For all aspects of water management at hydropower facilities, Geosyntec's regulatory understanding, technical excellence, and diverse experience integrating innovative science and engineering approaches facilitates solutions that encompass whole process issues for our clients that help to minimize compliance costs and maintain operational flexibility.
Our scientists' leading-edge understanding of the regulatory processes of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and our expertise on natural resource management has supported favorable license terms and conditions for the re-licensing of several major hydroelectric facilities in the United States. In fact, we led the development of one of the first license applications in the nation under FERC's Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) for the 30-year relicensing of Georgia Power's 16.8-MW Morgan Falls Project.
The Pre-Application Document (PAD) prepared by Geosyntec compiled extensive existing resource information demonstrating the vital role of the project in ensuring adequate flows for water supply and water quality in the Chattahoochee River. We then prepared the first FERC-approved study plan under the ILP. It leveraged the use of the existing information, effectively applied the ILP study criteria, and proposed only those new studies needed to inform the development of license requirements.
Geosyntec also assisted Georgia Power in the first use of the ILP's Study Dispute Resolution Process. This required careful management of multiple resource studies, including water resources; reservoir dredging feasibility evaluation; fisheries and fish entrainment; recreation surveys; wildlife and botanical resources and invasive species; wetlands and riparian habitat; and rare, threatened, and endangered species.
For relicensing of Georgia Power's 173-MW Bartletts Ferry Hydroelectric Project, Geosyntec prepared the Preliminary Licensing Proposal (PLP) based on input gained from Georgia Power's pre-filing consultation with a diverse group of interstate stakeholders and by applying the information generated from 10 resource studies conducted under the FERC-approved study plan. Key issues evaluated included effects of continued operations on shoreline erosion and sedimentation; summer dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations in the tailrace; downstream minimum flow releases; reservoir levels; water supply, withdrawals, and wastewater assimilation in project-affected waters; drought operations; fish turbine entrainment; shoal bass habitat; striped bass summer habitat; upstream fish passage; exotic invasive vegetation; recreational access; and cultural resources.
Based on stakeholder comments received on the PLP and close collaboration with Georgia Power's relicensing team, Geosyntec prepared Exhibit E (Environmental Report) of the final FERC license application to provide an environmental analysis by resource area of the continuing and incremental impacts of continuing to operate the project. Geosyntec prepared Exhibit E in the form of an applicant-prepared environmental assessment (EA). Exhibit E included Georgia Power's proposed environmental enhancement plans and proposed license articles covering project operation, project operations compliance, summer DO enhancement in the tailrace, and water quality monitoring.