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Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Program

The "Guidelines for Preparation of Emergency Action Plans" were established 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.

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.

Since that time, an initiative was developed to provide national (Federal, State, local) consistency in the content of Emergency Action Plans 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 by FEMA in October 1998. As a result of the federal initiative, the FERC EAP Guidelines were further revised in November 1998.

The following were issued by FERC regarding EAPs:

Preparations for Handling Emergencies and Potential Emergencies at Projects
A draft guidance paper was prepared by FERC staff in 2004 incorporating lessons learned from recent dam failures and EAP activations. This paper highlights critical actions that should be taken by FERC staff and dam owners for emergency operations.

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 will provide useful information directly to dam owners and will assist FERC in revising the EAP chapter of the FERC Engineering Guidelines.

Coordination and Communication for Emergencies
The "white paper" on emergency coordination resulting from the 2005 Fort Worth Workshop workgroup is now available in final format. This paper provides guidance and suggestions for improving coordination and communication among dam owners and emergency response and law enforcement personnel. The paper will be attached to the EAP chapter of the FERC Engineering Guidelines as an appendix.

Draft Recovery Plan Format
A suggested Table of Contents and Guidance for an Internal Emergency Recovery (Response) Plan was initiated from the 2005 Fort Worth and 2006 Washington D.C. Workshop workgroup and is now available in Draft format. This Internal Emergency Recovery Plan (IERP) is designed as a separate document which can supplement the primary Emergency Action Plan (EAP). Whereas the primary EAP is designed to facilitate early warning and evacuation of potentially affected downstream areas, this document deals with MITIGATION AND EMERGENCY REPAIR OF AFFECTED COMPANY STRUCTURES AND PLANT FACILITIES. This plan should be utilized for any emergency arising at the site, whether from natural or manmade causes. The content of the Recovery Plan should avoid duplication of existing plans (such as the EAP) as much as possible. The Recovery Plan is intended for internal use and response only.

FERC is accepting comments about the Draft Recovery Plan Format until August 18, 2006. To provide a comment, please send an email message to Frank Calcagno

William H. Allerton, Director
Telephone: 202-502-6025
Email: william.allerton@ferc.gov

David Capka, Deputy Director
Telephone: 202-502-6314
Email: david.capka@ferc.gov

Regional Contacts:

Updated: March 19, 2012