Hydropower

On June 1, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a pre-publication version of its proposal to re-write the Clean Water Act Section 401 rule (Certification Proposal), which, if finalized, is expected to have far-reaching impacts on hydroelectric licensing and relicensing. The Certification Proposal is intended by EPA to replace the version of the rule finalized under the Trump administration in 2020 (2020 Rule). While the Certification Proposal maintains some aspects of the 2020 Rule, it differs in some significant areas and in many ways reverts back to the 1971 regulations.

Continue reading EPA’s Clean Water Act Certification Proposal to Significantly Impact Hydropower Licensing

On December 16, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final rule amending its regulations governing the dam safety of FERC-licensed hydropower projects under the Federal Power Act.  Among other things, the final rule implements two tiers of project safety inspections and codifies FERC’s existing dam safety guidance.  The rule will become effective

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  The $1.2 trillion legislation includes over $900 million in incentives for new and existing hydropower, pumped storage, and marine energy.  This funding includes grants to support grid resilience, dam safety upgrades, environmental enhancements, and wind and solar integration.