FirstLight Power has applied to relicense a number of exisiting hydroelectric power facilities on our portion of the CT River.  Greening Greenfield does not want these licenses to allow operations for another 50 years like the last 50 have been.  Read on to learn more background and see how you can Take Action.  On January 24th, 2022, Greening Greenfield held a Zoom gathering to discuss the relicensing process:

Save the Connecticut River:
New Opportunity to Speak Up on Relicensing

 

NEW

Our Request for public meetings has been heard!

 

No official word from EEA / DEP yet, but we've been allowed to share these June notes from our legislative delegation that there will be FOUR public meetings.  THANK YOU to everyone who wrote.  it's a start.

 

SEE EVENT VIDEO HERE 

News Article, Recorder, 01/26/2022

 

Greening Greenfield would like as many people as possible to be involved in the relicensing effort, making local voices heard about the health of our river.

 

Although the federal government is the ultimate licensing agency, Massachusetts has the POWER to define how our river can be used, by issuing a Water Quality Certificate.  But MassDEP* currently does not have a well-defined process for soliciting public comment on this Water Quality Certification.  In the recent past, they have simply required a public notice in the newspaper, which is easily missed, and a 20-day comment period.  DEP needs to hear from the public that a 20-day comment period is not long enough for a complicated project that will have a license in effect for 30-50 years.  There also needs to be a way for the public to present oral comments in the form of one or more public hearings. Read on for detailed explanations.

 

FirstLight Power operates interrelated hydroelectric projects on the Connecticut River that are currently up for relicensing.  These hydro projects include

  • Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Facility
  • The "impoundment area" - the 20 miles of CT River above the Turners Falls Dam, from Barton Cove to Vernon, VT
  • Turners Falls Dam itself
  • Station One - a tiny power generating plant, and
  • Cabot Station 

Aerial Map here

 

Upstream dams in VT & NH are not covered here, but we urge you to learn about other relicensing projects from other sources, such as the Connecticut River Conservancy and Great River Hydro.

 

                                                                            CT River cropped                                                                                

Go to:

TAKE ACTION for

  • A description of our current ACTION ITEM: write EEA* requesting a robust PUBLIC process, including hearings on FirstLight's application for a Water Quality Certificate
  • Sample letters
  • Names and addresses 

 

Go to:

LEARN MORE for background information including:

  • Players
  • Process
  • Pumped storage: purpose and problems
  • Links to other sources of information

Greening Greenfield is currently focusing on the PROCESS of relicensing, and urges you to contact other sources for more information about the technical aspects of river flow, erosion, fish habitat, recreation, and more, including

The Connecticut River Conservancy hydro pages

Karl Meyer's Blog

                                                                                                                                              Connecticut River


*Acronyms 

AIP - Agreement in Principle

AFLA - Amended Final License Application

CRC - Connecticut River Conservancy

DEP or MassDEP - Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

EEA / EOEEA - Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

EIS - Environmental Impact Statement

FERC - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FL - FirstLight Power

FLA - Final License Application

FPA - Federal Power Act

GG - Greening Greenfield

ISO-NE - Independent Systems Operator - New England

MEPA - Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act

NRF - Naturally Routed Flow

PM&E - Protection, Mitigation, & Enhancement

REA - Ready for Environmental Analysis

TF - Turners Falls

USGS - United States Geological Survey (usually used in FirstLight documents for USGS "gage" or "gage flow")

WQC - Water Quality Certificate

 

© 2018 Greening Greenfield • c/o 34 Pierce St, Greenfield, MA 01301 • 603-477-3527 • Contact Us: info@greeninggreenfieldma.org