FERC's Experience in Analyzing Cumulative Impacts

by Lee Emery, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '89


Since the mid-1980's, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) has assessed cumulative impacts associated with developing proposed hydropower projects. A brief overview is presented that discuss how the Commission staff uses four methods of making assessments: 1) a cluster impact assessment procedure (CIAP); 2) river basin environmental impact statements (EIS); 3) cumulative environmental assessments (EA); and 4) cumulative impact analyses that the staff incorporates into standard National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents. Finding the proper way to assess cumulative impacts has been difficult and the approaches are tempered by legal precedents and practical experience. The Commission currently uses method 4, but is not precluded from using any of the other methods.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Environmental issues | Construction management | Standards and codes | Legal affairs | Energy methods | Power plants | Federal government

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