The chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent a response letter to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill, in reference to the Feb. 17 order dismissing Quincy’s preliminary permit and license applications to develop a hydropower facility at Lock and Dam 21 in Quincy.
John Wellinghoff said in the March 14 letters that the city’s limited liability company Great River Hydropower had not submitted its request for a rehearing. The appeal was filed late Friday afternoon.
“I can assure you that if a rehearing request is filed, the Commission will carefully consider the facts and issues associated with the project when reaching a decision,” he wrote.
The senators sent a letter to Wellinghoff on Feb. 23.
“Given that the FERC had scheduled an environmental site visit to Quincy on March 8, local leaders had no reason to expect a decision would be made on Feb. 17,” they wrote. “Clearly, they were surprised by the dismissal as were other project supporters, including ourselves.
“As you can imagine, FERC’s sudden decision has left the city with the impression that the application was not given serious consideration on its merits.”
Kirk and Durbin also took issue with FERC not notifying the city that the permit application was under reconsideration, though Quincy has dealt with FERC for four years.
“Throughout this period, FERC has never identified the partnership between the city and the corporations as a potential problem,” they wrote. “In fact, the city followed FERC’s guidance and encouragement in pursuing its application through the two companies.”