- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The company behind a proposed hydroelectric dam project in Juneau is one step closer to beginning its operations after federal regulators determined it had addressed environmental concerns surrounding the project.

Duff Mitchell, managing director of Juneau Hydropower, said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the company’s environmental impact statement. He said they are now awaiting a license to get the project up and running.

“We’ve gotten good marks, so to say, to make sure that we’re building this project properly,” Mitchell said.

The company has been working on plans for about seven years to dam Sweetheart Lake southeast of Juneau to begin building the hydroelectric plant, according to KTOO-FM (http://bit.ly/25Q2lhZ).

The plant would power a heating system designed to remove heat from the Gastineau Channel and transfer it to Juneau homes and businesses. Juneau Hydropower would also be able to sell power to large industries.

The company was required to look into the project’s impact on marine life and water quality. Mitchell said the environmental impact statement was drafted with input from state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

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