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Evaluation of Operational Changes to Facilitate Hydropower Production at Summersville Lake, West Virginia

Huntington District
Published Dec. 15, 2023

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), pursuant to Section 146 of the Water Resource Development act of 2020 and through a request from the City of Summersville, is undertaking an evaluation to consider operational changes at the Summersville Lake. This evaluation will evaluate potential operational changes to facilitate production of non-federal hydropower which are consistent with the authorized purposes of the project.

The City of Summersville operates a hydropower facility at the Summersville Lake project under a 50-year license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, secured in 1992. The USACE owns and operates the Summersville Lake and Dam project to meet the requirements for authorized purposes, which are: flood control, recreation, pollution abatement (water quality), fish and wildlife enhancement, low flow augmentation, and enhanced recreation (whitewater/downstream recreation).

The purpose of the study is to objectively analyze and evaluate the feasibility of operational changes and what effects they could potentially have on the authorized project purposes. The study will evaluate (1) operational flexibility within the existing Summersville Lake water control manual with no encroachment into the flood pool, (2) slowing of winter (Dec-Mar) pool releases at Summersville Dam. If any opportunities for operational changes are found, the City of Summersville and USACE would decide whether to pursue a further study that would lead to a federal decision pertaining to implementation.

This notice seeks to inform the public, stakeholders, and other interested parties about the study and provides an opportunity for public input on scope of analysis assessing impact to authorized project purposes. The public is encouraged to provide comments at any time during this evaluation which will last approximately 1 year.

Comments pertaining to the evaluation may be submitted by email to summersville_hydropower_evaluation@usace.army.mil or by letter to:

Ms. Rebecca A. Rutherford, Chief
Environmental Analysis Section, Planning Branch
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
502 8th Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070
Telephone: (304) 399-5924


Contact
Rebecca A. Rutherford
(304) 399-5924
or
Public Affairs Office
304-399-5353
pa2@usace.army.mil

Release no. 23-014