June 11 Study Update – The initial field studies associated with the Water Quality Study, Impoundment Bass Spawning Survey, and Historic Architectural Survey have been completed. The Flow Study for Aquatic Habitat Evaluation, Aesthetic Flow Study, and Whitewater Boating Study, are underway in 2021 as well as preparation for the Recreation and Creel Survey studies which will be conducted in the 2022 study season. An Initial Study Report summarizing the results of the studies completed to date will be filed with the FERC in August of 2021.
Study Report – This quarterly report outlines progress on current studies underway as part of the project relicensing process.
FERC Study Plan Determination -Following the Revised Study Plan submitted by Rumford Falls Hydro, LLC, and the public comment period, the FERC issued its study plan determination on August 6, 2020. In summary, six of the seven studies proposed by Rumford Falls Hydro were approved by the FERC without modification and included the Water Quality Study, Angler Creel Survey Study, Impoundment Bass Spawning Survey, Flow Study for Aquatic Habitat Evaluation, Aesthetic Flow Study, and Historic Architectural Survey. The seventh study, the Recreation Study, was approved with FERC staff-recommended modifications. Additionally, Rumford Falls Hydro will conduct a Whitewater Boating Study, as directed by the FERC.
Revised Proposed Study Plan – The Revised Proposed Study Plan was filed on behalf of Rumford Falls Hydro on July 7, 2020. The Revised Study Plan (RSP) which is subject to additional comments, review, and approval by the FERC, incorporates public comments from the proposed study plan and includes further details regarding the relicensing studies.
Rumford Falls Hydro has evaluated and responded to all of the study requests submitted by stakeholders in accordance with the criteria set forth in the Commission’s ILP regulations. In summary, as part of the RSP, Rumford Falls Hydro proposed and provided study plans for studies associated with a Water Quality Study, Angler Survey Study, Recreation Study, Historic Architectural Survey, Aesthetic Flow Study, Impoundment Bass Spawning Survey, and a Flow Study for Aquatic Habitat Evaluation.
As noted in the RSP, following completion of the Recreation Study, Rumford Falls Hydro, will utilize the study results a comprehensive Recreation Study plan that can be used to develop a recreation management plan. Once developed, the recreation management plan will be available for review by stakeholders and included in the 2022 draft and final license application. The proposed Recreation Study (which will be conducted in 2022 due to the Covid – 19 Pandemic), will assess current recreation usage and future recreation needs in the Project area, including Rumford Falls Trail, Veterans Park, the West Viewing area, J. Eugene Boivin Park, as well as other recreation features. The proposed recreational study encompasses a site visit and focus group discussions, visitor surveys, and online surveys.
Other Licensing Documents – Copies of documents are available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission’s website, ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, P-2333, to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll-free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659.