OCTOBER 2015: On October 9, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding NIPSCO's proposed changes to its operating license for Lake Shafer and Lake Freeman. The executive summary and the complete draft EA can be downloaded below.
Click on the buttons above to download and view SFLECC's legal brief, two expert reports, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Technical Assistance Letter (TAL).
APRIL 2016: The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is coming to Monticello for the purpose of conducting a public hearing with lake residents and officials advocating on behalf of the Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation’s “Keep the Lakes Level” initiative. FERC has scheduled a public hearing on May 10, 2016 from 6 PM to 9 PM at the Sportsman Inn (click here for address & directions). "This really is good news”, commented SFLECC President Lee Kreul, ‘we hope that the agencies involved are closer to a final solution.” For the entire SFLECC press announcement and the FERC notice for the May 10th meetings, click below.
SFLECC is not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, holding title to the property under and around Lakes Shafer & Freeman. Your tax deductible contribution can be made by PayPal (click green button above) or by mailing a check to the SFLECC address shown above.
SFLECC opposes NIPSCO's request for a permanent change to its operating license for the Norway-Oakdale Hydro Project (P-12514), which includes Lake Freeman and Lake Shafer. NIPSCO operates Lake Freeman (Oakdale Dam) and Lake Shafer (Norway Dam) under a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). NIPSCO's request seeks to permanently incorporate into its operating license the Technical Assistance Letter (TAL) issued by the US Fish & Wildlife Service on August 13, 2014. The TAL seeks to protect endangered species of mussels below the Oakdale Dam by mandating how much water must be released from Oakdale Dam during periods of abnormal low flow (which would occur about 14% of the time). If the TAL were in effect during the drought of 2012, NIPSCO calculated Lake Freeman would have been lowered by more than 12 feet (yes...12 feet, not 12 inches) during the peak summer vacation season, causing inconvenience and harm to residences and visitors and damaging the local economy. Under the TAL in 2012, Lake Freeman would have been down almost to original river channel and completely inaccessible.
On Friday, May 15, 2015, SFLECC filed its formal opposition to NIPSCO's license modification request. SFLECC's legal brief and reports from two technical experts can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the buttons above. SFLECC's filings demonstrate: 1) the science employed by both NISPCO and the US Fish & Wildlife Service is fundamentally flawed and is not the "best available science" as required by law, and 2) two technical experts both conclude that there is no basis for changing NIPSCO's original operating license.
A complete library of all documents pertaining to this case can be viewed on FERC's eLibrary (click here). Search under Docket Number P-12514-074.