6 Alternative Licensing Process

The ALP encourages collaboration between the licensee, agencies, tribes, and other participants in the development of the Study Plan and license application.  Its primary purpose is to facilitate the negotiation of a settlement that, when filed with FERC, may serve as the basis for a new license.  Adopted in 1997, the ALP functions as an overlay of the TLP’s stages and steps.



The ALP specifies the deadlines for some, but not all, of these steps.  In particular, it is silent as to the deadlines for steps following application filing, including the notices and documents that relate to environmental review.  Table 7 shows deadlines as provided in the relevant rule, 18 C.F.R § 4.34(i).




Step Number

Step Description

Time (Relative To Prior Step, Unless otherwise indicated)

Step 1 (pre-filing activity)

Notice of Intent (NOI), Pre-Application Document (PAD), Request for ALP

5-5.5 years before license expiration

Step 2a

Comments on NOI and ALP Request

30 days

Step 2b

Commission Response on use of ALP

pursuant to agreed upon ALP schedule

Step 3a

Scoping Document 1 (SD1)

pursuant to agreed upon ALP schedule

Step 3b

Initial Information Meeting

pursuant to agreed upon ALP schedule

Step 3c

Studies Conducted

pursuant to agreed upon ALP schedule

Step 4

Preliminary Draft EA; Preliminary Conditions

pursuant to agreed upon ALP schedule

Step 5 (post-filing activity)

Application Filed, including Preliminary Draft EA

no later than two years before expiration of license

Step 6

Public Notice of Application and Solicitation of Terms and Final Conditions

no deadline

Step 7

Comments on Application

60 days

Step 8

Final EA or EIS

no deadline

Step 9

Final License Order

upon completion of all previous Steps

The discussion below is limited only to those steps where the ALP differs from the TLP.  This section highlights the differences between the processes, in order to avoid repetition and recognize the ILP will shortly become the default process.  Any reader who is interested in the detailed steps of the ALP should review FERC’s Licensing Handbook, Section 5.