The National Hydropower Association (NHA) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reform its regulations governing the relicensing of hydroelectric projects. No legislation would be involved. Linda Church Ciocci, NHA executive director, supports two main objectives: 1) improving how the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is incorporated in the process, and 2) increasing public participation.NHA's proposal would create a licensing process of about three years (it now averages about six years) and would involve all affected parties early, to eliminate the delaying tactic of late intervention. It would create a two-step review process to incorporate all information requirements before a final application is filed. Also, dispute resolution would take place before the relicense application is filed.
But Trout Unlimited (TU) has already denounced the plan. Mona Janopaul of TU's Conservation Council says, "We came to the table ready to play ball, to jointly find a win-win solution, and the hydro lobby decided it would rather play politics."
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