10. Glossary

Adaptive Management.  A process that acknowledges the imperfect and evolving understanding of environmental dynamics. Adaptive management includes monitoring conditions, testing hypotheses, evaluating results, and using the conclusions to improve management decisions.

Aesthetics.  The study or evaluation of the beauty of some object or setting.  It is typically associated with visual quality, but could be extended to concern about impacts to other senses (sound, touch/vibration, taste, or smell).

ALP.  Alternative Licensing Process.

Attenuator.  Wave energy capture device with principal axis oriented parallel to the direction of the incoming wave and converts the energy due to the relative motion of the parts of the device as the wave passes along it. (From DOE, 2009). 

Baseline (or Environmental Baseline).  The environmental conditions that are the starting point for analyzing the impacts of a proposed licensing action (such as approval of a license application) and any alternative.

BLM.  Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the US Department of Interior

BOEMRE.  Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement.  An agency in the US Department of Interior (formerly the Minerals Management Service; it was changed in the wake of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill).

Call.  Call for Information and Nominations, a process during MMS leasing where MMS solicits information from stakeholders to assist the MMS in determining the area to be offered for lease.

CEQ.  Council on Environmental Quality.

C.F.R.  Code of Federal Regulations.

CMSP.  Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning system.

Comprehensive Plan.  A plan for the development of generation or other beneficial uses of a river recognized under FPA Act section 10(a)(2)(a).

Consultation.  Under FPA Part I, consultation is a  cooperative effort of the licensee and other participants to prepare and implement a study plan and subsequently a license application to minimize unresolved disputes of fact and law. Under ESA Section 7, consultation is a cooperative effort of FERC, licensee, and FWS or NMFS, to analyze the impacts of a licensing action on listed species or critical habitats.

Consumptive Recreation.  Recreation opportunities that involve “harvest” or some other “consumption” of a natural resource.  This label is typically applied to fishing and hunting where wildlife are specifically targeted and are killed, but could include berry, mushroom, or plant collecting.

CWA. Clean Water Act.

CZMA. Coastal Zone Management Act.

Draft License Application (DLA). A preliminary license application that provides a project description, existing and proposed plan for project operation and maintenance, including environmental measures, and an analysis of existing and any impacts, taking into account the environmental measures.

Docket. A formal record of a proceeding on a given application for permit, license, or exemption.

ECPA. Electric Consumers Protection Act.

EMF. Electro-magnetic Field.

Endangered Species Act (ESA). The federal law, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1531-1544, that provides for protection and recovery of endangered or threatened species of fish, wildlife, or plant.

Endangered Species. Any species of fish, wildlife, or plant listed under the Endangered Species Act as in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Environmental Assessment (EA). A document prepared by FERC and any cooperating agency, pursuant to NEPA, to determine whether a licensing action may significantly affect environmental quality.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). a document prepared by FERC under NEPA to analyze a licensing action that, even after mitigation measures, may have significant adverse impacts on environmental quality.

EPA. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

ESA. Endangered Species Act.

Federal Lands. Lands which the U.S. holds in fee title.

FERC. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Filing. Any document filed in a licensing proceeding.

FPA. Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 791-823 (Part I) and 16 U.S.C. §§ 824-824n (Part II).

FWS. Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau under the Department of Interior with jurisdiction over fish and wildlife resources.

Groin.  A structure similar to a jetty, but usually shorter and not associated with an inlet or harbor entrance.  Groins interrupt lateral sand movement along a beach and may prevent erosion (or increase deposition) in some locations.  However, they may also disrupt sediment transport to other locations (which may see increased erosion).

Horizontal Axis Turbine.  Typically has two or three blades mounted on a horizontal shaft to form a rotor; the kinetic motion of the water current creates lift on the blades causing the rotor to turn driving a mechanical generator. (From DOE, 2009). 

HRC. Hydropower Reform Coalition.

Hydraulics. The characteristics of moving water; typically focused on velocity, depth, and energy variables. 

Hydrokinetics.  General term that refers to a full range of energy technologies.  

ILP. Integrated Licensing Process.

Installed Capacity. The instantaneous capacity of the project to generate electricity, expressed in kilowatts or megawatts.

Jetty.  A barrier designed to control lateral sand movement at an inlet or harbor entrance, usually to improve navigation.  In a natural inlet, sand transported along the shore by waves and currents creates inner bars on a flood tide and an outer bar on an ebb tide, both of which may shift and affect navigation. 

