The National Hydropower Association (NHA) has applauded passage of bipartisan hydropower regulatory improvement provisions as part of the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act (HR8).

The hydropower provisions are designed to make the hydropower licensing process more timely, coherent and collaborative by promoting predictability and requiring timely decisions by regulators — all without narrowing the authorities of federal and state resource agencies and Indian tribes under existing federal environmental laws.

NHA says the provisions will break the licensing process status quo that has stifled the growth of US hydro for a number of years. The association also congratulated the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Jerry McNerney for "championing a common sense clean energy proposal that protects environmental values".

The US Senate is now expected to take up the Energy Policy Modernisation Act of 2015 (S2012), which contains similar hydropower improvement provisions.

"As we look to further action in the Senate, it is important to note that the bipartisan hydropower provisions that are moving forward in both chambers do not repeal or weaken the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, or other federal environmental requirements," Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of NHA said. "As the legislative process moves forward, we will continue working with Congress, the Administration and all stakeholders to pass a final bill that preserves the existing hydro system, protects the environment and promotes new development."