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COLLINSVILLE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROMOTION ACT
(House of Representatives - June 26, 2012)

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[Pages H3985-H3986]
              COLLINSVILLE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROMOTION ACT

  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 5625) 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. 5625

       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 1 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 Connecticut (Mr. 
Murphy) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I rise in support of H.R. 5625, which was introduced by 
Representative Murphy of Connecticut. This legislation would provide 
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with limited authority to 
reinstate two terminated hydroelectric licenses and transfer

[[Page H3986]]

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 
one megawatt each, and I urge all Members to support this legislation, 
and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as 
I may consume, and I would like to thank the chairman for his 
assistance and leadership in bringing this bill forward today.
  This legislation before us, as Chairman Whitfield stated, is pretty 
simple. It will allow FERC the permissive authority to allow several 
communities in my district to operate two very small hydroelectric dams 
as municipal power sources. The Upper and Lower Collinsville dams have 
been dormant along Connecticut's Farmington River since the 1960s. The 
licenses that were fairly recently previously issued by FERC to operate 
both small dams are currently inactive. This legislation would allow 
FERC the opportunity to reinstate them and transfer them to the town of 
Canton, Connecticut, for operation.
  These two small dams are already a beloved and long-standing symbol 
of the Farmington Valley's rich history. Today, however, we can help 
make them a symbol of the valley's future as well--retrofitting them to 
provide clean energy to power thousands of homes and businesses.
  This legislation was the product of a sustained and collaborative 
process with State and local stakeholders, FERC, and river protection 
organizations. The bill provides for an additional comment period on 
any FERC licensing action, as well as on the licenses' environmental 
provisions--ensuring that public input is respected and the river's 
health is protected.
  While we work to enact policies that will accelerate our transition 
to energy independence, we shouldn't neglect these smaller projects 
that can begin that process right here and now, and this bill 
represents that kind of opportunity.
  This isn't the first time we've considered this bill in this Chamber. 
Identical legislation passed the House by voice vote on June 16, 2010. 
However, the Senate didn't take up the bill that year. As such, I'm 
hopeful we can muster the same bipartisan spirit today and again pass 
this noncontroversial energy legislation.
  Again, I'd like to thank Chairman Whitfield, as well as Chairman 
Upton and Ranking Members Waxman and Rush and their staffs, for helping 
bring this legislation to the floor today. We do this institution 
credit with this kind of bipartisan legislation. Again to the chairman, 
I appreciate it, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Speaker, we have no further speakers, so at this 
time I would just thank the gentleman from Connecticut for bringing 
this legislation to our attention. I appreciate his patience. It took 
us a little while to get it to the floor, but I do urge its passage, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of 
my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 5625.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________




    

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