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Indian Water Rights Settlement Extension Act

S 886Water Resources Development • Introduced by Tom Udall on 2019-3-27

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2019-7-17

A bill to make technical corrections to the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, and for other purposes.

S 1811Water Resources Development • Introduced by John Barrasso on 2019-6-12

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2019-7-12

Reclamation Title Transfer Act of 2018

S 2560Water Resources Development • Introduced by James Risch on 2018-3-15

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2018-11-28

Reclamation Title Transfer Act of 2018

S 2560Water Resources Development • Introduced by James Risch on 2018-3-15

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2018-11-28

Clean Water for Rural Communities Act

S 685Water Resources Development • Introduced by Steve Daines on 2017-3-21

Has summary

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2018-11-15

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Clean Water for Rural Communities Act

This bill authorizes the Department of the Interior to carry out the projects entitled: (1) the "Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority System" in accordance with the Dry-Redwater Regional Water System Feasibility Study, which received funding from the Bureau of Reclamation on September 1, 2010; and (2) the "Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System" in accordance with the Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System Feasibility Report. The bill defines the service areas of such projects in North Dakota and Montana.

Interior must enter into a cooperative agreement with the Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority and the Central Montana Regional Water Authority to provide federal assistance for the planning, design, and construction of such water systems. The bill sets forth the federal share of such costs and the authorized uses of federal funds, which exclude operation, maintenance, or replacement of the water systems.

The Western Area Power Administration must make available to the Dry-Redwater System a quantity of power (up to one and a half megawatt capacity) required to meet the system's pumping and incidental operation requirements between May 1 and October 31 of each year: (1) from the water intake facilities; and (2) through all pumping stations, water treatment facilities, reservoirs, storage tanks, and pipelines up to the point of delivery of water to all storage reservoirs and tanks and each entity that distributes water at retail to individual users.

The system is eligible to receive such power only if it: (1) operates on a nonprofit basis, and (2) is constructed pursuant to the cooperative agreement with the Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority. The bill provides for the purchase of additional power.

The authority is responsible for: (1) charges for such additional power, (2) the costs of non-federal transmission and distribution system delivery and service arrangements, and (3) funding any upgrades to the transmission system owned by the Western Area Power Administration Basin Electric Power District and the Heartland Consumers Power District required to deliver power to the system.

The bill authorizes appropriations and adjustments in authorized amounts in accordance with ordinary fluctuations in development costs.

Saint Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act

HR 2156Water Resources Development • Introduced by Steve Knight on 2017-4-26

Has summary

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2018-11-14

New Mexico Drought Preparedness Act of 2018

S 1012Water Resources Development • Introduced by Tom Udall on 2017-5-2

Has summary

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2018-11-14

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New Mexico Drought Preparedness Act of 2018

This bill directs the Bureau of Reclamation to carry out a water acquisition program in specified basins in New Mexico, under which Reclamation shall: (1) make acquisitions of water by lease or purchase of water rights or contractual entitlements from willing lessors or sellers, consistent with the Rio Grande Compact and applicable state water rights law; and (2) take other actions to enhance stream flow to benefit fish and wildlife (including endangered species), water quality, and river ecosystem restoration and to enhance stewardship and conservation of working land, water, and watersheds.

Reclamation, in cooperation with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, may provide funding and technical assistance for the installation of metering and measurement devices and the construction of check structures to: (1) ensure the conservation and efficient use of water by reducing actual consumptive use or by not increasing the use of water, and (2) improve the measurement and allocation of water.

The National Academy of Sciences shall carry out a study on water and reservoir management and operation issues in specified basins.

The bill authorizes financial assistance to be made available for eligible water projects to help western states and tribal governments address drought-related impacts to water supplies or any other immediate water-related crisis or conflict.

The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 is amended to: (1) authorize the use of water management improvement grants to assist applicants in planning for or addressing the impacts of drought, (2) change to December 31, 2019, the reporting date on the implementation of recommended Rio Grande Pueblo irrigation infrastructure projects, and (3) reauthorize for FY2018-FY2026 the Rio Grande Pueblo irrigation infrastructure grant program.

Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act

HR 660Water Resources Development • Introduced by Paul Gosar on 2017-1-24

Has summary

Status: Passed One Chamber

Last action: 2018-9-17

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Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act

(Sec. 4) This bill directs the Department of the Interior to submit to Congress, make publicly available, and biennially update an Asset Management Report that describes the Bureau of Reclamation's efforts to maintain in a reliable manner all reserved works (buildings, structures, facilities, or equipment owned by Reclamation for which operations and maintenance are performed by its employees or through a contract with Reclamation) at Reclamation facilities, and to standardize and streamline data reporting and processes across regions and areas for the purpose of maintaining such works.

Such report shall include: (1) a detailed assessment of major repair and rehabilitation needs for all such works; and (2) an itemized list of major repair and rehabilitation needs of individual Reclamation facilities at each Reclamation project, including a budget level cost estimate of appropriations needed to complete each item and an assignment of a categorical rating for each item consistent with existing uniform categorization systems to inform the annual budget process and agency requirements.

(Sec. 5) Interior shall: (1) coordinate with the nonfederal entities responsible for the operation and maintenance of transferred works (Reclamation facilities at which operations and maintenance are carried out by a nonfederal entity under a formal agreement with Reclamation) in developing reporting requirements for Asset Management Reports with respect to major repair and rehabilitation needs for such works, and (2) develop and implement a categorical rating system for transferred works.

(Sec. 6) The bill reduces the maximum amount of the federal share of the cost of the Central Valley Water Recycling Project otherwise available as of the date of enactment of this bill by $2 million.

Reclamation Title Transfer and Non-Federal Infrastructure Incentivization Act

HR 3281Water Resources Development • Introduced by Doug Lamborn on 2017-7-18

Has summary

Status: Passed One Chamber

Last action: 2018-7-16

Vote

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Reclamation Title Transfer and Non-Federal Infrastructure Incentivization Act

(Sec. 3) This bill authorizes the Department of the Interior to convey U.S. interest in an eligible reclamation project or facility to an agency of a state political subdivision, a joint action or powers agency, a water users association, or an Indian tribe or tribal utility authority that holds a water service contract for such property and that has the capacity to continue to manage the property for the same purposes for which it has been managed under reclamation law, if: (1) Interior notifies Congress in writing of the proposed conveyance at least 90 days in advance, and (2) Congress does not pass a joint resolution disapproving the conveyance. A facility that generates hydropower marketed by a power marketing administration shall not be eligible for such conveyance.

An entity that operates and maintains an eligible facility at the time Interior attempts to facilitate its conveyance shall have the right of first refusal to receive the conveyance.

(Sec. 4) Criteria for determining whether facilities are eligible for title transfer shall include: (1) the transfer will not have an unmitigated significant effect on the environment, (2) the qualifying entity intends to use the property for substantially the same purposes the property is being used for at the time Interior evaluates the potential transfer, and (3) the qualifying entity agrees to provide the United States the equivalent of the present value of any repayment obligation or other income stream the United States derives from the assets to be transferred.

(Sec. 5) No conveyance under this bill may adversely impact power rates or repayment obligations.

