FERC seeks experts to serve on hydro licensing dispute resolution panels

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requests applications from resource experts to serve on hydropower licensing study dispute resolution panels as part of FERC’s integrated licensing process. Applications are due July 1.

FERC’s ILP regulations encourage informal resolution of disagreement over proposed resource studies needed for licensing a hydropower project. In cases where that is not successful, a formal study dispute resolution process is available for state and federal agencies or Indian tribes with mandatory hydro license conditioning authority.

ILP regulations provide that a disputed study be submitted to a dispute resolution panel consisting of a commission staff member, a person from the agency referring the dispute to the commission, and a third panel member selected by the other two members from a pre-established list of experts in the disputed resource area.

The panel members make a finding with respect to each disputed study request on the extent to which each study criteria set forth in the regulations is or is not met and why. The panel then makes a recommendation to the director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects.

The third panel members only can be selected from a list of qualified persons maintained by the commission. FERC now seeks additional members for that list, which originally was compiled in 2004 and 2010. Current members do not need to reapply but are encouraged to update their resumes.

Third panel members are listed by areas of expertise such as aquatic, terrestrial, cultural or recreational resources; land use; aesthetics; geology; socio-economics; and engineering.

Panel members serve without compensation except for allowable travel expenses.

FERC said applications are requested by July 1 in order to prepare for an expected increase in ILP work over the next several years. However, the application period will remain open indefinitely to maintain a current listing of potential experts.

FERC’s notice requesting applications may be obtained from the commission’s Internet site under http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/opennat.asp?fileID=13791957.

Applications must be filed electronically using instructions from FERC’s website, www.ferc.gov, using the “e-Filing” link. Applications should reference “DOCKET No. AD04-4-002, NOTICE REQUESTING APPLICATIONS FOR PANEL MEMBER LIST FOR HYDROPOWER LICENSING STUDY DISPUTE RESOLUTION.”

For information, contact David Turner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Energy Projects, 888 First St., N.E., Washington, DC 20426; (1) 202-502-6091; E-mail: david.turner@ferc.gov.

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