[USC04] 16 USC 823f: Closed-loop pumped storage projects
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16 USC 823f: Closed-loop pumped storage projects Text contains those laws in effect on May 20, 2019
From Title 16-CONSERVATIONCHAPTER 12-FEDERAL REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF POWERSUBCHAPTER I-REGULATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF WATER POWER AND RESOURCES

§823f. Closed-loop pumped storage projects

(a) Expedited licensing process for closed-loop pumped storage projects

(1) In general

As provided in this section, the Commission may issue and amend licenses, as appropriate, for closed-loop pumped storage projects.

(2) Rule

Not later than 180 days after October 23, 2018, the Commission shall issue a rule establishing an expedited process for issuing and amending licenses for closed-loop pumped storage projects under this section.

(3) Interagency task force

In establishing the expedited process under this section, the Commission shall convene an interagency task force, with appropriate Federal and State agencies and Indian tribes represented, to coordinate the regulatory processes associated with the authorizations required to construct and operate closed-loop pumped storage projects.

(4) Length of process

The Commission shall seek to ensure that the expedited process under this section will result in final decision on an application for a license by not later than 2 years after receipt of a completed application for such license.

(b) Dam safety

Before issuing any license for a closed-loop pumped storage project, the Commission shall assess the safety of existing dams and other structures related to the project (including possible consequences associated with failure of such structures).

(c) Exceptions from other requirements

(1) In general

In issuing or amending a license for a closed-loop pumped storage project pursuant to the expedited process established under this section, the Commission may grant an exception from any other requirement of this subchapter with respect to any part of the closed-loop pumped storage project (not including any dam or other impoundment).

(2) Consultation

In granting an exception under paragraph (1), the Commission shall consult with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the State agency exercising administration over the fish and wildlife resources of the State in which the closed-loop pumped storage project is or will be located, in the manner provided by the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.).

(3) Terms and conditions

In granting an exception under paragraph (1), the Commission shall include in any such exception-

(A) such terms and conditions as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the State agency described in paragraph (2) each determine are appropriate to prevent loss of, or damage to, fish and wildlife resources and to otherwise carry out the purposes of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act; and

(B) such terms and conditions as the Commission deems appropriate to ensure that such closed-loop pumped storage project continues to comply with the provisions of this section and terms and conditions included in any such exception.

(4) Fees

The Commission, in addition to the requirements of section 803(e) of this title, shall establish fees which shall be paid by an applicant for a license for a closed-loop pumped storage project that is required to meet terms and conditions set by fish and wildlife agencies under paragraph (3). Such fees shall be adequate to reimburse the fish and wildlife agencies referred to in paragraph (3) for any reasonable costs incurred in connection with any studies or other reviews carried out by such agencies for purposes of compliance with this section. The fees shall, subject to annual appropriations Acts, be transferred to such agencies by the Commission for use solely for purposes of carrying out such studies and shall remain available until expended.

(d) Transfers

Notwithstanding section 798 of this title, and regardless of whether the holder of a preliminary permit for a closed-loop pumped storage project claimed municipal preference under section 800(a) of this title when obtaining the permit, on request by a municipality, the Commission may, to facilitate development of a closed-loop pumped storage project-

(1) add entities as joint permittees following issuance of a preliminary permit; and

(2) transfer a license in part to one or more nonmunicipal entities as co-licensees with a municipality, if the municipality retains majority ownership of the project for which the license was issued.

(e) Interagency communications

Interagency cooperation in the preparation of environmental documents under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) with respect to an application for a license for a closed-loop pumped storage project submitted pursuant to this section, and interagency communications relating to licensing process coordination pursuant to this section, shall not-

(1) be considered to be ex parte communications under Commission rules; or

(2) preclude an agency from participating in a licensing proceeding under this subchapter, providing that any agency participating as a party in a licensing proceeding under this subchapter shall, to the extent practicable, demonstrate a separation of staff cooperating with the Commission under the National Environmental Policy Act 1 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and staff participating in the applicable proceeding under this subchapter.

(f) Developing abandoned mines for pumped storage

(1) Workshop

Not later than 6 months after October 23, 2018, the Commission shall hold a workshop to explore potential opportunities for development of closed-loop pumped storage projects at abandoned mine sites.

(2) Guidance

Not later than 1 year after October 23, 2018, the Commission shall issue guidance to assist applicants for licenses or preliminary permits for closed-loop pumped storage projects at abandoned mine sites.

(g) Qualifying criteria for closed-loop pumped storage projects

(1) In general

The Commission shall establish criteria that a pumped storage project shall meet in order to qualify as a closed-loop pumped storage project eligible for the expedited process established under this section.

(2) Inclusions

In establishing the criteria under paragraph (1), the Commission shall include criteria requiring that the pumped storage project-

(A) cause little to no change to existing surface and ground water flows and uses; and

(B) is unlikely to adversely affect species listed as a threatened species or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 [16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.].

(h) Savings clause

Nothing in this section affects any authority of the Commission to license a closed-loop pumped storage project under this subchapter.

(June 10, 1920, ch. 285, pt. I, §35, as added Pub. L. 115–270, title III, §3004, Oct. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 3865 .)

References in Text

The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), (3)(A), is act Mar. 10, 1934, ch. 55, 48 Stat. 401 , which is classified generally to sections 661 to 666c–1 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 661(a) of this title, Short Title note set out under section 661 of this title, and Tables.

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (e), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852 , which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§4321 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of Title 42 and Tables.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973, referred to in subsec. (g)(2)(B), is Pub. L. 93–205, Dec. 28, 1973, 87 Stat. 884 , which is classified principally to chapter 35 (§1531 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1531 of this title and Tables.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by "of 1969".