Heal the River

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Harris Dam Relicensing

Harris Dam Relicensing

The operating license for Alabama Power’s R.L. Harris Dam on the Tallapoosa River expires in 2023, and the company is in the process of renewing its license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) through a process referred to as relicensing. The new license issued by FERC will last for 30-50 years, so don’t miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to weigh-in on how the dam is operated and what protection and enhancement measures are put in place in the new license.

Whether you live near the Tallapoosa River, on Lake Wedowee, or just occasionally visit the area and enjoy its beauty, YOU have the chance to speak up and let your voice be heard as part of the relicensing of R.L. Harris Dam. There are multiple comment periods throughout the relicensing, and you can – and should – comment on topics that are important to you. These might include improving water quality, the ecological health of the river and the lake (as well as the health of the fish and wildlife that depend on these waters), improving public access and recreation opportunities on the lake and on the river below Harris Dam, or limiting and repairing erosion and sedimentation.

Through the comment process, you have an opportunity to help improve the health of the river for generations to come. By submitting your comments to FERC, your input becomes part of the official record for the relicensing.

Priority Areas

Priority areas where we want to see better outcomes at Harris Dam include:

  1. Improved flows and water temperatures that are closer to a natural riverine environment to benefit aquatic species.
  2. More public access points along the river and lake to increase recreation opportunities for paddlers, swimmers, anglers, rescue personnel and everyone who wants to enjoy this public resource.
  3. Updated safety and notification measures so everyone can know in real-time when generation from the dam occurs and can stay safe.
  4. Operational changes that can reduce water level fluctuations both on the lake and downstream to minimize erosion and sedimentation and provide a more hospitable habitat for fish and river critters.
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