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.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council is commissioned to balance fish and wildlife needs within the Columbia River Basin with energy needs, and has developed the Protected Areas Program to reflect this balance in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. In 1988, the Council designated 44,000 miles of river as "protected areas" where hydroelectric development would have unacceptable adverse impacts on fish and wildlife and their habitat. The program protects areas where the Council believes dams and development would have major negative impacts that could not be reversed.
In an order issued on December 22, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the license surrender requested by City of Spartanburg, SC for its Clifton Mills No. 1 Hydroelectric Project located on the Pacolet River in Spartanburg County.
The City acquired the project from Clifton Power Corporation in 2010 with the intention of reviving the 800kW project. However, an assessment by the City revealed that the project would cost in excess of $8 million.
Coalition members Foothill Conservancy, Friends of the River and California Sportfishing Alliance were successful in keeping sections of the Mokelumne River free flowing after a California utility dropped its plan to raise a dam on the river.