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Run of the River Hydro in Vermont!

The Vermont legislature is in session. Please take the time right now to contact your legislator. Particularly the members of the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees (scroll to bottom for e-mail addresses!). And ask them to do #1 and #2 below!

This year marks the fourth year of the legislature’s effort to develop a timely, predictable and affordable process for hydro in Vermont. Yet, although THREE bills have passed in the last three years we still have no new run of river hydro in Vermont!

For a brief history of the problems and opportunities, download Senator Illuzzi’s comments to FERC here: http://elibrary.ferc.gov:0/idmws/file_list.asp?document_id=13782560

Please contact the members of the Senate and House Natural Resources and Energy Committees, and your legislator and ask them to support hydro with the following actions:

1) Ask your legislators to have ANR modify the procedure to apply for a 401 Water Quality Certificate http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/fed/damsafety/hydropower.htm While it is wonderful that ANR has developed a written procedure (in response to H313), the procedure has several problems. The process is neither timely, predictable or affordable as the legislation requested. This procedure can, and must be changed, or we will not have any hydro in Vermont.  For example, the procedure in some cases does not even allow you to ASK the Agency for a 401 Water Quality Certificate until a federal license application has been completed. This means you are not allowed to even ASK ANR for 3 – 5 years, and then there is another year’s wait after that for the Agency to issue the 401!  What does this mean? For example, FERC recently issued a license using the Integrated Licensing Process (the most complex! in less than 6 months -because state agencies got on board early-FERC was able to waive and consolidate the process. This procedure needs to be tweaked to allow Vermont to decide if the Vermont Water Quality Standards are being met-it should not be contingent on a federal process!!  No one will invest in hydro under the current conditions. Over 2 years ago, ANR looked at over a dozen hydro projects (Appendix F) that wanted to be built http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/waterq/rivers/docs/rv_smallhydroreport.pdf. Hydro in Vermont still does not have a simple, timely, predictable or affordable process to move forward.

2) Ask your legislator to support S.190 introduced in January by Senator Illuzzi <http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/bills/Intro/S-190.pdf>http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/bills/Intro/S-190.pdf. This bill relates to establishing a general permit for the certification of hydroelectric projects.The bill may be viewed on the web at the following link. Similar legislation in the House by Representative Krawcyk of Bennington also establishes a pilot program, to allow the legislature to track the progress of several sites is being considered.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY
Senator Virginia “Ginny” Lyons, Chair, Senator Mark MacDonald, Vice Chair, Senator Richard McCormack, Senator Diane Snelling), Senator Margaret Flory

E-mail addresses of Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee members:
vvlyons@cs.com, vlyons@leg.state.vt.us, mmacdonald@leg.state.vt.us, rmccormack@leg.state.vt.us, dick@mccormack4vt.com, dsnelling@leg.state.vt.us, <mailto:pflory@leg.state.vt.us>pflory@leg.state.vt.us, <mailto:mkf3229@yahoo.com>mkf3229@yahoo.com

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY (Ethan Allen Room)
Klein of East Montpelier, Chair,  Krawczyk of Bennington, Vice Chair,  Nuovo of Middlebury, Ranking Member,  Canfield of Fair Haven, Cheney of Norwich,  Edwards of Brattleboro, Jerman of Essex, Mitchell of Barnard, Wright of Burlington,  Weston of Burlington, Clerk, Young of St. Albans City

E-mail addresses of House Natural Resources and Energy Committee members:
<mailto:tklein@leg.state.vt.us>tklein@leg.state.vt.us , jkrawczyk@leg.state.vt.us, WCanfield@leg.state.vt.us, mcheney@leg.state.vt.us, sedwards@leg.state.vt.us, <mailto:tjerman@leg.state.vt.us>tjerman@leg.state.vt.us, <mailto:vrunner56@msn.com>vrunner56@msn.com, mmitchell@leg.state.vt.us, bnuovo@leg.state.vt.us, rweston@leg.state.vt.us, <mailto:kwright@leg.state.vt.us>kwright@leg.state.vt.us, <mailto:jyoung@leg.state.vt.us>jyoung@leg.state.vt.us
<mailto:jeffeyoung@yahoo.com>jeffeyoung@yahoo.com

Follow the links below to contact your Senator or Rep:
Find the legislative home page here:
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/

Find your House Representative here:
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/lms/legdir/alpha.asp?Body=H
Find your Senate Representative here:
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/lms/legdir/alpha.asp?Body=S

Please contact your legislators we will not get new hydro without a revised procedure and additional legislation! This will make it easier for both the regulators and the regulated.

From Lori Barg
Community Hydro
Plainfield, Vermont

1 comment to Run of the River Hydro in Vermont!

  • Thank you – if you have other questions not answered, feel free to contact us!

    The new issue of Green Energy Times just came out and the special feature is on Hydro projects. If you don’t see it where you live, you can subscribe and we will make sure you receive them right in your mailbox. You can do this right on the site under advertising.

    We plan to continue to keep the public informed about Hydro issues. Again – if you have questions, we will try to help you find the answers you are looking for.

    Also – if you are planning to undertake a hydro project yourself, we would love to hear your ‘story’!

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