National

Apr 11, 2013 5:20 PM by Juice Godfrey

US House passes Tipton's small hydropower bill

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - A bill to make it easier to produce hydropower from canals and ditches across the West has passed the U.S. House.

Representatives voted 416-7 in favor of the measure from Colorado's Scott Tipton on Wednesday.

It would streamline the regulatory process for building hydropower projects of 5 megawatts or less along 373 U.S. Bureau of Reclamation canals and ditches. Outside developers would do the work and they wouldn't have to do additional environmental reviews.

Wyoming has the most of those waterways - 121. Montana has 32 and Colorado has 28.

The Durango Herald reports that some Democrats objected to waiving additional reviews. Tipton argues the bill is meaningless without that provision.

A similar bill passed the House last year but never advanced beyond a hearing in the Senate.

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