Penobscot River Science Steering Committee
April 3, 2007
George Mitchell Center Conference Room, UMaine
Present: David Hart, Jeff Reardon, Joan Trial, Theo Willis, Matt Collins, Alice Kelly, Rory Saunders, Jeff Murphy, Gail Zydlewski, Tim Sheehan, Rich Dressler, Peter Vaux, Colin Apse, George Aponte Clarke, Joe Zydlewski, Dave Courtemanch, Adria Elskus, Karen Wilson
Catherine Schmitt (phone), Noah Snyder (phone), Walter Barnhardt (phone), Eric Hutchins (phone), Tom Huntington (phone), Laura Wildman (phone), Gail Wipplehauser (phone).
1. Update from the Trust (J. Reardon)
• Work with Kleinschmidt Associates on the permitting process is continuing, and they have met with state and federal agencies to talk through the permitting process. A draft meeting summary is available. A table in the back of the meeting summary contains the broad categories in a NEPA review that FERC would require; once this list is finalized Kleinschmidt will draft “study scopes.”
• There are two standing committees associated with the permitting process:
Hydraulics modeling: led by Matt Bernier, includes Matt Collins, etc. There was considerable confusion as to whose input was wanted or needed in this standing committee. Previous attempts to have a meeting with interested researchers from the PRSSC were unsuccessful, and those who had expressed interest were confused about how that meeting relates to the committee with Kleinschmidt. Extra effort will be made to include those who have expressed interest in reviewing this information; Matt Collins will take the lead on coordinating this effort after today’s meeting.
Sequencing of the dam removal project: this committee will review the timing and sequence of dams removal to have minimal impact on fish passage (in particular). Need to avoid fish spawning runs, avoid issues with high water and winter, etc. Most likely Veazie Dam will remain in place while Great Works dam is removed.
Joe Z. noted that there are folks already looking at fish passage at the dams and that the fish passage structure could be designed in such a way as to increase the ability for scientific study of fish passage (i.e., provisions for pit tags).
2. NOAA-TNC proposal process (Colin, Eric)
Eric Hutchins noted that all of the pre-proposals that were submitted were excellent. Three proposals have been invited back as full proposals that will be sent to the national TNC-NOAA office for consideration. Some proposals outlined monitoring of work that would likely be required as part of permitting, but NOAA-TNC will take note and may elect to include those researchers at the time of permitting monitoring. They would like to see all of the proposed projects funded at some point.
3. Monitoring plan (draft to be circulated with agenda)
Significant work on the monitoring plan by Josh Royte, Karen Wilson, and Catherine Schmitt resulted in a revised draft; comments are welcomed and should be submitted by April 13. Sections of the plan will be distributed to various experts throughout the country for review.
4. NSF RCN grant: a subcommittee met earlier today to discuss preparation of the proposal to NSF’s Research Coordination Networks program. Karen Wilson has asked for comments.