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Agency To Handle Part Lake Powell Pipeline Permitting

Lake Powell

  A federal agency's decision to pass on permitting for much of the Lake Powell Pipeline has opponents cheering the move they say will bring increased scrutiny while supporters maintain the project is still on track.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced Thursday that it had submitted an order, saying it would only handle permitting for hydroelectric facilities in the 140-mile (225-kilometer) pipeline project.

The commission says other agencies will need to permit sections in their jurisdictions.

The project aims to pump up to 77 million gallons (291 million liters) per day from the reservoir straddling the Utah-Arizona border.

Utah water managers say the commission's decision clarifies which agencies would need to issue the permits and should not slow down the process.