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FERC Action Alert

submitted to the AWC Website:

You can walk-on without a permit and paddle the Tallulah River Gorge this April because of American Whitewater's involvement in the FERC licensing of that Dam. Without AW's intervention, the Tallulah would still be dry to boaters 365 days a year. I'm forwarding this message to you. Your involvement will help to keep water in the Rivers which currently have mandated whitewater releases and help to open up new stretchers of Rivers. Please don't delete, until you complete!

Thanks. Sherry Olson, Member, AW Board of Directors (E-mail me if you have questions.)

Please take the time to file electronic comments to the FERC. See form letter in attachment or use embedded form below. Forward to other boaters and encourage them to file comments as well.

 

Action Alert: Expedited FERC Hydroelectric Licensing Procedures

Your Comments Needed to Protect Rivers Undergoing Hydropower Relicensing.

Your comments can make the difference between dry river channels and restored rivers!

Comment Electronically by February 1, 2001.

See Comment Form and address below.

 

Background:

In November, 2000, Senator Frank Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, added a few sentences to an energy-related bill, (known as a rider) ordering the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to study ways to "reduce the cost and time of obtaining a (hydropower dam) license." American Whitewater and other groups working to restore rivers impacted by hydropower projects fear the FERC's final report could be the first step in industry's attempt to streamline hydropower relicensing in the next Congress. The recent energy crisis in California and other states will further increase the likelihood of new legislation. We cannot let industry driven legislation further degrade our rivers.

FERC has conducted six public hearings at cities across the country. Boaters and other river interests have been present at each hearing speaking on behalf of rivers. You can make your voice heard as well by filing written comments electronically at the web address below.

This could be the most important advocacy work you do on behalf of rivers in 2001.

Comments can be submitted electronically on FERC's website at http://www.ferc.fed.us/efi/doorbell.htm

Comment Form

David P. Boergers, Secretary

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

888 First St. NE

Washington, DC 20426

RE: Docket No. PL01-1-000

Hydroelectric Licensing Policies, Procedures, and Regulations -- Comprehensive Review

Dear Secretary Boergers:

Key Points to include in your comments:

1. Improvements to the hydropower relicensing process should not sacrifice the quality of the resource management decisions necessary in the new license.

2. Failure of the utilities to conduct the proper resource studies and provide adequate information to stakeholders in a timely fashion are the primary causes for delay in hydropower relicensing.

3. The FERC should impose clear standards for resource studies and timelines in the hydropower relicensing process for all parties, including the utility. The resource studies should meet peer review standards and timelines should be appropriate to the task at hand and strictly enforced.

4. Hydropower relicense proceedings need to be equally accessible to all participants (agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public). The utility profiting from the public waterways must provide adequate resources for meaningful public participation.

5. Several initiatives have been undertaken recently to improve the hydropower relicensing process. Before legislatively reforming the process, allow these ongoing efforts to be implemented.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Your Name

Your Address

 

 

Actual language in Senator Murkowski's Rider:

 

HR 2884, Section 603

"Expedited FERC Hydroelectric Licensing Procedures"

 

"The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shall, in consultation with other appropriate agencies, immediately undertake a comprehensive review of policies, procedures and regulations for the licensing of hydroelectric projects to determine how to reduce the cost and time of obtaining a license. The Commission shall report its findings within six months of the date of enactment of this section to the Congress, including any recommendations for legislative changes."

 

 

John Gangemi

Conservation Director, American Whitewater

482 Electric Avenue

Bigfork, MT 59911

phone/fax: 406-837-3155/3156

email: jgangemi@digisys.net

www.americanwhitewater.org