Guidelines to Consider For Participating in The Alternative Licensing Process (ALP)
These guidelines supplement the Commission's ALP regulations and are designed to assist stakeholders in identifying resource management goals early in the process, establish clear ground rules for participating in an ALP, and help resolve disputes as they arise.
Agency Recommendations, Conditions, and Prescriptions under Part I of the Federal Power Act
This paper deals with:
- Section 4(e) of the FPA, which authorizes the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior to impose mandatory conditions on projects located on Federal reservations they supervise;
- Section 18 of the FPA, which authorizes the Departments of Commerce and the Interior to impose mandatory fishway prescriptions; and,
- Section 10(j) of the FPA, which authorizes federal and state resource agencies to propose conditions to protect fish and wildlife.
It recommends that during the pre-filing stage, the resource agencies provide license applicants with their resource objectives, and encourages them to consider the least expensive response and to coordinate conditions and recommendations among agencies. Under Section 10(j), resource agencies are urged to provide specific, detailed, and timely recommendations. These recommendations can lead to better coordination, improved exchange of information, and, consequently timelier, better-informed decision making.
National Environmental Policy Act Procedures in Hydroelectric Licensing
This report identifies several methods to better assess the environmental impacts of proposed hydroelectric projects. Using this approach, the Commission will:
- Provide and seek clarification of comments early in the process;
- Discuss with resource agencies the full range of alternatives, possible settlement options, and the extent to which recommendations and mandatory conditions can be included;
- Coordinate state and federal resource agency recommendations;
- Ensure identification of NEPA alternative effects during the scoping process; and
- Encourage collaboration during pre-filing between resource agencies and license applicants of project impacts on resource objectives and tribal interests. These recommendations will facilitate better coordination among federal agencies and enable all interested parties to understand and more efficiently work within the NEPA process.
FERC Noticing Procedures in Hydroelectric Licensing
This report reforms noticing procedures to facilitate accurate resource agency responses. These reforms will expedite the issuance and receipt of notices and improve overall communication among federal agencies.
Improving the Studies Process in FERC Hydroelectric Licensing
This report helps to determine which environmental studies should be performed and focuses on dispute resolution and post-filing studies.
With respect to pre-filing studies, the report encourages resource agencies to explain their objectives, suggest methodologies, data collection, and analysis techniques for conducting such studies, and identify those which would support their conditions.
For post-filing studies, it recommends that study requests be discussed during NEPA scoping meetings and progress monitored. If uncertainty exists, adaptive management may be appropriate but the report proposes that such a plan include measurable objectives, monitoring, and dual consultation between licensees and resource agencies on interim measures and final adjustments. These new procedures should help make the licensing process more efficient and eliminate or help resolve disputes early on in the process.
Improving Coordination of Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation with the FERC Licensing Process
These papers recommend improved coordination of ESA consultations when measures are proposed to protect threatened and endangered species.
During the pre-filing stage, the report suggests early discussions between resource agencies and licensees, early consideration of ESA issues when requesting studies, and the filing by the licensee of a biological assessment along with the application.
After the filing of an application, discussions of ESA issues should occur when NEPA meetings are held, separate sections in the NEPA document should be devoted to ESA issues, if any, and the accompanying biological assessment, with references, and the Commission should identify and earmark ESA issues when initiating formal consultation.
After licensing, when new species are listed or critical habitat designated, new information will be continuously monitored to determine project effects. A biological evaluation will be developed to identify measures needed to protect new species. If changes to project operation are needed as a result, the licensee must apply for a license amendment with the Commission. This improved ESA coordination will facilitate timely licensing actions.
Anatomy of Trackable and Enforceable License Conditions
This paper provides guidance to state and federal agencies on how to draft clear and enforceable license conditions. The recommendations will help ensure conditions meet the goals of the drafters and the Commission is able to enforce them.