In an effort to streamline FERC’s regulatory process and promote the development of small-scale hydropower projects, Congress passed the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (the Act), also known as the 1040-EZ of hydropower. This Note contends that in an effort to promote the development of small-scale hydropower projects and streamline FERC’s regulatory process, it appears that Congress favored efficiency over oversight, and failed to recognize the negative externalities of the dams the Act seeks to utilize. Part I of this Note introduces the relevant background information and the regulatory process for hydropower development. Within Part I, nonpowered dams and their potential for hydropower development is introduced. Part I concludes with a look at the current regulation of hydropower dams and how the Act seeks to streamline the relicensing process by reducing regulatory burdens. Part II considers whether the aggregate increase in hydropower outweighs the environmental, economic, and social externalities of maintaining dams and installing hydropower infrastructure. This Part also considers whether the Act values efficiency and hydropower gained from streamlined regulations over community and stakeholder oversight. Part III proposes that FERC and Congress consider a more concentrated and efficient approach to increased hydropower generation and energy policy.
The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act: Not Giving a Dam for Negative Externalities or Stakeholder Oversight.
Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.