Joseph H. Bornong, The Electric Consumer Protection Act of 1986: Changes in Hydro Licensing?, 23 Gonz. L. Rev. 135 (1987)
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The Electric Consumer Protection Act of 1986 (ECPA) took effect with President Reagan’s signature on October 16, 1986. It amends the standards and procedures for every permit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues for water projects. This legislation is the first significant revision of Part 1 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), relating to the standards and procedures for licensing of hydroelectric power projects on the waters of the United States, since 1935. In the final analysis, however, the changes suffer from poor organization and compromise to such an extent that many of the bill’s original goals will not be reached.
This article will explore the most significant areas of FPA amendment, compare them to their sponsors’ discernible intentions, and predict the effects these amendments will have on near-future hydroelectric development.