The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted a policy statement on hydroelectric plant decommissioning, claiming authority to deny new project licenses when existing licenses expire and to order owners to remove a dam during the relicensing process. These measures would only be applied if the FERC concludes that a project, no matter how many conditions were imposed, could no longer meet the comprehensive development standard of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (Docket No. RM93-23-000).
The statement was one of three hydroelectric orders considered as a group. The FERC's authority to deny new licenses, and thereby close down generating facilities, had been questioned by a Maine license holder, Edwards Manufacturing Co. Inc., a co-licensee with the City of Augusta on the Augusta Hydroelectric Project.