Hydropower FERC Surrender of Authorization Overview (20)
Developers with a FERC license or exemption may decide to surrender their authorization. FERC may also require surrender of a license. Under any of these circumstances, the developer must complete the relevant FERC surrender process. The Division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance within FERC processes applications to surrender authorizations to ensure environmental concerns and safety are accounted for before removing the project from federal jurisdiction. The surrender process includes a written decommissioning and disposal plan of the plant, transmission lines, dam and reservoir, and recreation features. A 30-day comment period follows the surrender request and a decision is made shortly after.
Surrendering allows the land to begin restoration and reclamation processes. Typical actions include removing the facility, breaking down concrete pads and foundations, removing access roads, and recontouring the land.
FERC Surrender of Authorization Overview Process
20.1 to 20.3 – Does the Developer Wish To Surrender FERC License or Exemption?
If the developer decides to surrender an authorization in the form of either a FERC license or exemption, the developer must follow the relevant FERC surrender process. In order to surrender either type of authorization, the developer must reach an agreement with FERC prior to surrendering the authorization (FERC Handbook, page 6-1).
FERC Surrender of License Process
Developers may decide to surrender a FERC license, or FERC may require the surrender of a license by denying a new license and require the developer to decommission the project, in whole or in part. Surrender may be for projects that have already been constructed, projects currently under construction or just for the license. The first step of the surrender process requires the developer to submit an application to FERC (18 CFR 6.1).
FERC Surrender of Exemption Process
Developers may decide to surrender a FERC exemption. Requirements for surrender of a conduit exemption are outlined in 18 CFR § 4.95. Requirements for surrender of a 10MW exemption are outlined in 18 CFR § 4.102. Under either process, the developer is required to consult with the relevant resource management agency and submit a Petition for Surrender of an Exemption to FERC (18 CFR § 4.95(a) and 18 CFR § 4.102(a)).
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