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Calendar No. 123
113th Congress Report
1st Session 113-69
COLLINSVILLE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROMOTION
June 27, 2013.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Wyden, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 316]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the Act (H.R. 316) to reinstate and transfer certain
hydroelectric licenses and extend the deadline for commencement
of construction of certain hydroelectric projects, having
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an
amendment and recommends that the Act, as amended, do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu
thereof the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Collinsville Renewable Energy
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission.
(2) License.--The term ``license'' means--
(A) the license for Commission project number 10822;
(B) the license for Commission project number 10823;
(3) Town.--The term ``Town'' means the town of Canton,
SEC. 3. REINSTATEMENT, EXTENSION, AND TRANSFER OF EXPIRED LICENSES.
Notwithstanding the termination of the license, the Commission may,
at the request of the Town, in accordance with section 4(a), and after
(1) reinstate the licence;
(2) extend for 2 years after the date on which the license is
reinstated the time period during which the licensee is
required to commence the construction of the project subject to
the license; and
(3) subject to section 4, transfer the license to the Town.
SEC. 4. CONDITIONS OF TRANSFER.
(a) Application for Transfer.--The Town may request the
reinstatement, extension, and transfer of the license by filing an
application for approval of the transfer.
(b) Contents of Application.--The application for approval of the
transfer shall set forth in appropriate detail the qualifications of
the Town to hold the license and to operate the property under license,
which qualifications shall be the same as those required of applicants
for the license.
(c) Commission Approval.--The Commission may approve the transfer on
a showing that the transfer is in the public interest.
(d) Terms and Conditions of Licenses.--The Town shall be subject to--
(1) all the conditions of the license and all the provisions
and conditions of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 791a et
seq.), as though the Town were the original licensee; and
(2) any additional terms and conditions the Commission
determines to be necessary, including conditions for the
protection, mitigation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife
and related habitat under sections 10(j) and 18 of the Federal
Power Act (16 U.S.C. 803(j), 811).
SEC. 5. ADMINISTRATION.
The Commission shall supplement the environmental impact statement or
similar analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act
of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) prepared in connection with the
issuance of the original license to examine all new circumstances and
information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the
reinstatement of the license or the impact of the license.
The purpose of H.R. 316 is to reinstate and transfer
certain hydroelectric licenses and extend the deadline for
commencement of construction of certain hydroelectric projects.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
The Upper and Lower Collinsville Dams on the Farmington
River in Connecticut have not produced power since 1966. In
2001, FERC issued licenses to Summit Hydropower to redevelop
hydroelectric power capacity at the dams. Summit did not
commence construction within the original two-year requirement
or the two-year extension granted by FERC and as a result, in
2007, FERC terminated the licenses.
The Town of Canton, Connecticut is interested in
redeveloping hydropower at the Collinsville dams and has
received a preliminary permit from FERC to undertake the
feasibility studies necessary to move forward with the
projects. The power estimated to be produced from each project
is less than 5 megawatts and the projects may be eligible for
an exemption from FERC's licensing requirements. The bill, as
passed by the House, would substitute Congressional action for
the existing FERC process.
H.R. 316 was introduced by Representative Esty and passed
the House by voice vote on February 12, 2013. Senate Amendment
579, an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 316,
was introduced by Senators Murphy and Blumenthal on March 22,
2013. The Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on
H.R. 316 and S. Amdt. 579 on April 16, 2013. At its business
meeting on May 16, 2013, the Committee ordered H.R. 316
favorably reported by voice vote, with an amendment in the
nature of a substitute.
In the 112th Congress, Senators Lieberman and Blumenthal
introduced similar legislation in the Senate, S. 715. Then-
Representative Murphy introduced similar legislation in the
House, H.R. 1353 and H.R. 5625, and the House passed H.R. 5625
on June 26, 2012. The Subcommittee on Water and Power held a
hearing on S. 715 on June 23, 2011 (S. Hrg. 112-129).
In the 111th Congress, then-Representative Murphy
introduced similar legislation in the House, H.R. 3228 and H.R.
4451, and Senators Dodd and Lieberman introduced similar
legislation in the Senate, S. 3532. The House passed H.R. 4451
on June 16, 2010, but the Senate took no further action.
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in
open business session on May 16, 2013, by a voice vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 316, if
amended as described herein.
During its consideration of H.R. 316, the Committee adopted
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The provisions of
the substitute are described in more detail in the section-by-
Section 1 provides the short title, the ``Collinsville
Renewable Energy Production Act''.
Section 2 defines key terms in the bill.
Section 3 authorizes the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (Commission) to reinstate the license for Commission
project numbers 10822 and 10823, to extend the time period for
the licensee to commence construction of the project work for
up to 2 years, and to transfer the license to the Town of
Section 4 establishes the conditions for transfer of the
license to the Town of Canton, including the application,
approval, and terms and conditions.
