It Has Become a Fight for Private Property Rights

posted May 10, 2012, 7:30 AM by Site administrator   [ updated Oct 14, 2014, 10:42 AM ]
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  ... Thursday, April 26, 2012 

Robert Hurt Provision To Protect Smith Mountain Lake, Bedford, Franklin, Pittsylvania Private Property Rights Approved By House Committee 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today released the following statement after the House Committee on Appropriations approved legislation which included a provision authored by Congressman Hurt to further address the concerns brought to him by 5th District Virginians relating to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) negatively impacting their land value and private property rights. This legislation is now one step closer to becoming law: 

“I am pleased that the Committee has included this critical provision to address the concerns brought to me by constituents from Smith Mountain Lake and Bedford, Franklin, and Pittsylvania counties. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s actions have affected many 5th District Virginians with unnecessary costs and burdens while exercising regulatory authority absent consideration of private property rights. I have introduced the SHORE Act – a bill that would ensure private property rights are taken into consideration as FERC exercises authority relating to federally regulated hydropower projects. The provision approved today yet is another step in the right direction. In addressing 5th District Virginians’ concerns, this provision affirms that Congress will exercise oversight to ensure that FERC is taking meaningful steps to protect the use and enjoyment of private property when regulating federal hydropower projects such as Smith Mountain Lake. I remain committed to working on behalf of the people of the 5th District to ensure that they are not negatively impacted by unnecessary federal regulations.”

As you can see below, the language in the appropriations bill builds on the FY12 report language to address concerns that you and others at Smith Mountain Lake and Lake of the Ozarks have brought to our attention. It is definitely a statement to FERC that they are being carefully watched by the Appropriations Committee and Congress and that they expect FERC to take significant steps to address this going forward. 

The [Appropriations] Committee is aware that concerns remain about the degree of consideration given by FERC to the rights and concerns of private property owners during the process for developing, reviewing, and approving shoreline management plans. The Committee reiterates its support for the expeditious development and implementation of innovative and mutually agreeable solutions to resolve conflicts among project purposes and private property at specific locations. The Committee also expects FERC to complete as soon as possible its review of the overall shoreline management plan process and report to Congress, as directed in fiscal year 2012.