The EA board have requested that the EA Directors responsible for hydropower regulation need to review their work to date, finding more evidence to support their recommendation of 'option 3 amended' from the Flows Supplementary Consultation. This option was presented to us as members of the Hydropower Working Group as a fait accompli without consultation and with no supporting evidence which is the reason that both the British Hydropower Association and the MHA wrote as I posted earlier.
This is the EA summary of ‘option 3 amended’:
In assessing potential ecological impact, hydro would be considered 'consumptive' despite water being returned to the river and not consumed using the EA’s standard ‘CAMS/EFI’ approach. Ecology of river would be split into three bands - low medium and high as set out on the catchment abstraction management maps. There has been no indication what percentage takes would be allowed for these varying sensitivity bands.
This brief respite (2 months we understand) allows the Hydro industry to reaffirm how best we can work with the EA to bring about suitable site specific schemes, without the narrow parameters suggested by the EA.
Let me know if you have any questions,
The Environment Agency board will be making their decision on whether to accept the recommendations from the Good Practice Guidelines consultation this Thursday 11th July. Board papers can be found here, item 11.
The MHA have responded to the EA with this response stating our withdrawal from the consultation process and issuing this letter to Chairman of the EA, Lord Chris Smith.
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