservation Services – http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/home

United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs – http://www.bia.gov/

For more information about Avista’s Spokane River erosion activities, please contact:

Meghan Lunney
Aquatic Resource Specialist
Avista Utilities
1411 E. Mission Ave., MSC-1
Spokane, WA 99220-3727
Office: (509) 495-4643 
meghan.lunney@avistacorp.com

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