The primary work of the committee for this past year has been following the relicensing process for five dams on the Connecticut River. The five are: Turners Falls Dam and Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage in MA, and Vernon Dam, Bellows Falls Dam, and Wilder Dam in VT/NH. This process is extremely important for the health of the Connecticut River as the relicensing and setting in place of the rules and procedures to cover dam operations will govern the next 40-50 years!
As of this writing, the public comment period on the dam applications has not yet occurred; it is expected to happen this summer. The LWVA statement has been drafted and approved by the Steering committee. The other western Massachusetts Leagues have been invited to join in this statement.
In May a condensed version of that statement was published in the Hampshire Gazette. Virtual public events and information from the Connecticut River Conservancy have been very useful in following the relicensing process.
Additional members of the committee are most welcome. In prior years we have participated in the annual Source to Sea clean up of the Fort River, a tributary of the Connecticut River. The Franklin County League participates every year in this clean up and has volunteered to be responsible for a particular segment of the river. We may want to consider doing that for the Fort River.
Elizabeth Davis, Chair