FERC announced Nov. 14 it has begun the process to implement the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
President Trump signed the act into law on Oct. 23. FERC says sections 3003 and 3004 require FERC to issue rules establishing expedited processes for issuing and amending licenses for qualifying facilities at existing non-powered dams and for closed-loop pumped storage projects. The processes must seek to ensure a final decision by FERC on an application for a license by no later than two years after receipt of a completed application.
FERC says these sections also require the commission to convene an interagency task force to coordinate the regulatory processes associated with the authorizations required in connection with the new processes. Because of the congressionally mandated deadline, participation in the ITF will be time sensitive.
The agency issued two notices Nov. 13:
Notice inviting federal and state agencies and Indian tribes to request participation in the Interagency Task Force pursuant to America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018
Notice establishing schedule pursuant to America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018
The schedule indicates FERC staff will issue the final nonpower federal dams list by August 2019 and issue guidance for closed-loop pumped storage projects at abandoned mine sites by September 2019.