Harrington Park, New Jersey (December 30, 2016) – The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received complete applications for new terms of Low Impact Certification for the Arnold Falls, Gage and Pierce Mills Hydroelectric projects in Vermont.

The application materials for Arnold Falls can be found HERE.

The application materials for Pierce Mills can be found HERE.

The application materials for the Gage project can be found HERE.

The Arnold Falls Project is located approximately 5.5 miles downstream of Pierce Mills, at river mile 9.7. It was built in 1928 by the Twin State Gas & Electric Company following the 1927 flood which did extensive damage to a “small and old station” on the north bank of the river. The falls bear the surname of Dr. Jonathan Arnold, an early settler and entrepreneur who constructed the first sawmill there in 1787 and a gristmill the following year. The Project impounds a 7.2-acre reservoir that extends about 2,200 feet upstream with a water surface elevation of 574.7 feet msl and about 10.8 acre-feet of usable storage. In 2009 the existing timber crib dams were abandoned in place and replaced with a reinforced concrete gravity dam immediately downstream of the timber crib dams.

The Pierce Mills Project is the most upstream of the four Projects, located at river mile 15.2. The Project impounds a 24.7-acre reservoir that extends 1.25 miles upstream to the Great Falls Dam with a water surface elevation at 605.0 feet msl and 24.7 acre-feet of usable storage. The concrete gravity dam is 93 feet long by18 feet high, with a crest elevation of 603.5 feet mean sea level (msl). The dam is topped with 18-inch flashboards. A 37-foot-long intake structure forms the left abutment, with a manually operated bulkhead gate and rashrack.

The Gage Project is located approximately 2.5 miles downstream of Arnold Falls at river mile 7.2. It was built in 1919-1920 by the Twin state Gas & Electric Company. The dam was destroyed in the flood of 1927, although the powerhouse was largely undamaged. A concrete dam was constructed in 1929. The facility is significant because it is among the very few genuinely low head stations featuring an open channel and generating units in an open pit setting. The powerhouse is also among the limited number of such buildings constructed entirely of steel and concrete, without the brick facade typical of the 1920’s powerhouses. The remains of the first hydroelectric station in St. Johnsbury, reportedly built in 1898, are tied into the north abutment of the dam and support the cableway tower.

LIHI is seeking public comment on these applications.  Specifically, we are interested in knowing whether you think these projects meet the LIHI Low Impact Certification Criteria, as revised in the 2nd Edition Handbook released in March 2016.  Please review the program and criteria in LIHI’s revised Handbook and then review the Project’s 2016 application materials posted on the project page.

Comments that are directly tied to specific LIHI criteria (flows, water quality, fish passage, etc.) will be most helpful, but all comments will be considered.  Comments may be submitted to the Institute by e-mail at comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Gage Project Comments,” “Arnold Falls Project Comments,” or “Pierce Mills Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, PO Box 194, Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640.  Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on March 4, 2017 to be considered.  All comments will be posted to the web site and the applicant will have an opportunity to respond.  Any response will also be posted.

The comment period for the Arnold Falls, Gage, and Pierce Mills projects has been extended to March 6, 2017.