Lexington MA (September 13, 2018): On September 13, 2018, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) preliminarily approved the Worumbo Hydroelectric Project for a new 5-year term of Low Impact Certification, with the following conditions:

  • Condition 1: The Owner shall make initial contact with the MEDEP by December 31, 2018 and seek to initiate consultation with the MEDEP by March 31, 2019 in an effort to resolve the agency concern in their email to the LIHI reviewer that the dam may be increasing the contaminant bio-accumulation in fish and non-attainment of the water quality standards from legacy PCB and dioxin pollutants from upstream sources. The Owner shall notify LIHI as to the results of this consultation to determine if this concern is warranted, within 60 days of the consultation and, if needed, shall provide updates to LIHI as part of their annual compliance reports to LIHI. LIHI reserves the right to modify or rescind certification if resolution cannot be reached on this issue.
  • Condition 2: To ensure that requirements identified by NMFS that are deemed necessary to protect the endangered Atlantic salmon are conducted, the Owner shall confirm that the activities under the Terms and Conditions of the Biological Opinion have been conducted, as needed and applicable, each year. This update shall be provided in the annual compliance reports to LIHI.
  • Condition 3: If the Owner undertakes any construction or maintenance activities that may affect lands not already developed, or structures/tree removal that may provide roosting habitat for listed state and federal bat species, LIHI shall be notified of such actions, along with the results of any mitigation measures that may be conducted to minimize species impacts, should they be found to be necessary based on agency consultation. Such LIHI notification shall be provided as part of the annual compliance reports to LIHI.

This decision is preliminary pending the 30-day appeal window. Only those who commented in 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 projects do not meet the LIHI criteria. Appeal requests can be submitted by email to comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Worumbo 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 and 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 13, 2018.  The full application and reviewers report are available HERE.

If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the new term for the Worumbo Project will be March 3, 2018 through March 2, 2023.