U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed S. 3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, on Oct. 23.
During the signing ceremony, President Trump said, “This important bill authorizes water infrastructure projects that benefit almost every state in the country.”
Referencing his campaign promise to rebuild “America’s crumbling infrastructure,” President Trump says this bill will enhance coastal ports; reduce flood risks; restore ecosystems; upkeep inland waterways; upgrade dams, hydropower and irrigation systems; and improve drinking water treatment, storage and delivery.
Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) specifically referenced hydropower during the signing ceremony, saying, “… there’s hydropower streamlining for licensing so we can get clean, carbon-efficient, carbon-neutral hydropower in existing facilities in an expedited way.”
The National Hydropower Association says AWIA will “facilitate a more efficient licensing process for proposed projects at existing non-powered dams and for closed-loop pumped storage; shorten the approval timeline for projects utilizing existing conduits; provide regulatory incentives for investments at existing hydropower facilities; and modernize preliminary permit terms and deadlines for starting construction of newly licensed projects.”
Under Title III – Energy, nine sections cover energy projects, several of these related to hydroelectric power, including modernizing authorizations for necessary hydropower approvals, qualifying conduit hydropower facilities, promoting hydropower development at existing nonpowered dams, closed-loop pumped storage projects, considerations for relicensing terms, J. Bennett Johnston Waterway hydropower extension, and stay and reinstatement of FERC License No. 11393 for the Mahoney Lake Hydroelectric Project.