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Overview: Green River Reservoir Dam re-licensing process

The Friends of Green River Reservoir is an organization committed to preserving the Green River Reservoir and to protecting and enhancing its ecological habitat.  These goals are fundamental to our mission.  

As our members are aware, the FGRR Board is monitoring Morrisville’s Water and Light's (MWL) Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Green River Reservoir Dam re-licensing process, a complex legal process involving multiple parties that began in 2010 and is now before the Vermont Environmental Court (EC), Absent a settlement among all parties and subsequent approval by the Environmental Court, a trial focusing on unresolved issues is scheduled to begin in early 2018.  The Board has committed significant human and financial resources to review and respond to EC filings and court processes  

 In November 2016 in order to be an intervenor and stay abreast of developments, the Board hired Anthony Iarrapino, Esq. of Montpelier to represent us before the EC and our intervention request was approved. Thus, the Friends can now participate in all legal EC appeal processes, including receiving all court correspondence, participating in Discovery, filing motions, presenting witnesses and expert testimony, cross examination of witness, and participation in potential settlement negotiations.

The Board has not predetermined its position on specific contentious issues raised by appealing parties, but will be actively participating in the review of required supporting evidence. Consistent with our mission, our goal will be to support reasonable and sustainable practices that support the continued existence of the dam and advance reservoir preservation and ecological habitat protection and enhancement. We will keep updating information on our FGRR website   

Latest Update October 2017

In terms of schedule, the principal parties are required to disclose the identity of their expert witnesses by November 1, 2017. Thereafter will follow another round of discovery specifically focusing on the opinions the experts will offer in Court. The trial is tentatively scheduled for March/April 2018.

Meanwhile, the parties continue to exchange discovery requests and responses of a highly technical nature The Agency of Natural Resources and Morrisville Water and Light are busy in the discovery process--an exchange of information whose purpose is to allow each party to test the strengths and weaknesses of the other's case. In September, Morrisville Water and Light was scheduled to conduct its own flow and aquatic biota studies downstream of the Green River Dam. The objective of these studies is ostensibly to challenge the scientific basis for ANR's position that healthy aquatic communities of fish and other biota require more protective in-stream flow regimes than those currently achieved by Morrisville Water and Light. The results of the study and other expert opinions on all sides will be explored in further discovery through the fall with trial in the case expected in spring 2018.

June 18th 2017, article in Vt. Digger, Judge:Recreation. profit not part of Green River dam equation. Read here

June 15th 2017, VPR article on Environmental Court Decision

April 6th, 2017 Legal update here

2/9/2017 Hearing scheduled before the Public Service Board on Morrisville Water and Light's Integrated Resource Plan. Here

December 22nd, 2016, News and Citizen article

Local news, "Friend's Mobilizing to Save the Reservoir". Read the article here.

December 14th, 2016, VPR News 

Friends of Green River Reservoir Memberships Up in Advance of Environmental Court Appeal. Read the full story here

December 14th, 2016, UPDATE From FGRR Board of Directors, read here

November 2016 Green River Reservoir Relicensing Situation. Read here

September 20th, 2016 The Future of the Green River Reservoir. Read here