Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Actby Representative Ed Whitfield
Posted on 2013-02-12
WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the
bill (H.R. 316) to reinstate and transfer certain hydroelectric
licenses and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of
certain hydroelectric projects.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 316 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act''.
SEC. 2. REINSTATEMENT OF EXPIRED LICENSES AND EXTENSION OF TIME TO COMMENCE CONSTRUCTION OF PROJECTS.
Subject to section 4 of this Act and notwithstanding the time period under section 13 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 806) that would otherwise apply to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission projects numbered 10822 and 10823, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (referred to in this Act as the ``Commission'') may-- (1) reinstate the license for either or each of those projects; and (2) extend for 2 years after the date on which either or each project is reinstated under paragraph (1) the time period during which the licensee is required to commence the construction of such projects.
Prior to reaching any final decision under this section, the Commission shall provide an opportunity for submission of comments by interested persons, municipalities, and States and shall consider any such comment that is timely submitted.
SEC. 3. TRANSFER OF LICENSES TO THE TOWN OF CANTON, CONNECTICUT.
Notwithstanding section 8 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 801) or any other provision thereof, if the Commission reinstates the license for, and extends the time period during which the licensee is required to commence the construction of, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission project under section 2, the Commission shall transfer such license to the town of Canton, Connecticut.
SEC. 4. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT.
(a) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term ``environmental assessment'' shall have the same meaning as is given such term in regulations prescribed by the Council on Environmental Quality that implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
(b) Environmental Assessment.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall complete an environmental assessment for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission projects numbered 10822 and 10823, updating, to the extent necessary, the environmental analysis performed during the process of licensing such projects.
(c) Comment Period.--Upon issuance of the environmental assessment required under subsection (b), the Commission shall-- (1) initiate a 30-day public comment period; and (2) before taking any action under section 2 or 3-- (A) consider any comments received during such 30-day period; and (B) incorporate in the license for the projects involved, such terms and conditions as the Commission determines to be necessary, based on the environmental assessment performed and comments received under this section.
SEC. 5. DEADLINE.
Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall-- (1) make a final decision pursuant to paragraph (1) of section 2; and (2) if the Commission decides to reinstate one or both of the licenses under such paragraph and extend the corresponding deadline for commencement of construction under paragraph (2) of such section, complete the action required under section 3.
SEC. 6. PROTECTION OF EXISTING RIGHTS.
Nothing in this Act shall affect any valid license issued by the Commission under section 4 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 797) on or before the date of enactment of this Act or diminish or extinguish any existing rights under any such license.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield) and the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Ben Ray Lujan) each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
General Leave Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials in the Record on the bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Kentucky? There was no objection.
Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
H.R. 316 would provide the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with limited authority to reinstate two terminated hydroelectric licenses and transfer them to a new owner, the Town of Canton, Connecticut. The licenses are associated with the Upper and Lower Collinsville dams on the Farmington River in Connecticut. Both projects are under 1 megawatt each. This is important legislation that will certainly benefit the people in that area.
I want to thank Mr. Lujan and others for working with us on this important piece of legislation.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. BEN RAY LUJAN of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Chairman Whitfield and all of the members of the majority as well for working with the minority on this important piece of legislation.
I encourage my colleagues to support the Collinsville hydropower legislation introduced by Congresswoman Esty of Connecticut. The bill would authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reinstate licenses for two hydroelectric power plants on the Farmington River and to transfer these licenses to the Town of Canton, Connecticut. This noncontroversial legislation has passed the House by voice vote in both the 111th and 112th Congresses.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. Esty), the sponsor of the bill.