The Federal Government’s Role

Power producing dams, such as the four hydroelectric projects operated by Boyce Hydro LLC on the Tittabawassee River, are federally regulated and must be in compliance with all directives issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  FERC requires frequent monitoring, inspections, engineering and environmental reports and emergency preparation as part of its oversight.  Much of what is required would be done by any prudent owner of property in its own best interest.  However, FERC has been inflexible regarding the ability of high hazard dams to pass the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF).  FERC has consistently rquired licensees of high hazard dams throughout the country to comply with its criteria for evaluating the PMF and then mitigating and correcting any inability to safely pass the PMF.  Dam owners are expected to comply, regardless of their ability to pay for it.  If they cannot comply, the dam owner must surrender the license under conditions mandated by FERC, which may include draining the reservoir.

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