Esty, Murphy Applaud Senate Passage of Collinsville Dam Legislation

Bill heads back to the House for final approval

WASHINGTON – May 26, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) applauded final passage in the U.S. Senate of H.R. 316, the Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act. The Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act would permit the town of Canton to operate two small, currently inactive hydropower dams and generate locally produced power.

“This project is a win-win—empowering our local communities and moving our state towards a clean energy future,” Esty said. “I’m proud that our efforts have brought this long overdue project on track to becoming law. Thank you Senator Murphy for his leadership shepherding this bill through the Senate and for his years of hard work along with First Selectman Barlow to provide locally-produced, clean energy for thousands of Connecticut families.”

“These two dams are already a beloved and long-standing symbol of the Farmington’s Valley’s rich history,” said Murphy. “With this important bill passing the Senate today, we can help make them a symbol of the Valley’s future as well—retrofitting them to provide clean energy to power thousands of Connecticut homes and businesses. I applaud my Senate colleagues and Congresswoman Esty for helping to get this important bill one step closer to the President’s desk.”

The bill was introduced by Congresswoman Esty in the House on January 18, 2013, passed by a voice vote on February 12, 2013, and has been shepherded by Senator Murphy through the Senate this session. The Senate bill includes minor changes to the requirements of transferring the license, so the House must pass the amended bill before it can head to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

Then-5th District Congressman Chris Murphy and Canton First Selectman Dick Barlow successfully worked to pass similar legislation in the House in 2010 and 2012. Both times, the Senate failed to take up the bill after passage in the House.

The dams are expected to produce nearly two megawatts of power, enough to power more than 1,500 homes. The upper and lower Collinsville dams were built in the 18th and 19th centuries to power the Collins Company. The Collins Company, which manufactured axes, closed in the 1960s.

The legislation would also ensure that the river’s health is fully protected by requiring FERC to complete an updated analysis of the environmental impact of the projects and seek additional public comment before taking action.

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