Holyoke Water Power Company of Massachusetts, US, has received approval to proceed with the installation of a US$2M inflatable rubber rim over the top of the Holyoke dam, and to implement US$240,000 in improvements to the South Hadley side of the river.

The inflatable rim is to provide better control of water levels, and the improvements are required for the utility to keep its licence from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to operate the dam.

Holyoke Water Power Company, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, has held the federal licence to operate the dam for 50 years. However, the utility is negotiating with the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department which is interested in buying the dam. If the dam is sold, the Holyoke municipal utility will have to adhere to various conditions required by FERC to operate the dam.