The Commission's major hydropower activity is relicensing existing projects whose licenses are about to expire. Staff prepares either an Environmental Assessments (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and bases recommended license conditions on these reviews. 



Licensing Processes

Alternative Licensing Process Flowcharts

Traditional Licensing Process Flowcharts


Integrated Licensing Process


General Guidance

Contents of an application

Comprehensive Plans

Section 10(a)(2)(A) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) to consider the extent to which a project is consistent with Federal or state comprehensive plans for improving, developing, or conserving a waterway or waterways affected by the project. 
On April 27, 1988, the Commission issued Order No. 481-A, revising Order No. 481, issued October 26, 1987, establishing that the Commission will accord FPA section 10(a)(2)(A) comprehensive plan status to any Federal or state plan that:

  1. Is a comprehensive study of one or more of the beneficial uses of a waterway or waterways;
  2. Specifies the standards, the data, and the methodology used; and
  3. Is filed with the Secretary of the Commission.

A comprehensive plan should contain the following:

  1. A description of the waterway or waterways that are the subject of the plan, including pertinent maps detailing the geographic area of the plan;
  2.  A description of the significant resources of the waterway or waterways;
  3.  A description of the various existing and planned uses for these resources; and
  4.  A discussion of goals, objectives, and recommendations for improving, developing, or conserving the waterway or waterways in relation to these resources.

The description of the significant resources in the area should contain, among other things:

  1. Navigation;
  2. Power development;
  3. Energy conservation;
  4. Fish and wildlife;
  5. Recreational opportunities;
  6. Irrigation;
  7. Flood control;
  8. Water supply; and
  9. Other aspects of environmental quality.

The plan should contain an examination of how the different uses will promote the overall public interest.
List of Comprehensive Plans 

Project Information

The following descriptive information is available for licenses, exemptions, and preliminary permits issued by the Commission:

  1. Project Number and Name;
  2. Licensee/Exemptee/Permitee;
  3. Authorized Capacity in Kilowatts;
  4. State(s);
  5. River/Stream;
  6. Issuance Date; and
  7. Expiration Date.

For further information you should contact the Public Reference Room during the hours of 8:30 to 5:00 Monday through Friday at 202-502-8371 or toll-free at 1-866-208-3676. Your requests can also be e-mailed to


This page was last updated on July 13, 2021