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Licensing Processes

Integrated, Traditional and Alternative Licensing Processes
(Note: Some of the links are to external sites and you will be leaving FERC's website)

Filing a Hydropower License Application with the Commission
Effective July 23, 2005, the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) is the default process for filing an application for an original, new, or subsequent license (18 CFR Part 5) External Link. Commission approval is needed to use either the Traditional or the Alternative Licensing Process. Below are summaries of the three processes; view process flowcharts and other related materials under “Additional Information".
» Integrated Licensing Process (ILP)
» Traditional Licensing Process (TLP)
In developing a license application, applicants must complete and document a three-stage pre-filing consultation process 18 CFR 4.38 External Link for original licenses and 18 CFR 16.8 External Link for relicenses. The steps include:

    First Stage

    • Applicant issues notice of intent, preliminary application document, request to use TLP, and newspaper notice;
    • Commission approves use of TLP;
    • Applicant conducts joint agency/public meeting and site visit;
    • Resource agencies and tribes provide written comments; and
    • Agencies, tribes, or applicant request dispute resolution on studies with the Commission.

    Second Stage

    • Applicant completes reasonable and necessary studies o Applicant provides draft application and study results to resource agencies and tribes;
    • Resource agencies and tribes comment on draft application; and
    • Applicant conducts meeting if substantive disagreements exist.

    Third Stage

    • Applicant files final application with Commission and sends copies to agencies and tribes.
» Alternative Licensing Process (ALP)
In contrast to the traditional licensing process described above, Applicants can utilize the Commission's alternative licensing process designed to improve communication among affected entities (18 CFR 4.34(i) External Link; Order No. 596 TIF).

As part of the alternative licensing process, an applicant can:
  • Tailor the pre-filing consultation process to the circumstances of each case;

  • Combine into a single process the pre-filing consultation process and environmental review processes under the National Environmental Policy Act and other statutes; and

  • Allow for preparation of a preliminary draft environmental assessment by an applicant or an environmental impact statement by a contractor chosen by the Commission and funded by the applicant.

The requirements of the alternative licensing process are found in 18 CFR 4.34(i) External Link and discussed in detail in Order No. 596 TIF.