The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has dismissed a petition by Idaho Power Company that sought to limit the right of states to enforce water quality requirements when FERC relicenses hydropower projects. In a January 2 post, we described the circumstances of the case and provided the intervention and Motion to Dismiss of CSPA and other conservation groups.
Following its January 19, 2017 meeting, FERC issued an Order that explicitly affirms the limitations that the federal Clean Water Act places on the Commission. The Order states in part: “[T]he Commission has no authority to review or reject conditions of a state’s water quality certification. Nor would we have any authority to resolve conflicts between the states’ certifications, if they exist, or conflicts between the states’ certification conditions and any mandatory fishway prescriptions or other mandatory conditions.”