These changes are in response to public comments received during meetings held by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff on March 23 at Lodge of the Four Seasons and March 24 at the Community Center in Warsaw. This decision will result in removal of the Impact Minimization Zone map designations and regulations within the plan. These actions were agreed to by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR), the Missouri Department of Conservation (MoDOC), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service after consideration to ensure the natural resources of the State of Missouri are being protected.
The agencies and AmerenUE met Thursday, March 30, to address concerns raised by some Lake of the Ozarks property owners, developers and others about how AmerenUE's new shoreline management plan might impact future development.
AmerenUE is responsible for managing Osage Project property (the lake and associated shoreline) under terms of its federal license for the operation of Bagnell Dam and the Osage Power Plant, which created the lake. The company was required to submit a new shoreline management plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as part of the relicensing process and to MoDNR as a condition of the Water Quality Certification issued by MoDNR. The plan described how the property would be managed. FERC completed its review of AmerenUE's application in early 2006, and issued an Environmental Assessment outlining recommendations on provisions it would like to see included in the license and shoreline management plan.
After the March 30 meeting, Ameren officials agreed to send a letter to the FERC and the MoDNR requesting a suspension of their review of the Shoreline Management Plan. The company also agreed to meet with resource agencies to establish criteria for environmental resources and will join the MoDOC in presenting resource protection criteria to the public to get their input and recommendations on a revised plan. The parties also pledge to keep the media informed throughout the plan revision process.
AmerenUE officials say the plan would never require owners to remove properly permitted existing docks from the lake. However, in the earlier plan, certain restrictions on the size and placement of new docks would have applied in areas of the lake designated as an Impact Minimization Zone (IMZ).
The zones were designed to protect certain existing resources, such as wetlands, shallow water habitats at the heads of coves, cultural sites, scenic or bluff sites, woody debris sites and undeveloped islands not accessible by bridge or ferry. About 200 miles out of the lake's total of more than 1,100 miles of shoreline were identified as IMZs from information compiled by shoreline management consultants hired by AmerenUE to help prepare the shoreline management plan filed as part of the relicensing process for Bagnell Dam and the Osage Power Plant.
Within these zones, the plan proposed to restrict new dock sizes to a maximum of 900 square feet, with a minimum separation between docks of 150 feet. To protect these areas, dredging would have been prohibited, and any bank stabilization would have to use natural materials such as "rip-rap" (large rocks placed along the shoreline), rather than seawalls.
AmerenUE developed its new shoreline management plan after much consultation with members of a shoreline management team formed in 2001. Besides AmerenUE, the 30-member team included representatives from area chambers of commerce, the business community, public officials, the Missouri State Water Patrol, resource agencies and private property owners. The original plan included provisions reached in a settlement agreement between AmerenUE, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and other agencies.
Before submitting the plan to FERC, AmerenUE held a public informational session at the lake on Aug. 11, 2005.
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. The Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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