Western Minnesota Municipal v. FERC, No. 14-1153 (D.C. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Western Minnesota and intervenors petitioned for review of FERC's award of a permit for a hydroelectric project in Polk County, Iowa. The Commission concluded that the municipal preference under Section 7(a) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 800(a), applies only
to municipalities “located in the vicinity” of the water resources to be developed. Petitioners claimed that the Commission’s geographic proximity test is an impermissible interpretation of the plain text of the statute. The court agreed that Congress has spoken directly to the question in defining “municipality” in Section 3(7) of the FPA. Accordingly, the court granted the petition for review, vacated the permit order and rehearing order, and remanded for further proceedings.