The Badger-Rapide Croche (Badger) Development is located in the City of Kaukauna (Kaukauna), Wisconsin at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Kaukauna dam on the Fox River. The project is approximately 1,800 feet downstream of the Kaukauna dam and utilizes the head created by the 22-foot-high dam and a power canal. Flows, therefore, used for generation bypass the natural river channel. Although a 30-year license for the project was issued in 1989, Kaukauna filed an application to amend the license requesting an accelerated expiration date in order to begin repairs on facilities that had deteriorated due to age. The new license includes the decommissioning of the Old Badger powerhouse (built in 1908), demolition of the New Badger powerhouse (built in 1929), and construct a new 7-MW powerhouse about 150 feet upstream from the existing New Badger powerhouse site. The proposed project works would consist of: (1) a modified power canal; (2) a new powerhouse with integral intake; and 3) two new identical 3.5- to 3.6-MW horizontal Kaplan “S” type turbines. The Old Badger powerhouse would be converted to an alternative use. The New Badger powerhouse would be decommissioned, demolished, and removed. The existing service road and bridge that provide access from Kaukauna’s offices and garage to the existing New Badger powerhouse would be demolished and removed. The tailrace area associated with the existing Old Badger powerhouse would be filled with soil and a new service road would be constructed over the filled area.
The impounded and free-flowing sections of the Fox River upstream and downstream of the Badger and Rapide Croche Hydroelectric Projects are classified as warm water sport fish communities capable of supporting a community of warm water sport fish or serving as a spawning area for warm water sport fish. In addition to fishing, the waterway is also a navigable waterway currently providing recreational activities including picnicking, hiking and whitewater boating. The new license therefore requires measures to protect water quality, protect or enhance conditions for aquatic, terrestrial, and riparian resources associated with the project.
The U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior), the National Park Service (Park Service), the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR), American Whitewater, and River Alliance of Wisconsin either filed notices of intervention or comments and recommendations.