(Sec. 9) Interior shall submit, as part of its annual budget submission to Congress: (1) a description of the actions taken to implement this bill, and (2) a list of conveyances made or initiated by Interior or a qualifying entity under this bill.

America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

S 2800Water Resources Development • Introduced by John Barrasso on 2018-5-8

Has summary

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2018-7-10

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America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

This bill requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, each fiscal year, to submit to Congress a five-year budget and work plan for projects of national significance. Each Corps of Engineers district, each fiscal year, must submit a five-year budget and work plan for projects under its jurisdiction. Projects must be carried out in a sustainable manner that focuses on water resource challenges and opportunities, promotes collaboration, and pursues integrated water resource management.

The bill reauthorizes provisions of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 pertaining to expedited consideration of water resources infrastructure through 2024.

The bill provides for: (1) the establishment of a Corps of Engineers Board of Appeals; and (2) various studies, modifications, and project authorizations and deauthorizations nationwide.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shall establish a voluntary stormwater infrastructure funding task force to develop recommendations to improve the funding and financing of stormwater infrastructure.

The Safe Drinking Water Act is amended to establish a voluntary WaterSense program to identify and promote water-efficient products, buildings, landscapes, facilities, processes, and services.

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 is amended to authorize the EPA to provide financial assistance to state infrastructure financing authorities for state loan funds to carry out water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

The EPA shall: (1) promote the use of green infrastructure; (2) carry out a Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Program; and (3) appoint at least one employee in each regional office to serve as a liaison to minority, tribal, and low-income communities.

Water Resources Development Act of 2018

HR 8Water Resources Development • Introduced by Paul Ryan on 2018-5-18

Has summary

Status: Passed One Chamber

Last action: 2018-6-26

Vote

Water Resources Development Act of 2018

TITLE I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

(Sec. 102) This bill amends the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986 to direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to identify potential opportunities for the beneficial use of dredged materials obtained from harbors and inland harbors.

(Sec. 103) The bill reauthorizes through FY2023 the Levee Safety Initiative under WRDA 1986 and the dam inspection program under the National Dam Safety Program Act.

(Sec. 105) The bill increases funding limits for the rehabilitation of Corps of Engineers constructed dams.

(Sec. 106) The Corps of Engineers shall report to Congress on the results of the forecast-informed reservoir operations research study pilot program at Coyote Valley Dam, Russian River Basin, California, no later than one year after completion of the study pilot program.

(Sec. 107) The Corps of Engineers shall develop a list of its existing unpowered dams that have the greatest potential for hydropower development.

(Sec. 108) The bill authorizes the use of an emergency fund to repair or restore a federally authorized hurricane or shore protective structure or project damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster to the pre-storm level of protection, instead of the design level of protection, if the pre-storm level of protection provides greater protection.

(Sec. 109) The Corps of Engineers, in carrying out a water resources development feasibility study, shall consult with local governments to determine if local water management plans exist or are under development.

(Sec. 110) The Corps of Engineers shall issue guidance on the use of mitigation banks to meet requirements for water resources development projects in order to update mitigation bank credit release schedules to: (1) support the goal of achieving efficient permitting and maintaining appropriate environmental protections, and (2) promote increased transparency in the use of mitigation banks.

(Sec. 112) WRDA 2000 is amended to specify that assistance for Indian tribes displaced as a result of construction of the Bonneville Dam, Oregon may be in the form of housing and related improvements.

The Corps of Engineers may provide assistance to tribes that have been displaced as a result of the construction of the John Day Dam, Columbia River, Washington and Oregon.

The Corps of Engineers must complete a village development plan for tribes displaced as a result of the construction of the Dalles Dam, Columbia River, Washington and Oregon.

(Sec. 113) The Corps of Engineers shall develop, support, and implement education and awareness efforts for nonfederal interests with respect to the annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development required under WRDA 2014.

(Sec. 114) Prior to developing and issuing implementation guidance for certain water resources development laws, the Corps of Engineers shall issue a public notice that: (1) informs potentially interested nonfederal stakeholders of its intent to develop and issue such guidance, and (2) provides an opportunity for interested nonfederal stakeholders to engage with, and provide input and recommendations to, the Corps of Engineers.

When developing implementation guidance for a covered water resources development law, the Corps of Engineers shall take into consideration the input and recommendations received from nonfederal stakeholders.

(Sec. 115) WRDA 1986 is amended to require Interior to include in its comprehensive backlog report a list of major federal operation and maintenance needs for projects and properties under the control of the Corps of Engineers.

For FY2019 and biennially thereafter, in conjunction with the President's annual budget submission to Congress, Interior shall submit information on the backlog and operation and maintenance needs to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget.

(Sec. 116) The prohibition on taking possession of, use of, or injury to harbor or river improvements does not apply to unimproved real estate owned or operated by the Corps of Engineers as part of a water resources development project if the Corps determines that modification of such real estate would not affect the function and usefulness of the project.

(Sec. 117) The bill establishes a deadline for Interior to contract with the National Academy of Public Administration to study the efficiency of the Corps of Engineers current staff salaries and administrative expense procedures.

(Sec. 118) The bill provides for a study on: (1) the ability of the Corps of Engineers to carry out its statutory missions and responsibilities, and (2) improving the Corps of Engineers' project delivery processes.

(Sec. 119) The bill amends WRDA 2007 to authorize Interior to provide credit for work on a project carried out by a nonfederal interest during the period beginning on November 8, 2007, and ending on the date of this bill's enactment if Interior determines that the work is integral to the project and lawfully conducted.

(Sec. 120) The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 is amended to extend through FY2023 and expand the Non-Federal Implementation Pilot Program.

(Sec. 121) WRDA 1986 is amended to revise provisions regarding the study of water resources development projects by nonfederal interests.

(Sec. 122) A nonfederal interest constructing a water resources development project under an agreement that requires the interest to comply with the same legal and technical requirements that would apply if the project were carried out by Interior shall not be required to obtain federal permits or approvals that would not be required if Interior carried out the project unless significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns or compliance have arisen since development of the project recommendation.

(Sec. 123) The Corps of Engineers may cooperate with a regional coalition of governmental entities in the preparation of comprehensive plans for development, utilization, and conservation of water and related resources.

(Sec. 124) Whenever a state offers advance funds for a federally authorized water resources development project, the Corps of Engineers may receive the funds and expend them on the project. The Corps of Engineers shall repay the funds without interest.

(Sec. 125) WRDA 2000 is amended to make permanent the authority of a public-utility company, natural gas company, or railroad carrier to pay to expedite a project permit. By the end of 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shall carry out a follow-up study of the implementation of this authority by Interior.

(Sec. 126) The Corps of Engineers must contract the National Academy of Sciences to study the economic principles and analytical methodologies used by or applied to the Corps to formulate, evaluate, and budget for water resources development projects. The study must make recommendations on potential changes to such principles and methodologies to improve transparency, return on federal investment, cost savings, and prioritization.

(Sec. 127) The GAO shall submit to Congress a study of corrosion management efforts at projects and properties under the control of the Corps of Engineers.

(Sec. 128) The Flood Control Act of 1946 is amended to provide that if specified funding for flood control is insufficient to cover the federal cost share for a project, the nonfederal interest shall be responsible for remaining costs.

