Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  NEWS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

Dan Hust | Democrat

The snow-clad Toronto Reservoir as it appeared yesterday. A second-access issue in the Town of Bethel is holding up the sale of this reservoir.

Mongaup Falls, Rio reservoirs sold; dispute stalls other sales

By Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY — January 28, 2011 — While eminent domain wrangling continues in court over the Swinging Bridge, Cliff Lake and Toronto reservoirs, the Mongaup Falls and Rio reservoirs in Sullivan County have been bought by a new company.
Eagle Creek Renewable Energy LLC officially acquired the reservoirs and their hydroelectric facilities last Friday, according to a press release issued by the Morristown, NJ-based company this week.
“Eagle Creek’s new purchase represents the first step of its development and acquisition activities in small-scale hydroelectric generation,” says the release. “The company plans to continue to expand its footprint in providing clean energy to electricity consumers throughout the U.S.”
Formed last year by Hudson Clean Energy Partners (www.hudsoncep.
com), the corporation is actively seeking “high-growth, asset-based, capital-intensive segments” of the renewable energy generation market.
Eagle Creek began courting former owner AER (Alliance Energy Renewables) NY-Gen last year.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) administers the operating licenses for what AER calls its Mongaup system, as the involved reservoirs are along the Mongaup River.
For most of the past century, electricity has been generated from these man-made lakes, which are also significant sites for wildlife and recreation.
As a result, FERC must sign off on any transfer of system assets, which it did for the Mongaup Falls and Rio reservoirs separating the townships of Lumberland and Forestburgh.
But while Eagle Creek wants the whole Mongaup system, FERC is insisting AER NY-Gen first resolve a stubborn second-access issue at the Toronto Reservoir in the Town of Bethel.
AER and the owner of the properties along which it has an easement to the Toronto dam – Woodstone Lakes Development – have been unable to agree on public access to that area.
Under pressure from FERC, AER has begun condemnation proceedings to take the already-existing access roads across Woodstone’s property by eminent domain.
That issue is now playing out in court, but FERC won’t allow AER to sell that section of its Mongaup system – including not just Toronto but Swinging Bridge and Cliff Lake – until the access is open to the public.

top of page  |  home  |  archives