Formed in 1977, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil. Among other duties, it is responsible for licensing and regulating non-federal hydropower development throughout the United States.
FERC required the mobilization of a nationwide technical and environmental staff to prepare environmental impact statements (EIS) as well as assessments of hydropower facilities throughout the United States. FERC also needed a highly skilled staff to carefully interact with applicants, agencies and public interest groups.
WSP was chosen to assist FERC in U.S. hydropower licensing proceedings, which involve reviewing applications, providing logistical support for scoping meetings and preparing EISs and environmental assessments. Other project duties performed by WSP included:
- Analyzing issues and concerns associated with more than 100 existing and proposed hydropower projects, including projects located on the same or adjacent rivers.
- Identifying and recommending mitigation and enhancement measures.
- Evaluating engineering and economic issues relating to water quality and hydrology, the demand for project power and the needs of power generation versus environmental concerns.
In addition, WSP has provided support to the Division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance by conducting annual inspections of about 40 hydropower facilities to ensure they are operating in compliance with their FERC licenses.