Plans for hydroelectric dam in Southeast Alaska move forward

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Backers of a hydroelectric dam proposed for a lake southeast of Juneau say construction could start as soon as summer 2018 following the U.S. Forest Service’s latest action.

The Juneau Empire reports that the Forest Service approved on Friday a special land-use agreement for Juneau Hydropower Inc., which is planning to build a 111-foot-tall (34-meter) concrete dam at the outlet of Lower Sweetheart Lake.

The dam would be built above a series of waterfalls that block natural salmon passage into the lake.

The project has already received permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Forest Service permit was the final major regulatory hurdle remaining for the project.

Juneau Hydropower CEO Keith Comstock said the dam just has to finish its financial foundations.

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