House Energy & Committee Passes Bills to Modernize the Hydropower Licensing Process
Washington, D.C. (June 28, 2017) – The following is a statement from Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the National Hydropower Association, on the passage of H.R. 3043 and H.R. 2786 out of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee that would improve the hydropower licensing process, while protecting existing agency authority and environmental laws.
“The passage of H.R. 3043 and H.R. 2786 out of committee reaffirms that there is a growing recognition that the outdated licensing process is keeping hydropower from reaching its full clean energy potential. Designating the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the lead agency for purposes of coordinating permits, and enhancing schedule discipline by involving all federal and state regulators much earlier in the approval process ensures that all parties and interests—including industry, regulators, Indian tribes, environmental advocates, and
recreationalists—all have the opportunity to come to the table, collaborate, fully participate in the process, and
resolve any disputes.
“Most importantly, this legislation puts these commonsense solutions in place while expressly preserving existing authority under our nation’s foundational environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
“Modernizing the licensing process will allow the industry to enhance the existing hydro system, and promote responsible new energy infrastructure development. Going forward, we will continue working with Congress and all stakeholders to ensure we have a process with increased predictability, coordination and timeliness.”