The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California State Water Resources Control Board have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate the review of pre-application activities for hydropower proposals in California.
The MOU will create a more efficient and coordinated process for license applications and water quality certifications, FERC noted in a Nov. 20 statement.
“This MOU will provide for a more coordinated process that will benefit not only FERC and the California Water Board but stakeholders associated with hydropower development in California,” said Jeff Wright, Director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects. “Thank you to FERC staff and the staff at the State Water Board who worked diligently to make this MOU a reality.”
Examples of pre-application activities include consultation, environmental scoping, study planning and commenting on an applicant’s preliminary licensing proposal. Among other things, FERC and the board have agreed to:
- establish deadlines to ensure a timely process;
- that the board will participate in FERC’s environmental scoping process; and
- that the board will actively participate in study plan development by identifying studies and information necessary for water quality certification.
The MOU focuses on conventional hydropower projects, including pumped storage projects, and does not relate to offshore hydrokinetic projects.