The zones are 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 proposes 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 be prohibited, and any bank stabilization would have to use natural materials such as "rip-rap" (large rocks placed along the shoreline), rather than seawalls.
"Impact Minimization Zones are designed to protect certain environmentally and culturally sensitive areas of the lake," says Mark Jordan, general supervisor, Real Estate, for Ameren Services. "But that doesn't necessarily mean development can't occur there. It just means any proposed development would be subject to special restrictions and more extensive review."
Jordan adds that AmerenUE, in conjunction with the appropriate resource agencies, will consider requests for development in IMZs on a case-by-case basis. At that time, a review will be conducted on the designated IMZ to see if there are any field conditions present to enable adjustments to the zone.
Details about shoreline management at the lake can be found on the Ameren Web site: www.ameren.com. Click on "Environment," then look under "Lake of the Ozarks" for a list of topics.
A map showing the IMZs is available at the following Web site:
https://aue.trailheadgis.com/imz/viewer.htm. The map enables a viewer to "zoom in" on any location around the shoreline to see a more-detailed map.
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. The plan describes how the property will 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. The agency is accepting comments on its Environmental Assessment until March 24.
AmerenUE's existing license expires Feb. 28, and in its application, the company is seeking a new 40 year license. FERC has assured the company that if the license expires without a new one being issued, FERC will automatically issue a license for one year as regulators continue to review issues involved in the application.
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 plan includes 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 2.3 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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