Connecticut River Dam Re-licensing

Check here for updates regarding Wilder, Bellows Falls, and Vernon Dams

July 23, 2024

State Section 401 Water Quality Certificates.

While we all had an opportunity to make comments directly to FERC this spring, we now have an opportunity to weigh in at the state level.  FERC applications must meet Clean Water Act Each state verifies that operations at the dams will protect existing water quality standards, meeting .  Great River Hydro has now submitted applications to Vermont (DEC) and New Hampshire (DES) to get state Water Quality Certifications (a requirement of Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act).  There are several public information sessions coming up, where you can learn how to comment:

In Vermont (hosted by VT Department of Conservation):

August 6, 2024 at 5:30 pm: Vernon Hydroelectric Project
The Great Room in Thomas Hall, Winston Prouty Center,
209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT

August 7, 2024 at 5:30 pm: Wilder Hydroelectric Project

Hartford Area Career and Technology Center
1 Gifford Rd, White River Junction, VT

August 8, 2024 at 5:30 pm: Bellows Falls Hydroelectric Project

Lower Theater in Town Hall
#7 Village Square, Bellows Falls, VT

In New Hampshire (hosted by CRC):

August 12, 2024 at 5:00 pm: Wilder Hydroelectric Project 

Kilton Public Library, 

80 Main St, West Lebanon, NH


August 14, 2024 at 5:00 pm: Bellows Falls Hydroelectric Project

Walpole Town Hall, 

135 School St, Walpole, NH


August 15, 2024 at 5:00 pm: Vernon Hydroelectric Project

Hinsdale Community Center, 

19 Main St, Hinsdale, NH

As you may expect, Connecticut River Conservancy is a good resource.  They are hosting a 1 hour call to explain what we can each do.  August 6, 12:00 - 1:00 pmRSVP here.

Other resources:

New Hampshire, Department of Environmental Services Water Quality Certification webpage.

Vermont, Department of Environmental Conservation Great River Hydro application webpage.

May 22, 2024

The owner of these three dams (Great River Hyrdo, who also owns other dams along the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers), has applied to re-license five hydro plants in Vermont, NH and Massachusettes.  The public comment period ended this week (May 22, 2024).  

The states of Vermont and New Hampshire also have an opportunity to weigh in during this process, so we still have opportunities to impact the final license for each dam.  

401 Water Quality Certification.  All hydroelectric facilities must apply for and receive a Water Quality Certification from the state that that facility is located in.  After submitting a revised final application to FERC, hydro companies are required to apply for a 401 Clean Water Certification.  The state has to verify that any discharge from the dam will meet water quality requirements.

Anything the states require in this certificate will automatically be included in the final FERC license.

So - our comments to the State during the 401 process are also important.

We will provide more information about what farmers and CRWFA can do soon.  Meantime, learn more about the 401 process for each state:


New Hampshire,


Dam Relicensing Public Comment Period has ended: May 22, 2024

Read our official Comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) here:

Connecticut River Conservancy is still our best resource for information on this process.  They have an excellent information page, with instructions for submitting your own comments:

Tom Beaudry has an excellent video showing differences in erosion along the Connecticut River (also see below for video):

Thank you for your input.  Here is the comment we submitted to FERC.

Our draft comment, below.  Please send your thoughts to us by end of Tuesday night, May 21, 2024:

FERC Comment 5.17.2024
Erosion on the CT River.mp4

Tom's video showing differences in riverbank erosion on the Connecticut River.