Lexington MA (December 3, 2019): The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has preliminarily approved Low Impact Recertification for the Hoosic River Hydroelectric Project, LIHI #13. The Certification includes two conditions:
Condition 1: Within one year from the effective date of this re-certification, the Owner shall notify LIHI of its final decision about whether or not the Johnsonville flashboards will be replaced. Consideration must be given to the environmental and recreational impacts associated with continued absence of the flashboards, especially to use of the public boat launch site required by the FERC license. If it is determined that the flashboards will be replaced, the notification shall include a copy of the notification to FERC, the Owner’s schedule for submission of the flashboard failure design for FERC approval and the schedule for reinstallation. If the decision is to not replace the flashboards, the notification shall include an assessment of the effects of this “material change” in Project operations on applicable LIHI criteria and how access will be accommodated at the Johnsonville boat launch. LIHI reserves the right to modify the Project certification pending results of the assessment.
Condition 2: The Owner shall post a sign by April 1, 2020, at the access area used by whitewater boaters at the Schaghticoke bypass providing, at a minimum: the phone number to call for access, that access is allowed between sunrise and two hours before sunset, and the required flow conditions for access (flow of at least 1,920 cfs at USGS river gage at Eagle Bridge (gage no. 01334500). A meeting with American Whitewater to discuss the release program shall be conducted by April 1, 2020, with a commitment to hold such meetings every five years thereafter in accordance with the Settlement Agreement. Annual reporting to FERC required under license article 406 shall also be resumed. Copies of all correspondence, meeting notes, and confirmation of sign installation shall be submitted to LIHI in the next annual compliance submittal due in July 2020, and copies of future meeting notes and FERC filings shall be submitted in annual compliance statements thereafter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “Hoosic River Hydroelectric Project” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 6, 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 January 2, 2020. 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 Project will be from July 9, 2019 to July 8, 2024.