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Holyoke Gas and Electric Department seeks Corps permit to place fill for fish passage project in Holyoke

Published Jan. 26, 2015

CONCORD, Mass. The Holyoke Gas and Electric Department is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with the building of the Hadley Falls Station Downstream Fish Passage Project in Holyoke, Mass.


The Holyoke Gas and Electric Department proposes to conduct work and to discharge dredged and/or fill material into approximately 39,675 square feet of U.S. waters as part of the Hadley Falls Station Downstream Fish Passage Project. This work is proposed within the Connecticut River at the Holyoke Hydroelectric Dam, off of Gatehouse Road, in Holyoke.


The goal of this project is to improve downstream fish passage for diadromous fish species, such as the federally-listed endangered shortnose sturgeon. This project includes modifications to the existing bascule gate (900 square feet) and the installation of an upstream fish exclusion rack system (6,600 square feet) as well as the downstream training wall, flow deflector, and plunge pool system (13,125 square feet). These fish passage improvements also include upgrades to the existing fish passage conduits.


Upstream construction access will be provided from a temporary construction access roadway and trestle system (14,250 square feet) and localized excavation of portions of the previous timber crib dam (4,800 square feet) and the construction area for the fish exclusion rack system may be necessary to provide construction access. Excavated materials will be transported off-site for treatment and disposal at appropriate upland facilities. Downstream construction access is available directly onto the dam apron.   


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the U.S.; and with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands.  The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work, can be viewed on the Corps website at:  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.


Public comments on this proposed work by the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (file #NAE-2012-2191) should be forwarded no later than Feb. 28, 2015 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Paul Sneeringer), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA  01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Paul Sneeringer at 978-318-8491 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: paul.j.sneeringer@usace.army.mil.
Tim Dugan

Release no. 2015-007