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Creating permitting efficiencies for U.S. hydropower projects

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

For many years, both Democrat and Republican administrations have promoted federal policy advancing the use of hydropower for the benefit of the economy, environment, and communities. However, hydropower developers must navigate a broad permitting and regulatory process.

Dawson & Associates Senior Advisor Kamau Sadiki is an expert in federal hydropower policy. As a career federal employee, he directed development of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydropower Modernization Initiative; a 20-year strategy to improve hydropower development.

This summer, the editors at Hydro Review, one of the hydropower industry's leading media outlets, asked Kamau for his perspectives on how to achieve timeline efficiencies within the federal authorization process.

Kamau’s article, “Federal hydropower permits and licensing: Avoiding delays and staying on track,” appears in the July issue. An excerpt:

I have seen a remarkable range of hydropower permit applicants. Some have truly been exemplary. For example, the 55 MW Red Rock Hydroelectric Project on the Des Moines River in Iowa stands out as a project that obtained its permit, license and approvals to construct and operate on a solid timetable with very few delays. This was not accidental!

Those involved in the approval process consistently submitted information that addressed Corps policy thoroughly and in a timely fashion. This built trust during negotiations, which kept the project review process moving forward.

Yet for every Red Rock Hydroelectric project, there were others that got bogged down, usually because the applicant did not appreciate what was necessary to comply with federal law or (sadly) overlooked what the law required. In too many cases, those permit applications descended into unneeded delays and finger-pointing.

The full article is here on the Dawson & Associates website.

Dawson & Associates has extensive expertise and experience with the federal environmental permitting process. For more information about Dawson’s successes in helping businesses achieve their goals, please contact us.

Maj. Gen. (Ret) Rick Stevens

Senior Vice President

A former Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rick joined our firm in 2018.


The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dawson & Associates.


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