BLM will, for each hydropower licensing project, appoint a Project Manager and assemble a team of resource specialists to identify impacts, mitigation opportunities, and annual budget needs; identify hydropower projects within all Resource Management Plans; and work with other agencies to streamline and improve the application process.

A Project Manager was appointed and a team of resource specialists assembled to identify impacts, mitigation opportunities and annual budget needs. Guidance was provided to the Planning Division to recognize all hydro projects within new and updated Resource Management Plans. BLM worked with interior, Agriculture, and Commerce agencies and affected interest groups throughout 2003, providing information to the FERC. On 7/23/03, the FERC issued a Final Rule to revise its regulations for hydropower licensing under the Federal Power Act.( On 10/23/03, the rule created a new licensing process, the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP), which will become the default process used by the FERC ( . The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on 8/25/03.

Highlights of the licensing process (ILP):

  • Early coordination among the FERC and federal and state agencies having a mandatory conditioning authority;
  • Increased assistance from FERC staff to applicants and stakeholders during the early stages of developing a license application;
  • Early issue identification with agencies and other stakeholders during the FERC environmental scoping process;
  • Increased public participation during the pre-filing consultation process;
  • Establishment of a process plan with schedules and deadlines for all participants, including FERC staff; and
  • Development of a FERC approved study plan by the application, with informal resolution to study disagreements, followed by formal dispute resolution, if necessary.

The ILP is a third alternative for processing hydropower license applications. FERC presently has a Traditional Licensing Process (TLP) and the Alternative Licensing Process (ALP), which will remain effective for two years.

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