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 Post subject: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 20th, 2018, 1:26 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 757
Often we see complaints about Brookfield, and deservedly so. But I'm left to question. Can we blame Brookfield for being Brookfield or should we blame the Government that lets them get away with it (or almost invites them to do it)?


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2018, 1:18 pm 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
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Location: Bangor
Both.... Hunter/Reardon- do either of you have the License for McKay? Is there a reporting requirement for these dewatering events? Is Brookfield complying? Time to hold these clowns a little more accountable.


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2018, 5:43 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Manchester, ME
PM me details on the dewatering events.


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2018, 10:33 am 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Manchester, ME
Looking at the FERC file for Ripogenous.

I find a filing about a "minimum flow deviation" in December 2016, and efforts to prevent its happening again. I could not find details about this event--the report was filed at "Critical Energy Infrastructure Information" and not available to the public.

Another filing about a May 2016 "minimum flow deviation", where flow was reduced to 240 cfs for about 2 hours.

Reading these (limited) filings, it appears that the license requires a minimum flow of 400 cfs during under conditions where the dam stops generating due to a "system failure". Both cases seem to have resulted from a combination of power generation tripping off, and the back up system to provide 400 cfs not functioning correctly.

Quoting a Brookfield filing, the license requires "outage flows of 400 cfs" with "scheduled minimum flows to be restored as quickly and practically as possible", "but in no event more than 3 days later".

There is a lot of back and forth between Brookfield and FERC about these two incidents, but no comment from any other agency.

If there is a more recent minimum flow compliance issue, I don't see any record of it.

What have people observed?

If I read what I see in the file correctly, there is a relatively high minimum flow required when the dam is generating, and a (much lower?) minimum flow allowed under "emergency" conditions when the dam trips off. Flows dropping from the "normal" minimum flow to 400 cfs would not be a "Violation" or even reported.

I have no idea how often such events might occur. Iif there was a flow gauge on the West Branch, it would help monitor compliance, but there are none.

If people are frequently seeing these flow fluctuations, documenting them with dates, notes of what was observed and photos, would be helpful in asking state and federal agencies to look into the matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2018, 10:48 am 
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Location: Manchester, ME
PS The Ripogenous license expires in 2026, which means gearing up for re-licensing about 5 years before that, or just a few years from now.

Time to start talking to people (agencies, stakeholders) about what you'd like to see for studies and what change might make sense in a new license.

When Ripogenous and the other West Branch generating projects were relicensed in 1996, a major factor in filings by then owner/licensee Great Northern was the importance of these projects to supporting the mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket. That's no longer the case, and may suggest that Brookfield might seek a license that allows them a lot more flexibility to maximize power generation. It's not out of the question that they could propose to operate Ripogenous like Harris or Wyman.

It's also not out of the question that stakeholders could press for more environmentally-friendly measures.


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2018, 12:34 pm 
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5300
Location: Near the tying bench
Just spit balling here, but at GLS the minimum flows were established using a standard formula for minimum flow per unit drainage area. Using the same formula for the West Branch would mean about 655 cfs, not 400 cfs. Something to consider in the next round of licensing...

Of course, the GLS FERC license also had agreements associated with it about drawing down water levels over a period of time (no more than a 50% reduction in a given day) to prevent stranding of fish and aquatic invertebrates who might otherwise move given a slower drawdown period. I don't think that's the case on the WB with the existing license (though would be a good addition to a new license).

Edited to add- Does the brook trout rearing area/side channel above Telos dry up at minimum flow?

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"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 24th, 2018, 9:22 am 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1287
Location: Bangor
Jeff- I witnessed a dewatering incident on June 17, 2017 at about 5 pm. Sarah at Big Eddy posted pics of another incident last week. Sent you a message on FB to chat about a plan of action.


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 28th, 2018, 10:15 am 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 757
I heard on MPR yesterday that there was another fish kill on the Union River below a Brookfield dam. Alewives. Is there a list of dams that are coming up for permitting/licensing?


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 28th, 2018, 10:15 am 
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Posts: 757
deleted double post


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 28th, 2018, 1:08 pm 
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Location: Near the tying bench
https://www.maine.gov/dep/land/dams-hyd ... nsing.html

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"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


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 Post subject: Re: Brookfield
PostPosted: July 28th, 2018, 7:17 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2003, 12:00 am
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Thanks Hunter


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