The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s (Central) hydropower generating system is regulated through a 40-year license issued on 29 July 1998 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Article 421 of the License required Central to file a plan to manage the lands and shorelines of the project. Upon submittal of the Land and Shoreline Management Plan (LSMP), FERC responded with a request for additional information relating to Appendix D of the LSMP, “Plan for Reviewing FERC Boundary” after recognizing that non-project uses and encroachments were occurring within the Project Boundary.
License article 5 requires Central to acquire and retain sufficient property and rights to construct, maintain, and operate their projects, as identified in the license, including any property or rights needed to accomplish all designated project purposes. This required property is otherwise known as the Project Boundary. In other words, the Project Boundary represents the geographic extent of the hydropower project lands necessary for project purposes. The setting of the boundary itself does not affect existing property rights. However, the licensee must hold or acquire sufficient property or rights to the lands and waters within the project boundary to carry out project purposes, including but not limited to, operation and maintenance, flowage, recreation, public access, protection of environmental resources, scenic values, and shoreline control. Existing residential, commercial, or other structures may be included within the boundary to the extent that underlying lands are needed for project purposes (e.g., for flowage, public recreation, shoreline control, or protection of environmental resources, etc.).