U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 28, 2023
(a) A hydroelectric small power production facility that impounds or diverts the water of a natural watercourse by means of a new dam or diversion (as that term is defined in § 292.202(p)) is a qualifying facility only if it meets the requirements of:
(1) Paragraph (b) of this section;
(2) Section 292.203(c); and
(3) Part 4 of this chapter.
(b) A hydroelectric small power production described in paragraph (a) is a qualifying facility only if:
(1) The Commission finds, at the time it issues the license or exemption, that the project will not have a substantial adverse effect on the environment (as that term is defined in § 292.202(q)), including recreation and water quality;
(2) The Commission finds, at the time the application for the license or exemption is accepted for filing under § 4.32 of this chapter, that the project is not located on any segment of a natural watercourse which:
(i) Is included, or designated for potential inclusion in, a State or National wild and scenic river system; or
(ii) The State has determined, in accordance with applicable State law, to possess unique natural, recreational, cultural or scenic attributes which would be adversely affected by hydroelectric development; and
(3) The project meets the terms and conditions set by the appropriate fish and wildlife agencies under the same procedures as provided for under section 30(c) of the Federal Power Act.
(c) For the Commission to make the findings in paragraph (b) of this section an applicant must:
(1) Comply with the applicable hydroelectric licensing requirements in Part 4 of this chapter, including:
(i) Completing the pre-filing consultation process under § 4.38 of this chapter, including performing any environmental studies which may be required under §§ 4.38(b)(2)(i)(D) through (F) of this chapter; and
(ii) Submitting with its application an environmental report that meets the requirements of § 4.41(f) of this chapter, regardless of project size;
(2) State whether the project is located on any segment of a natural watercourse which:
(i) Is included in or designated for potential inclusion in:
(A) The National Wild and Scenic River System (28 U.S.C. 1271–1278 (1982)); or
(B) A State wild and scenic river system;
(ii) Crosses an area designated or recommended for designation under the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1132) as:
(A) A wilderness area; or
(B) Wilderness study area; or
(iii) The State, either by or pursuant to an act of the State legislature, has determined to possess unique, natural, recreational, cultural, or scenic attributes that would be adversely affected by hydroelectric development.
(d) If the project is located on any segment of a natural watercourse that meets any of the conditions in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the applicant must provide the following information in its application:
(1) The date on which the natural watercourse was protected;
(2) The statutory authority under which the natural watercourse was protected; and
(3) The Federal or state agency, or political subdivision of the state, that is in charge of administering the natural watercourse.