[113th Congress Public Law 23]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page 127 STAT. 493]]

Public Law 113-23
113th Congress

                                 An Act


 
     To improve hydropower, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Aug. 9, 
                          2013 -  [H.R. 267]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Hydropower 
Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013. 16 USC 791a note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Hydropower 
Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Promoting small hydroelectric power projects.
Sec. 4. Promoting conduit hydropower projects.
Sec. 5. FERC authority to extend preliminary permit periods.
Sec. 6. Promoting hydropower development at nonpowered dams and closed 
           loop pumped storage projects.
Sec. 7. DOE study of pumped storage and potential hydropower from 
           conduits.

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 16 USC 791 note prec.>>  FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) the hydropower industry currently employs approximately 
        300,000 workers across the United States;
            (2) hydropower is the largest source of clean, renewable 
        electricity in the United States;
            (3) as of the date of enactment of this Act, hydropower 
        resources, including pumped storage facilities, provide--
                    (A) nearly 7 percent of the electricity generated in 
                the United States; and
                    (B) approximately 100,000 megawatts of electric 
                capacity in the United States;
            (4) only 3 percent of the 80,000 dams in the United States 
        generate electricity, so there is substantial potential for 
        adding hydropower generation to nonpowered dams; and
            (5) according to one study, by utilizing currently untapped 
        resources, the United States could add approximately 60,000 
        megawatts of new hydropower capacity by 2025, which could create 
        700,000 new jobs over the next 13 years.
SEC. 3. PROMOTING SMALL HYDROELECTRIC POWER PROJECTS.

    Subsection (d) of section 405 of the Public Utility Regulatory 
Policies Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2705) is amended by striking ``5,000'' 
and inserting ``10,000''.

[[Page 127 STAT. 494]]

SEC. 4. PROMOTING CONDUIT HYDROPOWER PROJECTS.

    (a) Applicability of, and Exemption From, Licensing Requirements.--
Section 30 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 823a) is amended--
            (1) by striking subsections (a) and (b) and inserting the 
        following:

    ``(a)(1) A qualifying conduit hydropower facility shall not be 
required to be licensed under this part.
    ``(2)(A) <<NOTE: Notice.>>  Any person, State, or municipality 
proposing to construct a qualifying conduit hydropower facility shall 
file with the Commission a notice of intent to construct such facility. 
The notice shall include sufficient information to demonstrate that the 
facility meets the qualifying criteria.

    ``(B) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Not later than 15 days after receipt of a 
notice of intent filed under subparagraph (A), the Commission shall--
            ``(i) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  make an initial 
        determination as to whether the facility meets the qualifying 
        criteria; and
            ``(ii) <<NOTE: Publication. Public information. Notice.>>  
        if the Commission makes an initial determination, pursuant to 
        clause (i), that the facility meets the qualifying criteria, 
        publish public notice of the notice of intent filed under 
        subparagraph (A).

    ``(C) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  If, not later than 45 days after the date 
of publication of the public notice described in subparagraph (B)(ii)--
            ``(i) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  an entity contests whether 
        the facility meets the qualifying criteria, the Commission shall 
        promptly issue a written determination as to whether the 
        facility meets such criteria; or
            ``(ii) no entity contests whether the facility meets the 
        qualifying criteria, the facility shall be deemed to meet such 
        criteria.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Definitions.>>  For purposes of this section:
            ``(A) The term `conduit' means any tunnel, canal, pipeline, 
        aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance that 
        is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, 
        municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the 
        generation of electricity.
            ``(B) The term `qualifying conduit hydropower facility' 
        means a facility (not including any dam or other impoundment) 
        that is determined or deemed under paragraph (2)(C) to meet the 
        qualifying criteria.
            ``(C) The term `qualifying criteria' means, with respect to 
        a facility--
                    ``(i) the facility is constructed, operated, or 
                maintained for the generation of electric power and uses 
                for such generation only the hydroelectric potential of 
                a non-federally owned conduit;
                    ``(ii) the facility has an installed capacity that 
                does not exceed 5 megawatts; and
                    ``(iii) on or before the date of enactment of the 
                Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013, the 
                facility is not licensed under, or exempted from the 
                license requirements contained in, this part.

    ``(b) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Subject to subsection (c), the 
Commission may grant an exemption in whole or in part from the 
requirements of this part, including any license requirements contained 
in this part, to any facility (not including any dam or other 
impoundment) constructed, operated, or maintained for the generation of 
electric power which the Commission determines, by rule or order--

[[Page 127 STAT. 495]]

            ``(1) utilizes for such generation only the hydroelectric 
        potential of a conduit; and
            ``(2) has an installed capacity that does not exceed 40 
        megawatts.'';
            (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``subsection (a)'' and 
        inserting ``subsection (b)''; and
            (3) in subsection (d), by striking ``subsection (a)'' and 
        inserting ``subsection (b)''.

