The following are notes as of a 6/9/22 meeting that members of the legislative delegation had with EEA and DEP.

  1. Updates from EEA/DEP since last call, especially focused on timing
    1. Timing still appears to be August for the Ready for Environmental Assessment**. EEA/DEP has not heard anything further from FERC that would indicate them moving forward any faster. DEP is lining up what they need, assuming the process will start around then.
    2. There are still negotiations going on re: comprehensive assessment. Those negotiations seem to be productive.
  2. MEPA Involvements
    1. MEPA Director Tori Kim is reviewing the previous determination and looking at whether a MEPA filing will be needed. Director Kim was actively looking at it when they spoke earlier in the week. DEP's impression is that Director Kim would like to have a decision well before the August clock starts.
  3. DEP public-facing website on the relicensing
    1. DEP has developed a website with information both about the process and with links to FirstLight's website for easy access to the information they are required to post. They added a mailing list feature so constituents can elect to receive email updates from DEP on the process. They plan for the website to be live in the next couple of weeks.
  4. Public meetings
    1. DEP is contracting with the UMass Donahue Institute to hold public meetings. Donahue will help with the public outreach and with an economic analysis.
    2. There will be four public meetings
      1. An introductory meeting, mainly a presentation of what’s in the application and about the process
      2. A listening session coinciding with the public comment period
      3. A presentation as DEP has processed the application to report back on what their direction is with the 401 WQC
      4. As they’re finalizing it, letting people know what’s in it and why
    3. It’s important that people submit comments during the formal public comment period because this establishes their rights to appeal, even though they’ll continue to have dialogue after that period.


** FERC issues the “Ready for Environmental Assessment (REA)” at which point, FirstLight will submit their application for a 401 Water Quality Certificate (WQC) to DEP, which will then start the one-year clock for DEP to issue the 401 WQC.

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