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House passes conduit hydropower bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. 3/9/12 (PennWell) -- The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that could remove environmental compliance qualifications from some small conduit hydropower projects.

The Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (House Resolution 2842) passed earlier this week in the House with a 265-154 majority vote. The bill will next go to the Senate.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), would exempt small hydropower projects with capacities less than 1.5 MW from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process.

The bill's passage is being applauded by the National Hydropower Association.

"The National Hydropower Association was pleased to see bipartisan agreement on an important energy issue," NHA executive director Linda Church Ciocci said. "NHA looks forward to working with the Senate to secure final passage and the President's signature later this year."

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