Lexington MA (May 1, 2020):  The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has preliminarily approved the Ware River Project (LIHI #47) for a new 5-year term of Low Impact Certification. The Certificate includes the following conditions:

Condition 1: The facility Owner shall, within 6 months of recertification, consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if the instantaneous run-of-river monitoring and maintenance plan recommended by the Service per Section 30(C) of the Federal Power Act, and required by the FERC August 2017 Order Amending Exemption, is still necessary.  The results of consultation shall be provided to LIHI in annual compliance submittals until the issue is closed. If the plan is not required, the Owner should file the agency concurrence with FERC within 3 months of that determination.  If the plan is still required, the Owner shall develop a draft plan for agency review and provide a copy of the final plan including any agency comments on the draft to LIHI within 60 days of plan completion.

Condition 2: The three-year post turbine upgrade water quality monitoring is scheduled to be performed beginning in 2020.  The results of the monitoring studies along with any resource agency comments and any proposed mitigation that may be needed shall be provided to LIHI within 60 days of each annual study report’s issuance.   LIHI reserves the right to reassess or revoke certification based on the information provided.

 Condition 3:  Should drawdown events occur at the facility during the term of LIHI Certification for maintenance or emergency reasons, the facility Owner shall consult with MDFW and develop the required state-listed mussel species protection plan to protect state-listed mussels and their habitat.  The Owner shall file copies of the plan and all agency consultation to LIHI within 60 days of MDFW approving the plan.

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 “Ware River 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 May 31, 2020. The full application and reviewer’s report are available HERE.

If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the Certification term for the Project will be August 24, 2019 through August 23, 2024.