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Home Working with Section 106 ACHP Case Digest Fall 2002 New York: Transfer of Ownership of the Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant
New York: Transfer of Ownership of the Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant
Agency: Federal Energy
reported in the Spring 2002 Case Digest,
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted the surrendered
license for a private historic hydroelectric plant before an agreement
could be reached on the treatment of the National Register-listed
FERCs actions before concluding the Section 106 review process has created significant procedural problems that must be addressed before the plant can be transferred to New York State.
In accordance with FERCs regulations, in April 2002 ACHP requested a rehearing of the case because it did not have evidence that FERC executed an agreement as required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. At that time ACHP also requested that FERC consider specific issues regarding mitigation and the involvement of consulting parties and the public, and advise ACHP about how FERC planned to proceed.
Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant, New York (photo courtesy of Fourth Branch Associates and NY State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation)
In August 2002, FERC denied ACHPs request for a rehearing, asserting that FERC substantially complied with Section 106 review because it had required the plant owner to document the historic property and to use reversible techniques to decommission the plant.
FERC also stated that it terminated consultation through its November 2001 notice requesting review and comments on a Draft Environmental Assessment of the project, even though the notice did not explicitly state that consultation was being terminated. FERCs failure to follow the procedures that are set forth in ACHPs regulations could result in a challenge by parties with an interest in the project.
ACHP is currently evaluating the situation and possible steps to be taken with FERC. For background information on this case, see the Spring 2002 Case Digest at www.achp.gov/casesspg02NY2.html.
Staff contact: Laura Henley Dean
Posted November 7, 2002
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