Changes to hydropower may affect tribes
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MAY 10, 2001

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wants sole authority to license hydropower dams, a move which would affect how tribal concerns over big water projects affect treaty rights, sacred sites, and other natural resources.

Environmentalists criticized the FERC recommendation, which came in a report to Congress on Tuesday, as a "power grab." The FERC currently works with a number of agencies, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to address potential impacts of hydropower projects.

The report's recommended changes include transferring all authority on dams on tribal lands to the FERC.

A recent GAO report cites the need for more data before decisions are made about reforming the licensing process.

Get the GAO Report:
LICENSING HYDROPOWER PROJECTS: Better Time and Cost Data Needed to Reach Informed Decisions About Process Reforms (GAO-01-499 May 2, 2001)

Get the Story:
FERC recommends taking control over hydropower licensing (AP 5/9)

Relevant Links:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -