H.R.678 - Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act113th Congress (2013-2014)
Summary: H.R.678 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Public Law (08/09/2013)
(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the House on April 10, 2013. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act - Amends the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 to authorize the Secretary of the Interior (acting through the Bureau of Reclamation) to contract for the development of small conduit hydropower at Bureau facilities.
Defines: (1) "small conduit hydropower" as five megawatts or less; and (2) "conduit" as a tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance.
Requires that power privilege leases be offered first to an irrigation district or water users association operating or receiving water from the applicable transferred or reserved conduit.
Defines: (1) reserved conduit as any conduit included in project works whose care, operation, and maintenance has been reserved by the Secretary (through the Bureau); and (2) transferred conduit as any conduit included in project works whose care, operation, and maintenance has been transferred to a legally organized water users association or irrigation district.
Requires the Secretary to offer the lease of power privilege to other parties if the irrigation district or water users association elects not to accept a lease of power privilege offer.
Requires the Bureau to apply its categorical exclusion process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) to small conduit hydropower, except with respect to siting of associated transmission on federal lands.
Makes the Bureau's Power Resources Office the lead office for such small conduit hydropower policy and procedure-setting activities. (Thus excludes such activities from the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC].)
Declares that nothing in this Act shall: (1) obligate specified power administrations to purchase or market the power produced by such facilities, (2) alter or impede the delivery and management of water for original project purposes, or (3) alter or affect any existing agreements for conduit hydropower development projects or disposition of revenues. Deems water used for conduit hydropower generation to be incidental to use of water for the original project purposes.