WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act (H.R. 316) introduced by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) by a vote of 379 to 3. The bill will soon be signed into law.
“These two dams are already a beloved and long-standing symbol of the Farmington Valley’s rich history,” said Murphy. “With today’s passage, we can 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. This bill – which I’ve been proud to champion with Representative Esty – is incredibly important for Canton and Connecticut, and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”
“I’m proud that our bill supporting clean, locally-produced energy passed today and is now heading to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law,” said Esty. “Our bill will help our communities move one step closer towards a clean energy future. I want to thank Canton First Selectman Dick Barlow for his commitment to this project and Senator Murphy for his longstanding dedication to this issue. I came to Congress to solve problems facing our communities, and I’m proud that my commonsense, straightforward proposal to help thousands of Connecticut families and businesses access clean, locally-produced energy will soon become law.”
“I want to express my deepest appreciation to Senator Murphy and Congresswoman Esty for their commitment to getting this legislation passed,” said Canton First Selectman Dick Barlow. “This bill will enable the Town of Canton to move forward with the project, which will have significant environmental, aesthetic, and economic benefits for our town. Specifically, the dams will help protect our environment by producing local, clean energy and, with its fish ladders, the dam will allow for fish to pass through unharmed.”
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. 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 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to complete an updated analysis of the environmental impact of the project and seek additional public comment before taking action.
The President now has 10 days to sign or veto the Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act, though he is expected to sign the bill. To date, the current Congress has only passed 121 measures that have been signed into law.
Murphy first introduced this bill as a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is his first bill expected to be signed into law as a United States Senator.