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NFC: Fw: [Updates] Hydropower Bill Threatens Rivers Nationwide (fwd)

 J. L. Wiegert                                    ICQ UIN: 1918889
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 15:37:09 -0600
From: robert a rice <robertrice at juno_com>
To: jim_williams at usgs_gov,
    nfc at actwin_com,
    flier at uswest_net,
    natimg at flash_net
Subject: Fw: [Updates] Hydropower Bill Threatens Rivers Nationwide


Robert Rice
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--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Suzy McDowell" <smcdowell at amrivers_org>
To: "Updates List Member" <robertrice at juno_com>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 11:17:58 -0500
Subject: [Updates] Hydropower Bill Threatens Rivers Nationwide
Message-ID: <MDAEMON-F199903301118.AA182054MD59106 at amrivers_org>

For Immediate Release
March 30, 1999

Contact: Andrew Fahlund, American Rivers
	(202) 347-7550
	Rich Bowers, American Whitewater
	(301) 589-9453
Steve Moyer, Trout Unlimited
	(703) 522-0200


Conservation Groups Urge Opposition of Craig/Towns Bill

(Washington, DC)-American Rivers, American Whitewater, and Trout
three of America's leading conservation organizations, today blasted a
that they said would undercut key environmental protections in federal
licensing of hydropower dams. The Hydroelectric Licensing Process
Improvement Act (S.740), introduced late last week by Senator Larry Craig
(R-ID), would amend the Federal Power Act, which now requires federal
authorities to consider environmental and energy concerns when licensing
hydropower dams.

Senator Craig's bill would limit the abilities of federal agencies to
protect natural resources and burden the agencies with more than a dozen
procedural, process, and oversight requirements. Congressman Edolphus
(D-NY) is expected to introduce a companion bill in the House.

"Instead of fixing the hydropower relicensing process, as Senator Craig
claims, these bills add more red tape and unravel important environmental
protections," said Andrew Fahlund, associate director of hydropower
for American Rivers.

"These bills are not needed and would be harmful to fish and other
resources. They are being pressed by elements of the hydropower industry
want to make up their own rules," said Steve Moyer, vice president for
conservation programs for Trout Unlimited.

The Federal Power Act grants authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) and several other federal and state agencies to
the operation of mostly private hydropower dams on public waterways.
30 to 50 years, a dam owner must apply to FERC for a new operating
This relicensing process requires consideration of ecological health,
quality, and recreation so that operation of the dam continues to be in
public interest.

"The relicensing process has achieved major gains for fish, rivers, and
forward-thinking utility companies. Our work has shown that the nation
not have to sacrifice the health of its rivers to maintain a vigorous
hydropower industry," added Moyer.

"The relicensing of hydropower dams has improved river conditions across
country, creating more opportunities for fishing and boating-and bringing
significant economic benefits to river communities and businesses," said
Rich Bowers, executive director of American Whitewater.

"American Rivers, American Whitewater, Trout Unlimited, and other
conservationists have worked cooperatively with industry members and FERC
come up with specific administrative solutions to make the hydropower dam
licensing process more efficient and streamlined. These solutions are
implemented and need to be given an opportunity to work. Attacking this
progress with legislation just does not make sense," added Fahlund.

American Rivers, founded in 1973, is the nation's leading river
organization. For more information on the FERC relicensing process, visit
www.amrivers.org. American Whitewater is the only national organization
dedicated exclusively to the conservation, restoration, and enjoyment of
whitewater rivers (www.awa.org). Founded in 1959, Trout Unlimited
(www.tu.org) is America's leading trout and salmon conservation
with 455 chapters nationwide.