Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Approves Power Authority's Alternative Licensing Plan
Niagara Relicensing web site
July 15, 2002
The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) has approved the New York Power Authority’s proposal to use an
alternative licensing procedure (ALP) to seek a new federal license to
continue to operate the Niagara Power Project
on the Niagara River in the Town of Lewiston.
In a letter issued Monday, July 15, FERC said, “in
light of the stakeholders support shown for using the ALP…(it) would be
appropriate in this case because it would foster improved communications,
participation and cooperation among the stakeholders, and ultimately
expedite and reduce the cost of the relicensing process.”
“We’re delighted by this decision,” said Eugene W.
Zeltmann, president and chief executive officer of the Power Authority.
“This will encourage all those who will be affected by our relicensing
effort to participate fully in the entire process and to communicate with
us, the regulators and other stakeholders.”
Even before the Power Authority requested the use of
the alternative licensing process, it met with potential stakeholders to
seek input and communication, demonstrating to FERC that it had made an
effort to contact federal and state resources agencies, the Tuscarora
Nation, non-governmental organizations, and others potentially affected by
FERC’s letter noted that they had received a number of
comment letters in response to the notice, with most supporting NYPA’s
proposal to use the ALP at the Robert Moses-Niagara Project. The Power
Authority submitted 49 letters with its application.
The Power Authority’s Alternative Licensing Proposal
combines into a single process FERC’s prefiling consultation process, the
environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act,
and any administrative processes associated with the Clean Water Act or
other statutes. The ALP will ensure greater participation by, and improve
communication among, NYPA, FERC staff, and the Stakeholders with regard to
the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project.
NYPA also developed a communications protocol which
defines how NYPA, the Stakeholders, and FERC will communicate with each
other to ensure that all parties have access to appropriate relicensing
The ALP also lays out a timeline for relicensing the
Niagara Power Project that includes issuance of the First Stage Consultation
Report; public scoping of an Applicant Prepared Environmental Assessment (APEA);
settlement discussions with Stakeholders; and preparation and filing of the
final license application and applicant prepared environmental assessment.
The Power Authority expects this process to begin by
the end of this year.