Clean Currents 2022

Environmental Decision Support Toolkit for Navigating Stakeholder Discussions in FERC Licensing: Tech Demo 1 in the Innovation Power House

Join this technology demonstration to get familiar with a new toolkit intended to help objectively prioritize environmental impacts. The toolkit can be helpful for hydro project owners and developers, resource agencies, tribes, and the conservation community.

The Challenge
Environmental regulations are essential for protecting the health of waterways and wildlife in the United States. However, for hydropower facilities, conducting environmental studies can be costly, time-consuming, and have the potential to delay operations. For most privately owned non-federal hydropower facilities, the licensing process can take 5-7 years.

Hydropower stakeholders have identified the early part of the licensing process to be extremely challenging. Environmental and energy stakeholders, tribes, and state and federal agencies must work together to determine if a proposed project has any environmental impacts and whether additional studies or mitigation efforts will be required. The diverse priorities and perspectives among these participants can often lead to significant communication breakdowns and delays.

A Solution
To help address these challenges and simplify the licensing process, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Kearns & West have developed a voluntary and user-friendly science-based Environmental Decision Support (EDS) Toolkit for hydropower stakeholders.

This toolkit can be used at the beginning of the negotiation process to identify and prioritize the potential environmental impacts of a proposed project and help stakeholders determine where to best invest time and energy.

Read More!
An article, published on NHA’s POWERHOUSE media platform, gives details about this new toolkit.

Presenter Information

Esther Parish

Esther Parish
Environmental Scientist, Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), U.S. Department of Energy
Demonstration Speaker

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