Camden County, Mo. –
Thousands of property owners around the Lake of the Ozark’s have another avenue to voice their grievances with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Shoreline Management Plan.
A petition aimed at bringing FERC’s handling of shoreline management issues to the attention of the White House staff is beginning to garner some attention. The petition originated from similar situation on Smith Lake in Virginia. The petition was started Bill Brush, a property owner/retired engineer who has been at odds with FERC over a dock issue for years. The petition he created is on We the People, a new feature on WhiteHouse.gov.
According to Brush, if this petition gets 5,000 signatures by October 28, 2011, the White House will review it and respond.
If the petition succeeds, it could have an impact on the dilemma facing more than a 1,000 homeowners and thousands of other lakefront property owners who’s land falls in or on easements owned by Ameren Missouri.
FERC has recently issued stringent guidelines on the future of those homes and other structures in the Lake of the Ozarks Shoreline Management Plan.
Just this week, FERC agreed to a request from Ameren to take another look at those regulations. However, it is unclear when that will happen and how the rehearing will be conducted.
In the meantime, Brush is asking anyone with a grievance with FERc to sign the petition.
The petition. called CURB FERC regulations, says the federal agency overregulates the shorelines of the hydroelectric projects it oversees.
Brush said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is enforcing shoreline management rules decades after hydroelectric projects were first developed. Retroactive rules are irrational, without reason, or scientific basis. The burden of this regulation far out weights any public benefit. The impact on surrounding communities cannot be exaggerated as FERC rules are discouraging private investment, lowering property values, killing jobs, limiting access to project waters, inhibiting landowner’s ability to sell, violating federal, state and local ordinances, and trampling on personal property rights, he said.
In the meantime, Missouri’s senators and entire congressional delegation have joined the growing number of landowners, local government officials and chamber organizations, urging FERC to rethink their position.
How does We the People work?
We the People provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. The White House created We the People because we want to hear from you. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response
Anyone 13 or older can create or sign an online petition seeking a federal government action on a range of issues. Then it’s up to the petition creator and signers to build support for the petition by gathering more signatures.
There are two critical thresholds for We the People. First, a minimum number of signatures – currently 150 – is necessary for the petition to be publicly listed on We the People and searchable. Second, a minimum number of signatures (currently 5,000) is necessary in a given amount of time (currently 30 days) in order for the petition to be reviewed by the White House, distributed to the appropriate policy officials within the Administration and receive an official response. This response will be posted and linked to the petition on WhiteHouse.gov, as well as emailed to all of the petition signers. Petitions that do not cross this threshold in the given timeframe will be removed from the site.
Where to find the petition
About Smith Lake
Smith Mountain Lake is a large reservoir in the Roanoke Region of VirginiaCity of Roanoke The lake was created in 1963 by the Smith Mountain Dam impounding the Roanoke River. The lake is a popular recreation spot and has experienced significant development in the last decade. It is the largest man-made lake in the state of Virginia.
AEP is licensed to operate the Smith Mountain Project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The initial license term was for fifty years. In 1998, AEP began the process of relicensing. In 2009 the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Appalachian Power a new license to operate the plant. The 30-year license addresses recreational and environmental management.
Growth has been steady since the mid-1980s and with upscale lakefront homes and communities built around golf courses. There is a large retirement community at the lake.