• FERC Settles Hydropower Investigation
  • May 8, 2013 | Authors: Peter S. Glaser; Kevin C. Greene; Daniel L. Larcamp; Clifford S. Sikora; Lara L. Skidmore
  • Law Firms: Troutman Sanders LLP - Washington Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Atlanta Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Washington Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Portland Office
  • On April 23, 2013, FERC approved a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (“Settlement”) with Seneca Falls Power Corporation (“Seneca Falls”) for violations of its hydropower license. In the Settlement, Seneca Falls agreed to pay a $150,000 civil penalty and invest $300,000 in project enhancements.

    In 2009, FERC’s Office of Energy Projects found that Seneca Falls was in violation of its hydropower license and issued a compliance order; Seneca Falls appealed the compliance order to the Commission. FERC affirmed the violations and referred the matter to the Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) “for consideration of appropriate action.” Upon investigation, Enforcement concluded that Seneca Falls had violated the terms of its license by failing to: (1) obtain sufficient property rights; (2) file and execute a plan to monitor wetland vegetation in a timely manner; (3) install a car-top boat launch in a timely manner; (4) maintain a consistent seasonal level of the Barge Canal Datum; (5) design and install fish passages in a timely manner; and (6) study the effectiveness of the fish passages.

    According to the Settlement, Seneca Falls has already fully or partially remedied some of the violations Enforcement found during its investigation. In addition to the monetary obligations, Seneca Falls must submit semi-annual compliance reports to FERC until all violations are remedied.

    Seneca Falls stipulated to the facts in the Settlement, but neither admitted nor denied the violations.