FERC's July 15 meeting likely was the last one for outgoing Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, whose term expired June 30. While Chatterjee can serve until the end of the current congressional session or until the Senate confirms a replacement, he said July 8 on Twitter that the commission's July meeting "is likely to be my last."

An energy recovery project capable of generating up to 94 MWh per year (about 11 akW) has been installed at a booster pump station of the Skagit County PUD water system in Mount Vernon, Wash., the utility announced June 29. The generated electricity will be used to offset the grid power used by the pump station. The project employs a "smart" water and micro-hydro system developed by InPipe Energy that uses the excess pressure to generate in-line hydropower.

Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced legislation on June 24 authorizing a 30 percent investment tax credit for hydropower dam investments. The legislation, S. 2306, also would authorize a 30 percent credit for removing, with owners' consent, obsolete river obstructions, including nonpowered dams or nonfederal hydropower dams that block fish passage, pose safety hazards or inhibit economic development.

Col. Geoff Van Epps assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division on July 22 in a ceremony at Bonneville Dam. Van Epps takes over for Brig. Gen. Peter Helmlinger, who served in the post for the past three years and will now retire after 33 years with the Corps.

President Joe Biden said June 18 he will nominate Camille Calimlim Touton to head the Bureau of Reclamation. Touton, currently serving as BuRec's deputy commissioner, previously worked in Congress staffing the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Natural Resources committees and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. During the Obama administration, Touton was the Interior Department's deputy assistant secretary for water and science.

Bellingham, Wash.-based Electron Hydro has been fined $501,000 for accidentally discharging more than 10,000 pounds of artificial sports turf and crumb rubber into the Puyallup River in 2020. The material broke loose while being used during construction upgrading the 26 MW run-of-river Electron Dam. The Washington Department of Ecology said the material is toxic when eaten by fish and other aquatic life.

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