On behalf of joint licensees Sabine River Authority of Texas and Sabine River Authority in the State of Louisiana, the firm served as lead negotiator in a comprehensive settlement of the relicensing of the Toledo Bend Project (Project) before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
In terms of geographic expanse and water storage capacity, the Project is the largest FERC-licensed project in the United States, and it is the only hydroelectric project licensed to governmental entities of two separate states. As such, settlement negotiations were particularly complex, as they included not only federal regulators (U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service), but the fish and wildlife and water quality agencies of Louisiana and Texas. The settlement resolves the licensees’ obligations under the Federal Power Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and applicable state programs for the next 30- to 50-year license term.
The firm has been working on the FERC relicensing effort for the Toledo Bend Project since 2007. After years of studies and public outreach, the joint licensees filed a relicensing application with FERC in September 2011, and settlement negotiations commenced immediately thereafter. The firm spent almost a year conducting meetings with stakeholders and negotiating proposed license measures to be incorporated into the new license. The firm filed the comprehensive settlement on behalf of the join licensees in August 2012. FERC is currently conducting an environmental analysis of the joint licensees’ relicensing application, including the settlement, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is expected to issue a new license by early 2014.