Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Dam Safety Program,
FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION WASHINGTON DC
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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FERC, Office of Hydropower Licensing, is responsible for the regulation of nonfederal hydroelectric power projects. All hydroelectric facilities not owned and operated by a federal agency, such as the Corps of Engineers, TVA or USBR, must obtain an operating license from FERC. The Federal Power Act, first enacted in 1920, gives FERC broad powers to insure public safety and proper utilization of water resources for hyroelectric power generation. FERC currently has jurisdiction over approximately 2200 hydroelectric projects involving approximately 790 dams over 35 feet in height and, therefore, has a keen interest in the safety of existing dams. The dam safety program at FERC is administered in two ways. First, all projects for which an application for license is received or for which a major change in development is proposed, must be certified as safe and adequate by Design Review Branch DRB Engineers.
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