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FERC License

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC is the governing body for hydro electric facilities in the United States.

In the history of Sanford Dam, during February 1976, the Federal Power Commission, FERC’s predecessor, ordered Wolverine Power, the owners of the 4 dams on the Tittabawasee River (Sanford, Edenville, Smallwood and Secord) to obtain licenses for its four plants. This was based on the claim from the Commission that the Tittabawassee River is a navigable waterway of the United States and hence required to be license. In a long drawn out process that resulted in a legal tussle, Wolverine resubmitted their application and it was formally accepted by FERC on July 13, 1990.

Original FERC License:
FERC License Project No. 2785-001 – Issued December 1, 1987 FERC.2785-001

A rehearing of the license order was done on January 28, 1988 and the license was amended.

Amended FERC License:
FERC License Project No. 2785-002, 008 & 009 – Issued October 16, 1998 Order on rehearing & amending license order re Wolverine Power Corp under P-2785

All FERC licenses issued since 1953 and many issued previously, include Standard Articles, which are incorporated by reference.
Article 5:
Constructed major project affecting navigable waters and lands of the United States

Compliance Handbook:
FERC Compliance Handbook – March 2004
– Describes the activities the Division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance (DHAC) perform under
FERC. Section 6.0 discusses the surrender or termination of license as well as Appendix J., see pages 78-80.

Hydroelectric Project Handbook for Filings other than Licenses and Exemptions, April 2001:
The following handbook from FERC’s website describes at high level various filings for hydroelectric projects like Sanford Dam. Section 6.0 discusses the surrender or termination of license, see page 28-29.

Note: The above documents are made availible to to the general public through FERC’s Online library. As a result of 9/11 FERC created a category for sensitive documents called Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (CEII). All three dams on the Tittabawasee River under FERC (Sanford, Secord and Smallwood) are considered part of the CEII inventory and certain sensitive documents are not made available to the public. The Sanford Lake Association generally does not have access to those types of documents.