Charles R. Sensiba

Partner

202.298.1801

crs@vnf.com

Assistant

1050 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
Seventh Floor
Washington, DC 20007
  • Provides strategic and legal counsel on the full range of environmental and public lands issues related to the to the State of Alaska’s 600 MW Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project, which would be the first large, new dam hydroelectric project constructed in the United States in over four decades.
  • Successfully represented a large coalition of hydroelectric licensees in administrative litigation before FERC and appellate proceedings concerning FERC’s federal land fees program, which yielded more than $20 million in refunds and cost savings following the court’s ruling in City of Idaho Falls v. FERC, 629 F.3d 222 (D.C. Cir. 2011).
  • Counsels the Columbia River Treaty Power Group, a coalition consisting of over 80 electric utilities, industry associations and other entities that depend on power produced by the Columbia River hydropower generating plants, in legal and policy issues arising under the Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada.
  • Counsels the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in the relicensing of the 1,160 MW Blenheim Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project, and provided legal and settlement counsel in the high-profile relicensings of NYPA’s 912 MW St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project and 2,755 MW Niagara Power Project.
  • Negotiated comprehensive, multi-party settlement agreements with numerous federal and state regulators for the FERC relicensing of the Toledo Bend Project—the most expansive FERC-licensed project (with over 1,200 miles of shoreline and nearly 4.5 million acre feet of storage) and the only FERC-licensed project that is jointly owned and operated by two states.
  • Successfully represented a large coalition of hydroelectric licensees in administrative litigation proceedings before FERC in overturning over thirty years of precedent regarding FERC’s treatment of hydropower lands subject to a federal power site reservation.
  • Provides FERC relicensing and license compliance counsel for the Grand River Dam Authority’s 105 MW Pensacola Project, 108 MW Markham Ferry Project, and 260 MW Salina Pumped Storage Project.
  • Represents hydropower interests in major rulemaking proceedings before FERC and other federal agencies affecting regulatory requirements applicable to water and power development.
  • Successfully represented a small hydropower developer in administrative litigation before FERC regarding the jurisdictional status of a small hydropower project in Washington State.

Publications

Water Transfers & the CWA

The Water Report, Issue 157 pp. 16
03/01/2017

Hydropower Licensing under the Federal Power Act: A Century of Resource Conflict Resolution in the Public Interest

Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 31 Issue 1 pp. 27
08/01/2016

Hydroelectric Regulation Under the Federal Power Act

Waters and Water Rights, Michie (2016)
01/01/2016

Hydroelectric Power

Energy Law and Transactions, D. Muchow and W. Mogel, eds. (2016)
01/01/2016

The Columbia River Treaty at 50: Looking back, looking ahead

ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resource's Trends, Vol. 45 Issue 6
08/01/2014

New Hydropower Laws for Irrigators: New Challenges and Opportunities

Irrigation Leader, Vol. 4 Issue 9 pp. 26
10/01/2013

Hydroelectric Regulation

Energy Law and Transactions (2012)
12/01/2012

Hydro Power

Environment, Energy and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2011
American Bar Association (2012)
05/01/2012

Presentations

HydroVision International 2017

Speaker, "FAST, WRDA, HREA and Other Regulatory Developments That Will Affect Hydro Licensing"
Denver, CO
06/27/2017

National Hydropower Association's Alaska Regional Meeting

Speaker, "New Hydropower Development in Alaska: Challenges and Opportunities"
National Hydropower Association
Cordova, AK
09/19/2016

National Water Resources Association's Western Water Seminar 2016

Presenter, "Hydro Permitting Roundtable"
Sun Valley, ID
08/03/2016

HydroVision International 2016

Presenter, "Return of the Basin Planning Concept: Issues and Perspectives"
Minneapolis, MN
07/26/2016

2016 National Hydropower Association Northeast Regional Meeting

Presenter, "Relicensing: TLP vs. ILP"
Philadelphia, PA
06/02/2016

EBA Primer Series: An Introduction to Hydropower Law and Regulation

Speaker, "Overlapping Jurisdiction Issues in Licensing"
Energy Bar Association and the National Hydropower Association
Boston, MA
09/15/2014

National Hydropower Association 2014 Alaska Regional Meeting

Moderator, "Emerging Regulatory Issues Facing Hydro Development in Alaska"
National Hydropower Association
Ketchikan, AK
06/10/2014

NHA 2014 Annual Conference

Session Leader, "Hydro Regulation Update: Issues Proposals, SOLUTIONS!"
National Hydropower Association
Washington, DC
04/28/2014