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Middle Fork Project Finance Authority

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What is it?

The Middle Fork Project (MFP) is a multi-purpose water supply and hydro-generation project designed to conserve and control waters of the Middle Fork American River, the Rubicon River, and several associated tributary streams. The MFP stores water from rain and snow during the fall and winter months and releases water all year to meet consumptive (municipal, industrial, and agricultural) demands within western Placer County, provides recreational experiences, contributes to the natural resource preservation and enhancement of the river and to generate power for the California electrical grid. The MFP is located within the Middle Fork American River Watershed (Watershed) (MAP PDF) within Placer County at elevations ranging from approximately 1,100 feet to 5,300 feet. +more

The MFP diverts, stores, and transports water through a series of stream diversions, reservoirs, canals, and powerhouses before it is released back into the Middle Fork American River below Oxbow Powerhouse (where river rafting takes place), approximately 29 miles upstream of Folsom Reservoir. All electricity generated by the MFP is delivered to Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E’s) transmission system. The backbone of the MFP is its two principal water storage reservoirs, French Meadows and Hell Hole. These reservoirs are located on the Middle Fork American River and the Rubicon River.

Get more detailed description of the project.

Purpose of the Authority

On January 10, 2006, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) and the County of Placer entered in to a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) that called for the formation of the “Middle Fork Project Finance Authority” (MFPFA or MFP Finance Authority or Authority). 

The purpose of the Authority is to serve the mutual interests of the County and PCWA exclusively, to provide for the financing of studies, programs, procedures, projects, services, improvements, modifications, and other costs that may be required to obtain a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license or which may be completed under the current or subsequent FERC license of the Middle Fork Hydroelectric Project by PCWA, to approve Future Electrical Energy Sales, fund the necessary operational costs and to distribute revenues from Future Electrical Energy Sales. The Authority distributes the net revenues to both PCWA and Placer County.  

Powers of the Authority

The MFP Finance Authority has the power to:

  • Issue bonds to finance MFP relicensing, improvements and operations
  • Review and approve the annual MFP operating budget
  • Review and approve contracts for the sale of electrical energy
  • Distribute the net revenues from the sale of electrical energy

2018 Middle Fork Project Fuel Reduction Management Program

Through an annual funding agreement between Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) and Placer County, grant funds are to be expended to perform fuel management activities that support a reduction in potential fire in the Middle Fork Project (MFP) area.  This area is a critical forested watershed and protection of it is of paramount importance. The MFP is a multi-purpose water supply and hydro-generation project designed to conserve and control waters of the Middle Fork American River, the Rubicon River, and several associated tributary streams.  The location is generally located in the Tahoe National Forest and private land well above the community of Foresthill and continues down the American River near the community of Auburn. 

Beginning in 2014 and for the duration of the federal license for the MFP an annual amount of funds will be made available to organizations that propose projects or have programs that 1) have a direct nexus to the project area and 2) show the potential to reduce fire danger through some form of fuel management projects.  There are applications, matching fund requirements, agreements and documentation results that must be met in order to be eligible to receive funding awards. 

More information can be obtained on the MFP website below

The Program Manager or designee will be available to meet with anyone who believes they want to prepare an application.  Guidance will be provided and questions will be answered to assist in the preparation of an application.  Any questions or concerns please contact the Program Manager:  Brett Storey, (530) 745-3011

There are typically two periods, one in January and one in June.

The second grant period for the 2018 Fuel Reduction Management Program grant process will open on June 5, 2018.

This funding cycle applications are due by 5 PM PST July 6, 2018 (Applications to be submitted in hardcopy or electronically to Brett Storey, 3091 County Center Dr. Auburn, CA 95603 or  (no facsimiles accepted). 

Board and Officers of the Finance Authority

The MFP Finance Authority Board of Directors consists of 4 members: 2 members from the Placer County Board of Supervisors and 2 members from the PCWA Board of Directors.

Board of Directors:

  • Jim Holmes, Placer County Board of Supervisors Member
  • Mike Lee, PCWA Board of Director Member
  • Robert Weygandt, Placer County Board of Supervisors Member
  • Primo Santini, PCWA Board of Director Member


  • Executive Director: Einar Maisch, PCWA General Manager
  • Secretary: Todd Leopold, Placer County Executive Officer
  • Treasurer: Joseph Parker, PCWA Director of Financial Services
  • Legal Advisor: Scott Morris, PCWA Legal Counsel

Policies & Protocol

General Financial Policies

These General Financial Policies provide a framework to guide the Middle Fork Project Finance Authority's decision-making with respect to financial activities and financial planning. They address budget, capital planning, reserves, net revenue distribution and other related financial policies for the Authority.

General Administrative Policies

The purpose of the General Administrative Policies is to establish basic administrative policies for Authority operations, providing guidance for the effective discharge of its responsibilities. The policies address three operational areas: Administrative Procedures, Grants and Loans, and Public Reporting.

Project Operations Protection Policies

The purpose of the Project Operations Protection Policies is to assist the Middle Fork Project Finance Authority Board of Directors, and management by establishing basic equipment and operating protection policies for the Authority operation, thus providing guidance for the effective discharge of its responsibilities generally to Placer County Water Agency. Two activities; physical asset management and project emergency operations are critical obligations of PCWA and as such should well-defined and reviewed annually.

Energy Marketing Oversight Policy

The Energy Marketing Oversight Policy (EMO Policy) provides for a joint County/Agency Energy Marketing Oversight Working Group (EMOWG) that will guide the oversight function. The EMOWG will report directly to the Executive Director and Secretary of Finance Authority. The EMOWG will ensure key elements of the Finance Authority energy marketing goals and objectives are continually met. It provides a framework for County and Agency staff to work together, exchange and review information as a coordinated staff, develop strategies related to market performance, develop metrics and reporting guidelines, prepare for future market sales, and ensure that any current or future market conditions and regulations are adhered to in both policy and practice.

Board Meetings

*Special Meeting* Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 8:00 am, PCWA, 144 Ferguson Rd, Auburn

Third Thursdays of January, April, July and October

PCWA – American River Room,
Placer County Water Agency
144 Ferguson Road, Auburn, California

Past Agendas and Minutes


Annual Budgets and Audits






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Placer County Auburn
175 Fulweiler Avenue
Auburn, CA, 95603
Placer County Tahoe
775 North Lake Blvd.
Tahoe City, CA, 96145
Official website of Placer County