The Deerfield River settlement agreement was the first major relicensing agreement in the northeast and the second agreement ever signed in the U.S. Signed in 1994, it became the model for re-licensing agreements that followed across the country for bringing together a diversity of groups interested in protecting fisheries, wildlife habitat, water-based recreation, land protection and water quality to work with FERC staff and project owners. This diversity is illustrated in the range of stakeholders that comprise the thirteen signatories to the Deerfield River settlement agreement.
Some of the key aspects of the settlement include:
- Seasonally restricted drawdown of reservoir levels to protect loon and waterfowl nesting (Somerset);
- Guaranteed flows to mimic natural flows for cold water fishery and Atlantic Salmon spawning;
- Whitewater recreational access and flows providing 32 releases from April to October at Deerfield #5 (Monroe Bridge) and 106 releases at #4 (Fife Brook Development);
- Flow release information (Flofone) available 24 hours/day;
- More than 8,000 acres of land preserved including improved access and hiking trails;
- $100,000 Enhancement Fund for watershed conservation, education and low impact recreational projects.