Why Property Rights Matter ...

posted Jul 30, 2012, 11:41 AM by Site administrator   [ updated Dec 7, 2014, 10:51 AM ]
FERCs explanation of the relationship between a Shoreline Management Plan, the project boundary and property rights:
            • Not all projects require SMPs; these plans are generally required where it appears that the project’s shoreline may be subject to competing developmental pressures such that public access or environmental resources are at risk.
            • An SMP is only applicable to lands owned or controlled by a licensee, and has no effect on areas in which a licensee lacks State property rights.
            • The inclusion of lands within a project boundary serves the function of indicating that the lands are used in some manner for project purposes. However, the mere inclusion of lands within a project boundary will not restrict landowner uses, since such inclusion does not itself create or alter property rights. (See FERC's 5 June FAQ Document
This is FERC-Speak for: "it's up to the licensee" to determine if they have "necessary and sufficient control of the project boundary" to implement SMP regulations. FERC only approves the licensee's SMP, but once approved FERC requires the licensee to enforce SMP regulations effectively and consistently.  FERC has no authority to adjudicate property disputes.  Property disputes between a licensee and a private property owner must be settled in State court.

FERC Ignores Property Rights