REPORT FROM CONGRESSWOMAN COLLEEN HANABUSA – Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) voted for a bill that would expand the production of clean energy by increasing the development of small hydropower projects across the country.
“Providing for our nation’s shift to renewable energy will mean looking at numerous power generating opportunities,” said Hanabusa, a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. “Small hydropower facilities like those supported in this bill will contribute to that goal. As amended to provide appropriate environmental controls, and with strong bipartisan support in the House, this measure shows what the future can hold for us.”
H.R. 678 authorizes the Bureau of Reclamation to pursue the development of small hydropower projects on its canals, pipelines, and other conduits. The bill originally included a controversial provision that would have given these projects a blanket waiver from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires a review of the projects impact on private landowners, the public, and other stakeholders. However, through an amendment, that provision was replaced with one that allows projects to expedite the review process to examine the impact of a project on the Bureau facility and its environment.
The bill passed by a vote of 416-7 and now heads to the Senate.