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Planning Assistance to States (PAS): River Falls Hydroelectric Project

Published April 8, 2020
Updated: April 8, 2020
Purpose

This project is to assist the city of River Falls, Wisconsin in the development of a comprehensive plan to assess the proposed relicensing of the Junction Falls Development and the decommissioning and removal of the dam at the Powell Falls Development. Both developments are part of the River Falls Hydroelectric Project.

Location

Both the Junction Falls Development and the Powell Falls Development are located along the Kinnickinnic River in the city of River Falls, in Pierce County, Wisconsin.

Description

The city of River Falls has proposed relicensing the Junction Falls Development and decommissioning and removing the dam at the Powell Falls Development and has filed its Revised Study Plan (RSP) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This plan proposes ten separate studies to gather additional information needed to adequately analyze the potential effects of the continued operation of the Junction Falls Development and information needed to adequately analyze the potential effects of the proposed decommissioning and dam removal of the Powell Falls Development. In June 2019, the city of River Falls requested assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Planning Assistance to States (PAS) Program for study implementation.

Status

In December 2019 the city of River Falls and the Corps executed a PAS project partnership agreement for a comprehensive plan. The Corps will be directly assisting with seven of the ten surveys. These seven will either be completed in-house or directly contracted: hydrologic and hydraulic evaluation, Lake George shoreline habitat assessment, aquatic invasive species survey, riverine habitat evaluation below Powell Falls, recreation facility inventory/recreation use assessment, cultural resources study, mussel survey. The entire project is anticipated to be complete by early 2021.

Authority

The study was authorized by Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93‒251), as amended. The study is being conducted under the Corps’ PAS program, following the 50/50 cost share formula with the non-federal sponsor.

Funding

The total study cost is estimated to be $420,000 ($210,000 federal / $210,000 non-federal). The city of River Falls, Wisconsin, the non-federal sponsor, is providing their cost share in work-in-kind.

Total Federal Funds Allocated to Date            $210,000