The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates nonfederal hydropower projects. Prior to constructing such a project, a sponsor must obtain a license from FERC; once issued, licensees must commence construction within a specific period of time. Before applying for a license to commence construction, a potential licensee has the option to seek a preliminary permit for a particular site, which guarantees that a license application subsequently filed by the permittee will be considered before any other applications for licenses to construct projects on that site.
S. 724 would extend, from 4 to 10 years, the maximum length of time by which licensees would have to commence construction of a hydropower project under a FERC license. The bill also would extend, from five to eight years, the maximum length of time covered by a preliminary permit. View Document