Archived Story

Lake HOBOs file motion to intervene in dam relicensing

Published 1:03pm Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Lake Martin Home Owners and Boat Owners Association has filed a motion to intervene in the Martin Dam Hydroelectric Project, becoming the fourth entity to file.

The World Wildlife Fund, the Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Lake Martin Resource Association filed motions as of Friday, April 6.

The HOBOs stated its continued participation in the proceedings would be key in order to make comments of both the homeowners and boat owners in the Lake Martin area to be heard.

“We’re not surprised by the motions to intervene,” said Jim Crew, manager of hydroservices for Alabama Power. “For the most part, it’s a procedural thing that stakeholders take to ensure they have the right to file for a hearing once a new license is issued. It’s very common for entities involved to file motions to intervene to protect their procedural rights and to reiterate their particular comments, wants and wishes to FERC.”

The Lake Martin HOBOs stated that their interest in the relicensing is to extend summer pool levels further into the fall.

“The fall extension of summer pool levels is the most critical of the proposals made by stakeholders, and we request that all stakeholders be provided modeling output and related data and analyses pertinent to this … proposal for their review, prior to proceeding with the environmental analysis,” the HOBOs’ motion states.

HOBOs’ motion to intervene also brought up issues with existing and proposed guide curves and other parts of Alabama Power’s analysis.

According to letters filed by the WWF and ARA, both organizations are concerned about the wildlife in the lake, particularly the paddlefish, while LMRA’s concerns with the final license application involve seeking a higher winter pool, fall extensions and other enhancement measures.

“We have 45 days to respond to FERC, which we will do for all the motions,” Crew said. “There’s nothing really new in the motions that we haven’t seen at some point in the past.”

Crew said the organizations would have the opportunity to be a part of the relicensing process until the license’s anticipated issue date in June 2013.

“Obviously, when we start the relicensing we hope to be able to reach a consensus with stakeholders on all issues,” Crew said. “Our job as a licensee is to balance all the different issues. What we strive to do is to get something that everybody can live with, and after four to five years of meetings we felt like we got to that point and included that proposal in our application.

“I feel like we’re in a good position to defend and justify our recommendations and proposals as well as the process we went through to get here,” Crew said.