Hydropower Relicensing Using the Integrated Licensing Process - Morgan Falls Project

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and the Morgan Falls powerhouse and dam Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and the Morgan Falls powerhouse and dam

Geosyntec led the development of one of the first license applications in the nation under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) for the relicensing of Georgia Power’s 16.8-MW Morgan Falls Project. Morgan Falls is located on the Chattahoochee River in metropolitan Atlanta downstream of a large federal reservoir and within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area managed by the National Park Service.

Geosyntec’s Scope of Services

The Pre-Application Document (PAD) prepared by Geosyntec compiled extensive existing resource information demonstrating the vital role of the project in ensuring adequate flows for water supply and water quality in the Chattahoochee River. This segment of the river is managed as a stocked trout fishery and serves as the primary source of drinking water for metro Atlanta. Geosyntec prepared the first FERC-approved study plan under the ILP. The study plan leveraged the use of the existing information, effectively applied the ILP study criteria, and proposed only those new studies needed to inform the development of license requirements. Geosyntec also assisted Georgia Power in the first use of the ILP’s Study Dispute Resolution Process. Geosyntec managed seven comprehensive resource studies, including: water resources; reservoir dredging feasibility evaluation; fisheries and fish entrainment; recreation surveys; wildlife and botanical resources and invasive species; wetlands and riparian habitat; and rare, threatened, and endangered species. Geosyntec also participated in key stakeholder meetings and developed the Preliminary Licensing Proposal and Exhibit E (Environmental Report) of the final license application.

Notable Accomplishments
Geosyntec supported Georgia Power in successfully obtaining a new 30-year license for the Morgan Falls Project with favorable license terms and conditions for maintaining the power benefits of the project while providing environmental enhancement measures. Geosyntec also supported Georgia Power in successful off-license settlement negotiations with the U.S. Department of the Interior to address the mandatory license conditioning authority of the National Park Service under Federal Power Act Section 4(e).

Project Overview

  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • Client: Georgia Power
  • Project Practice Areas: Water and Natural Resources
  • Type of Facility: Electric Utility
  • Services Provided: Relicensing Strategy Support, Pre-Application Document, Study Plan Development, Formal Study Dispute Resolution, Resource Study Implementation, Preliminary Licensing Proposal
  • Type of Work: Relicensing Support
  • Company: Geosyntec Consultants
  • Governing Regulation: FERC
Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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