    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Subsection (d) of section 405 of the 
Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2705), as 
amended, is further amended by striking ``subsection (a) of such section 
30'' and inserting ``subsection (b) of such section 30''.
SEC. 5. FERC AUTHORITY TO EXTEND PRELIMINARY PERMIT PERIODS.

    Section 5 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 798) is amended--
            (1) by designating the first, second, and third sentences as 
        subsections (a), (c), and (d), respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (a) (as so designated) the 
        following:

    ``(b) The Commission may extend the period of a preliminary permit 
once for not more than 2 additional years beyond the 3 years permitted 
by subsection (a) if the Commission finds that the permittee has carried 
out activities under such permit in good faith and with reasonable 
diligence.''.
SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 16 USC 797 note.>>  PROMOTING HYDROPOWER 
                    DEVELOPMENT AT NONPOWERED DAMS AND CLOSED LOOP 
                    PUMPED STORAGE PROJECTS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  In General.--To improve the regulatory 
process and reduce delays and costs for hydropower development at 
nonpowered dams and closed loop pumped storage projects, the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission (referred to in this section as the 
``Commission'') shall investigate the feasibility of the issuance of a 
license for hydropower development at nonpowered dams and closed loop 
pumped storage projects in a 2-year period (referred to in this section 
as a ``2-year process''). Such a 2-year process shall include any 
prefiling licensing process of the Commission.

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>>  Workshops and Pilots.--The Commission 
shall--
            (1) not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of 
        this Act, hold an initial workshop to solicit public comment and 
        recommendations on how to implement a 2-year process;
            (2) <<NOTE: Criteria.>>  develop criteria for identifying 
        projects featuring hydropower development at nonpowered dams and 
        closed loop pumped storage projects that may be appropriate for 
        licensing within a 2-year process;
            (3) not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
        this Act, develop and implement pilot projects to test a 2-year 
        process, if practicable; and
            (4) not later than 3 years after the date of implementation 
        of the final pilot project testing a 2-year process, hold a 
        final workshop to solicit public comment on the effectiveness of 
        each tested 2-year process.

    (c) Memorandum of Understanding.--The Commission shall, to the 
extent practicable, enter into a memorandum of understanding with any 
applicable Federal or State agency to implement a pilot project 
described in subsection (b).
    (d) Reports.--

[[Page 127 STAT. 496]]

            (1) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Pilot projects not 
        implemented.--If the Commission determines that no pilot project 
        described in subsection (b) is practicable because no 2-year 
        process is practicable, not later than 240 days after the date 
        of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit to the 
        Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives 
        and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate 
        a report that--
                    (A) describes the public comments received as part 
                of the initial workshop held under subsection (b)(1); 
                and
                    (B) identifies the process, legal, environmental, 
                economic, and other issues that justify the 
                determination of the Commission that no 2-year process 
                is practicable, with recommendations on how Congress may 
                address or remedy the identified issues.
            (2) Pilot projects implemented.--If the Commission develops 
        and implements pilot projects involving a 2-year process, not 
        later than 60 days after the date of completion of the final 
        workshop held under subsection (b)(4), the Commission shall 
        submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
        Resources of the Senate a report that--
                    (A) describes the outcomes of the pilot projects;
                    (B) describes the public comments from the final 
                workshop on the effectiveness of each tested 2-year 
                process; and
                    (C)(i) outlines how the Commission will adopt 
                policies under existing law (including regulations) that 
                result in a 2-year process for appropriate projects;
                    (ii) outlines how the Commission will issue new 
                regulations to adopt a 2-year process for appropriate 
                projects; or
                    (iii) identifies the process, legal, environmental, 
                economic, and other issues that justify a determination 
                of the Commission that no 2-year process is practicable, 
                with recommendations on how Congress may address or 
                remedy the identified issues.
SEC. 7. DOE STUDY OF PUMPED STORAGE AND POTENTIAL HYDROPOWER FROM 
                    CONDUITS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Energy shall conduct a study--
            (1)(A) of the technical flexibility that existing pumped 
        storage facilities can provide to support intermittent renewable 
        electric energy generation, including the potential for such 
        existing facilities to be upgraded or retrofitted with advanced 
        commercially available technology; and
            (B) of the technical potential of existing pumped storage 
        facilities and new advanced pumped storage facilities, to 
        provide grid reliability benefits; and
            (2)(A) to identify the range of opportunities for hydropower 
        that may be obtained from conduits (as defined by the Secretary) 
        in the United States; and
            (B) through case studies, to assess amounts of potential 
        energy generation from such conduit hydropower projects.

    (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary of Energy shall submit to the Committee

[[Page 127 STAT. 497]]

on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report that describes 
the results of the study conducted under subsection (a), including any 
recommendations.

    Approved August 9, 2013.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 267:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 113-6 (Comm. on Energy and Commerce).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 113-38 (Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 159 (2013):
            Feb. 12, 13, considered and passed House.
            Aug. 1, considered and passed Senate.

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