Chapter 3 - Building a Creditable Case for Shoreline Protection in the Relicensing Process

There are two pathways to obtain protection of lands impacted by a hydropower project. Each method is effective for certain goals and during certain times of the licensing process. Arguably the most effective and flexible means of achieving shoreline protection is through negotiated settlement agreements with the Licensee. The settlement outcome must be supported by relevant resource protection documentation so that FERC will accept the terms of the settlement. FERC will also need this documentation when developing the Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and to justify relevant license article conditions.

If a settlement is not achievable, then creating a convincing record with FERC during the licensing process is paramount. FERC may require specific shoreland protection in the license it issues, but more likely will take an intermediate step and order the Licensee to develop a Shoreland Management Plan as a license article condition. In simple terms this means that the outcome is pending further analyses. This can be cumbersome and more restrictive, but at times is the only way to move forward.