Falls Creek is ReCertified as Low Impact...Again!
(July 12, 2012-Portland, Maine) The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has determined that the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project continues to meet the LIHI Certification Criteria. LIHI's review process and reasons for LIHI’s Re-Certification decision are explained in a letter report by Patricia B. McIlvaine, our Application Reviewer. The attached pdf entitled “Recertification Recommendation for the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project - July 2012.”
The public comment period for recertification of the Falls Creek Project expired on May 1, 2012. No public comments were received. LIHI reviewed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) website to determine the status of issues that were found in the FERC record over the past certificate term and determined there were no unresolved issues.
In reaching their decision to re-certify the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project, LIHI reviewed the application for certification and supporting materials, and communicated with stakeholders.
LIHI’s Certification Handbook explains the review process regarding Applications for Recertification. The Handbook describes how a request for renewal of a previously-issued LIHI certification (“re-certification”) will be granted at the conclusion of the term of the existing certification if re-certification is desired by the certificate holder, and so long as:
(1) there have been no “material changes” at the facility that would affect the certification and
(2) LIHI’s certification criteria have not been revised since the previous certification was issued by LIHI.”
Based on the submitted application materials, a review of the LIHI file containing the past certification decision, and any limited reviewer-initiated questioning by LIHI of the applicant and/or third parties, LIHI have concluded that the answer to both questions above is “no,” and there will be no further application review. The LIHI re-certification for the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project is granted for an five-year term beginning on June 3, 2012, and expires on June 3, 2017.
During the time the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project is certified, you may market the Project as a LIHI certified facility. It is your responsibility to maintain compliance with the certification criteria and to notify us of any changed conditions relevant to the certification. This could include changes in agency recommendations or changes in operations. You will also be asked to fill out a short form each year to confirm compliance during the preceding year. The Institute may also conduct occasional follow-up checks with you and/or relevant resource agencies to ensure that the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project remains in compliance.
LIHI strongly recommends you review LIHI’s Certification Use Requirements (addressing the language to be used for describing a LIHI Certified Facility for marketing purposes), our Compliance standards and the penalties for non-compliance, as well as current information about renewing your certification. That information, as you know, is available at the LIHI website (www.lowimpacthydro.org ). If you have any questions about any of those materials please call.
If the Institute identifies a problem with Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project’s compliance with the certification criteria, it will evaluate the situation and take any necessary actions. In the case of non-compliance, possible responses include the suspension or revocation of the certification. Factors to be considered would include the scope, duration, and intensity of any non-compliance, its effects on the environment, whether the violation was intentional or not, and whether or not there was a valid reason (e.g., public safety) for the non-compliance.
Facility location: Falls Creek, Oregon, 20 miles east of Sweet Home, in the Willamette National Forest
Year FERC exemption issued: 1983
Applicant: Gary Marcus, President and General Partner, Falls Creek H.P. Limited Partnership
Applicant contact: Mr. Marcus, Ph. (541) 683-5200
Date application posted to website: February 11, 2002
Date public comment period on application closed: April 12, 2002
Date of certification: June 3, 2002
Certificate No.: 00004
On June 3, 2002, the Governing Board of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute met to evaluate the application for certification of the Falls Creek Hydroelectric Project as a Low Impact facility (see below for a copy of the application). The Board reviewed the application, as well as the Application Reviewer's report, and the Staff report, both of which concluded the project met the certification criteria.
The LIHI Board unanimously voted for certification of the Falls Creek project as a Low Impact Hydropower Facility.
Ordinarily, this preliminary certification decision would trigger a 30 day appeal period in which any public commenter could appeal. However, there was only one public commenter on the Falls Creek project, and they commented in favor of the certification, and did not wish to appeal the certification decision. As a result, the certification of Falls Creek was effective immediately.
The certification will be in effect until 2007, at which point it may be renewed. The owner/operator of the Falls Creek facility is required to maintain compliance with the certification criteria, and to notify the Institute of any changes; the Institute will also conduct follow up checks during the certification term.
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