Section 5 directs the Commission to supplement the
environmental impact statement or similar analysis required
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C.
4321 et seq.) prepared in connection with the issuance of the
original license in order to examine new circumstances and
relevant information bearing on the reinstatement or impact of
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The following estimate of costs of H.R. 316 has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
H.R. 316--Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act
H.R. 316 would authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) to reinstate the licenses and extend the
deadline for beginning construction of two hydroelectric
projects (numbers 10822 and 10823) in Hartford County,
Connecticut. The legislation would direct FERC to update the
environmental analyses associated with those projects and, if
reinstated, authorize the agency to transfer the licenses to
the town of Canton, Connecticut.
Based on information from FERC, CBO estimates that
implementing H.R. 316 would have a small impact on the agency's
workload. Because FERC recovers 100 percent of its costs
through user fees, any change in its administrative costs would
be offset by an equal change in fees that the commission
charges. Therefore, the legislation's provisions would have no
net budgetary impact. Because FERC's administrative costs are
controlled through annual appropriation acts, enacting H.R. 316
would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 316 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
On January 31, 2013, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for
H.R. 316 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy
and Commerce on January 22, 2013. The two versions of the
legislation are similar, and the CBO cost estimates are the
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll.
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out H.R. 316.
The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of
imposing Government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of H.R. 316, as ordered reported.
CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING
H.R. 316, as reported, does not contain any congressionally
directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited
tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rules
of the Senate.
The testimony provided by the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission at the April 16, 2013, Subcommittee on Water and
Power hearing on H.R. 316 and S. Amendment 579 follows:
Testimony of John Katz, Deputy Associate General Counsel, Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission,
Chairman Schatz, Ranking Member Lee, and Members of the
My name is John Katz, Deputy Associate General Counsel for
Energy Projects, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. I
appreciate the opportunity to appear before you to discuss S.
Amdt. 579 and H.R. 316. As a member of the Commission's staff,
the views I express in this testimony are my own, and not those
of the Chairman or of any individual Commissioner, other than
as specifically noted below.
On February 23, 2001, the Commission issued original
licenses to Summit Hydropower for the 373 kilowatt (kW) Upper
and the 920 kW Lower Collinsville Hydro Projects, to be located
at the Upper and Lower Collinsville Dams on the Farmington
River, in Hartford County, Connecticut.
Section 13 of the Federal Power Act requires that licensees
commence project Construction by the deadline established in
the license, which may be no longer than two years from the
date of license issuance. The Commission may extend the
deadline once, for no longer than two additional years. If
construction does not timely commence, section 13 requires the
Commission to terminate the license by written order.
Consistent with section 13, Article 301 of the licenses for
the Collinsville Upper and Lower Hydroelectric Projects
required the licensee to commence project construction within
two years. On November 26, 2002, at the licensee's request, the
Commission issued the maximum allowable two-year extension,
moving the commencement of construction deadline to February
Summit did not commence project construction by the
deadline. Accordingly, by letter dated November 2, 2007, the
Commission gave Summit notice of probable termination of the
licenses. Summit did not reply to the notice. By order issued
December 4, 2007, the Commission terminated the project
licensees. The licensee did not seek rehearing of the
termination order, which therefore became final on January 3,
ii. s. amdt. 579 and h.r. 316
S. Amdt. 579 and H.R. 316 would authorize the Commission to
reinstate either or both of the licenses for the Upper and
Lower Collinsville Projects, to extend for two years the
commencement of construction deadline for the projects, and to
transfer the license or licenses to the Town. As specified in
S. Amdt. 579, the Town would be subject to the terms and
conditions of the prior license(s) and both bills provide that
the Commission will add to the license(s) any additional terms
and conditions the Commission deems to be necessary.
In addition, both bills provide that the Commission will
supplement the environmental analysis prepared in connection
with the issuance of the prior licenses, to examine all new
circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns
relating to the reinstated licenses.
Chairman Wellinghoff and the last several Commission
Chairmen have taken the position of not opposing legislation
that would extend the commencement of construction deadline no
further than 10 years from the date that the license in
question was issued. Where proposed extensions would run beyond
that time, there has been a sense that the J n 16 public
interest is better served by releasing the site for other
public uses, that competition in the development of hydropower
projects should be encouraged, and that environmental
information may over time become stale.
In this instance, the proposed extensions would run at
least three years beyond 10 years from when the licenses for
the Upper and Lower Collinsville Projects were issued. However,
to Commission staffs knowledge, in the more than five years
since the project licenses were terminated, no entity has
sought to develop the projects or proposed other uses for the
project sites, thus ameliorating concerns about competition or
release of the sites. Moreover, because the bills specifically
provide for the preparation of an updated environmental
analysis, staleness of the environmental record will not be an
issue. In consequence, I am authorized to state that Chairman
Wellinghoff does not oppose S. Amdt. 579 or H.R. 316.
I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by H.R. 316, as ordered