(Sec. 129) The Corps of Engineers must report on its activities relating to the testing, research, development, identification, and recommended uses for innovative materials in water resources development projects.

(Sec. 130) The GAO shall submit a report to Congress:

  • describing the capacity and preparedness of the Corps of Engineers workforce;
  • providing recommendations to improve the capacity and preparedness of the Corps of Engineers workforce;
  • containing an assessment of the existing technology used by the Corps of Engineers, the effects of inefficiencies in the Corps' current technology usage, and recommendations for improved technology or tools to accomplish its missions and responsibilities; and
  • describing how changes to the navigation industry workforce with which the Corps of Engineers collaborates may affect safety and operations within the navigation industry.

(Sec. 131) The GAO shall report on: (1) the consideration by the Corps of Engineers of natural features and nature-based features in feasibility studies of projects for flood risk management, hurricane and storm damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration; and (2) efforts to relocate Alaska Native villages due to flooding and erosion threats.

(Sec. 133) The Corps of Engineers must report on the best options available to implement the waiver process for the nonfederal cost share for certain projects in Alaska for storm damage prevention and reduction, coastal erosion, and ice and glacial damage.

(Sec. 134) The River and Harbor Act of 1960 is amended to increase funding limits for small river and harbor improvement projects.

(Sec. 135) The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 is amended to revise provisions regarding Interior providing credit in lieu of reimbursement to a nonfederal interest for the federal cost share of certain projects.

(Sec. 136) The Corps of Engineers shall expedite completion of the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule to coincide with the completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike project in Florida.

(Sec. 137) The Corps of Engineers shall report on the impacts of construction on the Missouri River intended to increase the population of endangered pallid sturgeon on the authorized purposes of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System and on the sturgeon population. Additional such construction on the river is prohibited until the report is submitted.

(Sec. 138) Interior must publish information on real property in which the Corps of Engineers holds an interest.

(Sec. 139) The Corps of Engineers shall: (1) undertake research on the management and eradication of aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp and zebra mussels; (2) implement a five-year harmful algal bloom technology development demonstration under the Aquatic Nuisance Research Program; and (3) enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency to facilitate ecosystem restoration activities at the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River (commonly known as Bubbly Creek).

(Sec. 142) WRDA 1990 is amended to include activities related to the operation and maintenance of navigation (currently, limited to hydroelectric power generating) facilities at Corps of Engineers water resources projects among inherently governmental functions.

(Sec. 143) WRDA 1976 is amended to provide that the 15 additional years that Interior may extend beach nourishment at the request of a nonfederal interest begins upon initiation of construction of congressionally authorized nourishment.

(Sec. 144) The bill amends the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 to require that post-disaster watershed assessments, for certain major disasters declared in U.S. territories, be conducted at full federal expense unless the President determines that the territory has the ability to pay its share of the cost of an assessment without the use of nonfederal funds or loans.

(Sec. 145) The Corps of Engineers shall report on the structure and operations plan for the Old River control structure in Louisiana authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1954.

(Sec. 146) The Corps of Engineers may carry out a pilot program to award dredging contracts with a duration of up to five years for the operation and maintenance of harbors and inland harbors if the Corps determines that the contract provides cost savings compared to the awarding of such work on an annual basis.

(Sec. 147) In carrying out a disposition study for a project of the Corps of Engineers, the Corps shall consider modifications that would improve the overall quality of the environment in the public interest, including removal of the project.

(Sec. 149) The Corps of Engineers shall make efforts: (1) to address disproportionate and adverse health or environmental effects of the Corps' activities on a community of color, low-income community, rural community, or a tribal and indigenous community; (2) to provide guidance and technical assistance to such communities to increase understanding of the Corps' project planning and management activities, regulations, and policies; (3) to promote the meaningful involvement of communities of color in the Corps' project development and implementation, enforcement efforts, and other activities; and (4) to cooperate with state, tribal, and local governments with respect to these activities.

(Sec. 150) The Corps of Engineers shall prioritize the operation and maintenance of existing infrastructure, improve its reliability, and, as necessary, improve its resilience to cyber-related threats.

(Sec. 151) WRDA 2000 is amended to specify additional circumstances under which Interior may provide credit toward the nonfederal cost share for work performed in connection with a study, preconstruction engineering and design, or construction necessary for implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The bill authorizes credit if: (1) the credit is provided for work carried out before the date of the partnership agreement between Interior and the nonfederal sponsor; or (2) the credit is provided for work carried out by the nonfederal sponsor in the implementation of an authorized project implementation report, as defined in an agreement.

(Sec. 153) The Corps of Engineers may: (1) consider recreational boat traffic levels and related economic benefits in making funding determinations with respect to the operation and maintenance of locks on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, and (2) provide assistance to municipalities with a water supply that is adversely affected by construction carried out by the Corps.

(Sec. 155) The Corps of Engineers shall submit to Congress a report on the potential opportunity for integrating noise abatement and noise mitigation technologies and practices into improvements and operations in harbors and inland harbors.

(Sec. 156) In requiring or acquiring an interest in land, the Corps of Engineers shall prefer the minimum interest in real property necessary to support a project or action. In determining the proper interest in land, the Corps shall first consider a temporary easement estate or other interest designed to reduce the overall cost, reduce the time, and minimize conflict with property owners related to such action or project.

(Sec. 158) The Corps of Engineers may carry out emergency repair or restoration work that does not produce benefits greater than cost if: (1) the nonfederal sponsor agrees to pay an amount sufficient to make the remaining costs of the project equal to the estimated value of the benefits, (2) the Corps determines the damage to the structure was not the result of negligent operation and maintenance, and (3) repair of the project could benefit other Corps project missions.

(Sec. 159) The GAO shall submit to Congress a study on the compliance of projects and properties constructed or renovated by the Corps of Engineers with stormwater runoff requirements.

(Sec. 161) The Corps of Engineers shall expedite dredged material management plans initiated in or after FY2018 in order that studies make maximum use of existing information, studies, and innovative dredged material management practices, and avoid any redundant information collection and studies.

(Sec. 162) WRDA 2007 is amended to provide that, with respect to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Dispersal Barriers Project, Illinois, the operation and maintenance of a project authorized to be carried out pursuant to the feasibility study shall be carried out at 80% federal expense and 20% nonfederal expense.

(Sec. 164) The Corps of Engineers shall carry out expeditiously projects already authorized to reduce the risk of future floods and hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(Sec. 165) Any project or facility of the Corps of Engineers studied for disposition for which a final report by the Directorate of Civil Works has been completed shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be included in the future work plan of the Corps.

(Sec. 166) After any flood event requiring operation or activation of any floodway or backwater feature within the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project through natural overtopping of a federal levee or artificial crevassing of a federal levee to relieve pressure on the levees elsewhere in the system, the Corps of Engineers shall expeditiously reset and restore the damaged floodway's levees.

(Sec. 167) For each project classified as class III (high priority, conditionally unsafe) under the Dam Safety Action Classification of the Corps of Engineers for which the Corps has assumed responsibility for maintenance, the Corps shall assess the anticipated effects of the Corps continuing to be responsible for the maintenance of the project for 15 years or ceasing responsibility for maintenance, including the benefits or costs to the state and local community.

