Submitted by Rupak Thapaliya on Mon, 2010-04-12 15:58
On March 31, FERC issued a 30-year license to Alabama Power Company to operate its Warrior project (P-2165) on the Black Warrior River in Alabama.
Among other things, the license requires Alabama Power to release a minimum flow of 50 cubic feet per second from the Smith dam and also annually stock coldwater fish species (i.e., trout) in the tailwaters of the Smith development. The annual stocking is expected to enhance recreational sport fishery in Sipsey Fork tributary of the Black Warrior River.
This article presents and overview of the hydropower industry and summarizes two recent events that have greatly influenced relicensing and environmental issues. First, the US Supreme Court's May 1994 Tacoma decision raised fundamental questions about who has the authority to relicense hydroelectric power plants. Second, under the Endangered Species Act, Federal agencies are required to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize protected species and their habitat. The impact of the Act has been particularly significant recently for the federally owned facilities in the Pacific Northwest that are presently under streamflow restrictions aimed at aiding endangered local fish populations.
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