Commission's Responsibilities

The Commission's responsibilities include:


The Commission's major hydropower activity is relicensing existing projects whose licenses are about to expire. Staff prepares either an Environmental Assessments (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and bases recommended license conditions on the these reviews


Administration and Compliance

The Commission regulates over 1,700 non-federal dams in the US. FERC staff ensures compliance with the numerous terms and conditions contained in each of the licenses and exemptions issued.

Dam Safety and Inspections

Hydropower is one of the project types in which FERC regulates both the construction and operational phase of a project. Dam safety is a critical part of the Commission's hydropower program and receives top priority. Before projects are constructed, the Commission staff reviews and approves the designs, plans, and specifications of dams, powerhouses, and other structures. During construction, Commission staff engineers frequently inspect a project, and once construction is complete, Commission engineers continue to inspect it on a regular basis.

Engineering Guidelines


Tainter Gates


Project Information






Last updated: March 26, 2021

This page was last updated on May 12, 2021