(Sec. 168) This bill authorizes the Corps of Engineers to receive and expend funds from an owner of a nonfederal reservoir to formulate, review, or revise reservoir operational documents. The reservoir must have been constructed at least in part with federal funds provided for the use of storage for flood risk management or navigation.

(Sec. 169) The bill increases the limit on funding for small projects under the storm and hurricane restoration and impact minimization program.

TITLE II--STUDIES

(Sec. 201) The Corps of Engineers may conduct feasibility studies for specified projects nationwide.

(Sec. 202) The Corps of Engineers may carry out studies to determine the feasibility of habitat restoration for each of the eight reaches identified as priorities in the report titled "Lower Mississippi River Resource Assessment; Final Assessment In Response to Section 402 of WRDA 2000" and dated July 2015.

The Corps may carry out studies to determine the feasibility of a project for ecosystem restoration and flood risk management in specified areas of Illinois and Missouri.

(Sec. 203) The Corps of Engineers shall: (1) expedite specified studies and reports, including feasibility studies for projects nationwide which may proceed directly to preconstruction planning, engineering, and design if the Corps determines that the project is justified in a completed report; (2) by the end of 2019, expedite and complete the dredging of Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts; (3) complete a final feasibility report for the Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study Brandon Road Study by the original deadline of February 2019; and (4) expeditiously carry out flood and storm damage reduction studies to reduce the risk of damage from future floods and hurricanes in the Houston and Coastal Texas areas.

TITLE III--DEAUTHORIZATIONS, MODIFICATIONS, AND RELATED PROVISIONS

(Sec. 301) The Corps of Engineers must develop an interim deauthorization list that identifies: (1) each water resources development project, or separable element of a project, authorized for construction before November 8, 2007, for which planning, design, or construction was not initiated, or for which planning, design, or construction was initiated but for which no funds were obligated for planning, design, or construction during the current fiscal year or any of the six preceding fiscal years; (2) each project or separable element identified and included on a list to Congress for deauthorization pursuant to WRDA 1986; and (3) any project or separable element for which the nonfederal sponsor submits a request for inclusion on the deauthorization list.

The Corps shall prepare a proposed final deauthorization list of projects and separable elements of projects that have, in the aggregate, an estimated federal cost to complete that is at least $3.15 billion. After 180 days, items on the final deauthorization list are deauthorized unless Congress passes a joint resolution disapproving the list.

(Sec. 302) A water resources development project, or separable element of such a project, authorized for construction by this bill shall not be authorized after 10 years unless: (1) funds have been obligated for construction or a post-authorization study, or (2) the authorization contained in this bill has been modified by a subsequent Act of Congress.

(Sec. 304) The bill deauthorizes a portion of the project for navigation, Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, consisting of the navigation channel within the Menomonee River that extends from the 16th Street Bridge upstream to the upper limit of the authorized navigation channel.

(Sec. 305) This bill deauthorizes the portion of a dredging project for navigation at Bridgeport Harbor, Connecticut, that is upstream of the Congress Street Bridge on the Pequonnock River, thereby allowing the bridge to be replaced with a fixed (not movable) bridge.

(Sec. 306) The Corps of Engineers may make specified conveyances to Cheatham County, Tennessee, and to the city of Nashville.

(Sec. 307) The bill deauthorizes the portions of the project for raising and improving existing levees of Clatsop County Diking District No. 13, in Clatsop County, Oregon, referred to as Christensen No. 1 Dike No. 42 and Christensen No. 2 Levee No. 43.

(Sec. 308) The Corps of Engineers shall submit a report on the total estimated value of in-kind contributions made by the nonfederal interest with respect to specified actions, as described in the final report of the Directorate of Civil Works on the Central and Southern Florida Project, Kissimmee River Restoration Project, dated April 27, 2018.

(Sec. 309) This bill deauthorizes a portion of the channel improvement project, Lytle and Cajon Creeks, that was authorized as part of the Santa Ana River, California, project.

(Sec. 310) The project for flood damage reduction, Yuba River Basin, California, authorized by WRDA 1999 is modified to allow a nonfederal interest to construct a new levee to connect the existing levee with high ground.

(Sec. 311) Portions of a project for navigation, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, are no longer authorized.

(Sec. 312) Projects and separable elements of projects identified in the FY2017 report submitted to Congress on December 15, 2016, shall not be deauthorized unless such projects and separable elements meet specified requirements of WRDA 2016.

(Sec. 313) The bill amends WRDA 2000 to increase funding limits for Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration.

(Sec. 314) The Corps of Engineers shall convey specified parcels of real property to the city of Bainbridge, Georgia.

(Sec. 315) The Corps of Engineers shall expedite completion of a project for flood risk management, Cedar River, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

(Sec. 316) The Corps of Engineers may repair or replace any bridge it owns and operates that is: (1) located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont; and (2) necessary for evacuation during an extreme weather event.

(Sec. 317) Upon conveyance by the Port of Whitman County to the United States of specified land owned by the Port of Whitman County, Washington, the Corps of Engineers shall convey to the Port of Whitman County all interest of the United States in and to federal land situated in Whitman County, Washington, contained within Tract D of Little Goose Lock and Dam.

(Sec. 318) In carrying out the project for navigation, Hampton Harbor, New Hampshire, under the River and Harbor Act of 1960, the Corps of Engineers shall use existing authorities to mitigate severe shoaling.

(Sec. 319) The Corps of Engineers shall expedite the project for navigation for Portsmouth Harbor and the Piscataqua River authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1962.

TITLE IV--WATER RESOURCES INFRASTRUCTURE

(Sec. 401) The bill authorizes specified projects in Texas, New York, Hawaii, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky, including projects for navigation, flood risk management, and hurricane and storm damage risk reduction.

San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act

HR 1769Water Resources Development • Introduced by David Valadao on 2017-3-28

Has summary

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2017-10-16

Vote

San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act

(Sec. 3) This bill approves, and requires the Department of the Interior to implement, the Agreement between the United States and Westlands Water District August 2015 (Westlands Agreement).

(Sec. 4) The bill amends the San Luis Act (the 1960 statute that authorized Interior to construct the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project [CVP], California) to: (1) repeal provisions that include distribution systems or drains within the Westlands Water District, and (2) eliminate requirements for Interior to meet drainage requirements for Westlands.

(Sec. 6) Interior shall:

  • convert Westlands' existing long-term or interim renewal water service contract to a repayment contract,
  • make allocation decisions in the CVP affecting Westlands consistent with federal and state law, and
  • enter into a contract with the Navy for the delivery of CVP water to the Lemoore Naval Air Station.

The Navy must certify that the lands within the station are free from the ownership and full cost pricing limitations of federal reclamation law. Such contract shall continue as long as the Navy pays all applicable charges consistent with applicable law.

The contract amount of CVP water available to the station shall be determined by the Navy through technical analysis in cooperation with the station.

In any year in which there may occur a Condition of Shortage in the amount of water available for delivery, the contracting officer shall allocate the available CVP water to the station in the same percentage as allocated to municipal and industrial water service contractors in the San Luis Unit.

