Operation of Great Sacandaga Lake Under the Offer of Settlement
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licenses all hydroelectric generating projects in the United States. In 1992, the FERC licenses for the E.J. West Hydroelectric Project, located at the Conklingville Dam, and three other hydroelectric generating projects on the Upper Hudson River, expired.
During the FERC’s re-licensing procedures, the owner of these hydroelectric generating projects entered into negotiations with a variety of parties, including the Regulating District, the US Department of the Interior, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYS Adirondack Park Agency, Great Sacandaga Lake Association and several other interested entities and individuals that addressed a myriad of issues regarding the use of the Hudson River Area, including reservoir operation, natural resource protection, land use and recreation.
These negotiations continued for over ten (10) years and culminated in the execution of the Upper Hudson / Sacandaga River Offer of Settlement and the issuance of FERC licenses not only to the owner of the subject hydroelectric generating projects, but also to the Regulating District for the operation of the Great Sacandaga Lake. When the Regulating District’s statutory obligations allow, according to the FERC License (which also incorporates the Upper Hudson/Sacandag River Offer of Settlement), the Regulating District agreed to:
- Maintain the Great Sacandaga Lake at certain targeted elevations during the late winter consistent with the use of storage for flow augmentation
- Maintain Hudson River and Sacandaga River flows for water quality and fish habitat purposes
Target Great Sacandaga Lake elevations that are higher than historic levels for enhancement of fall lake recreation
- Release water from reservoir storage to enhance hydroelectric generation, Sacandaga River whitewater recreation and other objectives