2 Overview of Hydropower Regulation

With very few exceptions, FERC regulates all operating non-federal dams that generate electrical energy anywhere in the U.S.  Its jurisdiction extends to each dam that meets at least one of the following tests: (1) occupancy of federal public land, (2) regulation of a navigable stream, (3) use of surplus water or water power from a federal dam, or (4) if constructed after August 26, 1935, any effect on interstate commerce, including linkage of the project to the grid.[1]  This jurisdiction includes any dam that, in addition to electrical generation, also serves other functions, such as water supply or flood control.


[1]               See 16 U.S.C. § 797.