On April 10, the House approved H.R. 678, the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act, by a vote of 416-7. Sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton (R-SC), the bill exempts certain small hydropower projects at Bureau of Reclamation sites from National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements as to expedite the development process. The bill codifies the current Bureau standard of categorically excluding projects that are deemed to have a low impact on the environment. A similar bill was passed in the House last year but did not make it through the Senate. A companion bill will be considered by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on April 23.