In February 2020, Eric Epstein provided testimony to the SRBC (Susquehanna River Basin Commission). Specifically, this testimony regarded elements of the York Haven Hydroelectric Project (Pending No. 2019-084). During his testimony, Mr. Epstein posed several questions to the SRBC. This month, Gene Veno of the SRBC answered those questions via email.
The email sent to Mr. Epstein follows. The only edited portions are web links. We encourage our readers to perform their own due diligence. As such, we have modified these links so that they may be followed and read in their entirety.
Dear Mr. Eric Epstein:
Eric, thank you for providing public testimony to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) regarding the York Haven Hydroelectric Project (Project) – Pending No. 2019-084. I am following up on your testimony at the SRBC Public Hearing on February 6, 2020 to provide responses to your questions regarding the project’s pending application with SRBC.
SRBC staff have actively participated in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing process for the project, including the Section 401 Water Quality Certification (401 Certification) issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and a Settlement Agreement between the project sponsor, resource agencies and the Commission. The FERC license, 401 Certification and the Settlement Agreement integrated SRBC recommendations, including but not limited to: minimum instream flows; fish passage issues, including the proposed construction of a nature-like fishway; recreation; and impact avoidance to rare, threatened, and endangered species, such as the bog turtle.
SRBC’s authority for this project is pursuant to the Susquehanna River Basin Compact and SRBC Regulations relating to electric power generation and projects requiring review and approval. The project’s application to SRBC requested review and approval for inclusion to the Comprehensive Plan. The pending approval is intended to memorialize aspects of the project’s FERC license related to SRBC’s regulatory authorities and to include the project in the Comprehensive Plan.
Because the project is operated as a run-of-river hydroelectric dam, there are no withdrawals or consumptive uses associated with the project, therefore no withdrawal or consumptive use approvals (or related conditions) are required.
Several of your questions are related to recent and ongoing changes in operation at TMI. While SRBC is aware of TMI’s change in operational status, no modifications to the facility’s existing approval (Docket No. 20110610) have been received by SRBC at this time. As such, TMI is required to continue to meet the obligations of its existing SRBC approval; available on SRBC’s Water Application and Approval Viewer (WAAV) at https://www.srbc.net/waav.
SRBC’s approval of the project will memorialize, and not alter, FERC License requirements related to rare, threatened, and endangered species; fish passage requirements; and recreation management.
We appreciate you taking the time to provide testimony, which will be provided to the SRBC Commissioners for their review prior to their taking action on this application.
Please let me know if there is anything further SRBC can do to provide information at this time.
Gene G. Veno
Director Governmental Affairs & Public Advocacy
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
4423 North Front Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110
Office:717-238-0423 Ext – 1311
Cell : 717-756-2035