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FERC approves permitting non-conforming docks, seawalls on Candlewood

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an order approving non-conforming structures on Candlewood Lake be grandfathered in.  First Light Power Resources, which owns the lake, was required to file a comprehensive report identifying each structure along the shoreline.  There were little more than 7,100 structures located on the water and 11,200 structures on land within their property boundary.  The structures ranged from boat docks and storage sheds to seawalls. 


First Light is looking to permit the majority of the non-project uses of the lands and water to comply with the Shoreline Management Plan's permitting guidelines. 


222 residences or portions of residences are partially or entirely constructed on land First Light owns in fees, or controls by flowage easement.  They were not constructed with First Light's or their predecessor's permission.  All 222 meet the grandfathering provisions approved in the Shoreline Management Plan.  The provisions include that there is no concern about danger to life, health or property and that they do not interfere with project operations. 


Final site inspections will be made and permit tags issued for all unpermitted non-project uses. 


FERC said in their report that they agree with First Light's reasons for not altering its grandfathering policy to be dependent on the presence of a vegetated buffer.  Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy along with Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty lobbied for these structures to be allowed, and that buffer plans be applied to new shoreline uses.  The officials also said it would be acceptable to require vegetated buffers when existing structures are modified or where a transfer of ownership occurs.

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Dave Rinelli

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