December 11, 2011
Dear Mr. Gum,
Thank you for contacting me regarding recent actions taken by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at Lake of the Ozarks. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
I was outraged at the ridiculous possibility that a government agency would order the removal of thousands of structures, homes and businesses along the Lake of the Ozarks, and immediately acted to demand that the threat of such action against owners at the Lake be removed. Subsequently, I led my colleagues in Congress in a coordinated effort to protect homes and businesses at the Lake. I am pleased that FERC recently issued, on November 10, a new order clarifying that no structures rightfully built along the lake will have to be removed.
Previously, in July, FERC issued a shoreline management plan for the Osage Hydroelectric Project at the Lake of the Ozarks as a part of AmerenUE’s (Ameren) license to operate the Osage Hydroelectric power plant. The plan required Ameren to remove any structures, homes, or businesses built within the project boundary along the lakefront, impacting approximately four thousand properties.
On October 20, I introduced the Landowner Protection Act (S.1758), legislation prohibiting FERC from issuing any shoreline management plan that requires the removal of structures along the lake, which is cosponsored by fellow Missouri Senator Roy Blunt. Additionally, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced it there so that every member of the Missouri delegation in the House of Representatives is a cosponsor of my legislation.
On November 18, Ameren announced that it will submit, in the first quarter of 2012, a new proposal to FERC for management of the Osage Hydroelectric power plant. This new plan is intended to resolve the issue of encroachments without impacting the rights of property owners living and working around the Lake. Accordingly, no homes or related structures should have to be removed.
I am hopeful that the situation at Lake of the Ozarks can be resolved without the need for passage of S.1758. However, my legislation serves as a type of insurance policy to ensure property at the lake is protected; should it be necessary, I will work tirelessly for its passage. Any management plan that calls for the destruction of homes at Lake of the Ozarks is unacceptable. I am glad that it appears we have moved well past the consideration of any plan that could result in such an absurd outcome that tramples on the rights of property owners and defies common sense.
I will continue working to resolve this situation permanently, and I look forward to providing you with an update as soon as this situation is resolved. This issue is of great importance to me and I will continue to fight alongside the residents and communities in the Lake of the Ozarks region to protect their interests.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.
United States Senator
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