Two Letters to Crown Hydro from Governmental Agencies

Attached are links to two letters from governmental agencies in response to Crown Hydro’s Proposed Plans for Application to Amend its Existing FERC License.

The first letter to Crown Hydro’s Thomas Griffin, dated December 31, 2013, is from Peter Fasbinder, Field Supervisor of the Minneapolis Office of the U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service.

Here are a couple of highlights from this 3-page letter:

Regarding Project Operations, on page 2, Mr. Fasbinder recommends “that any proposed development be operated in run-of-the-river mode with no hydroelectric (hydro) peaking.”

He also expressed concern that “allowing St. Anthony Falls to become dewatered as a result of project operation may have significant ecological and aesthetic consequences and should be fully analyzed as part of your license amendment.”


The second letter to consultants for Crown Hydro, dated January 3, 2014, is from Charlotte W. Cohn, Hydropower Project Manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Here are a couple of highlights from this 6-page letter:

“Regarding project operations, on page 3, Ms, Cohn states that “the MDNR has maintained and continues to maintain that run-of-river operation (i.e., defined as instantaneous inflow equal to instantaneous, outflow) is the preferred mode of operation for hydroelectric facilities in Minnesota.”

She also says that “The MDNR has previously informed both the project proposers and the FERC that there are a number of requirements in existing license articles tht have not been completed, responded to, or that remain incomplete.  Crown Hydro, as part of proposed processes, needs to complete, respond to, and/or fully resolve these license articles.”

What is apparent in reviewing these two letters is that Crown Hydro has made no progress in providing these agencies with required information and that the development of a hydro power plant is an extraordinarily complex undertaking.   It would seem that it is time for FERC to pull the plug on this problematic project.

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch

Letters attached: