NYPA St  Lawrence Relicensing and Eel Fish Study

Project Name: St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project

Location: Massena, NY

Project Size: 900 MW

Client: New York Power Authority

Services: FERC Relicensing Process Management and Ecological Studies 

Project Summary:

Kleinschmidt was responsible for managing relicensing studies for the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project, located in upstate New York on the U.S.-Canada border. The project is a run-of-river hydropower facility generating 900 MW from 16 units on the U.S. side. The project area encompasses 39,100 acres. Kleinschmidt’s role in the relicensing process involved preparation of the Initial Stage Consultation Document (ISCD) and working with NYPA and the Cooperative Consultation Process (CCP) team to develop work scopes, prepare bid packages, assist in contractor selection and management, and review study reports by subconsultants for submission to the CCP team. Kleinschmidt retained and managed 20 subconsultants responsible for conducting environmental studies, worked with the third party contractor who prepared the EIS, and assisted NYPA in developing the settlement agreement package. Resource agencies involved included the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Geological Survey-Biological Resources Division, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority. This large relicensing effort also involved approximately 20 local and national NGO groups including the Audubon Society of New York, New York Rivers United, Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, the Nature Conservancy, Wilson Hill Homeowners Association, and local government officials.

Kleinschmidt also led scoping, bidding, and implementation efforts for numerous American eel (Anguilla rostrata) research studies that have been conducted at the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project over a five year period. The American eel is a long-lived (over 25 years) commercially harvested species whose population has been declining rapidly over the last decade. The life history of the eel is complex and not well understood and the studies conducted by Kleinschmidt focused on both the upstream and downstream movements of this catadromous species. Kleinschmidt scientists have been directly involved in the design, planning and implementation of these studies, along with several specialty subcontractors. Engineering design and support for many of these efforts was provided by Kleinschmidt engineers. The research utilized numerous tagging studies, including PIT (Passive Integrated Transponder) tagging and state-of-the-art hydrosonic tagging. Studies also used three dimensional modeling to assess eel passage through the project dam and prototype testing of behavioral barrier devices (light arrays).