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Flagstaff FERC License

Flagstaff FERC License

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Federal Energy Regulator Commission License for FPL Flagstaff Lake
Federal Energy Regulator Commission License for FPL Flagstaff Lake

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Published by: thisdog on Dec 08, 2011
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 106 FERC ¶ 62,232FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSIONFPL Energy Maine Hydro LLCProject No. 2612-005ORDER ISSUING NEW LICENSE (MAJOR PROJECT)(March 30, 2004)
INTRODUCTION
1.
This order issues a new license to FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC (FPL Energy)for the continued operation and maintenance of the Flagstaff Storage Project No. 2612,located on the Dead River, a navigable tributary of the Kennebec River,
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in the Town of Eustis, Maine (Town of Eustis) and the unorganized townships of Dead River, CarryingPlace, Bigelow, Flagstaff, and Spring Lake, in Somerset and Franklin Counties, Maine.The project does not occupy any federal lands.
2.
On December 28, 1995, an application for a new license was filed pursuant toSections 4(e) and 15 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 797(e) and 808, for the continued operation and maintenance of the Flagstaff Storage Project.
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The Flagstaff Project operates as a water storage facility to provide flood control and reliable flows for downstream industries, municipalities, and hydroelectric generation on the KennebecRiver.
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Based on my review of the agency and public comments and recommendations
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Central Maine Power, 7 FERC 61,045 (1979).
2
The application was filed by former licensee, the Central Maine Power Company(Central Maine). On December 28, 1998, the Commission issued an Order ApprovingTransfers of Licenses, including the transfer of the Flagstaff Project, from Central Maineto FPL Energy contingent on the submission of certified copies of all instruments of conveyance and signed acceptance sheets, 88 FERC
&
62,208 (1998). By letter datedJuly 20, 1999, Commission staff advised the parties that the requirements for the transfer were met.
3
The Flagstaff Project operates as part of a basin storage system. The MooseheadProject No. 2671 and Brassua Project No. 2615 also contribute storage. Downstreamgeneration occurs at eight projects, located on the Kennebec River downstream from itsconfluence with the Dead River. From upstream to downstream, they are the Wyman
 
and evaluation of the developmental and environmental effects of the proposed projectand its alternatives, I conclude that relicensing the project as proposed, with staff’srecommended measures, would be in the public interest.
BACKGROUND
3.
An original license for the project was issued in 1979, with an effective date of January 1, 1948, and a termination date of December 31, 1997. Project operation hascontinued pursuant to annual licenses, pending disposition of FPL Energy's applicationfor a new license. See Section 15(a)(1) of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. § 808(a)(1).
4.
On April 4, 1996, the Commission issued public notice of the relicenseapplication, soliciting motions to intervene. Timely motions to intervene, none inopposition, were filed by Wolfgang W. Kaiser and Alice P. Douglas (jointly); RaftMaine; the Town of Eustis, Stratton-Eustis Development Corporation, Burleigh Loveitt,Deborah Loveitt, and Linda M. Frinsko (jointly); the Maine State Planning Office(Planning Office);
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the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior); American Rivers,American Whitewater Affiliation, Appalachian Mountain Club, New England FLOW,and Conservation Law Foundation (Conservation Intervenors, jointly); and the KennebecValley Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
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5.
On August 21, 1996, the Commission issued public notice that the project wasready for environmental analysis and solicited comments, recommendations, and termsand conditions. In response, comments and/or recommendations were filed by thefollowing entities: Consolidated Hydro Maine, Inc.; Raft Maine; United States Fish andWildlife Service (FWS); Conservation Intervenors; and Kennebec Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited.Project No. 2329, Williams Project No. 2335, Anson Project No. 2365, Abenaki Project No. 2364, Weston Project No. 2325, Shawmut Project No. 2322, Hydro-KennebecProject No. 2611, and Lockwood Project No. 2574. A ninth project, the Edwards Project No. 2389, was removed in 1999.
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The Planning Office states in its intervention that it represents the state agencyinterests of the Department of Environmental Protection, Land Use RegulatoryCommission, Department of Marine Resources, Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife,Atlantic Sea Run Salmon Authority, and Department of Conservation; and the publicinterest of the citizens of Maine.
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The motions were timely and unopposed and therefore automatically granted18 C.F.R.
'
385.214(c)(1) (2002).
 
6.
On December 17, 1997, Commission staff issued a draft environmental assessment(EA) that evaluated the potential impacts of relicensing the project. Comments on thedraft EA were considered in preparing the final EA, which was issued on February 4,1999.
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The motions to intervene, protests, comments and recommendations have beenfully considered in determining whether, and under what conditions, to issue this license.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION
7.
The Flagstaff Project is located on the Dead River 22 miles upstream of theconfluence of the Dead and Kennebec Rivers. The project’s principal existing featuresconsist of: (1) the 1,339-foot-long, 45-foot-high Long Falls dam; (2) Flagstaff Lake, animpoundment having a length of about 23 miles, a width of about 6 miles at the widest point, and a useable storage capacity of 275,482 acre-feet; and (3) appurtenant facilities.A more detailed project description is contained in ordering paragraph (B)(2).
8.
Operation of the project is coordinated with two other storage projects(Moosehead and Brassua Projects), collectively known as the Kennebec River storagesystem, in the headwaters of the Kennebec River Basin to provide flood protection andreliable flows for downstream industries, municipalities, and hydroelectric generators.The Kennebec River storage system is operated by the Kennebec Water Power Company(KWP), a corporation whose member companies are FPL Energy and other downstreamhydro interests.
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The KWP Engineering Advisory Committee, comprising the KWPmember companies, regulates flow releases from the three storage projects.
9.
The Moosehead, Brassua, and Flagstaff Projects account for about 53, 20, and 27 percent, respectively, of the total available storage. Brassua Lake is located on theMoose River, a tributary of Moosehead Lake, on the Kennebec River upstream from theconfluence of the Kennebec and Dead Rivers. The Kennebec River storage system isoperated on an annual cycle under which the reservoirs are filled by spring runoff,historically occurring in May or early June. As the spring runoff subsides, the naturalflow in the Kennebec River begins to drop below a level necessary to support theindustrial, municipal, and hydroelectric uses on the river. At that time, water is drawnfrom these storage reservoirs to supplement the natural flow. With the onset of cold
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Although no comments on the final EA were solicited, comments were receivedfrom FPL Energy, the Town of Eustis, the Assessor for the Town of Eustis, U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins, and State Representative Arlan R. Jodrey.
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Other member companies of the KWP are Madison Paper Industries, MerimilLimited Partnership, and Scott Paper Company.

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