Final EA Released: FERC Staff Do Not Adopt State's Recommended Flows

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On April 8, 2011 FERC Staff issued a Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) for the Claytor Hydroelectric Project (P-769) on the New River in Pulaski county, Virginia.

In the FEA, the FERC staff have not adopted the recommendations on flows made by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) to protect the aquatic habitat downstream from the Claytor dam. The FEA, like the draft EA, states that there is ..."no basis to expect that a more natural flow regime or one that would narrow the gap between the base flow and the generation flow would enhance the fish community of the New River downstream from Claytor dam."

FERC determined that the additional cost of lost generation does not outweigh the benefits of the higher flow releases. The annual cost of increased minimum flows were calculated to be $28,290.

The project now goes to the Commissioners for final order before the current license expires on June 30, 2011.