On January 19, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) regarding its practices for requiring financial assurance measures in hydroelectric licenses. FERC issues the NOI based on the observation that certain projects are not in compliance or cannot maintain compliance with their license conditions, particularly in connection with safety and environmental measures. The failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams in 2020 prompt FERC to consider measures to assure that financial resources are available to ensure public safety. Possible measures for which FERC seeks comment include posting bonds, obtaining insurance, or instituting industry-wide remediation funds.
FERC’s NOI can be found here. Public comment can be submitted 60 days after publication of the NOI in the Federal Register.