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U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT LOWERS BOOM ON THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

 U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
 LOWERS BOOM ON THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
 NEW YORK, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In a decision closely watched by over 500 hydroelectric power operators in the energy industry nationwide, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned a FERC ruling asserting the power to impose civil penalties on hydroelectric power operators who are not licensed by the FERC.
 The decision, which significantly curtails the jurisdiction of the FERC, voids a $2 million penalty for the plaintiff, Wolverine Power Company, and eliminates the threat of penalties of up to $10,000 per day for the 500 hydroelectric projects across the nation which do not have licenses.
 According to Thomas E. Mark, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae, counsel to plaintiff, the court's decision stopped an attempt by the FERC to use the threat of enforcement to extend its entire program for licensing hydroelectric projects, most of which are considered environmentally friendly. "We felt, from the beginning," he pointed out, "that the commission's actions were not only illegal, but also posed unnecessary obstacles to operating very environmentally desirable power facilities. The commission was using Wolverine as a scapegoat."
 Wolverine, a small public utility which owns and operates four modest hydroelectric plants on the Tittabawasee River in Michigan, has had a long-standing dispute with the FERC in its application for licensing. In 1988, the enforcement arm of the FERC imposed penalties on Wolverine because it did not have a license, although it was in the process of applying for one.
 Plaintiff was represented by Thomas E. Mark and Ronald D. Jones of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae, and Louis Rosenman, formerly of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae.
 LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae is a 450-attorney, full-service national and international law firm with offices in 12 U.S. cities and three foreign cities (Brussels, London and Moscow). It has an extensive transnational practice in the litigation, corporate, insurance and energy regulatory fields.
 -0- 5/5/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas E. Mark, 212-715-8372 or at home, 718-625-6577, or Yona Rogosin, 212-715-8581, both of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae/ CO: LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae; Wolverine Power Company ST: Michigan IN: OIL SU:


CK-LR -- NY101 -- 6844 05/05/92 19:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 5, 1992
Words:374
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