Hurt introduces SHORE act to protect lake landowners’ rights

From the Chatham Star Tribune

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fifth District Congressman Robert Hurt (R-VA) this week introduced the Supporting Home Owner Rights Enforcement (SHORE) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The act will require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take into account private property ownership rights when issuing and enforcing hydropower project licenses.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri.

“As the federal government continues to expand in size and scope, we must ensure that Central and Southside Virginians and all Americans are not negatively affected by its over-reach, especially as it relates to individuals’ right to own and enjoy private property,” said Hurt.

The SHORE Act will require that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission take into consideration private property rights when exercising its authority at Smith Mountain Lake and other federally regulated hydro-projects.

Additionally, it will require that licensees consider the benefit of private landownership to investment and increased tourism when developing recreation resources within a project boundary.

“Federal government regulations have rapidly expanded in reach in the past decade, and this is but one example of that expansion,” said Hurt.

“I appreciate the engaged citizens at Smith Mountain Lake, and in Bedford, Franklin, and Pittsylvania counties for bringing this important issue to my attention and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and the Senate to address this issue.”

Franklin County Board of Supervisors member Russ Johnson, chairman of the Tri-County Relicensing Committee, praised Hurt’s bill.

“The SHORE Act is not only of great benefit to the 240,000 people that live in the counties that encompass Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes, it is of benefit to private property owners throughout the United States who seek, as we do, to balance environmental stewardship and recreational enhancement with private property and the rights that go with ownership,” said Johnson.

“The noble goals of this legislation go a long way towards fairness and responsibility, which are at the core of our nation and of our government’s proper relationship with its citizens.”

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