Harrington Park, New Jersey (November 23, 2016) – LIHI has issued a Preliminary Certification Decision that the North Gorham Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. P-2519) satisfies the LIHI Certification Criteria. This Preliminary Certification Decision includes two facility-specific conditions, as follows:
- Within 90 days of LIHI certification, the Owner shall proactively initiate discussions with MDMR and USFWS regarding future construction of an upstream fish passage facility for American eel at the site and implementation of appropriate measures to facilitate safe downstream passage for American eel. The siting and design work on the upstream passage structures shall be initiated within the first two years of LIHI certification; construction and operation shall be completed as soon as practicable, but no later than the end of the five-year LIHI certification period. The facility shall be designed, sited, and constructed in consultation with and approval from the MDMR and USFWS. Within three years of the issuance of this certification, the downstream passage measures timeline shall be established in agreement with the resource agencies and a formal commitment for installation at a future date shall be made. If additional time is needed to accommodate required design activities, regulatory approval, or other extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the Owner, an extension may be requested. The Owner shall provide LIHI with an annual report on the status of these actions, along with the plan, schedule and status of new fish passage implementation, as part of their annual compliance statement.
- The Owner shall proactively contact the MIF&W and USFWS a minimum of 60 days prior to any construction activities affecting lands not already developed or structures that may provide roosting habitat for the Northern Long-eared Bat, to determine if any special measures are needed to ensure no or minimal impact occurs to state and/or federally listed protected species identified as possibly occurring at the site. The MIF&W shall also be contacted within 60 days prior to any planned drawdown of the impoundment that would expose a significant portion of the river bottom, to avoid impacts to the Brook Floater. The Owner shall work with the MIF&W and USFWS to implement appropriate measures should they be needed. The Owner shall advise LIHI of any such events, including the results of any activities conducted to minimize such impacts. Such notification shall be provided as part of the annual compliance statement to LIHI.
As provided for in Section 4.2.5 of the LIHI 2nd Edition Handbook, the Preliminary Certification Decision to certify, along with the Application Reviewer’s report and (if prepared) report of the Executive Director, will be posted on the Institute’s Web page for 30 days. Notice of the posting will be provided to all individuals or organizations that commented on the initial Application Package.
Any Commenter may submit a letter to the Executive Director requesting an appeal within the 30-day period which begins on November 23, 2016 and ends on December 23, 2016. The appeal request must state specific reasons why the hydropower facility should have failed one or more criteria. If an individual or organization did not comment on the initial Application Package, they may not file an appeal. Further information about the LIHI appeal process is available in the LIHI Handbook.
If no appeal is requested within the 30-day period, LIHI will issue the Certification for the facility and post a notification of certification on the Institute’s website. Once final, the effective certification date for the North Gorham Project is April 27, 2016 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on April 27, 2021.