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Hydroelectric Relicensing in Vermont Brian Fitzgerald Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "Hydroelectric Relicensing in Vermont Brian Fitzgerald Vermont Agency of Natural Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hydroelectric Relicensing in Vermont Brian Fitzgerald Vermont Agency of Natural Resources



4 Hydropower in Vermont Licensed – 59 (662 MW) –40 comply with WQS –19 to be addressed through relicensing Exempt – 15 (14 MW) –13 comply with WQS –2 to be addressed through WQS Unlicensed – 21 (26 MW) –3 comply with WQS –18 to be addressed through state authority 95 Operating Facilities

5 Vermont Hydroelectric Facilities

6 The Relicensing Team Dept. of Environmental Conservation – Water Quality Division –Hydrology (Team Leader) –Wetlands, Lakes, River Corridor Management Dept. of Fish and Wildlife –Fisheries –Wildlife –Non-game and natural heritage Division for Historic Preservation (SHPO) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

7 Vermont Water Quality Standards Hydrology –Policy –Criteria –ANR Procedure Class B Waters –Management Objectives –Criteria

8 Hydrology Policy “The proper management of water resources now and for the future requires careful consideration of the interruption of the natural flow regime and the fluctuation of water levels resulting from the construction of new and the operation of existing dams, diversions, and other control structures.” “These rules … provide a means for determining conditions which preserve, to the extent practicable, the natural flow regime of waters.”

9 Hydrology Criteria Flows “Any change from the natural flow regime shall provide for maintenance of flow characteristics that ensure the full support of uses and comply with the applicable water quality criteria.” “In the absence of site specific studies, the Secretary may establish hydrologic standards and impose additional hydrologic constraints…to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.”

10 ANR Procedure for Determining Acceptable Minimum Stream Flows Adopted in 1993 Uses USFWS NE Flow Policy: –Flow Standards based on seasonal median flows –Alternatively, applicants may do site specific studies De Minimis Withdrawals –No permit required for withdrawal rates less than 5% of 7Q10 or less than.005 x drainage area (mi 2 )

11 Hydrology Criteria Water Level Fluctuations “Lakes, ponds, reservoirs, riverine impoundments, and any other waters may exhibit artificial variations in water level when subject to water level management but only to the extent that such variations ensure full support of uses.”

12 Class B Waters Management Objectives Aquatic Biota, Wildlife and Aquatic Habitat – Aquatic biota and wildlife supported by high quality habitat Aesthetics – Water character, flows, water level, bed and channel characteristics exhibiting good aesthetic value Boating, Fishing and Other Recreational Uses – Suitable for these uses

13 Class B Waters Criteria Aquatic Biota, Wildlife and Aquatic Habitat –No change from the reference condition that would prevent the full support of aquatic biota, wildlife, or aquatic habitat uses –Biological integrity is maintained and all expected functional groups are present in a high quality habitat –All life-cycle functions, including overwintering and reproductive requirements are maintained and protected

14 Class B Waters Criteria Aesthetics – Consistently exhibit very good aesthetic values Boating – To the extent naturally feasible with no more than minor degradation; mitigation for artificial physical impediments

15 Flow/Reservoir Management Conservation flows –Bypass –Downstream Aesthetics flows –Flow requirement –Method Ramping Reservoir management –Seasonal elevation limits –Limits on elevation changes

16 Flow/Reservoir Management Flow management plan Flow/reservoir monitoring plan –Inflow –Outflow –Reservoir elevations Deviation from conditions

17 Water Quality Dissolved oxygen and temperature –Monitoring plan –Mitigation measures Mercury –Monitoring –Mitigation?? Sediment –Erosion control

18 Fisheries Passage –Downstream –Upstream Mitigation

19 Recreation Recreation plan Public access

20 Wildlife and T&E Species T&E species management plan Wildlife –Habitat management plan Riparian areas Wetlands Water quality protection

21 Brian T. Fitzgerald Agency of Natural Resources Water Quality Division 103 South Main Street, Building 10 North Waterbury, VT 05671-0408 802.241.3468 802.241.3287 (fax)

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