November 3, 2011 |

Connelly Lake comment period extended

Federal officials on Wednesday extended a public comment period on a permit for the proposed Connelly Lake hydro-electric project for 60 days due to concerns about sufficient public notice.

Brooks Carter, who works in the office that serves public notice on actions by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said the agency advertised a recent comment period in the Anchorage Daily News. He said he was not aware of other notices placed in local media.

Carter characterized Anchorage publication as an oversight. "Our interest is to get people involved who are affected by the (regulatory) process," he said.

Alaska Power and Telephone is seeking a preliminary permit from FERC for a proposed feasibility study on the Connelly Lake hydropower project.

"The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners’ express permission," according to the public notice.

Residents are strongly encouraged to use FERC agency’s "e-comment" process to submit comments online and should use it instead of e-mail. Carter also said that snail mail can be delayed up to a month by security measures that include irradiation that can cause paper to disintegrate and colored papers to stick together.

Instructions are on the commission’s website www.ferc.gov/docs-filling/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the e-comment system at www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. Comments must include your name and contact information.

For assistance, contact FERC online support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659.

Written comments should include an original and seven copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20426.

More information about the project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the "eLibrary" link of the commission’s website at www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp and enter docket number P-14229-000.