Lease. A legal document executed between MMS and a developer which grants right to the developer to use a certain area in the OCS for energy production for a specific period of time.

Licensee. The entity which holds a license and thus is legally responsible for construction, operation, and maintenance of a project. For simplicity of reference, this Toolkit uses the term “licensee” to describe a license applicant, including an applicant for original license.

Mitigation. Avoidance or reduction in the potential impact of a license or exemption.

MMS.  Minerals Management Service, an agency within the Department of the Interior that has recently been reorganized into BOEMRE. 

MW. Megawatt.

NEPA. National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 - 4347.

NMFS. (formerly NOAA Fisheries) National Marine Fisheries Service, fisheries branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

NOAA. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Notice of Intent (NOI). Document that the licensee files at least five years before expiration of a license, to state its intent whether it will seek a new license.

NPS. National Park Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior.

OCSLA. Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

OEP. Office of Energy Projects, a division within the FERC that regulates siting and operation of energy projects, including hydropower projects.

Oscillating Hydrofoil.  Similar to an airplane wing but in water; yaw control systems adjusts their angle relative to the water stream, creating lift and drag forces that cause device oscillation; mechanical energy from this oscillation feeds into a power conversion system (from DOE, 2009). (From DOE, 2009).

Overtopping Device. Partially submerged structure; a collector funnels waves over the top of the structure into a reservoir; water runs back out to the sea from this reservoir through a turbine. (From DOE, 2009).

PAD. Pre-Application Document. A FERC term for a document that summarizes reasonably attainable existing information about a hydrokinetic project, an area’s characteristics, potential effects, and potential studies that might be needed to assess effects and mitigation options.  They are prepared by the licensee early in the relicensing process.

PM&E.  Protection, mitigation and enhancement.  Acronym used to describe actions that may be included in License Articles to enhance positive and reduce or mitigate negative impacts from a hydropower project.  

Pilot License. A five year license issued by FERC for experimental projects using new technology to test the technology and its impact on the environment.

Point Absorber. Wave energy capture device with principal dimension relatively small compared to the wave length and able to capture energy from a wave front greater than the physical dimension of the device. (From DOE, 2009).

Preliminary Permit.  An authorization from FERC, valid for three years, that allows the permit holder to conduct initial technical and environmental assessments to determine the feasibility of developing a site.

Project Boundary. The boundary designated by FERC to identify the lands and structures included in a license or exemption.

NREA. Notice of Ready for Environmental Analysis. The notice issued by FERC that finds that the application is complete and ready for environmental review under NEPA. It is after the issuance of NREA that parties can formally intervene in the FERC process and resource agencies can submit their initial recommendations and conditions.

Recreation experience.  The collection of psychological and physiological outcomes or benefits received by recreation users when they engage in a recreation activity.

Recreation opportunity.  The combination of physical, biological, social, and managerial conditions that give value to a place, and allow users to pursue and receive a recreation experience.     

Recreation opportunity spectrum. A concept from recreation research that suggests recreation settings range on a spectrum from “paved to primitive.”  In general, development and use levels drive these setting assessments, but the concept considers other variables as well. 

Rehearing. An administrative procedure requesting reconsideration of FERC decisions, either at staff or Commission level.

SD. Scoping Document.

SD-1. Scoping Document 1.

SD-2. Scoping Document 2, as revised following public comment.

Settlement Agreement.  Often a binding document, between signatories regarding operations of a hydropower project.  While FERC is not a party to any settlements, it usually respects the decisions reached amongst stakeholders in a settlement and includes the provisions within the settlement as license conditions later on.

Study Plan Determination. The determination by the Director of Office of Energy Projects on what studies are required of the applicant to develop adequate record for environmental analysis.

Submerged Pressure Differential. Wave energy capture device, which can be considered a fully submerged point absorber; a pressure differential is induced within the device as the wave passes driving a fluid pump to create mechanical energy. (From DOE, 2009). 

Swash zone.  The zone of wave action on the beach, which moves as water levels vary, extending from the limit of run-down to the limit of run-up.

Threatened Species. Any species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range, as listed under the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1532(20).

TLP. Traditional Licensing Process.

USCG. United States Coast Guard.

USDA. United States Department of Agriculture.

USGS. United States Geological Survey.

Vertical Axis Turbine.  Typically has two or three blades mounted along a vertical shaft to form a rotor; the kinetic motion of the water current creates lift on the blades causing the rotor to turn driving a mechanical generator. (From DOE, 2009).