Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 316, Collinsville Renewable Energy Production Act

H.R. 316

Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 316, Collinsville Renewable Energy Production Act

Sponsor
Rep. Elizabeth Esty

Date
June 23, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, June 23, 2014, the House will consider the Senate amendment to H.R. 316, the Collinsville Renewable Energy Production Act, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 316 was introduced on January 18, 2013 by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and was ordered reported by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.[1] The bill passed the House on February 12, 2013 by a voice vote.  The Senate passed the bill with an amendment on May 22, 2014 by unanimous consent.

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[1] House Committee Report 113-7.

Bill Summary

The Senate amendment to H.R. 316 authorizes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reinstate terminated hydroelectric licenses for two projects in Canton, Connecticut at the town’s request.  The bill extends by two years the deadline to commence construction of the projects and authorizes FERC, if the licenses are reinstated, to transfer them to the Town of Canton.  The bill requires FERC to update the environmental analysis prepared in connection with the original licenses to account for new circumstances and environmental concerns.

Background

The Upper and Lower Collinsville Dams on the Farmington River in Connecticut have not provided hydroelectric power since 1966.[1]  In 2001, FERC issued licenses to redevelop hydroelectric power at the dams. Yet, construction was not commenced within two years of the licenses being issued, or during an additional two year extension.[2]  “Section 13 of the Federal Power Act requires licensees to commence construction of hydroelectric projects within the time fixed in the license, which shall be no more than two years from the issuance of the license, and authorizes [FERC] to issue one extension of the deadline, for no more than two years.”[3]  Because construction never began, the licenses were terminated in 2007.

The Town of Canton seeks to move forward with the hydroelectric projects originally proposed. In 2009, the Town received preliminary approval to begin the necessary feasibility studies.

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[2] Id. at 2.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing the Senate amendment to H.R. 316 would not have a net impact on the federal budget, as any change in administrative costs would be offset by an equal change in user fees.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.