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Published on Friday, February 12, 2016

Water power license fees

HB 1130 would impact cities with hydropower facilities that must comply with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing requirements. Currently, state law provides that the Departments of Ecology and Fish & Wildlife assist hydropower operators to help meet requirements that protect water quality and address fish, wildlife and habitat issues. Each facility is assessed annual fees to fund these programs. However, the fees are scheduled to sunset June 30, 2017. This bill would, among other things, extend the sunset to 2027 and would require the two departments to hold an annual meeting and prepare an annual workplan. A number of cities are supporting this bill and the continuation of this program. The bill is in the Rules Committee awaiting further action.

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