Cantwell, Murkowski, Stabenow, Sullivan, King, Tillis, Gillibrand and Shaheen Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Enhance Existing Hydropower, Improve Dam Safety and Dam Removal for River Health

September 29, 2023

Washington, DC (September 28, 2023) – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation to advance hydropower, dam safety, and healthy rivers nationwide. This legislation is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

The Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity and River Restoration Act of 2023 creates a new 30% investment tax credit to encourage environmental enhancements and dam safety improvements. Eligible investments include adding fish-friendly turbines and fish passage infrastructure, managing river sediments to improve habitat, upgrading or replacing floodgates and spillways, and improving public use of and access to public waterways impacted by existing dams. The bill also establishes a new federal cost-share to encourage the removal of obsolete river obstructions, restoring river health and improving public safety.

“Our nation’s efforts to transition to a clean energy grid have stopped just short of the finish line, as it failed to recognize the importance of hydropower’s existing fleet,” said Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of the National Hydropower Association. “Hydro powers 30 million American homes with zero-carbon electricity. With the right tools, our industry can make environmental enhancements, bolster dam safety and prevent the hydropower fleet from retiring – outcomes that will lead to healthier rivers and a more reliable grid. Simply put, today’s hydropower fleet complements other renewables by providing power when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing. We applaud the bipartisan leadership of Sens. Cantwell, Murkowski, Stabenow, Sullivan, King, Tillis, Gillibrand and Shaheen for recognizing that we can’t ensure a reliable grid without the nation’s second largest renewable electricity resource.”

“We applaud the bipartisan leadership for this bill that would incentivize dam safety, environmental improvements for healthy rivers, and dam removal. Conservation advocates and the hydropower industry have worked hard to collaborate on these measures that support healthy rivers and hydropower generation,” said Tom Kiernan, President and CEO of American Rivers. Sens. Cantwell, Murkowski, Stabenow, Sullivan, King, Tillis, Gillibrand and Shaheen should be commended for advancing solutions for healthy rivers and climate resilience.”

For more information, please contact Copeland Tucker with NHA at or Amy Souers Kober with American Rivers at