First Light Power Resources has been found in violation of part of their project license for Candlewood Lake after hiring a consultant to do Nuisance Plant Monitoring, without prior approval of the Technical Committee. A letter from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acknowledged that First Light did tell the Technical Committee a bid for a new consultant was pending for future monitoring during a March 2018 meeting.
Further action on the violation will be deferred until after FERC reviews the final Nuisance Plant Monitoring Report due to the Commission by March 31, 2019.
A draft report containing the 2018 monitoring data was submitted to the Technical Committee and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the end of November and will be discussed at the next Technical Committee meeting, to be held by February 28, 2019. The Candlewood Lake Authority filed technical comments in response to the draft 2018 Nuisance Plant Monitoring Report and FERC asked that these comments be addressed at the Committee meeting.
Lakes Candlewood, Zoar and Lillinonah must be monitored for Eurasian water milfoil, other invasive plants, and zebra mussels. The CLA claimed that the new consultant modified scope and survey methodologies. The prior consultant served for the past decade, providing information CLA has come to rely on, including for its sterile grass carp program. First Light said there is no reason to question the validity of the 2018 data collected by the new consultant, as they followed the same contract specifications required of the prior consultant.