LIHI Certificate #79 - Benton Falls Project, Maine
|Project Name||Benton Falls|
|LIHI Certificate No.||79|
|LIHI Certificate Term||November 23, 2015 - November 23, 2020, extended to May 31, 2021|
|Owner||Benton Falls Associates|
|Location||Located at river mile 5.3 on the Sebasticook River in the village of Benton, Maine|
|Installed Capacity||4.468 MW|
|Average Annual Generation||15,500 MWh|
|FERC No.||P-5073 issued 1984, expires 2034|
Certification HistoryJune 6, 2016: LIHI Executive Director Michael J. Sale, using authority delegated from the LIHI Governing Board, has certified that the Benton Falls Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. P-5073) satisfies the LIHI Certification Criteria. A Preliminary Certification Decision was announced on May 4, 2016, and a 30-day appeal period was open through June 5, 2016. No requests for appeal were received. This Certification Decision includes three facility-specific conditions, as follows:
- Condition 1. If resource management agencies (MDMR, MIFWS, USFWS and/or NMFS) determine that a sufficient number of Atlantic Salmon and/or American Shad have been passed upstream of the facility, or other appropriate trigger has occurred, the Owner shall conduct fish passage effectiveness studies to demonstrate that Atlantic Salmon and/or American Shad are being safely passed downstream of the facility during outmigration. The Owner shall notify LIHI within 30 days of when the applicable resource agency(ies) determine that such fish passage effectiveness testing is required. The Owner shall then consult with the agencies in the design and implementation of these studies, allowing the agencies to participate in the testing if they so desire. The Owner shall provide LIHI the testing results along with an assessment made by the agencies as to whether or not they find that safe and effective passage is being provided by the current downstream passage methods. This condition can be satisfied by providing LIHI with a copy of the annual Fish and Eel Passage Facility Operating Report and Proposed Operating Plan, as long as appropriate data and agency positions regarding fish passage are contained in that report.
- Condition 2. As part of the Annual Compliance statement to LIHI, the Owner should include documentation of ongoing consultation with NMFS regarding Atlantic Salmon pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. The schedule for these ESA consultations shall be set through agreement of the Owner and NMFS. LIHI shall be notified of this schedule within 30 days of its establishment. LIHI shall also be provided a copy of any studies or authorizations issued during the course of this certification period on this issue.
- Condition satisfied 2017. Condition 3. To contribute to water quality management on the lower Sebasticook River, the owner shall implement a MEDEP-approved water quality sampling plan that evaluates the role of Benton Falls dam and impoundment in the nonattainment status of the river and report back to LIHI and MDEP on the findings. In addition to new water quality data, the Owner shall describe other point-source discharges in the vicinity of the facility to provide context for the facility’s potential effects. The owner shall obtain a letter from MDEP on their assessment of whether or not the Benton Falls facility is the cause of the nonattainment status, and submit that letter to LIHI within 30 days of its receipt.
The effective certification date for the Benton Falls Project is November 23, 2015 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on November 23, 2020.
November 12, 2015: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for a new term of Low Impact Certification for the Benton Falls Hydroelectric project. The application materials can be found in the Files section below.
The public comment period for this application closed on January 11, 2015.
October 31, 2011: The Benton Falls Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective November 23, 2010 and expiring November 23, 2015.
November 23, 2010: Benton Falls Associates has submitted an application for certification of the Benton Falls Hydroelectric Project. A public comment period on the application will remain open for 60 days.
- Benton Falls Recertification Questionnaire
- Benton Falls Recertification Review Report
- Benton Falls Recertification Application Appendix 1-4
- Benton Falls Recertification Application Appendix 5-11
- Maine Department of Environmental Protection Comment Letter - Benton Falls Recertification
- Application Appendix - Ownership Regulatory Status
- Application Appendix - FERC License 1984
- Application Appendix - FERC License Amendment Order 1988
- Application Appendix - Authority Agencies Contacted