OOS 39-6 - Designing for the predictable geomorphic response in an unpredictable regulatory environment

Thursday, August 10, 2017: 3:20 PM
Portland Blrm 254, Oregon Convention Center
Paul Woodworth and Laura Wildman, Princeton Hydro, South Glastonbury, CT

An understanding of geomorphic response is the primary logic guiding the design of numerous small dam removals in the Northeast US. That understanding is then applied on a case-by-case basis to assess potential impacts to, for example, in-stream species and habitat, infrastructure, wetland resources, and flooding due to the erosion and deposition of impounded sediment and change in hydrologic conditions. Regulatory responses, which vary among agencies and jurisdictions, tend to shift the focus and thus can modify the final design and implementation of small dam removals. Designing for these potential adverse impacts and regulatory concerns can alter the geomorphic response.


Multiple dam removals in the northeast US will be compared and contrasted relative to the: type of dam and impoundment, predicted geomorphic response, proposed design and sediment management approach, regulatory response, and project outcome. These small dam removals range from narrow to wide impoundments, negligible to substantial sediment volumes, simple to complex sediment management approaches, and simple to complicated regulatory negotiations.