FERC Surrenders Hydropower LIcenses
Action Applies to Secord, Smallwood and Sanford Dams
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has had regulatory jurisdiction over Secord, Smallwood and Sanford dams, released its authority to the State of Michigan on May 20, 2021 through a process known as implied surrender. FERC previously revoked the license of Edenville Dam in September 2018.
The FERC order states, “a license may be terminated by implied surrender where a licensee, by action or inaction, has clearly indicated its intent to abandon the project ... or has failed for several years to operate or maintain the project with no indication of doing so in the reasonably foreseeable future.”
The order also states FERC is ... "willing to terminate the licenses by implied surrender only under the unique facts of this case, where a local community entity has acquired the project lands and property and is already engaged in remedying the deficiencies created by Boyce Hydro, with no intent to generate hydropower, and where the state regulator has expressed support for this action."
The agency committed its support to coordinate with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and FLTF to ensure an effective and successful transition of authority to the state.
For several months FLTF has advocated that it is in the best interest of the community for the dams to be under state jurisdiction.
Correction to Implied Surrender
Item #24 of the FERC implied surrender incorrectly states that Four Lakes Task Force owns the four dams. This is incorrect. Midland and Gladwin counties own the dams, therefore FLTF informed FERC by letter of the error, requesting a formal change to the order.
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