Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Project No. 233

Project Name: Pit 3, 4, 5 Project

Pit 4 Powerhouse

Pit 4 Powerhouse
(Photo provided by State Water Board staff)

Applicant: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
County: Shasta
License Expiration Date: Jun 30, 2043
Water Quality Certification Status: Issued January 25, 2007
Waterbodies: Pit River
FERC Licensing Process: Traditional Licensing Process

Project Description:

The Pit 3, 4, & 5 Hydroelectric Project (Project) includes three hydroelectric developments located on the Pit River. The Project consists of three powerhouses, three tunnels, and four reservoirs (Pit 3 Reservoir [Lake Britton], Pit 4 Reservoir, Pit 5 Reservoir, and Pit 5 Tunnel Reservoir). The Project has a total usable storage capacity of 17,260 acre-feet of water and produces an average annual generation of 1,913.7 gigawatt- hours. The Project occupies 4,330 acres, of which 3,259 acres are owned by PG&E; 746 acres are part of the Shasta National Forest; and 325 acres are privately owned.

A group of stakeholders known as the Pit River Collaborative Team (PRCT) was formed in November 1998. The PRCT served as a forum for negotiation, compromise and agreement among the agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals with authority or interest in the Pit River. On October 31, 2003, PG&E filed the collaborative PRCT Agreement with FERC which contained proposed protection, mitigation, and enhancement measures to offset operational impacts of the Project. The PRCT Agreement contains environmental measures addressing reservoir operations, minimum stream flows, freshet flow releases, out-of-season spill flows, recreation streamflow releases, and ramping rates. The State Water Resource Control Board (State Water Board) participated in the PRTC forum and provided guidance on water quality standards compliance but was not a signatory to the PRCT Agreement.

The State Water Board issued water quality certification pursuant to section 401 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1341) for the Project on January 25, 2007, which incorporates the protection, mitigation, and enhancement measures of the PRCT Agreement and the US Forest Service's Federal Power Act section 4(e) conditions (16 U.S.C § 797(e)), among other conditions, to ensure the project will comply with sections 301, 302, 303, 306, and 307 of the Clean Water Act, and with applicable provisions of State law.

This Project is related to PG&E's Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project, and PG&E's McCloud-Pit Hydroelectric Project.

Related Documents

401 Water Quality Certification Amendments

401 Water Quality Certification

Britton Powerhouse and Instream Flow Release Structures