LIHI Certificate #184 - Narrows Road Pressure Reduction Valve Station Project, Massachusetts

Project Name Narrows Road Pressure Reduction Valve Station Project
LIHI Certificate No. 184
LIHI Certificate Term
June 25, 2021 – June 24, 2036
Owner City of Fitchburg, MA
State Massachusetts
Location Located in the Nashua River Watershed in the town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
Installed Capacity 0.010 MW
Average Annual Generation 65.37 MWh
Facility Type Conduit
FERC No. CD18-3, Qualified Conduit Exemption

The Narrows Road Pressure Reduction Valve Station is a conduit facility that is located in the City of Fitchburg and is situated between the Falulah Regional Water Treatment Facility and the City of Fitchburg water distribution system. At no point does this facility directly receive from surface waters and is considered a closed water system.

The water within the facility does not affect the water quality below, around, or above the facility. The water flows from the Falulah Water Treatment Facility, passes through the facility, and then continues to flow into the City of Fitchburg distribution system.

Historically, the Water Treatment Facility receives water from numerous reservoirs including the Falulah, Lovell, Ashby, and Bickford reservoirs. After consultation with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, there are no anticipated impacts on migratory fish species that pertain to the Narrows Road facility.

A large variety of fish can be found in the reservoirs listed above including: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and yellow perch.

The site consists of a small brick instrumentation house, and the adjacent concrete pump vault station which houses the hydro turbine, located along Narrows Road, Westminster MA. Therefore, there are no impacts to shoreline or watersheds.

Based on correspondence with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the Division determined that the project does not occur within Estimated Habitat of Rare Wildlife or Priority Habitat as indicated in the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Atlas. Upon review of the US Fish and Wildlife Service IPaC report for federally-listed species, all of Massachusetts is considered roosting territory for the Northern Long Eared Bat. However, there are no trees located around the pump station that could be considered roosting trees, and this project is situated inside the pump station vault.

This very small project site is located on land that is owned and operated by the City of Fitchburg. There are no known cultural or historic resources located on the property. No digging or land disturbance was performed during construction, and all work occurred within the pre-existing pump vault.

The facility is a secure and locked area, with no opportunities for public access. While the surrounding parcel may be used for recreational opportunities by neighbors, access to the facility is strictly controlled as it is a critical piece of infrastructure for the City of Fitchburg.


Compliance Status

There are no facility-specific conditions in the current Certificate

2022: No material changes or compliance issues were identified. The project remains in compliance based on the annual review.

2021: Annual reporting for the current Certificate has not yet taken effect.


Certification History

January 1, 2022: The LIHI Certificate term has been extended in accordance with Revision 2.05 of the LIHI 2nd Edition Certification Handbook issued January 1, 2022. Refer to the facility table above for the new term.

October 25, 2021: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has issued a final decision on the certification of the Narrows Road Pressure Reduction Valve Station Project . The 30-day appeal window closed on October 2, 2021 and no appeals were filed. Therefore, the decision to certify the project is now final. The certificate term is June 25, 2021 through June 24, 2031.

September 2, 2021: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has preliminarily approved the Narrows Road PRV Project for a 10-year term of Low Impact Certification.

This decision is preliminary pending the 30-day appeal window. Only those who commented on the initial application during the 60-day comment period are eligible to file an appeal. Such appeal needs to include an explanation as to how the Project does not meet the LIHI criteria. Appeal requests can be submitted by email to comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Narrows Road PRV Project” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 1167 Massachusetts Ave, Office 407, Arlington, MA 02476.

All requests will be posted to the website. The applicant will have an opportunity to respond and any response will also be posted. Requests must be received by 5 pm Eastern time on October 2, 2021. The full application and reviewer’s report are available below.

If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the Certification term for the Project will be June 25, 2021 through June 24, 2031.

June 28, 2021:The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Certification of the Narrows Road Project. LIHI is seeking public comment on this application. Specifically, we are interested in knowing whether you think the Project meets the LIHI Low Impact Certification Criteria, as revised in the 2nd Edition Handbook. Please review the program and criteria in LIHI’s revised Handbook and then review the Project’s application materials below.

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 “Narrows Road Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 1167 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476. Comments must be received on or before 5 pm Eastern time on August 27, 2021 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.


Files:

2021 Certification