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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 10 : Conservation and Development



(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 1006)
  • § 1006. Certification of hydroelectric projects; application process

    (a) As used in this section:

    (1) "Bypass reach" means that area in a waterway between the initial point where water has been diverted through turbines or other mechanical means for the purpose of water-powered generation of electricity and the point at which water is released into the waterway below the turbines or other mechanical means of electricity generation.

    (2) "Conduit" means any tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar constructed water conveyance that is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity.

    (3) "Hydroelectric project" means a facility, site, or conduit planned or operated for the generation of water-powered electricity that has a generation capacity of no more than 1 megawatt and does not create a new impoundment.

    (4) "Impoundment" means "riverine impoundment" as defined in the Vermont water quality standards adopted pursuant to chapter 47 and subdivision 6025(d)(3) of this title.

    (b) On or before December 15, 2009, the Agency of Natural Resources, after opportunity for public review and comment, shall adopt by procedure an application process for the certification of hydroelectric projects in Vermont under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act.

    (c) The application process adopted by the Agency of Natural Resources under subsection (b) of this section may include an application form for a federal Clean Water Act Section 401 certification for a hydroelectric project that meets the requirements of the Vermont water pollution control permit rules. The application form may require information addressing:

    (1) a description of the proposed hydroelectric project and the impact of the project on the watershed;

    (2) the preliminary terms and conditions that an applicant shall be subject to if a federal Clean Water Act Section 401 certification is issued for a proposed hydroelectric project; and

    (3) time frames for the Agency of Natural Resources review of and response to an application for a federal Clean Water Act Section 401 certification of a hydroelectric project.

    (d) In adopting the Clean Water Act Section 401 certification application process required by subsection (b) of this section, the Agency may, consistent with its authority to waive certifications under 33 U.S.C. § 1341(a)(1), adopt an expedited certification process for:

    (1) hydroelectric projects when data provided by an applicant provide reasonable assurance that the project will comply with the State water quality standards;

    (2) hydroelectric projects utilizing conduits; hydroelectric projects without a bypass reach; and hydroelectric projects with a de minimis bypass reach, as defined by the Agency of Natural Resources; and

    (3) previously certified hydroelectric projects operating in compliance with the terms of a Clean Water Act Section 401 certification as demonstrated by existing administrative, monitoring, reporting, or enforcement data. (Added 2009, No. 54, § 39, eff. June 1, 2009.)