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Paddlers Alert

Posted: 02/14/2002
By: John Gangemi
New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) has filed an application with the FERC for a new license for the Rainbow Falls Hydroelectric Project, FERC Project No. P-2835-005 on the Ausable River. The existing hydropower project does not allow public access to the Ausable River to boat the Ausable Chasm. NYSEG would like to preclude access for the next 30 years. American Whitewater disagrees. In our opinion the new license should allow the public access to the Ausable River for paddling. FERC regulations require that hydropower projects allow unhindered access to rivers and reservoirs. Furthermore, New York navigability laws grant the public the right to float and portage on navigable waterways in the state.

FERC is requesting Comments, and Recommendations from the public on NYSEG's new license application. This is a critical opportunity for the paddling community to interject their thoughts on access to the Ausable River. The deadline for filing comments is March 7, 2002.

American Whitewater will be filing formal comments by March 7th. We encourage local paddling groups to coordinate their individual filings with American Whitewater. Please contact John T. Gangemi, American Whitewater Conservation Director to coordinate comments or if you have questions about the filing process. John can be reached at jgangemi@digisys.net or by phone, 406-837-3155.

Filing Comments
Comments can be filed electronically via the Internet in lieu of paper. Instructions for electronic filing are on the Commission's web site http://www.ferc.fed.us/ under the "e-Filing" link.

If filing hardcopy comments regulations require that you submit the original plus eight copies to:
Linwood A. Watson, Acting Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426.


Viewing the License Application:
A copy of the application is available for view on the FERC web site at http://www.ferc.fed.us/ using the "RIMS" link. Once in the RIMS page select "Docket #" in the left hand column. For document date type 10/01/2000 through 10/31/2000. In the docket No. box type P-2835. In the sub-docket box type 005. In the box titled category check submittal. In the box titled Library check hydro. For document date type 10/01/2000 through 10/31/2000. In the docket No. box type P-2835. In the sub-docket box type 005. This search will yield two filings submitted to the FERC by NYSEG; Volume I and Volume II of the application. FERC in their infinite wisdom has an individual file for each page of the application rather than a single file for each volume. I've recommended FERC change this procedure in order to make the RIMS site more user friendly. In the meantime that is all we have.

For a hardcopy of the license application call Carol Howland at NYSEG, 607-762-8881.

Electronic Filing Instructions:

Step 1: Go to http://www.ferc.fed.us/efi/doorbell.htm and click on "Login to File."
Step 2: On the left sideline, click on "New User Account" to create a User ID and password.
Step 3: You must enter your name, address, phone number, and email. With any filing - electronic or print - FERC must have this information. The email address lets FERC confirm for you that your comments have successfully been filed.
Step 4: After re-entering your User ID and password, you will go to a screen with one option: "Comments on Filing." Click that circle, and then "Create a Submission." Finally, click "yes" to verify that you are representing yourself, or choose your organization instead.
Step 5: To specify what you are commenting on, enter PL01-1 in the Docket Number slot, add the docket number to the list, and then "Continue."
Step 6: Enter in a description of your file. (For example, "Comments of John Doe on the process of licensing hydropower projects under PL01-1-000.") Click on "Browse" to find the file on your computer. NOTE: the file must be in Word Perfect (.wpd), Microsoft Word (.doc), PDF (.pdf), ASC II (.txt), or any plain text editor. Only one file may be included per entry.
Step 7: Once you have entered the file and chosen "Post," you will receive two emails: one to confirm that FERC has received your comments, and a second to confirm that FERC has accepted your comments.

Keep your User ID and password for further use. If you have any questions about the electronic filing, return to the www.ferc.fed.us/efi/doorbell.htm and click on "User Guide" to quickly download an easy manual to filing your comments online.

Include the following caption on the first page of your comments:

Comments And Recommendatinos on Application For New License
Rainbow Falls Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 2835-005

Written comments sent through the mail should be addressed as follows:

David P. Boergers, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426

Written comments require submission of 8 copies plus the original.


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