Smith Mountain Gets A New 30-year License

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Yesterday, FERC issued a new 30-year license to American Electric Power (AEP), a subsidiary of Appalachian Power Company, for continued operation of the 636 MW Smith Mountain Project.

However the new license will be effective only after the current license expires on March 31, 2010. 

Among other things, the license requires AEP to monitor any erosion occurring along the shoreline of both the Smith Mountain and the Leesville lakes. The monitoring will help identify areas of high erosion where remedial measures may be needed. In addition, AEP will also develop demonstration projects that use natural methods to stabilize eroding shoreline. These measures follow after a finding by staff in August in their final environmental impact statement (FEIS) that that wind waves and boats were the two main sources of shoreline erosion. To address sedimentation in the lake, AEP will need to monitor sedimentation and also dredge an area in Smith Mountain Lake where sediment impedes access at a boat launch.

The license also requires AEP to file a revised Water Management Plan to address competing uses of water to maintain lake level and to provide adequate water downstream for aquatic and recreational uses.

The project is located on the headwaters of the Roanoke River in Bedford, Campbell, Franklin, and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia.