Changing lakes to reservoirs is completely different than so-called run-of-river project constructions. The significant changes to natural functioning of three alpine lakes will impact habitat and biological systems, and damage lake shore stability. Risks have been amply demonstrated by NI Holdings’ first unforeseen environmental debacle at Tzoonie Lake…
- The more I read about the Ramona component the more I am taken aback at how such a proposal could have reached this stage of the process. Approval by the EAO means Ramona Lake and the flow of Ramona Creek is put completely at the mercy of electric pumps on floating barges, their diesel back-ups and all of the remotely controlled valves and sensors. Catastrophic failure will be just that, catastrophic. The water will not be able to get out of the lake because it is 145 feet below the natural outlet. There is no fail safe. The waterfall and river dry up.”To quote the proponent “spillage occurs rarely and the IFR is very steady, assuming the IFR pump is working properly.
- It is Abbott and Costello “who’s on first?”…make electricity to power pumps to make electricity. No pump no flow. Period. When it is working, all they are required to have is 5% of the flow where Upper Ramona Falls used to be. The rest is in a steel tank waiting to come down a steel pipe. No water coming down out of Lower Ramona will be natural, it will either have come through the IFR pump or the main penstock pump. There is a large steel holding tank before the penstock.
- The complete lake/waterfall system will be completely controlled by a company that needs to make money by selling electricity. Preposterous. If this is not correct somebody better let us know before I turn on the tap and rocks come out.
- The proponent states “This is a very complicated project that makes use of natural lake regulation in coordination with run of river hydro project arrangements. It is difficult to predict, with a great degree of confidence, the pre- and post-project flows at so many locations.”
- This is not the kind of experiment to perform right over the heads of a community with their domestic water supply….never mind anywhere else there may be marine life to consider.
I submitted a .pdf with many of my concerns but since then have noticed yet another possible issue. It appears the Ramona Lake component relies on electric pumps to pump water up over the dam and into a steel holding tank before entering the penstock. There does not appear to be any means to maintain flow in the event of electric pump failure, other than back up diesel pumps. It is conceivable for both systems to fail in adverse alpine weather conditions. This means all flow stops in Ramona. It is not just a case of opening a valve in a pipe or bypassing a turbine if this happens when the lake is drawn down 45m.
Simply put, the water can’t get out over the dam. If this is true, it goes directly against consultant Dave Bates recommendation to have a maintenance free IFR (minimum stream flow) system such that there is no chance of the river running dry because of equipment malfunction. If this is true it also means all (or a good part of) the water now sits in a steel tank first before coming down the mountain? Even the drinking water?
This couldn’t be the design….could it? At minimum it proves the system is very complicated and relies totally on controls and electronics that are remotely monitored. Not a good idea with people below.
And a note from one of the commenters:
I am convinced some references I found on the EAO website were changed / altered / modified / updated during the course of the Public Comment period. I have cut and pasted notes in my possession that I cannot find any more on the website. This prompted my FOI on Oct 29. They cannot be allowed to change info on the run….once the proponent has submitted… they have submitted. It is apparent that my concerns are validated by the fact there is so much information to gather that they cannot possibly do it in a timely fashion. Just look at the ruling I got on yet another request for extension. Fits right in with your comment that the proponent can make more submissions but we can’t.
The whole EAO process should be thrown out on this fact alone. There should have been nothing whatsoever to report on my request. No changes or updates should have been done during the course of the public comment period. Nevermind 800 pages!