The Aesthetics Flows Guide (pdf) provides a common framework for requesting, designing, or reviewing flow-aesthetics studies, and reviews specific methods for conducting those studies in a hydropower licensing or water adjudication proceedings to protect aesthetics values of rivers.
Visit this website to learn about the effects of dams on rivers and the environment. It also explains how dams and hydropower projects can be operated differently to reduce their adverse impacts.
The Hydropower Licensing Guide first published in 2005 has been updated. The update includes addition of 2005 EPAct Hearing provisions under the Integrated Licensing Process as well as reorganization of Appendices.
On April 7, the long effort to restore the Klamath River and its once-prolific salmon and steelhead runs passed another major milestone when the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued its Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification for the removal of the Lower Klamath Project.
The Hydropower Reform Coalition submitted comments on March 10, 2020 in opposition to proposed changes to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Coalition’s comments state that the proposed new NEPA rule would make analysis worse and would harm the environment.
Analysis under NEPA is required whenever there is an action by a federal agency that may have impacts on the environment, including the issuance of permits and licenses. The Trump administration’s Council on Environmental Quality issued the proposed new rule for NEPA in January 2020.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) recently ruled that California does not need to provide water quality certification for the Middle Fork American Hydroelectric Project (Middle Fork Project) in Placer and El Dorado counties, operated by Placer County Water Agency (PCWA). This order effectively waives California’s authority to ensure water quality and environmental protections for hydropower operations. Conservationists decried the loss of protection for local rivers and claim the precedent will limit the authority of states to implement and enforce the Clean Water Act nati