5.2 International Paper, Androscoggin River, Maine -- FERC # 2375 and # 8277
Project Description: Located on the Androscoggin River, the projects consist of 4 run-of-river dams with 33 MW of capacity. They are owned by International Paper and the power is used to operate its paper mill for the most part. International Paper was interested in trying the Applicant Prepared EA relicensing process and a successful collaborative team was developed. The collaborative team included nine environmental organizations and state and federal resource agencies. A settlement was signed in September 1997 and submitted as part of the application as the preferred alternative. It included the ability to increase generation at an undersized facility and support of a 50-year license.
Magnitude of Lands Protection: Over 1200 acres of company-owned land not within project boundaries on and around the project were protected from development, and another 180 acres at an upstream headwater storage reservoir (owned by another company) was purchased and added to a state park.
Mechanism of Protection: On the 1200 acres either a fee simple gift or a permanent easement--prohibiting development and to be administered by the Androscoggin Land Trust--were executed. The Land Trust was given the right to manage the lands for forestry with the proceeds going to the Land Trust to cover easement costs. Guidelines for forestry practices were agreed upon. The 180 acres with almost a mile of shoreline on Rangeley Lake, an upstream storage reservoir, were purchased and given to Rangeley State Park.
FERC INVOLVEMENT: FERC actively provided guidance in this proceeding. The land deals were developed as a separate sidebar agreement and were not included in the FERC license. However the land protection was executed promptly to provide comfort to all parties, since FERC would not be in a position to enforce them.
Current Status: The license was issued in 1998 with a 50 year term as negotiated.