FERC issued a 40-year license today to United Water Conservation District for operation of Santa Felicia hydroelectric project in Ventura County, CA.Although the project boundary contains endangered and threatened species such as Southern California steelhead, Santa Ana sucker. Southwestern Arroyo toad, and California red legged frog, it was determined that the project would only affect Southern California steelhead.
This paper investigates the sources for regulatory delay in bureaucratic decision making, testing regulatory capture, congressional dominance, and bureaucratic discretion theories of agency behavior.
The empirical context concerns relicenses issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for hydroelectric dams, which have taken anywhere from just ten months to over sixteen years to be issued. The reasons for this heterogeneity in regulatory processing times can be expected to be varied and numerous and indeed we find evidence that outside interest groups, the legislature, and bureaucratic discretion are all significant in affecting regulatory processing times. Our most intriguing results concern the effects of environmental interest groups, which, despite their apparent benefit/cost motivation to hasten the relicensing process (independent of relicensing outcomes), overall end up slowing it down.
The City of Hamilton, OH has obtained a federal license to operate a 106 MW hydropower facility at the Captain Anthony Meldahl locks and dam near Augusta, Kentucky. According to the license issued yesterday, the project to be located on the existing Army Corps dam on the Ohio River, will occupy about 81 acres of federal lands.
There have been increasing concerns in Utah about the proposed Lake Powell pipeline project which will also include hydropower projects. Although the project is primarily a water supply project, FERC has been charged to conduct the environmental analysis due to the proposal for power production.