I’ve given a lot of thought to Goat Lake Hydro’s request to use the Traditional Licensing Process (TLP) instead of the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) for the Connelly Lake hydro project. I support the ILP and I support pursuing the project. In fact, because I support pursuing the project, I support the ILP. The ILP puts the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the process from the “get go.” That, and the fact that the ILP includes a mandatory dispute resolution process, is the big difference between the two licensing processes. Disputes about studies to be performed (which, and to what standards) can be resolved before the license is applied for in the ILP, enabling the project to move more smoothly to conclusion after the license is applied for. I see the ILP as the process that will reduce controversy, not prolong it; minimize legal threats, not create them.
I also understand why Goat Lake Hydro applied for the TLP. Glen Martin, project manager, said that he made the decision based on his “experience.” Utilization of the TLP is the “Alaskan experience.” Of the 23 licensed hydro projects in Alaska, only four licenses were issued before the ILP became the default process in 2005. That means that the majority of the hydro power developers in Alaska, a small, undoubtedly interconnected community, have been accustomed to using the TLP. It makes sense that a developer will prefer the familiar, only in this case, I believe the project will be better served by the less familiar ILP.
Mayor, Haines Borough