Smith praises passage of hydropower regulatory act
(AP) _ Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska is lauding the passage of a hydropower regulatory act in the House that includes a measure he says will help rural power producers in Nebraska and other states.
Smith, a Republican, and Rep. Jim Costa, a Democrat from California, introduced a measure to exempt hydropower projects generating less than 1.5 megawatts from federal permitting rules.
The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, passed Monday, increases the exemption level from 1.5 megawatts to 5 megawatts.
Smith says the legislation would allow irrigation districts and municipalities to partner with local power districts to generate up to 5 megawatts of existing conduit hydropower without going through the federal permitting and exemption process, which he called ``lengthy and burdensome.''
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