FERC promises Congress cybersecurity rules for hydropower

By Jennifer Yachnin | 04/11/2024 06:33 AM EDT

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission official appeared before a Senate panel Wednesday.

Terry Turpin.

Terry Turpin, director of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

A senior Federal Energy Regulatory Commission official pledged Wednesday to speed updates to the agency’s cybersecurity requirements for commercial dam operators, responding to pressure from Senate lawmakers to overhaul the nearly decade-old standards.

Terry Turpin, director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, said the agency could update the guidelines, originally issued in 2016, at the same time it pursues physical and cybersecurity audits of nonfederal hydropower dams.

“We’ve been auditing facilities, and from those lessons learned, the full intention is to update those [guidelines] and incorporate the views of other agencies and things that are always being learned in this rather dynamic landscape,” Turpin testified during a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power.


But pressed for a specific date by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (D), the subcommittee’s chair, Turpin agreed the agency could achieve the update in nine months.