We’re gonna save the river after all! THE PROJECT WILL NOT HAPPEN!

good-news-everyoneThe Williams Dam hydro licensee has filed an APPLICATION FOR SURRENDER OF LICENSE, which you can download for yourself at this link: http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20180806-5125FISH has filed the following comment today:

Fishable Indiana Streams for Hoosiers, Inc. (FISH)
PO Box 11007
Indianapolis, IN 46201-0007

August 8, 2018

Kimberly, D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426

Re: Comment by FISH upon Williams Dam Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. P-13346 – APPLICATION FOR SURRENDER OF LICENSE

Filed Electronically

Dear Secretary Bose,

As the primary opponent of this project since our February 24, 2014 motion for late intervention, Fishable Indiana Streams for Hoosiers, Inc. (FISH) wishes to express our support for Paynebridge LLC’s application for surrender of its License, which was issued by FERC on August 8, 2014.

In our letter of May 25, 2018, and filed in this docket, we summarized some of the history of the long process leading to FERC’s decision to issue a license for this project. That process was, in a word, poor. It began with appallingly insufficient notice to the public, particularly the primary stakeholders: The citizens of Indiana, who own Williams Dam. That almost total lack of engagement with the public continued until the last official deadline for public involvement, prior to issuance of the license, had passed. All of that may be attributed to a lack of respect for the public, and a deference to special interests. That is a moral consideration, perhaps, that can’t be quantified. The bottom line however is: Had there been a reasonably adequate process in this case, very large sums of private capital (expenditures by Paynebridge et al), and considerable public expense and resources, could conceivably have been conserved. We hope that FERC officials and staff, other agencies, and lawmakers, will learn from that sad tale and take every opportunity to do better in similar cases, whether those are currently open or yet to be filed.

On this occasion we look forward to the day when the East Fork of the White River is finally free of the archaic structure blocking it: Williams Dam. We look forward to the day when all of the animal inhabitants of the river, particularly its threatened and endangered species: the remnant population of lake sturgeon above all; can travel right through the village of Williams unimpeded, to reach as much of their former range as possible, to live and multiply as they did before the early 20th Century when man shackled the river with Williams Dam. And we support the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) determination, made back in the days when that agency was free to guide its actions by science and public benefit rather than politics and profit, to be rid of Williams Dam. We hereby reiterate and renew our support for IDNR’s determination, as expressed in its letter to Senator Richard Lugar dated April 8, 2004:

“Due to its deteriorating condition, the high cost of reconstruction, and the negative environmental impacts posed by the dam, we feel that decommissioning is in the State’s best interest, both economically and ecologically, and can be accomplished in a manner that will accomplish water supply needs for the City of Bedford.”

FISH and its friends and allies stand ready to assist in that process.

Gary W. Moody, Director
Fishable Indiana Streams for Hoosiers, Inc. (FISH)


About fishindiana

I'm an environmentalist who started FISH: Fishable Indiana Streams for Hoosiers.
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