RAPID/Roadmap/12-WA-a(1)

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Washington State Fish and Wildlife License Conditions and Recommendations (12-WA-a(1))

The Federal Power Act (FPA) requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consult with state agencies responsible for the oversight and protection of fish, wildlife, and botanical resources. 18 CFR 5.1(d); 18 CFR 4.38. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is the state agency charged with the preservation, protection, perpetuation, and management of the state’s wildlife and fish resources. RCW 77.04.012. The WDFW participates in the FERC licensing process by (in addition to consulting with other federal, state, and tribal resource management agencies involved in the FERC licensing process) reviewing proposed hydropower projects and issuing to FERC either mandatory terms and conditions or recommendations designed to protect, mitigate damage to, and enhance fish and wildlife resources. 16 U.S.C. § 803.


State Fish and Wildlife License Conditions and Recommendations Process

12-WA-a.1 – Is the Project Exempt from FERC Licensing?

The FPA authorizes WDFW to issue mandatory terms and conditions for any hydropower projects that are exempt from FERC licensing. 18 U.S.C. § 823a(c). For hydropower projects not exempt from FERC licensing, the FPA grants authority to issue recommendations for the FERC license. 18 U.S.C. § 803(j).


12-WA-a.2 – Develop Section 30(c) Conditions

For hydropower projects that are exempt from FERC licensing, section 30(c) of the FPA authorizes the WDFW to issue mandatory terms and conditions, as appropriate, in order to prevent the loss of or damage to fish and wildlife resources. 16 U.S.C. § 823a(c).

The WDFW reviews proposed hydropower projects, considering the potential effects of the project on fish and wildlife (and recreation) resources. Based upon its analysis, the WDFW will work with the developer to formulate section 30(c) conditions for the hydropower project.


12-WA-a.3 – Section 30(c) Conditions

The WDFW issues its section 30(c) conditions to FERC. FERC must include all section 30(c) conditions issued by the WDFW in a timely manner in the licensing exemption. 16 U.S.C. § 823a(c); 18 CFR 4.34(f). After FERC issues an exemption, the WDFW monitors the developer’s compliance with the section 30(c) conditions included in the licensing exemption.


12-WA-a.4 – Initiate Section 10(j) Analysis

For hydropower projects subject to FERC licensing, section 10(j) of the FPA authorizes the WDFW to issue recommendations to FERC in order to protect, mitigate damage to, and enhance those fish and wildlife species and their necessary habitat. 16 U.S.C. § 803(j).

The WDFW initiates a section 10(j) analysis by reviewing the administrative record and identifying the potential impacts of the hydropower project on fish and wildlife species and their habitat.

Several statutes, policies, and regulations guide WDFW’s 10(j) recommendations. WDFW’s Priority Habitats and Species List is the agency’s most important tool for mapping and providing management recommendations for species and habitats. The list provides relevant information on important fish, wildlife, and habitat resources in the state. WDFW may also rely on the following:


12-WA-a.5 to 12-WA-a.6 – Are Additional Documents or Studies Needed?

If the record is incomplete, the WDFW may request that the developer provide the additional documents. The WDFW may also conduct studies to address information gaps concerning baseline values or potential impacts of the proposed project.


12-WA-a.7 to 12-WA-a.8 – Section 10(j) Recommendations

Based upon the WDFW’s review of the hydropower project, the WDFW works with the developer to formulate section 10(j) recommendations for the FERC license. 16 U.S.C. § 803(j). In developing its section 10(j) recommendations, the WDFW considers and strives to maintain consistency with the requirements of Washington – Title 77, Fish and Wildlife, the federal Endangered Species Act, and the management plan for the affected area. The WDFW’s recommendations may include measures addressing instream flow regimes, fish passage facilities, and/or vegetation and terrestrial wildlife management plans.

The WDFW submits its section 10(j) recommendations to FERC. FERC must consider and accept any recommendations from the WDFW for the protection, mitigation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife affected by the project unless FERC determines that:

  1. A recommendation is inconsistent with the purposes and requirements of the FPA or other applicable provisions of law; and
  2. The alternative conditions selected by FERC comply with the requirement to adequately protect, mitigate damages to, and enhance fish and wildlife. 16 U.S.C. § 803(j).

Once FERC issues a license, the WDFW continues to monitor the project to ensure the developer’s compliance with any conditions relevant to the protection, mitigation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife.




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Edit Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
Energy Policy Lead and Renewable Energy Section Manager
(425) 379-2312
JustinabbazabbaAllegro@dfwabbazabbawaabbazabbagov