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Hogansburg Dam Removal
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is restoring the natural flow of the St. Regis River, improving fish habitat, and reclaiming tribal lands.
|The Hogansburg Hydroelectric Project (or Project) is a small run of river dam on the St. Regis River with a single vertical hydroelectric generating unit and a total design capacity of 485 kilowatts. The Project became operational in February of 1930 and supplied electricity to homes and supported the local economy. The Project has seen few upgrades since construction. In 1985, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a thirty year operating license to the Project. This license expired on September 30, 2015.|
|Erie Boulevard Hydropower L.P. (Erie) as owner of the Project filed notice to apply for a new license beginning in 2010. A multitude of studies were ordered by FERC to assess the impacts of a new operating license. These studies included an analysis of decommissioning alternatives. Due to the age and condition of project equipment the facility had operated at about 30% capacity to prevent catastrophic failure of the turbine. The facility also failed to meet current state, federal and tribal standards for environmental protection. The poor economic outlook for the Project made it a prime candidate for decommissioning and removal.|
|On March 13, 2015, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe became a co-licensee of the Hogansburg Hydroelectric Project and took a lead role to decommission and remove the obsolete dam. The Environment Division has directed and reviewed studies conducted over a five-year period that examined both license renewal and dam removal. The results support complete dam removal to restore the ecology of the St. Regis River. The removal of this dam will open up 274 river and stream miles for migratory fish species like walleye, muskellunge, Atlantic salmon, lake sturgeon, American eel, and others.|
|The dam removal is expected to begin in the summer of 2016. This will result in more recreational access and remove hazards associated with the project’s operation. After the dam is removed and all project lands are returned to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, a future art park is planned for re-use of the site, as outlined in the Tribe’s Cultural Tourism Strategy. The site will also memorialize the history of the project and other historical structures through displays and exhibits.|
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Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division Posted: 2016.04.07