Hydropower, also known as Hydroelectric Power, is an inexpensive, clean energy source favored by many power companies. There are over 1,600 Hydroelectric Power Plants operating in the United States. This represents just over 5% of the country’s power supply, but 50% of the country’s renewable energy. It is expected that the market share of hydroelectric power will vastly increase in the coming decades. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, known as FERC, licenses Hydropower Plants.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conducts investigations and pursues license revocation against Hydropower Plants. FERC’s main offices are located in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. As part of the United States Department of Energy, or DOE, FERC utilizes an Administrative Law disciplinary process to conduct these proceedings. FERC’s Division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance (DHAC) and the Office of Enforcement investigate disciplinary violations allegedly committed by Hydropower Plants. Many investigations occur due to noncompliance with FERC rules and regulations. Common violations include deviations affecting waterways, deviations from fish passage facility operations and filing issues.

Disciplinary matters are formally heard before an Administrative Law Judge or the actual Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The 5 member Commission holds final authority over all disciplinary matters. Prior to a Hearing, it may be possible to enter into a settlement with the Commission. Attorneys employed by FERC represent the government. It is important to seek counsel from an attorney experienced in FERC Hydropower Plant Hearings.

Hydropower Plants face Hearings for noncompliance with FERC rules and regulations. In addition, FERC Hearings may be held for licensing, exemptions and amendments. All three categories of Hydropower regulations are overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee. Termination Hearings involve the possible revocation/cancellation of a Hydropower license. A FERC Hearing is a serious matter that should be handled by attorneys knowledge in the area of Federal Administrative Law.

Hydropower plants facing a FERC Hearing should contact an attorney for representation.