The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finding that the municipal preference in hydropower project relicensing cases did not apply to "orphaned" facilities. Facilities are considered orphaned if the current license holder files a notice of intent to apply for a relicense, but then fails to file a timely application. The court found the FERC's characterization of orphaned project licensing as relicensing to be permissable under the Federal Power Act (FPA), noting that Congress had limited the municipal preference to original license proceedings in amendments to the FPA passed in 1985. The court rejected allegations that the FERC was required to apply original license municipal preference rules to the orphaned facilities because it had allowed the preference in cases where a project license was voluntarily surrendered. It said that orphaned facilities, unlike surrendered projects, involved the filing of a notice of intent to seek relicensing that would dissuade competitors from applying for a license. Oconto Falls et al. v. FERC, No. 93-1340, argued Sept. 19, 1994 (D.C.Cir.)
Articles found on this page are available to Internet subscribers only. For more information about obtaining a username and password, please call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-368-5001.