FERC Revokes A Hydropower License in Georgia for Non-Compliance

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On October 16, FERC revoked the license for East Juliette hydroelectric project on the Ocmulgee River in Georgia due to its repeated failure to construct fish passage facilities as required by its 1985 license.

Built in 1921, the East Juliette Dam is the first barrier to anadromous fish, including American shad, on the Ocmulgee River. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have been trying to restore access to spawning habitat for American Shad in the region. However, despite repeated efforts by FWS and NMFS to assist the licensee in constructing appropriate fish passage, the licensee ignored to consult with them. When FERC initiated revocation of the license, FWS and NMFS, joined by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), filed letters supporting the revocation. Coalition member American Rivers and Altamaha Riverkeeper also filed comment letter supporting the revocation and additionally requested that FERC require the licensee to remove project facilities.

Even though the Commission did not require removal of project facilities, the license revocation opens door for further action on providing fish passage at the facility.