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Smoky Mountain


What is a run-of-river plant? 
A run-of-river plan generates power by diverting a portion of the river’s flow through a pipeline to a powerhouse where falling water turns turbines attached to generators to produce electricity. All diverted water is immediately returned to the river via a tailrace. As opposed to a storage facility, a run-of-river plant's discharge is the same as the inflow into the facility's reservoir. The Santeetlah facility is operated as a storage impoundment in accordance with an annual operating curve, which establishes target seasonal reservoir levels. The current operating curve was adopted in 2004 as part of the project's relicensing settlement agreement. 

What is done about the Smoky Mountain hydro project’s shoreline management? 
The project’s Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) established a number of regulations to enhance or protect water quality in the reservoirs. Stated goals are to: • Balance the protection of the important environmental, cultural, recreational, and aesthetic resources unique to Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower with the provision of recreation opportunities. • Establish a process for reviewing and approving shoreline development uses and activities that encourage stewardship of environmental, cultural, recreational, and aesthetic resources by avoiding, offsetting, or mitigating impacts to the resources. More information can be found on the Shoreline Management page of this website. 

How is wildlife and habitat preserved at the project? 
Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower reservoirs are essential habitat for hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and plants, including some rare plant and animal species such as the peregrine falcon, bald eagle, river otter, Indiana bat, Appalachian elktoe, and Virginia spiraea. Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower manages these areas in accordance with its federal license which includes provisions for endangered species management and fish and aquatic habitat plans. 

What is being done to preserve the project’s many historic buildings and structures? 
The historic properties at Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower are maintained according to the Historic Properties Management Plan (HPMP), which can be found on the FERC e-library (project #2169) 

What type of recreational activities are available at the project? 
More than 30 recreation areas at the 4 Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower facilities are operated and maintained, solely and/or in cooperation with state and federal agency partners. These public recreation areas provide opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking and camping. Santeetlah Reservoir is the only reservoir that has private access and commercial recreation facilities, in addition to public access. For permit applications applicable to Santeetlah private facilities, see the bottom of the Shoreline Management page. The Cheoah, Calderwood, and Chilhowee reservoirs are generally less developed and provide a more primitive recreation experience. Maps of recreational sites can be found on the recreation page of this website. 

Where can I find a private pier permit application for Santeetlah Lake? 
Permit applications for piers, excavation or shoreline stabilization work can be found at the bottom of the Shoreline Management page.