A brand new invoice from New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster would make investments billions of {dollars} within the U.S.’s  growing old hydropower dam system. 

The bipartisan plan focuses on what Kuster calls the three Rs: rehabilitating, retrofitting and eradicating outdated dams, particularly the hundreds which are in unsafe situation and would trigger disastrous flooding in the event that they failed.

New Hampshire has about 3,000 dams. Most of them are privately owned, and quite a few bigger dams generate electrical energy, together with on the Connecticut River. New England at the moment will get about 7% of its electrical energy from hydropower on common.

About 160 of New Hampshire’s dams are in high-risk places, and about 30 are in poor or unsatisfactory situation, in keeping with the Affiliation of Dam Security Officers and a 2019 Related Press investigation.

Kuster’s invoice, named the Twenty-First Century Dams Act, contains $25.8 billion in grants and loans to enhance dam security and improve clear power era. It additionally features a 30% tax credit score for dam restore and removing work, and units apart funding to take away a couple of thousand dams with a objective of reconnecting 10,000 miles of rivers nationwide.

In a press launch, Kuster mentioned the objective of the package deal is to handle these hazards, create extra resilient infrastructure and improve clear power era to fight local weather change.

“It’s uncommon to see such coordination and unified problem-solving from throughout industries,” Kuster’s assertion mentioned. “I’m proud to introduce this laws within the Home to reinforce America’s clear power manufacturing and the well being of our nation’s rivers.”

Kuster’s co-sponsors on the invoice embrace Alaska Republican Rep. Don Younger. The measure stems from a consensus-building course of at Stanford College and has help from a spread of curiosity teams, together with environmental advocates and hydropower associations. 

“These advantages will … function a mannequin for a way communities around the globe can craft options to discover a higher stability between river techniques and water administration infrastructure,” mentioned World Wildlife Fund scientist Jeff Opperman in Kuster’s press launch.

A companion model of Kuster’s invoice might be launched within the Senate later this month by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein. 

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