Lexington, MA (November 16, 2018): On November 16, 2018, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) preliminarily approved Low Impact Certification for the Essex 19 Hydroelectric Project, with the following two conditions:

Condition 1: The facility Owner shall continue to work collaboratively with VDEC to determine any additional needs for ongoing monitoring and reporting of operations and flows, update the Project’s operations compliance plan in consultation with resource agencies, and upon agency concurrence, file that plan with FERC. The Owner shall file quarterly updates with LIHI on the status of these efforts until the final plan has been filed with and approved by FERC.

Condition 2:  The facility Owner shall complete installation during the 2019 construction season of the permanent weir enhancements, including any needed plunge pool or rock modifications in consultation with VDEC and USFWS.  The Owner shall file the revised downstream passage standard operating procedure (SOP) and agency-requested spring passage timing adjustment with FERC and provide a copy to LIHI. Upon commencement of passage operations and in consultation with resource agencies, the Owner shall implement the downstream passage monitoring and effectiveness testing in accordance with license Article 410 or associated updated requirements.  The Owner shall report on the status of downstream passage in annual compliance statements submitted to LIHI.

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 “Essex 19 Hydroelectric Project” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 2, Lexington, MA 02420. 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 December 16, 2018.  The full application and reviewers report are available HERE.

If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the Certification term for the Essex 19 Project (pending LIHI # 146) will be October 31, 2018 through October 30, 2023.