(Sec. 7) The bill suspends Westlands' capital repayment obligation and payments under its water service contracts and the April 1, 1965, repayment contract with the United States until the execution of a repayment contract under this bill, after which Westlands shall: (1) receive a specified credit against future operation and maintenance costs payable to the United States, and (2) be relieved of capital repayment obligations under specified water service contracts.

CVP construction costs or other capitalized costs allocated to the Westlands after the date of the Westlands Agreement shall be repaid within five years after notification of the allocation of less than $5 million. If the amount allocated is $5 million or greater, such cost shall be repaid as provided by applicable reclamation law.

(Sec. 8) The bill requires Interior to transfer title to specified facilities to Westlands upon the execution of the repayment contracts under this bill.

(Sec. 11) For any year in which the allocation of water for south-of-Delta CVP long-term water irrigation service contractors or irrigation repayment contractors is greater than 75%, Interior shall calculate for Westlands a per acre foot Restoration Fund payment based on a projection that Westlands would take delivery of the full allocation made to such contractors.

Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017

HR 23Water Resources Development • Introduced by David Valadao on 2017-1-3

Has summary

Status: Passed One Chamber

Last action: 2017-7-18

Vote

Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017

TITLE I--CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT WATER RELIABILITY

(Sec. 101) This bill amends the Central Valley Project Improvement Act to include among its purposes to: (1) ensure that water dedicated to fish and wildlife purposes is replaced and provided to Central Valley Project (CVP) water contractors by December 31, 2018, at the lowest cost reasonably achievable; and (2) facilitate and expedite water transfers in accordance with such Act.

(Sec. 102) The bill restricts the definition of "anadromous fish" to mean only those native stocks of salmon (including steelhead) and sturgeon that, as of October 30, 1992, were present in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and their tributaries and ascend those rivers and their tributaries to reproduce after maturing in San Francisco Bay or the Pacific Ocean. The bill defines "reasonable flows" as water flows capable of being maintained taking into account competing consumptive uses of water and economic, environmental, and social factors.

(Sec. 103) Upon request of the contractor, the Department of the Interior shall renew any existing long-term repayment or water service contract that provides for the delivery of water from the CVP for a period of 40 years.

(Sec. 104) The contracting district from which the water is coming, the agency, or Interior shall determine if a written water transfer proposal is complete within 45 days after the date of submission of such proposal. If such district or agency or Interior determines that such proposal is incomplete, it shall state with specificity what must be added or revised in order for such proposal to be complete. Interior shall not impose mitigation or other requirements on a proposed transfer but the contracting district from which the water is coming or the agency shall retain all authority under state law to approve or condition a proposed transfer.

(Sec. 105) The bill modifies provisions of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act regarding fish, wildlife, and habitat restoration.

All CVP water used for such purposes shall be credited to the quantity of CVP yield dedicated and managed under this section by determining how the dedication and management of such water would affect the delivery capability of the CVP during the 1928 to 1934 drought period after fishery, water quality, and other flow and operational requirements imposed by terms and conditions existing in agreements pertaining to the CVP under applicable state or federal law existing on October 30, 1992, have been met. To the fullest extent possible, CVP water shall be reused to fulfill Interior's remaining contractual obligations to provide CVP water for agricultural or municipal and industrial purposes.

If by March 15th of any year, the quantity of CVP water forecasted to be made available to water service or repayment contractors in the Delta Division of the CVP is below 75% of the total quantity of water to be made available under such contracts, the quantity of CVP yield dedicated and managed for that year shall be reduced by 25%.

(Sec. 106) The bill authorizes monies (currently, not less than 67% of funds) available to the Restoration Fund to be appropriated to carry out habitat restoration, improvement, and acquisition (from willing sellers) provisions of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.

Interior may not require a donation or other payment to the CVP Restoration Fund for: (1) environmental restoration or mitigation fees not otherwise provided by law as a condition to providing for the storage or conveyance of non-CVP water pursuant to federal reclamation laws, or the delivery of temporary supplies of water under the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982; and (2) any water that is delivered with the sole intent of groundwater recharge.

The bill modifies such Act to provide that: (1) additional annual payments after October 1, 2016, shall be allocated so as not to exceed $4 per megawatt-hour for CVP power sold to power contractors (October 2016 price levels) (currently, $12 per acre-foot [October 1992 price levels]) for municipal and industrial water sold and delivered by the CVP; and (2) upon the completion of mandated fish, wildlife, and habitat mitigation and restoration actions (current law) but no later than December 31, 2020, Interior shall reduce specified sums and reduce the annual mitigation and restoration payment ceiling.

The bill establishes the Restoration Fund Advisory Board to meet at least semiannually to make recommendations regarding priorities and spending levels on projects and programs carried out pursuant to the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.

(Sec. 107) The bill revises provisions regarding contracts for additional storage and delivery of water.

Interior shall use its authority in connection with requests to exchange, impound, store, carry, or deliver nonproject water using CVP facilities for any beneficial purpose. It shall develop rates not to exceed the amount required to recover the reasonable costs incurred by it in connection with a beneficial purpose.

Interior's plan for the increase of CVP yield shall include recommendations on appropriate cost-sharing arrangements and authorizing legislation or other measures needed.

Interior shall implement its plan commencing on October 1, 2017, and shall coordinate with the State of California in implementing measures for the long-term resolution of problems in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary. If by September 30, 2018, the plan fails to increase the annual delivery capability of the CVP by 800,000 acre-feet, implementation of any non-mandatory action shall be suspended until the plan achieves an increase in the annual delivery capability of the CVP by 800,000 acre-feet.

The Bureau of Reclamation may partner or enter into an agreement on the water storage projects identified in the Water Supply Reliability, and Environmental Improvement Act with local joint powers authorities formed pursuant to state law by irrigation districts and other local water districts and local governments within the applicable hydrologic region, to advance these projects.

(Sec. 108) The CVP and the State Water Project (SWP) shall be operated pursuant to the water quality standards and operational constraints described in the "Principles for Agreement on the Bay-Delta Standards Between the State of California and the Federal Government" dated December 15, 1994, and such operations shall proceed without regard to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) or any other law pertaining to the operation of the CVP and the California SWP.

(Sec. 109) Interior and Commerce shall not distinguish between natural-spawned and hatchery-spawned or otherwise artificially propagated strains of a species in making any determinations under the ESA that relates to any anadromous fish species present in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers or their tributaries and ascend those rivers and their tributaries to reproduce after maturing in the San Francisco Bay or the Pacific Ocean.

(Sec. 110) Filing of a Notice of Determination or a Notice of Exemption for any project, including the issuance of a permit under state law, related to any project of the CVP or the delivery of water therefrom in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act shall be deemed to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 (NEPA) for that project or permit. Reclamation shall not be required to cease or modify any major federal action or other activity related to any project of the CVP or the delivery of water therefrom pending completion of judicial review of any determination made under the NEPA.

