Processing the License Application
The Commission will issue its decision on the license application once it has everything it needs to complete processing (for example, the water quality certification issued pursuant to section 401 of the Clean Water Act, a Biological Opinion, documentation of consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Act). The decision will be based on staff recommendations described in the EA or EIS and any mandatory conditions issued pursuant to sections 4(e) and 18 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), section 401 of the Clean Water Act, and other relevant law.
Section 10 of the Federal Power Act (FPA)
All licenses shall be issued on the recommendations specified in section 10 of the FPA and such other conditions as the Commission determines are lawful and in the public interest [18 CFR § 5.29(h)]. Under Section 10(a) of the FPA, the Commission must ensure that the project to be license is best adapted to a comprehensive plan for developing the waterway for beneficial public purposes. The Commission must include conditions based on recommendations by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies submitted pursuant to section 10(j) of the FPA to "adequately and equitably protect, mitigate damages to, and enhance fish and wildlife (including related spawning grounds and habitat)" affected by the project, unless such conditions are inconsistent with the FPA or other applicable law.
Original licenses are issued for a term up to 50 years; new or subsequent licenses are issued for terms between 30 and 50 years. A new license (relicense) is issued for an existing hydroelectric project that is subject to sections 14 and 15 of the Federal Power Act. A subsequent license is issued for a project with an expiring minor or minor part license, not subject to Sections 14 and 15 of the FPA. License terms are based on the amount of redevelopment, new construction, new capacity, or environmental mitigation, and other factors such as coordination of license terms for multiple projects in the a river basin.
Any party (applicant or entity with intervenor status) may file a request for rehearing of the license within 30 days from the date of its issuance.