News & Analysis as of

Stop the Presses: Nuclear Power Still Does Not Emit Greenhouse Gases

On Monday, the TVA announced that Watts Bar Unit 2 had successfully completed what is known as its final power ascension test. It is now producing 1,150 MW of power in pre-commercial operation. Though EnergyWire did report...more

Renewable Energy Update - September 2016 #5

Renewable Energy Focus - California ramps up energy storage plans with enactment of four new bills - Renewable Energy World - Sep 28 - California Governor Jerry Brown on September 27 signed four new bills...more

Dam Safety Ad Hoc Committee Update - Public Policy Alert from the South Carolina State House

David Wilson from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) addressed the Dam Safety Ad Hoc Committee to give members an update on the current status of dams across South Carolina. He informed the Committee...more

Federal dams, nonfederal hydro, and preliminary permits

Can a hydropower developer obtain a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a project to be located at a federal dam, where the federal entity owning the dam says it opposes the project? In a...more

New Jersey FERC license surrender and dam removal

U.S. energy regulators have accepted an application to surrender the licensee for a New Jersey hydropower project. Earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted Great Bear Hydropower Inc.'s...more

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Compromise Energy Bill

Last Sunday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a compromise energy bill to significantly increase electricity produced by renewable energy sources. The state’s utilities will be required to purchase power from on and...more

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Clean Energy Legislation

Overview - Late Sunday night, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a compromise energy bill that will significantly increase electricity produced by offshore wind, hydropower and other renewable energy sources. The...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - South Coast AQMD plan would fight smog mainly through incentives, not rules - Los Angeles Times - Jun 30 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District's draft Air Quality...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Judge invalidates long-fought Delta management plan Sacramento Bee - Jun 24 - In a decision that could delay or complicate Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two huge...more

FERC rejects BOST1 preliminary permit application

If the holder of a preliminary permit under section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act to study the feasibility of a proposed hydropower project is denied a successive permit to study the same project at the same site, will the...more

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

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