(Sec. 111) For adjustments to operating criteria or to take urgent actions to address water supply shortages for the least amount of time or volume of diversion necessary as determined by Reclamation, no mitigation measures shall be required during any year that the Sacramento Valley index is 6.5 or lower, or at the request of the state of California, and until two succeeding years following either of those events have been completed where the final Sacramento Valley Index is 7.8 or greater, and any mitigation measures imposed must be based on quantitative data and required only to the extent that such data demonstrates actual harm to species.

(Sec. 112) In the event that Reclamation or another federal agency initiates or reinitiates consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, with respect to construction or operation of the CVP and SWP, or any part thereof, the SWP contractors and the CVP contractors will be accorded all the rights and responsibilities extended to applicants in the consultation process.

(Sec. 113) The bill amends the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act to require Interior to cease any action to implement: (1) such Act; and (2) the Stipulation of Settlement in Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. Kirk Rodgers, et al.

TITLE II--CALFED STORAGE FEASIBILITY STUDIES

(Sec. 201) The Bureau of Reclamation shall:

  • complete specified feasibility studies for storage projects in California under the Water Supply, Reliability, and Environmental Improvement Act by November 30, 2018, and by November 30, 2019, as specified;
  • document, delineate, and publish costs directly relating to the engineering and construction of a water storage project separately from those resulting from regulatory compliance; and
  • communicate, coordinate, and cooperate with public water agencies that contract with the United States for CVP water and that are expected to participate in the cost pools that will be created for projects proposed in such studies.

(Sec. 202) The "Bakersfield Field Office, Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan," dated December 2014 and related findings shall have no effect on or applicability to Interior's determination of feasibility of, or on any findings or environmental review documents related to: (1) the Temperance Flat Reservoir Project on the Upper San Joaquin River, or (2) certain actions taken by Interior pursuant to the Bay-Delta Authorization Act.

(Sec. 203) Reclamation may partner or enter into an agreement on the water storage projects identified in the Water Supply Reliability and Environmental Improvement Act with local join powers authorities formed pursuant to state law by irrigation districts and other local water districts and local governments within the applicable hydrologic region, to advance those projects.

(Sec. 204) Reclamation, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, the state of California, and local and state water agencies may conduct detailed geophysical characterization activities of subsurface aquifer systems and groundwater vulnerability in California, which has experienced a critical, multiyear drought that resulted in severe groundwater overdraft in some areas, followed by less than optimal recharge from the heavy rainstorms and flooding during the 2016-2017 winter season.

The survey should include data pertaining to: (1) subsurface system framework, occurrence and geometry of aquifer and non-aquifer zones; (2) aquifer storage and transmission characteristics; and (3) areas of greatest recharge potential.

(Sec. 205) Reclamation may partner with academia, specifically the University of California, and state and local water agencies, to develop a study to enhance mountain runoff to CVP reservoirs from headwater restoration with the following aims:

  • estimate forest biomass density and annual evapotranspiration (ET) across the Shasta Lake watershed for the past decade using satellite and other available spatial data;
  • identify areas on public and private land that have high biomass densities and ET, and assess potential changes in ET that would ensue from forest restoration;
  • assess role of subsurface storage in providing drought resilience of forests, based on long-term historical estimates of precipitation, drought severity, and stream discharge; and
  • assess role of snowpack in annual water balance across the watersheds.

TITLE III--WATER RIGHTS PROTECTIONS

(Sec. 301) Interior shall confer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in connection with the implementation of this title on potential impacts to any consistency determination for operations of the SWP issued pursuant to the California Fish and Game Code.

If, as a result of the application of this title, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

  • revokes the consistency determinations pursuant to California Fish and Game Code that are applicable to the SWP;
  • amends or issues one or more new consistency determinations pursuant to such code in a manner that directly or indirectly results in reduced water supply to the SWP as compared with the water supply available under the smelt biological opinion and the salmonid biological opinion; or
  • requires take authorization under such code for operation of the SWP in a manner that results in reduced water supply to the SWP as compared with the water supply available under the smelt biological opinion and the salmonid biological opinion, and as a consequence of Interior's action, CVP yield is greater than it would have been absent Interior's actions, then that additional yield shall be made available to the SWP for delivery to SWP contractors to offset losses resulting from such action.

Interior shall immediately notify the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in writing if Interior determines that implementation of the smelt biological opinion and the salmonid biological opinion consistent with this title reduces environmental protections for any species covered by the opinions.

(Sec. 302) Interior is directed, in the operation of the CVP, to adhere to California's water rights laws governing water rights priorities and to honor water rights senior to those held by the United States for its operation, regardless of the source of priority.

(Sec. 303) Interior shall ensure that, except as otherwise provided for in a water service or repayment contract, actions taken in compliance with legal obligations imposed by this title, including actions under the ESA and other applicable federal and state laws, shall not: (1) result in the involuntary reduction of water supply or fiscal impacts to individuals or districts who receive water from either the SWP or the United States under water rights settlement contracts, exchange contracts, water service contracts, repayment contracts, or water supply contracts; or (2) cause redirected adverse water supply or fiscal impacts to those within the Sacramento River watershed, the San Joaquin River watershed, or the SWP service area.

To the extent that costs are incurred solely pursuant to or as a result of this title and would not otherwise have been incurred by any entity or public or local agency or subdivision of the state of California, such costs shall not be borne by any such entity, agency, or subdivision, unless such costs are incurred on a voluntary basis.

(Sec. 304) Interior must allocate water for irrigation purposes to existing CVP agricultural water service contractors within the Sacramento River Watershed in compliance with specified conditions, based on whether its a wet year, a normal year, or a below normal or above normal year. It shall develop and implement a program to allow existing CVP agricultural water service contractors within the Sacramento River Watershed to reschedule water provided for under their CVP water service contracts from one year to the next.

TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUS

(Sec. 401) All CVP water, except CVP water released pursuant to U.S. Department of the Interior Record of Decision, Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report dated December 2000 used to implement an action undertaken for a fishery beneficial purpose that was not imposed by terms and conditions existing in licenses, permits, and other agreements pertaining to the CVP under applicable state or federal law existing on October 30, 1992, shall be credited to the quantity of CVP yield dedicated and managed under this section.

Reclamation policies and allocations shall not be based upon any premise or assumption that CVP contract supplies are supplemental or secondary to any other contractor source of supply.

(Sec. 402) Interior, in the operation of the Trinity River Division of the CVP, shall not make releases from Lewiston Dam in excess of specified volumes for each water-year type (ranging from a critically dry to an extremely wet year) required by the U.S. Department of the Interior Record of Decision, Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report dated December 2000.

(Sec. 403) Interior shall publish an annual report detailing instream flow releases from the CVP and California SWP, their explicit purpose and authority, and all measured environmental benefit as a result of the releases.

(Sec. 404) If Reclamation initiates or reinitiates consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service, with respect to construction or operation of the Klamath Project (or any part thereof), Klamath Project contractors shall be accorded all the rights and responsibilities extended to applicants in the consultation process. Upon request of the Klamath Project contractors, they may be represented through an association or organization.

(Sec. 405) Interior and Agriculture shall recognize: (1) congressional opposition to the violation of private property rights by the California State Water Resources Control Board in their proposal to require a minimum percentage of unimpaired flows in the main tributaries of the San Joaquin River; and (2) the need to provide reliable water supplies to municipal, industrial, and agricultural users across the state.

(Sec. 406) The authority under the Water Infrastructure for Improvements to the Nation (WIIN) Act regarding the New Melones Reservoir shall expire seven years after this bill's enactment.

(Sec. 407) None of the funds made available under provisions of the WIIN Act regarding actions to benefit threatened and endangered species and other wildlife may be used for the acquisition or leasing of land, water for in-stream purposes if the water is already committed to in-stream purposes, or interests in land or water from willing sellers if the land, water, or interests are already designated for environmental purposes by a court adopted decree or order or cooperative agreement.

(Sec. 408) The non-federal program to protect native anadromous fish in the Stanislaus River shall not sunset before January 1, 2023.

TITLE V--WATER SUPPLY PERMITTING ACT

Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act

(Sec. 503) The Bureau of Reclamation is established as the lead agency for purposes of coordinating all reviews, permits, licenses, or other approvals or decisions required under federal law to construct qualifying projects.

Reclamation shall identify, as early as practicable upon receipt of an application for a qualifying project, any federal agency that may have jurisdiction over a review, permit, license, approval, or decision required for a qualifying project. It shall notify any such agency within a reasonable timeframe that the agency has been designated as a cooperating agency for project unless the agency responds notifying Reclamation that the agency:

  • has no jurisdiction or authority over the qualifying project;
  • has no expertise or information relevant to it; or
  • does not intend to submit comments on the qualifying project, or conduct any review of or make any decision regarding such project.

(Sec. 504) The principal responsibilities of Reclamation under this title are to:

  • serve as the point of contact for applicants, state agencies, Indian tribes, and others regarding proposed qualifying projects;
  • coordinate preparation of unified environmental documentation that will serve as the basis for all federal decisions necessary to authorize the use of federal lands for qualifying projects; and
  • coordinate all federal agency reviews necessary for project development and construction of qualifying projects.

The bill delineates Reclamation's coordination responsibilities with respect to pre-application coordination.

(Sec. 505) Upon notification of an application for a qualifying project, all cooperating agencies shall submit to Reclamation a timeframe to complete its authorizing responsibilities and all environmental review material.

(Sec. 506) Interior, after public notice, may accept and expend funds contributed by a nonfederal public entity to expedite the evaluation of a permit but must ensure that funds accepted will not impact impartial decisionmaking.

TITLE VI-- BUREAU OF RECLAMATION PROJECT STREAMLINING

Bureau of Reclamation Project Streamlining Act

(Sec. 603) A project study initiated by Interior after this bill's enactment, under the Reclamation Act of 1902 and all amendatory or supplementary Acts, shall:

  • result in the completion of a final feasibility report not later than 3 years after the date of initiation;
  • have a maximum federal cost of $3 million; and
  • ensure that personnel from the local project area, region, and headquarters levels of the Bureau of Reclamation concurrently conduct the review required under this title.

If Interior determines that a project study will not be conducted in accordance with such requirements, Interior shall:

  • prepare an updated project study schedule and cost estimate,
  • notify the non-federal project cost-sharing partner that the study has been delayed, and
  • provide written notice to Congress.

(Sec. 604) Interior shall: (1) expedite the completion of any ongoing project study initiated before the date of this bill's enactment; and (2) proceed directly to preconstruction planning, engineering, and design of the project in accordance with the Reclamation Act of 1902 and all Acts amendatory or supplementary to such Act if it determines that the project is justified in a completed report. .

(Sec. 605) Interior shall develop and implement a coordinated environmental review process for the development of project studies.

At the request of a participating or cooperating agency or project sponsor, Interior shall convene an issue resolution meeting to resolve issues that may delay completion of the environmental review process or that may result in denial of any approval required for the project study.

The Government Accountability Office shall assess the reforms carried out under this section and submit to Congress a report describing the results.

Interior shall establish a program to measure and report on progress made toward improving and expediting the planning and environmental review process.

(Sec. 606) Interior shall report annually to Congress on future water project development.

(Sec. 607) This bill amends the WIIN Act to make certain provisions applicable to water storage projects and desalination projects inapplicable to projects under this bill.

TITLE VII-- WATER RIGHTS PROTECTION

Water Rights Protection Act of 2017

(Sec. 703) Neither Interior nor USDA shall: (1) condition or withhold the issuance, renewal, amendment, or extension of any permit, approval, or other land use or occupancy agreement on the limitation or encumbrance of any water right or the transfer of any water right to the United States or any other designee, or any other impairment of a water right under state law by federal or state action; or (2) require any water user to apply for or acquire a water right in the name of the United States under state law as a condition of the renewal, amendment, or extension of any permit.

(Sec. 704) In developing any rule, policy, directive, management plan, or similar Federal action relating to the issuance, renewal, amendment, or extension of any permit, approval, license, lease, allotment, easement, right-of-way, or other land use or occupancy agreement, Interior or USDA: (1) shall recognize the longstanding authority of the states relating to evaluating, protecting, allocating, regulating, permitting, and adjudicating water use, and shall coordinate with the states to ensure that any rule, policy, directive, management plan, or similar federal action is consistent with, and imposes no greater restriction or regulatory requirement, than applicable state water law; and (2) shall not adversely affect the authority of a state in permitting the beneficial use of water or adjudicating water rights, any definition established by a state with respect to the term "beneficial use," "priority of water rights," or "terms of use," or any other right or obligation of a state established under state law, or assert any connection between surface and groundwater that is inconsistent with such a connection recognized by state water laws.

(Sec. 705) This section sets forth the effect of this title on existing authorities, rights, and enactments.

Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act

HR 1654Water Resources Development • Introduced by Tom McClintock on 2017-3-21

Has summary

Status: Passed One Chamber

Last action: 2017-6-26

Vote

Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act

(Sec. 3) This bill establishes the Bureau of Reclamation as the lead agency for purposes of coordinating all reviews, permits, licenses, or other approvals or decisions (reviews) required under federal law to construct new surface water storage projects in the states covered under the Reclamation Act on lands administered by the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture, including state-led projects, exclusive of any easement, right-of-way, lease, or any private holding, unless the project applicant elects not to participate in the process authorized by this bill (qualifying projects).

The Bureau: (1) upon receipt of an application for a qualifying project, shall identify any federal agency that may have jurisdiction over a required review; and (2) shall notify such agency that it has been designated as a cooperating agency unless specified conditions apply.

A state in which a qualifying project is being considered may choose to: (1) participate as a cooperating agency; and (2) make subject to the processes of this bill all state agencies that have jurisdiction over the project, are required to conduct or issue a review, or are required to make a determination on issuing a permit, license, or approval for the qualifying project.

(Sec. 4) The principal responsibilities of the Bureau are to: (1) serve as the point of contact for applicants, state agencies, Indian tribes, and others regarding qualifying projects; (2) coordinate preparation of unified environmental documentation that will serve as the basis for all federal decisions necessary to authorize the use of federal lands for qualifying projects; and (3) coordinate all federal agency reviews necessary for the development and construction of qualifying projects.

The Bureau shall notify cooperating agencies of proposed qualifying projects by 30 days after receipt of a proposal and facilitate a pre-application meeting for prospective applicants, relevant federal and state agencies, and Indian tribes to: (1) explain applicable processes, data requirements, and applicant submissions necessary to complete the required federal agency reviews within the time frame established; and (2) establish the schedule for the qualifying project.

