What happens during Phase 2 of the project?
During Phase 2 (implementation) of the project, the Penobscot Trust worked with its partners and contractors to remove the Great Works (2102) and Veazie (2013) dams and construct the Howland bypass. Great Works Dam was removed first to account for fisheries management activities; work to remove the dam was complete in November 2012. The Trust removed the Veazie Dam in 2013 and is completing ancillary work at the site. The Howland bypass was completed in 2016.
As a direct
result of the Penobscot River Agreement energy production at the West Enfield,
Medway, and Stillwater dams was increased, and the Orono Project
was refurbished and brought back on-line in early 2009. As a result, the
average annual generation on the Penobscot River was increased by
approximately 29,000 megawatt hours early in the project implementation. Black Bear Hydro has invested
significant time and resources into its efforts to enhance generation at
remaining facilities, including adding new powerhouses at Stillwater and Orono, and will also be installing turbines in vacant
bays at its Milford Project with the support of the Trust and other parties, as
called for under the Penobscot River Agreement. These considerable investments
in hydropower generation facilities within the local communities are expected
to replace and possibly increase the energy that will be lost as a result of the decommissioning of
Veazie, Great Works and Howland Projects.
Did the Trust
have to get permits to undertake the project?
In the fall of
2008, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust filed permit applications to begin
the process of extensive agency review. Included in the permit applications was
preliminary design plans for the dam removal and bypass construction, and a
comprehensive environmental analysis of the likely impacts of the proposed
action and action alternatives. After nearly two years of agency review,
including a lengthy public comment period and substantial formal and informal
outreach efforts, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust received all necessary
state and federal permits by November of 2010 from the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Maine Department of
How is the
Penobscot River Restoration Trust involved in community outreach?
Trust and its many public and private partners in the Penobscot River
Restoration Project have provided many opportunities for people
throughout the Penobscot basin to learn about and provide input into the
project, including its goal of improving fish migration to nearly 1000 miles of
habitat in the Penobscot basin. Since 2003, we have gathered feedback at formal
and legally noticed permitting meetings as well as through hundreds of
presentations to town councils, local civic and business groups, economic development
councils, schools, landowners and other individuals as well as at festivals,
sportsmen shows, conferences, and many community events. The media has featured
the project with well over 100 articles in local and statewide
print and online news outlets, along with television and radio.
people in the region have attended meetings or participated in public events to
learn more, have their questions answered, and share their thoughts, concerns
and support for the Penobscot River Restoration Project. While the Penobscot Trust has received all
the permits necessary to complete the project, discussions with community
members and groups continue, yielding many ideas that will improve its
implementation, help to anticipate and address concerns as appropriate, and
help to maximize ecological, economic, cultural and other benefits of a
restored river. Visit our Events page to see the wide range of events that have
highlighted the project either through presentations, workshops, or project exhibits.