Thursday, September 14, 2006
City of Tacoma v. FERC: Did the Hydro Industry Get the Number of that Train?
Friday, September 29, 2006
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Eastern / 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Central
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Mountain / 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Pacific
On August 22, 2006, the U.S. District Court of Appeals issued a decision in the case of City of Tacoma v. FERC. The decision addressed a number of issues that may significantly change that way that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues licenses for hydropower projects pursuant to the Federal Power Act. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals modified in part and granted in part, Petitions for Review of the FERC Order Issuing New License for the Cushman Hydroelectric project on the Skokomish River in the State of Washington. Some of the issues were: (i) whether a relicensing proceeding or a new license proceeding should be undertaken for a project that previously held a minor part license, (ii) whether the mandatory conditioning authority under Federal Power Act Section 4(e) is limited to those areas where the hydro project is located on a federal reservation, (iii) must the federal agencies who submit “mandatory” conditions pursuant to FPA Section 4(e), and presumably Section 18, comply with FERC’s regulatory deadlines for submittal of the conditions, (iv) the degree to which FERC must evaluate a state water quality agency’s compliance with Clean Water Act Section 401, (v) whether a FERC license that makes a project uneconomic to operate constitutes a de facto decommissioning of the project, and (vi) how FERC should treat the state of Washington’s decision not to object to the project under the state’s Coastal Zone Management Act authority.
Nino J. Mascolo, Southern California Edison Company, Rosemead, CA
John Katz, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC
Mark Quehrn, Perkins Coie, LLP, Bellevue, WA
Bella Seawall, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC