In issuing preliminary permits hereunder or original licenses where no preliminary permit has been issued, the Commission shall give preference to applications therefor by States and municipalities, provided the plans for the same are deemed by the Commission equally well adapted, or shall within a reasonable time to be fixed by the Commission be made equally well adapted, to conserve and utilize in the public interest the water resources of the region; and as between other applicants, the Commission may give preference to the applicant the plans of which it finds and determines are best adapted to develop, conserve, and utilize in the public interest the water resources of the region, if it be satisfied as to the ability of the applicant to carry out such plans.
Whenever, in the judgment of the Commission, the development of any water resources for public purposes should be undertaken by the United States itself, the Commission shall not approve any application for any project affecting such development, but shall cause to be made such examinations, surveys, reports, plans, and estimates of the cost of the proposed development as it may find necessary, and shall submit its findings to Congress with such recommendations as it may find appropriate concerning such development.
Whenever, after notice and opportunity for hearing, the Commission determines that the United States should exercise its right upon or after the expiration of any license to take over any project or projects for public purposes, the Commission shall not issue a new license to the original licensee or to a new licensee but shall submit its recommendation to Congress together with such information as it may consider appropriate.
(June 10, 1920, ch. 285, pt. I, §7, 41 Stat. 1067; renumbered pt. I and amended, Aug. 26, 1935, ch. 687, title II, §§205, 212, 49 Stat. 842, 847; Pub. L. 90–451, §1, Aug. 3, 1968, 82 Stat. 616; Pub. L. 99–495, §2, Oct. 16, 1986, 100 Stat. 1243.)
Additional provisions in the section as enacted by act June 10, 1920, directing the commission to investigate the cost and economic value of the power plant outlined in project numbered 3, House Document numbered 1400, Sixty-second Congress, third session, and also in connection with such project to submit plans and estimates of cost necessary to secure an increased water supply for the District of Columbia, have been omitted as temporary and executed.
1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–495 inserted "original" after "hereunder or" and substituted "issued," for "issued and in issuing licenses to new licensees under section 808 of this title".
1968—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 90–451 added subsec. (c).
1935—Act Aug. 26, 1935, §205, amended section generally, striking out "navigation and" before "water resources" wherever appearing, and designating paragraphs as subsecs. (a) and (b).
Amendment by Pub. L. 99–495 effective with respect to each license, permit, or exemption issued under this chapter after Oct. 16, 1986, see section 18 of Pub. L. 99–495, set out as a note under section 797 of this title.