The Commission originally established "Guidelines for Preparation of Emergency Action Plans" in November 1979. The Guidelines were subsequently included as the Appendix to Order No. 122 of the Commission's Regulations, issued January 21, 1981. Then, in accordance with the provisions of Section 12.22 (a) (1) of the Commission's regulations, which states that "an emergency action plan must conform with the Guidelines established, and from time to time revised, ...", the guidelines were revised on April 5, 1985, to provide more specific comprehensive guidance in the development of an EAP.
Although the revised Guidelines established a specific format to assist in preparing an effective, workable EAP, it was not mandatory at that time that EAPs on file prior to April 5, 1985, comply with this format.
- April 5, 1985 - Notice of Revised EAP Guidelines
The EAP Guidelines were further revised on February 22, 1988, to provide a more workable EAP that included a notification flowchart located at the front of the EAP and clearer, concise, easy-to-read inundation maps depicting the dam break scenario. In addition, a need existed for a periodic reprinting and redistribution of the EAP to improve this aspect of its dam safety program.
- February 22, 1988 - Notice of Revised EAP Guidelines
- September 9, 1988 - Notice of Addendum to Revised EAP Guidelines
In the 1990s, an initiative was developed to provide national (Federal, State, local) consistency in the content of EAPs at dams throughout the country. As a result, the ad hoc Interagency Committee on Dam Safety (ICODS) prepared and approved federal guidelines for emergency action planning at dams which was published in October 1998 (FEMA P-64). As a result of this federal initiative, the FERC EAP Guidelines were further revised in November 1998.
The FERC EAP guidelines were revised in October 2006, primarily to provide additional guidance on annual submittals, document security, and GIS-based inundation maps. ICODS again updated the federal guidelines on EAPs in July 2013 to try to provide consistency for EAPs among the different dam safety organizations. The latest version of FERC guidelines incorporates changes from the 2013 FEMA P-64.
- July 2015 - Chapter 6 – Emergency Action Plans
Fort Worth Workshop Initiative
A workgroup composed of FERC staff and representatives from 25 hydropower licensees was created from the February 2005 FERC Fort Worth Workshop to provide guidance and suggestions to the FERC for improving coordination and communication among dam owners and emergency response and law enforcement personnel. The product of the Workgroup is a "white paper" on emergency coordination that provides guidance and suggestions for improving coordination and communication among dam owners and emergency response and law enforcement personnel.