Environmental Consulting for Hydroelectric Projects

Hamer Environmental staff is experienced conducting a variety of field studies designed to address specific questions regarding project impacts. Our experience includes habitat modeling, impact assessments, designing empirical studies, development of protection, mitigation and enhancement plans, and threatened and endangered species surveys. Our recommendations can be of use in planning developments to minimize impacts associated with hydroelectric projects. Our services include the following:

  • Relicensing Baseline Studies
  • Post-Licensing Monitoring
  • Field Evaluations
  • Protection/Mitigation Planning
  • Habitat Assessment
  • Habitat Evaluation Procedures
  • Rare Plant Surveys
  • Vegetation Cover Typing (GIS)
  • Habitat Modeling/Habitat Utilization Studies
  • Disturbance and Behavioral Studies
  • Endangered Species Surveys

FERC and Other Environmental Laws and Regulations

The re-licensing of hydropower dams presents an opportunity to restore rivers, improve fish and wildlife habitat, and boost the quality of life for river communities. FERC, the Federal Regulatory Commission is an independent regulatory agency within the Department of Energy that has jurisdiction over all hydropower dams not owned by the federal government. In its evaluation of environmental impacts, FERC is obligated to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA or EIS) using local resource agencies, which assess the environmental consequences of proposed project and compare the impacts with those of alternatives to the suggested action. Some of the regulation policies are as follows:

  • Clean Water Act
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Federal Power Act
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • Hydropower Regulations

Sample of current and recently completed projects:

Rare vascular, non-vascular plant and noxious weed surveys for a fish hatchery expansion at the Upper Baker River Dam, Washington, Puget Sound Energy and US Forest Service.

Rare vascular and non-vascular botanical assessment of two proposed road access sites, Olympic Peninsula, Washington, Bonneville Power Administration and US Forest Service.

Rare vascular and non-vascular plant and noxious weed surveys for the Baker Dam Relicensing Project, Northwest Washington, Puget Sound Energy, US Forest Service and Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

Biological assessment on the impacts to amphibians in the fluctuation zones of two watersheds, Puget Sound Energy and Snohomish County PUD.

Analysis of Grizzly Bear spring forage in the North Cascades, Washington, Puget Sound Energy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service and Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

Surveys for terrestrial mollusks and Oregon Spotted Frog and rare plants for a hydroelectric development, Puget Sound Energy.

Broad-scale vegetation sampling, cover-type mapping, rare plant study and noxious weed assessment for the Baker Dam Relicensing Project, Puget Sound Energy.