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Home Working with Section 106 ACHP Case Digest Summer 2003 New York: Transfer of Ownership of the Mechanicville Hydroelectric Project
Agency: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
As reported in previous Case Digests, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted surrender of the license for a privately owned historic hydroelectric project before a proper agreement could be reached on the treatment of the property.
The project, including a powerhouse, is listed in the National Register for exemplary significance in the fields of industry, architecture, and engineering. The ACHP requested that FERC reconsider or stay its acceptance of the license surrender so that consultation to resolve adverse effects could resume.
The first step toward a resolution was reached when the co-licensees, who had been in dispute since the license was issued, reached a settlement in April 2003.
In May 2003, the ACHP chairman made a direct written appeal to the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), urging that FERC approve the licensees settlement agreement and withdraw its termination.
Preparations begin for rehabilitation of the Mechanicville Hydroelectric Project, Mechanicville, NY (photo Fourth Branch Associates)
The following month, FERC approved an offer of settlement that would transfer the Mechanicville hydroelectric project from its owner to the projects co-licensee. If the licensee can meet certain conditions such as establishing an escrow account that will cover the cost of safety repairs, then the Mechanicville hydroelectric project will be rehabilitated and resume operation.
FERC and the ACHP agreed that transfer of the project license would not alter the finding of effect when the license was first issued. FERC, however, determined that its approval of rehabilitation and remediation plans is a separate undertaking also requiring Section 106 review.
Accordingly, the ACHP, FERC, and the New York State Historic Preservation Officer concluded Section 106 review by executing a Memorandum of Agreement in August 2003. For background information on the Mechanicville hydroelectric project case, see the Case Digest archive at www.achp.gov/casedigest.html.
Staff contact: Laura Henley Dean
Updated November 20, 2003
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