H.R. 2872 promotes hydropower development at existing nonpowered dams by establishing an expedited licensing process that will result in a final decision on an application in two years or less. The legislation also requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Interior, to develop a list of existing nonpowered federal dams that have the greatest potential for non-federal hydropower development.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 12, 2017.
Promoting Hydropower Development at Existing Nonpowered Dams Act
(Sec.2)This bill amends the Federal Power Act to authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)to establish an expedited licensing process for issuing and amending licenses and preliminary permits for any qualifying facility as defined by this bill.
In establishing the expedited process, FERC shall convene an interagency task force with appropriate federal and state agencies and Indian tribes to coordinate the regulatory process associated with the authorizations required to construct and operate a qualifying facility.
FERC must assess the safety of existing non-federal dams and other non-federal structures related to the qualifying facility before issuing any license for a qualifying facility.
FERC must coordinate with the Department of the Army, Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture to jointly develop a list of existing nonpowered federal dams that have the greatest potential for non-federal hydropower development.
(Sec.3)Licensees of a qualifying facility are not required to pay an annual charge for administrative expenses until construction commences.