United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 22, 2020

§ 1278.
Restrictions on water resources projects
(a)
Construction projects licensed by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shall not license the construction of any dam, water conduit, reservoir, powerhouse, transmission line, or other project works under the Federal Power Act (41 Stat. 1063), as amended (16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.), on or directly affecting any river which is designated in section 1274 of this title as a component of the national wild and scenic rivers system or which is hereafter designated for inclusion in that system, and no department or agency of the United States shall assist by loan, grant, license, or otherwise in the construction of any water resources project that would have a direct and adverse effect on the values for which such river was established, as determined by the Secretary charged with its administration. Nothing contained in the foregoing sentence, however, shall preclude licensing of, or assistance to, developments below or above a wild, scenic or recreational river area or on any stream tributary thereto which will not invade the area or unreasonably diminish the scenic, recreational, and fish and wildlife values present in the area on the date of designation of a river as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. No department or agency of the United States shall recommend authorization of any water resources project that would have a direct and adverse effect on the values for which such river was established, as determined by the Secretary charged with its administration, or request appropriations to begin construction of any such project, whether heretofore or hereafter authorized, without advising the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture, as the case may be, in writing of its intention so to do at least sixty days in advance, and without specifically reporting to the Congress in writing at the time it makes its recommendation or request in what respect construction of such project would be in conflict with the purposes of this chapter and would affect the component and the values to be protected by it under this chapter. Any license heretofore or hereafter issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission affecting the New River of North Carolina shall continue to be effective only for that portion of the river which is not included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System pursuant to section 1273 of this title and no project or undertaking so licensed shall be permitted to invade, inundate or otherwise adversely affect such river segment.

(b)
Construction projects on rivers designated for potential addition to system
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shall not license the construction of any dam, water conduit, reservoir, powerhouse, transmission line, or other project works under the Federal Power Act, as amended [16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.], on or directly affecting any river which is listed in section 1276(a) of this title, and no department or agency of the United States shall assist by loan, grant, license, or otherwise in the construction of any water resources project that would have a direct and adverse effect on the values for which such river might be designated, as determined by the Secretary responsible for its study or approval—
(i)
during the ten-year period following October 2, 1968, or for a three complete fiscal year period following any Act of Congress designating any river for potential addition to the national wild and scenic rivers system, whichever is later, unless, prior to the expiration of the relevant period, the Secretary of the Interior and, where national forest lands are involved, the Secretary of Agriculture, on the basis of study, determine that such river should not be included in the national wild and scenic rivers system and notify the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, in writing, including a copy of the study upon which the determination was made, at least one hundred and eighty days while Congress is in session prior to publishing notice to that effect in the Federal Register: Provided, That if any Act designating any river or rivers for potential addition to the national wild and scenic rivers system provides a period for the study or studies which exceeds such three complete fiscal year period the period provided for in such Act shall be substituted for the three complete fiscal year period in the provisions of this clause (i); and
(ii)
during such interim period from the date a report is due and the time a report is actually submitted to the Congress; and
(iii)
during such additional period thereafter as, in the case of any river the report for which is submitted to the President and the Congress, is necessary for congressional consideration thereof or, in the case of any river recommended to the Secretary of the Interior for inclusion in the national wild and scenic rivers system under section 1273(a)(ii) of this title, is necessary for the Secretary’s consideration thereof, which additional period, however, shall not exceed three years in the first case and one year in the second.
Nothing contained in the foregoing sentence, however, shall preclude licensing of, or assistance to, developments below or above a potential wild, scenic or recreational river area or on any stream tributary thereto which will not invade the area or diminish the scenic, recreational, and fish and wildlife values present in the potential wild, scenic or recreational river area on the date of designation of a river for study as provided for in section 1276 of this title. No department or agency of the United States shall, during the periods hereinbefore specified, recommend authorization of any water resources project on any such river or request appropriations to begin construction of any such project, whether heretofore or hereafter authorized, without advising the Secretary of the Interior and, where national forest lands are involved, the Secretary of Agriculture in writing of its intention so to do at
(c)
Activities in progress affecting river of system; notice to Secretary

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and all other Federal agencies shall, promptly upon enactment of this chapter, inform the Secretary of the Interior and, where national forest lands are involved, the Secretary of Agriculture, of any proceedings, studies, or other activities within their jurisdiction which are now in progress and which affect or may affect any of the rivers specified in section 1276(a) of this title. They shall likewise inform him of any such proceedings, studies, or other activities which are hereafter commenced or resumed before they are commenced or resumed.

(d)
Grants under chapter 2003 of title 54

Nothing in this section with respect to the making of a loan or grant shall apply to grants made under chapter 2003 of title 54.

(Pub. L. 90–542, § 7, Oct. 2, 1968, 82 Stat. 913; Pub. L. 93–279, § 1(b)(3), (4), May 10, 1974, 88 Stat. 123; Pub. L. 93–621, § 1(c), Jan. 3, 1975, 88 Stat. 2096; Pub. L. 94–407, § 1(2), Sept. 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 1238; Pub. L. 95–91, title IV, § 402(a)(1)(A), Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 583; Pub. L. 99–590, title V, § 505, Oct. 30, 1986, 100 Stat. 3336; Pub. L. 103–437, § 6(a)(7), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4583; Pub. L. 113–287, § 5(d)(30), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3267.)
cite as: 16 USC 1278