The FERC Licensing Environmental Study Determination Letter Dataset was mined from Study Determination Letters of the 23 hydropower projects using the Integrative Licensing Process presented in the Regulatory Timeline and Cost Dataset used in Levine et al. (2021). While Levine et al. (2021) presents regressions between numbers of disputed, rejected, and required studies and FERC licensing timelines, the main analysis and presentation of these data can be found in Aldrovandi et al. (2021). The figure above shows the map with 29 projects described in Aldrovandi et al. (2021). Blue dots represent the 23 projects assessed in this FERC Licensing Environmental Study Determination Dataset. The red dots represent the other projects assessed in Aldrovandi et al. (2021) that are included in the FERC Licensing Proceeding Environmental Study Life Cycle Dataset.
This dataset was developed to support the guidance documentation for the Environmental Decision Support Tool that was created as part of the Environmental Decision Support project. This project created conceptual frameworks such as the River Function Indicators (Pracheil et al. 2019) that were used to organize the environmental impacts of hydropower. These indicators were then used to structure a set of questions about project and ecosystem characteristics designed to determine the list of environmental impacts linked to project operations and maintenance that may require further study or mitigation. Data in this dataset represent a summary of data in the Detailed Dataset of Environmental Studies from Aldrovandi et al. (2021).
To create this dataset, we recorded and attributed the qualitative information contained FERC issued Study Determination Letters that are issued for environmental studies that are disputed during projects being licensed using the Integrative Licensing Process. We also assigned information on approval rates, study types, study and River Function Indicator category, dates of entries, and requesting entity in a spreadsheet. We then created this summary dataset from the Detailed Dataset of Environmental Studies from Aldrovandi et al. (2021) dataset, collating all entries about an individual study so it is clear which studies were requested, modified, rejected, and approved for each project.