Erie Boulevard Hydropower, LP v. FERC, No. 16-1015 (D.C. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Before the DC Circuit's decision in Albany Engineering Corp. v. FERC, 548 F.3d 1071 (D.C. Cir. 2008), parallel federal and New York state regulatory regimes required downstream hydroelectric facilities to reimburse their headwater counterparts for certain costs. Albany changed that dual-track regulatory scheme by holding that the New York State assessment regime was preempted by section 10(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), which entitled the District to recover only "interest, maintenance, and depreciation" costs. In the wake of Albany, Erie petitioned FERC to credit it for costs the District had assessed it in excess of the federally mandated costs. The Commission denied Erie's request and denied a rehearing, based on its determining that Erie and the District had formally settled their state law dispute over headwater charges in 2006. The DC Circuit denied Erie's petition to vacate the Commission's orders, rejecting Erie's contention that the Commission's two 2015 orders ran contrary to section 10(f) of the FPA; the 2006 Settlement; the Commission's regulations; and a "legion of prior, unchallenged Commission orders."