FERC today ordered Ampersand Cranberry Lake Hydro, LLC to pay a $600,000 civil penalty for violating its hydroelectric license by failing to retain possession of all property for the Cranberry Lake Project located in St. Lawrence County, New York, covered by the license. The conduct underlying this violation is interrelated with known dam safety repairs that Ampersand Cranberry Lake has failed to complete.
“The Commission takes violations of the terms and conditions of these licenses very seriously because, in many instances, they are critically linked to public safety. Dam safety remains a top priority of the Commission and FERC will use its authority to ensure that licensees do what they need to do to protect the public against dam failures,” said Chairman Glick.
Today’s order follows an October 2021 Commission issuance ordering Ampersand Cranberry Lake to explain why it should not be assessed a civil penalty for violating its hydroelectric license and a November 2021 response by Ampersand Cranberry Lake acknowledging that it failed to retain possession of all project property, in violation of its license. The dam has a high hazard potential rating, which means that a failure of the project works would result in a probable loss of human life or economic or environmental losses. FERC requires licensees to maintain possession of property rights for their hydroelectric projects to ensure proper operation and maintenance of the projects and to ensure the licensees can address dam safety issues. Licensees of FERC-jurisdictional hydroelectric projects must comply with all safety requirements of their licenses, as public safety is a top priority at these facilities.
Ampersand Cranberry Lake has 60 days from the date of today’s order to pay the civil penalty to the United States Treasury.