Harrington Park, New Jersey (April 21, 2017) – On April 18, 2017, LIHI issued a Preliminary Certification Decision that the Automatic Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. P-2555) satisfies the LIHI Certification Criteria. The certification includes three facility-specific conditions, as follows:

  • Condition 1: The Owner shall complete water quality sampling during summer 2017 under a study plan approved in advance by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) and consistent with the MDEP’s Lakes, Ponds, and Impoundments Trophic State Study and Rivers and Streams Temperature and Dissolved Oxygen Study protocols. A copy of the final study plan shall be filed with LIHI within 30 days of MDEP approval. The results of the study report shall be filed with MDEP and LIHI by December 31, 2017. If the Automatic Project is determined to be causing, or contributing to, a violation of water quality standards, then a remediation proposal, including an implementation schedule, shall be developed in consultation with MDEP and filed with LIHI by April 1, 2018. If the project is found not to be causing or contributing to violations of water quality standards, then the Owner shall file review comments/recommendations from MDEP by the same date.
  • Condition 2: The Owner shall continue to operate and maintain safe, timely, and effective upstream passage facilities for American eel at Automatic dam in coordination with the Maine Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Condition 3:  In the Owner’s Annual Compliance Statements, the Owner will update LIHI on the status of downstream eel passage at the site. The Owner will notify LIHI within 45 days if MDMR determines there is a sufficient number of eel present in the river to conduct the studies needed to determine the best location to install downstream passage. A summary of those study results, along with a MDMR-approved plan and schedule for downstream eel passage installation, shall be included in that year’s Annual Compliance Statement.

As provided for in Section 4.2.5 of the LIHI 2nd Edition Handbook, the Preliminary Certification Decision, 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 April 21, 2017 and ends on May 21, 2017 at 5 PM EDT.  The letter can be sent via email to sames@lowimpacthydro.org.  The appeal request must state specific reasons why the hydropower facility should have failed one or more criteria.  Only individuals or organizations that commented on the initial Application Package may file an appeal.  Further information about the LIHI appeal process is available in the LIHI Handbook, available at https://lowimpacthydro.org/certification-program-html/.

If no appeal is requested within the 30-day period, the Executive Director will issue LIHI Certification for the facility and post a notification of certification on the Institute’s website.  Once final, the effective certification date for the Automatic Project is February 14, 2016 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on February 14, 2021.