FERC gives guidance for Integrated Licensing Process

A new document prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission offers guidance to hydropower project licensees facing relicensing, and to stakeholders who expect to participate, under FERC’s Integrated Licensing Process.

The document’s proposed concepts, actions, and activities represent ideas the commission said might help future ILP participants without unduly extending the licensing process or expanding the existing regulations.

The ILP is intended to reduce processing time and cost of licensing over the traditional and alternative licensing processes. It became the default process in July 2005.

FERC staff surveyed early ILP users

When FERC approved the ILP in 2003, it pledged to study its effectiveness. During the spring and summer of 2005, FERC staff began questioning participants in the first seven relicensing cases that used the ILP voluntarily. Staff asked about ideas, tools, and techniques that were implemented, or could be implemented, to achieve ILP goals within the framework of existing regulations.

Based on that feedback, staff prepared the 21-page guidance document, released in February. The information is grouped into chapters on ILP preparation, developing a pre-application document, scoping, study requests, and study plan development. FERC said it plans to update the document as more information becomes available.

“Ideas for Implementing and Participating in the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP): Tools for Industry, Agencies, Tribes, Non-governmental Organizations, Citizens, and FERC Staff” is available, free of charge, on FERC’s Internet site at www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/gen-info/licensing/ilp/eff-eva/ideas.pdf.

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