From Theresa L. Simsim, ROAR! Restore Our American River:
For the first time since last June ROAR! will have no official presence at the upcoming SMUD Board of Directors meeting. Leaving Jim Shetler & his SMUD team free to focus on the momentous task before them. And despite the connotation of my title – NO NEWS will be GOOD NEWS for the next few weeks as it will point to two sides engaging in real negotiation. In other words, after taking the time to clarify questions at what can be described as a positive meeting with the Agencies & NGO’s – SMUD is now set to release their “red lined” version of the Agency/NGO alternative this Wednesday. If acceptable to the Agencies & NGO’s, Thursday will mark the beginning of marathon negotiations with the common goal of settlement before the FERC deadline on November 17th. (Yes, I’m holding my breath!)
To occupy your wait time – here is the FERC link to the “new” Agency/NGO Alternative Proposal filed last October 18th. Note that the agencies refined the proposal to add even more flexibility for SMUD operations on the UARP (i.e. language that allows for variance in reservoir levels). Also on the link is the 300+ page rationale that details solid arguments for the proposal.
Since my beer mug is always half full – I’m hoping to share some good news in the next few weeks! In the meantime make sure to enjoy added perks like Ice House (if more flows are possible) and Chili Bar flows which will continue to be coordinated by Bill Center, Hilde Schweitzer, SMUD & PG&E.