River Renewal: Restoring Rivers through the FERC Relicense Process

Following text is adapted in part from the California Hydropower Reform Coalition and the Hydropower Reform Coalition Citizen Toolkit integrated with text from American Whitewater staff tailored to paddlers.

The relicensing of hydropower dams presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore rivers, improve fish, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities, and boost the quality of life for river communities.

“The public must retain control of the great waterways.  It is essential that any permit to obstruct them for reasons and on conditions that seem good at the moment should be subject to revision when changed conditions demand.”
     (President Theodore Roosevelt, 1908)

Who is FERC? (Source: FERC website)

FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is an independent regulatory agency within the Department of Energy that:

  • regulates the transmission and sale for resale of natural gas in interstate commerce
  • regulates the transmission of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce
  • regulates the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce
  • licenses and inspects private, municipal and state hydroelectric projects
  • oversees related environmental matters
  • administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conducts of jurisdictional companies
Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!