Sheep Creek public comment period ends Monday

The lower part of Sheep Creek.

The lower part of Sheep Creek. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Monday is the deadline for comments on Alaska Electric Light and Power’s federal application to investigate the feasibility of a Sheep Creek hydroelectric project.

AEL&P submitted its application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January, and the agency set the 60-day public comment period to end on March 25th.

If FERC grants the permit, the Juneau utility would be given three years to study the impact of a diversion dam on Sheep Creek. The environmental and engineering studies would have to include the impact on wildlife, fish and cultural resources of the Sheep Creek valley.

The project calls for a 10-foot high, 75-foot long diversion dam at about 620 feet above sea level.  According to the company, it would create a small pond, deep enough to get the water into a surface pipeline and to a power plant below.

The Treadwell Mine operated a small dam on Sheep Creek south of Juneau from 1910 to 1943.  Most of the area already belongs to AJT Mining Properties, a sister company to AEL&P.

Brief comments can be submitted online, using FERC’s eComment system.