Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 422 (rs) To provide for Alaska state jurisdiction over small hydroelectric projects. [Reported in Senate] ...

S. 422 (rs) To provide for Alaska state jurisdiction over small hydroelectric projects. [Reported in Senate] ...

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  1st Session
                                 S. 422



                             April 12, 1999

                 Referred to the Committee on Commerce


                                 AN ACT

   To provide for Alaska state jurisdiction over small hydroelectric 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    Part I of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 792 et seq.) is amended 
by adding at the end the following:


    ``(a) Discontinuance of Regulation by the Commission.--
Notwithstanding sections 4(e) and 23(b), the Commission shall 
discontinue exercising licensing and regulatory authority under this 
Part over qualifying project works in the State of Alaska, effective on 
the date on which the Commission certifies that the State of Alaska has 
in place a regulatory program for water-power development that--
            ``(1) protects the public interest, the purposes listed in 
        paragraph (2), and the environment to the same extent provided 
        by licensing and regulation by the Commission under this Part 
        and other applicable Federal laws, including the Endangered 
        Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the Fish and Wildlife 
        Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.);
            ``(2) gives equal consideration to the purposes of--
                    ``(A) energy conservation;
                    ``(B) the protection, mitigation of damage to, and 
                enhancement of, fish and wildlife (including related 
                spawning grounds and habitat);
                    ``(C) the protection of recreational opportunities,
                    ``(D) the preservation of other aspects of 
                environmental quality,
                    ``(E) the interests of Alaska Natives, and
                    ``(F) other beneficial public uses, including 
                irrigation, flood control, water supply, and 
                navigation; and
            ``(3) requires, as a condition of a license for any project 
                    ``(A) the construction, maintenance, and operation 
                by a licensee at its own expense of such lights and 
                signals as may be directed by the Secretary of the 
                Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, and 
                such fishways as may be prescribed by the Secretary of 
                the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce, as 
                    ``(B) the operation of any navigation facilities 
                which may be constructed as part of any project to be 
                controlled at all times by such reasonable rules and 
                regulations as may be made by the Secretary of the 
                Army; and
                    ``(C) conditions for the protection, mitigation, 
                and enhancement of fish and wildlife based on 
                recommendations received pursuant to the Fish and 
                Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.) from 
                the National Marine Fisheries Service, the United 
                States Fish and Wildlife Service, and State fish and 
                wildlife agencies.
    ``(b) Definition of `Qualifying Project Works'.--For purposes of 
this section, the term `qualifying project works' means project works--
            ``(1) that are not part of a project licensed under this 
        Part or exempted from licensing under this Part or section 405 
        of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 prior to 
        the date of enactment of this section;
            ``(2) for which a preliminary permit, a license 
        application, or an application for an exemption from licensing 
        has not been accepted for filing by the Commission prior to the 
        date of enactment of subsection (c) (unless such application is 
        withdrawn at the election of the applicant);
            ``(3) that are part of a project that has a power 
        production capacity of 5,000 kilowatts or less;
            ``(4) that are located entirely within the boundaries of 
        the State of Alaska; and
            ``(5) that are not located in whole or in part on any 
        Indian reservation, a conservation system unit (as defined in 
        section 102(4) of the Alaska National Interest Lands 
        Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3102(4))), or segment of a river 
        designated for study for addition to the Wild and Scenic Rivers 
    ``(c) Election of State Licensing.--In the case of nonqualifying 
project works that would be a qualifying project works but for the fact 
that the project has been licensed (or exempted from licensing) by the 
Commission prior to the enactment of this section, the licensee of such 
project may in its discretion elect to make the project subject to 
licensing and regulation by the State of Alaska under this section.
    ``(d) Project Works on Federal Lands.--With respect to projects 
located in whole or in part on a reservation, a conservation system 
unit, or the public lands, a State license or exemption from licensing 
shall be subject to--
            ``(1) the approval of the Secretary having jurisdiction 
        over such lands; and
            ``(2) such conditions as the Secretary may prescribe.
    ``(e) Consultation With Affected Agencies.--The Commission shall 
consult with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of 
Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce before certifying the State 
of Alaska's regulatory program.
    ``(f) Application of Federal Laws.--Nothing in this section shall 
preempt the application of Federal environmental, natural resources, or 
cultural resources protection laws according to their terms.
    ``(g) Oversight by the Commission.--The State of Alaska shall 
notify the Commission not later than 30 days after making any 
significant modification to its regulatory program. The Commission 
shall periodically review the State's program to ensure compliance with 
the provisions of this section.
    ``(h) Resumption of Commission Authority.--Notwithstanding 
subsection (a), the Commission shall reassert its licensing and 
regulatory authority under this Part if the Commission finds that the 
State of Alaska has not complied with one or more of the requirements 
of this section.
    ``(i) Determination by the Commission.--
            ``(1) Upon application by the Governor of the State of 
        Alaska, the Commission shall within 30 days commence a review 
        of the State of Alaska's regulatory program for water-power 
        development to determine whether it complies with the 
        requirements of subsection (a).
            ``(2) The Commission's review required by paragraph (1) 
        shall be completed within one year of initiation, and the 
        Commission shall within 30 days thereafter issue a final order 
        determining whether or not the State of Alaska's regulatory 
        program for water-power development complies with the 
        requirements of subsection (a).
            ``(3) If the Commission fails to issue a final order in 
        accordance with paragraph (2), the State of Alaska's regulatory 
        program for water-power development shall be deemed to be in 
        compliance with subsection (a).''.

            Passed the Senate March 25, 1999.


                                                    GARY SISCO,


Pages: 1

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