Dams

News & Analysis as of

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal and state officials sign Klamath River dam removal deal - San Jose Mercury News - Apr 7 - The governors of California and Oregon and several other state, federal, power,...more

Federal dams and preliminary permits

U.S. federal entities own dams with untapped hydropower potential that could be developed by private parties -- but a recent regulatory decision highlights the difficulty of winning key approvals when the federal dam owner...more

Vanceboro Dam Storage Project relicensed

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a new license to Woodland Pulp LLC to continue operating and maintaining the Vanceboro Dam Storage Project. Located on the East Branch of the St. Croix River along the...more

Inflatable flashboards meet historic dam

A hydropower project in Lowell, Massachusetts won the right to replace wooden flashboards with an inflatable pneumatic crest gate system -- and now seeks to modify provisions requiring specific actions to mitigate impacts on...more

Waterbury hydro need and economics

A recent order issuing a new hydropower license to Green Mountain Power Corporation's Waterbury Hydroelectric Project sheds insight into the project's operations and economics. The Waterbury project is located at a dam...more

FERC holds CO microhydro needs license

In an order issued earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the developer of a micro-hydropower project proposed in Colorado must obtain a license for the Patton Colorado Hydropower Project's...more

Successive preliminary permit for Cave Run hydro project

Federal energy regulators have issued an order issuing a successive preliminary permit to Cave Run Energy, LLC for a proposed hydroelectric project to be located at a dam in Kentucky owned by the U.S. Army Corps of...more

Renewable Energy Update - February 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - PG&E launches program to let all customers go 100 percent solar - Solar Industry Magazine - Feb 3 - Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has officially launched its previously...more

Take Two! Frogs, Water, and the Endangered Species Act in Oregon

In late December we reported on a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”) that alleges the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (“BOR”) is violating the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) through its operation and...more

FERC dam license transfers, death and estates

What happens when an individual person dies holding a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for a hydroelectric project? While their will may specify an heir for the dam and project works, the process of inheriting a...more

FERC hydro dam relicensing, timing and options

Under U.S. law, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction over most hydropower dams and projects. The Federal Power Act directs the Commission to issue licenses for hydropower projects for a defined term of...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Exide cleanup: Los Angeles County approves $2 million to facilitate lead removal at homes: Los Angeles Times - Oct 27: Los Angeles County supervisors, frustrated by what they say is a...more

Coverage Not Limited to Schedule of Locations in Fight Over Dam Liabilities

In C. Brewer & Co., Ltd. v. Marine Indem. Ins. Co. of Am., No. SCWC-28958 (Haw. Mar. 27, 2015), the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that liability coverage is not limited to only those locations defined in an insurer’s schedule...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Rail case heading to state Supreme Court: Willits News - Jan 27: The Supreme Court of California has accepted review of a lower court decision holding that federal law implemented by...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - California needs 11 trillion gallons of water to recover from the drought: Los Angeles Times - Jan 17: A series of recent rainstorms helped deposit needed moisture to California,...more

Setting fees for use of federal dams

Federally owned dams and other structures can create opportunities for private development of hydropower facilities, in exchange for a fee. While fees charged to hydropower developers for using federally owned dams will...more

Fourth District Addresses CEQA Issues Concerning Standing, Mitigation, Baseline, Piecemealing, And Responses To Comments In...

In a published decision filed October 31, 2014 (Paulek v. California Department of Water Resources (4th Dist., Div. 2, 2014) ___ Cal.App.4th ____, Case No. E060038), the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Riverside...more

Water, Water everywhere …

There were two court decisions this week regarding regulation of Maine rivers, one from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Watts v. BEP, and one federal, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay v. Hydro Kennebec, LLC. ...more

Hydropower relicensing surge expected

Hydropower industry experts are gathering near Worcester, Massachusetts, this week for a conference on hydropower re-licensing. Organized by EUCI and hosted by Alden Research Laboratory, the March 18-19 Hydropower...more

FERC Approves $4 Million Penalty for Dam Violations that Resulted in Two Deaths

On January 15, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) issued an order approving a Stipulation and Consent Agreement between the Commission’s Office of Enforcement and Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P....more

Dam Removal - A US National Infrastructure Issue

Originally Published in Project Finance International, February 27, 2013. Experts estimate that approximately 85% of the 79,000 dams in the United States will approach the end of their operational life by 2020. The...more

Federal Judge Dismisses Atlantic Salmon ESA, CWA Claims Involving Maine Dams

On Monday, January 14, U.S. District Court Judge George Singal dismissed Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) claims against several dam owners and operators located along the Kennebec and Androscoggin...more

Oh Canada! Significant Developments in Canadian Energy - January 2013

In This Issue: - Oil Sands News - East Coast News - West Coast News - Canadian Arctic News - Alternative Energy News - On the Horizon - Abbreviations - Contact Us - Excerpt from On The Horizon:...more

Supreme Court Offers Comfort To Owners Of Dams And Water Control Facilities

In a ruling that has important implications for the hydropower industry, municipal water control systems, and dam owners everywhere, the U.S. Supreme Court strongly affirmed an earlier holding that a "discharge of a...more

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