Letter: Pumped storage
The very greatest environmental impact upon the Connecticut River is Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage, which could power the entire state of Vermont at summertime peak electric load.
Pumping water from Turners Falls reservoir 800 feet up to the summit reservoir at 15,000 cubic feet per second is equivalent to 340 typical railroad tank cars climbing Northfield Mountain every minute during many nighttime hours.
Cascading water from the summit reservoir back into Turners Falls reservoir at 20,000 cubic feet per second is equivalent to 450 tank cars rolling down the mountain every minute during many daytime hours.
No more than seven percent of American shad counted at Turners Falls dam (2005-11) made it through Turners Falls reservoir to Vernon dam after passing by Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage.
Concerned citizens can request and ensure that a thorough study of this extraordinary environmental impact and its mitigation is completed and implemented during Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing proceedings that have just begun.