The Bureau shall work with the qualifying project applicant and cooperating agencies to establish a project schedule. In establishing the schedule, it shall consider:

  • the responsibilities of cooperating agencies under applicable laws and regulations;
  • the resources available to such agencies and the non-federal qualifying project sponsor;
  • the overall size, complexity, schedule for, and cost of the qualifying project; and
  • the sensitivity of the natural and historic resources that may be affected.

The Bureau must:

  • prepare a unified environmental review document on which all cooperating agencies shall base project approval decisions;
  • help ensure that cooperating agencies make necessary decisions regarding environmental compliance in accordance with specified time lines;
  • maintain a consolidated administrative record of the information assembled and used by the cooperating agencies as the basis for agency decisions;
  • ensure that all project data is submitted and maintained in generally accessible electronic format and make such project data available to cooperating agencies, the qualifying project applicant, and the public; and
  • appoint a project manager for each qualifying project.

(Sec. 5) Each cooperating agency must submit to the Bureau: (1) a time frame for completing the agency's authorizing responsibilities, (2) all environmental review material produced in the course of carrying out activities required under federal law, consistent with the project schedule, and (3) all relevant project data in a generally accessible electronic format.

(Sec. 6) The Department of the Interior, after public notice, may accept and expend funds contributed by a non-federal public entity to expedite the evaluation of a permit of that entity related to a qualifying project. Interior must ensure that all final permit decisions are made available to the public, including on the Internet.

Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Phase III Act of 2017

S 714Water Resources Development • Introduced by Maria Cantwell on 2017-3-23

Has summary

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2017-6-13

Vote

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Phase III Act of 2017

(Sec. 2) This bill expands the purposes of the Yakima River Basin Water Conservation Program to include:

  • protection, mitigation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife and the recovery and maintenance of self-sustaining harvestable populations of fish and other aquatic life, both anadromous and resident species, throughout their historic distribution range in the Yakima River Basin;
  • improving the reliability of municipal, industrial, and domestic water supply and use purposes, especially during drought years;
  • implementation of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan to realize water savings of not less than 85,000 acre feet, in addition to the 165,000 acre feet of water savings targeted through the Basin Conservation Program, as authorized on October 31, 1994;
  • encouraging an increase in the use of water transfers, leasing, markets, and other voluntary transactions among public and private entities to enhance water management in the Yakima River Basin;
  • improving the resilience of the ecosystems, economies, and communities in the Basin as they face drought and other changes; and
  • authorizing and implementing the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan as Phase III of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project.

The bill defines "Integrated Plan" and "Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Plan" as the plan and activities authorized by the Yakima River Basin Enhancement Project Phase III Act of 2015 to be carried out in cooperation with, and in addition to, activities of the state of Washington and the Yakama Nation.

(Sec. 3) The bill directs the Conservation Advisory Group to provide recommendations to advance the purposes and programs of the Yakima River Basin Enhancement Project. Federal and state governments may fund up to the 17.5% of the local cost share of the Basin Conservation Program in exchange for the long-term use of the conserved water. The bill also allows water acquisition efforts to continue as needed to provide water to be used by the Yakima Project Manager for instream flow purposes and to allow voluntary water acquisitions to provide improved instream flows for anadromous and resident fish and other aquatic life.

(Sec. 4) The bill increases funding for: (1) the Wapato Irrigation Project, (2) development of additional storage capacity at Lake Cle Elum, (3) the Interim Comprehensive Basin Operating Plan, and (4) environmental compliance activities in the Yakima River.

The Yakima Indian Nation is redesignated as the Yakama Nation.

The Department of the Interior may conduct studies to evaluate measures to further Yakima Project purposes on tributaries to the Yakima River.

(Sec. 5) The bill directs Interior to:

  • implement the Integrated Plan as Phase III of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, subject to feasibility studies, environmental reviews, cost-benefit analyses, and available appropriations;
  • implement an initial development phase of the Integrated Plan and develop plans for the intermediate and final development phases of the Integrated Plan;
  • complete upstream and downstream fish passage facilities at Cle Elum Reservoir and another Yakima Project reservoir;
  • negotiate long-term agreements for a pump plan and associated facilities to access and deliver inactive storage at Kachess Reservoir and a conveyance system to allow water transfers from Keechelus Reservoir to Kachess Reservoir ("K to K Pipeline");
  • participate in, provide funding for, and accept non-federal financing for water conservation projects intended to conserve 85,000 acre feet of water and for aquifer storage and recovery projects;
  • conduct studies, feasibility analyses and environmental reviews of fish passage, water supply, conservation, habitat restoration projects, and other alternatives for the initial and future phases of the Integrated Plan;
  • coordinate with and assist the state of Washington in implementing a robust water market to enhance water management in the Yakima River Basin;
  • enter into cooperative agreements with, or make grants to, the Yakama Nation, the state of Washington, or other entities subject to a 50% non-federal cost-sharing requirement; and
  • retain authority and discretion over the management of project supplies to optimize operational use and flexibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and treaty rights of the Yakama Nation.

Interior, in conjunction with the state of Washington and in consultation with the Yakama Nation, must submit to specified congressional committees, not later than five years after the enactment of this bill, a progress report on the development and implementation of the Integrated Plan.

Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act

S 216Water Resources Development • Introduced by John Barrasso on 2017-1-24

Has summary

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2017-6-8

Vote

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act

(Sec. 4) This bill directs the Department of the Interior to submit to Congress, make publicly available, and biennially update an Asset Management Report that describes the Bureau of Reclamation's efforts to maintain in a reliable manner all reserved works (buildings, structures, facilities, or equipment owned by the Bureau for which operations and maintenance are performed by Bureau employees or through a contract with the Bureau) at Reclamation facilities (infrastructure assets that are owned by the Bureau at each Reclamation project owned by the Bureau) and to standardize and streamline data reporting and processes across regions and areas for the purpose of maintaining such works.

Such report shall include: (1) a detailed assessment of major repair and rehabilitation needs for all such works; and (2) an itemized list of major repair and rehabilitation needs of individual Reclamation facilities at each Reclamation project, including a budget level cost estimate of appropriations needed to complete each item and an assignment of a categorical rating for each item consistent with existing uniform categorization systems to inform the annual budget process and agency requirements.

(Sec. 5) Interior shall: (1) coordinate with the non-federal entities responsible for the operation and maintenance of transferred works (Reclamation facilities at which operations and maintenance are carried out by a non-federal entity under a formal agreement with the Bureau) in developing reporting requirements for Asset Management Reports with respect to major repair and rehabilitation needs for such works, and (2) develop and implement a categorical rating system for transferred works.

(Sec. 6) The bill reduces the maximum amount of the federal share of the cost of the Central Valley Water Recycling Project otherwise available as of the date of enactment of this bill by $2 million.

A bill to authorize the use of the active capacity of the Fontenelle Reservoir.

S 199Water Resources Development • Introduced by John Barrasso on 2017-1-24

Has summary

Status: Awaiting floor or committee vote

Last action: 2017-6-8

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