Sep 10, 2018 / Energy/Environment

McMorris Rodgers Secure Wins for Hydropower, Port of Whitman in Water Resources Development Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 10, 2018) – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) secured important wins for our communities in the Water Resources Development (WRDA) Act Conference Report that was released this evening.

“These provisions, including a piece of legislation I introduced to support the Port of Whitman, will make a real difference in our communities and in furthering our investment in Eastern Washington infrastructure,” said McMorris Rodgers. “As the second phase of our infrastructure agenda, the Water Resources Development Act will continue our mission of rebuilding our nation’s dams, ports, and waterways. I’m proud to lead on these provisions and continue my work to get results for people in Eastern Washington.”

This bill includes a provision from the Congresswoman’s Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 3043), which passed the House with bipartisan support in November 2017. The provision, led for years by Cathy, promotes early action, infrastructure, and improvements at non-federal dams. This  promotes necessary additions to dams like fish friendly turbines and critical maintenance. Right now, these improvements must be made within a small window of time to count towards a dams’ new license. With this language included, these improvements can be made outside of that window and count towards the next license. 

“This legislation Is a great victory for ratepayers. With this legislation in place, utilities across the country will be able to more aggressively make early and sustained investments in their hydro facilities, communities and the environment. We greatly appreciate Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers commitment to hydro and for her great work championing this issue in the House.” said Steve Wright, General Manager, Chelan County Public Utility District.

Also included in WRDA is the Congresswoman’s bill, the Port of Whitman Economic Expansion Act. This bill would authorize a land transfer between the Port of Whitman and the Army Corps of Engineers. If passed, this will mark the Congresswoman’s sixth bill signed into law this year.

NOTE: Policies previously championed by the Congresswoman last Congress were also included in Conference report. This includes the Promoting Hydropower Development at Existing Nonpowered Dams Act (H.R. 2872) which promotes hydropower development at existing nonpowered dams by establishing an expedited licensing process that will result in a final decision on an application in two years or less, and the Promoting Closed-Loop Pumped Storage Hydropower Act (H.R. 2880) to promote closed-loop pumped storage for hydropower development by establishing an expedited licensing process that will result in a final decision on an application in two years or less.

You can read the WRDA Conference Report by clicking here

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