Complete Application Received – Narrows Road Pressure Reduction Valve Station Project, Massachusetts


Certification History

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.

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, as well as an adjacent concrete pump vault station 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 has determined that this project, as currently proposed, 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 occurs within 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.

Project Name Narrows Road Pressure Reduction Valve Station Project
LIHI Certificate No. N/A
LIHI Certificate Term N/A
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 65.297 MWh
Facility Type Conduit
FERC No. CD-18-3-000, Exempt