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Calendar No. 619
105th Congress Report
2d Session 105-374
RECLAMATION WASTEWATER AND GROUNDWATER STUDY AND FACILITIES ACT
October 7 (legislative day, October 2), 1998.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 2041]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 2041) to amend the Reclamation Wastewater
and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the
Secretary of the Interior to participate in the design,
planning, and construction of the Willow Lake Natural Treatment
System Project for the reclamation and reuse of water, and for
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably
thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.
Purpose of the Measure
The legislation modifies title XVI of the Reclamation
Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992, which
established a program of water reclamation and reuse projects,
to include the Willow Lake Natural Treatment System Project in
Background and Need
Title XVI of the Reclamation Projects Authorization and
Adjustment Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-575, 106 Stat. 4006)
authorized a program of wastewater reclamation and reuse
feasibility and demonstration projects within the Reclamation
States. The Federal share of the costs was limited to 50%. In
addition, several individual studies were directed as well as 5
projects (San Jose, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San
Gabriel Basin) for which funding was limited to 25%. The
legislation was directed at reuse of existing supplies and did
not address desalination although title XI of P.L. 102-575 did
authorize a program to research and demonstrate methods for
control of salinity at Salton Sea, California with 50% Federal
cost-sharing. Partially in response to the number of requests
for participation in the program and the anticipated costs,
P.L. 104-266 modified the program to limit Federal
contributions to 25% of the total cost to a maximum of $20
million and required a feasibility analysis prior to the
expenditure of any funds for construction. The new requirements
were not made applicable to the several very large projects,
mainly in California, authorized under title XVI. The FY '99
budget proposal from the Department requested a total of $37
million for the program.
The importance of the use of reclaimed water in the arid
West is significant, especially in areas experiencing
groundwater overdraft or facing reduced freshwater supplies.
While municipal uses are the primary beneficiaries of the
program, there can be significant indirect benefits to other
consumptive uses, such as agriculture, and non-consumptive
uses, such as augmenting in-stream flows or reducing
The city of Salem, Oregon, has a combined sanitary sewer
system. Each winter, wet weather causes sewer overflows to
spill into Salem creeks and streams, as well as the Willamette
River. The natural treatment system is one component of a
control facility and includes overland flow treatment and
constructed wetlands treatment. The overland portion includes
grassy swales and poplar trees for treatment. Constructed
wetlands include shallow ponds with vegetation to provide both
storage and treatment. The entire master plan is estimated at
$250 million over the next 15 years, with the natural treatment
component estimated at $30.8 million, not including a farm
irrigation water reuse system. The project is designed in two
phases and will produce between 10 and 20 million gallons per
day of high quality effluent during summer months that could be
used for irrigation. Under the terms of the legislation, the
Federal contribution would be limited to 25% or about $7.5
S. 2041 was introduced by Senator Smith on May 7, 1998. A
hearing was held by the Subcommittee on Water and Power on June
16, 1998. Similar legislation (H.R. 3964) was introducedby
Congresswoman Hooley on May 22, 1998.
At the business meeting on September 23, 1998, the
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 2041
favorably reported without amendment.
Committee Recommendations and Tabulation of Votes
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on September 23, 1998, by a unanimous voice
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S.
2041, without amendment.
The legislation is self-explanatory.
Cost and Budgetary Considerations
An estimate of the cost of this measure has been requested
from the Congressional Budget Office, but has not been received
as of the date of filing of this report. When the estimate is
received, the Chairman will have it printed in the
Congressional Record for the advice of the Senate. The
estimated cost of the natural treatment system is about $30
million. Under the formula in title XVI, Federal contributions
would be limited to 25% or about $7.5 million.
Regulatory Impact Evaluation
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out S. 2041. The bill is not a regulatory measure in
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 2041, as ordered reported.
On June 5, 1998, the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 2041. These
reports had not been received at the time the report on S. 2041
was filed. When the reports become available, the Chairman will
request that they be printed in the Congressional Record for
the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by the
Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the
Interior, at the Subcommittee hearing follows:
Statement of Eluid L. Martinez, Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation, Department of the Interior
Thank you for the opportunity to appear today to provide
the Administration's view on S. 2041.
S. 2041, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in
the design, planning and construction of the Willow Lake
Natural Treatment System Project for reclamation and reuse of
water and for other purposes
S. 2041 would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and
Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary
of the Interior to participate in the design, planning and
construction of the Willow Lake Natural Treatment System
Project within and without the service area of the City of
Salem, OR. S. 2041 would limit the Federal share of project
costs to 25 percent of the total costs and restricts the
Secretary from providing funding for the operation and
maintenance of this project.
Mr. Chairman, in 1992, Congress adopted and the President
signed the Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment
Act. Title XVI of this Act, the Wastewater and Groundwater
Study and Facilities Act, authorized the construction of five
water reclamation and reuse projects. Four of these projects
are in California and the fifth is in Arizona. The Secretary
was also authorized to undertake a program to identify other
water recycling opportunities throughout the 17 western United
States, and to conduct appraisal level and feasibility level
studies to determine if those opportunities are worthy of
implementation. The Bureau of Reclamation has been
administering a grant program to fund these Title XVI projects
since FY 1994.
In 1996, Public Law 104-266, the Reclamation Recycling and
Water Conservation Act, was enacted into law. This Act amended
Title XVI and authorized the Secretary to participate in the
planning, design and construction of 18 additional projects,
including two desalination research and development projects.
These new projects are distributed within five states,
including California, Nevada, Utah, Texas and New Mexico. To
date, funding has been provided by Congress to construct four
of the original 1992 projects and four of these newly
authorized projects. Water reclamation and reuse efforts, such
as municipal, industrial, domestic, and agricultural wastewater
reuse, can assist states and local communities in solving
contemporary water supply problems. However, these projects
involve public functions that historically have been the
responsibility of local communities. In addition, the
Department opposes authorizing additional projects in the
absence of studies to determine whether these particular
projects warrant Federal funding. The Department also opposes
enactment of this legislation because authorizing such new
projects is likely to have the effect of adversely impacting
other ongoing Bureau of Reclamation activities.
To date, Reclamation has not completed the Federal funding
of any of the water reclamation and reuse projects presently
authorized by Title XVI. At current funding levels, it will
take Reclamation more than 10 years to complete funding of the
currently authorized projects.
For all of the above reasons, the Department of the
Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation cannot support
authorizing this new construction request.
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by
the bill S. 2041, as ordered reported, are shown as follows
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
RECLAMATION PROJECTS AUTHORIZATION AND ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1992
Public Law 102-575--Oct. 30, 1992
* * * * * * *
SEC. 2. DEFINITION AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.
For purposes of this Act, the term ``Secretary'' means the
Secretary of the Interior.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Sec. 1. Short title.
Sec. 2. Definition and table of contents.
* * * * * * *
TITLE XVI--RECLAMATION WASTEWATER AND GROUND WATER STUDIES
* * * * * * *
Sec. 1630. Tooele Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Project.
[Sec. 1631. Authorization of appropriations.]
[Sec. 1632. Ground water study.]
[Sec. 1633. Authorization of appropriations.]
Sec. 1631. Willow Lake Natural Treatment System Project.
Sec. 1632. Authorization of Appropriations.
Sec. 1633. Groundwater study.
Sec. 1634. Authorization of appropriations.
* * * * * * *
SEC. 1631. WILLOW LAKE NATURAL TREATMENT SYSTEM PROJECT.
(a) Authorization.--The Secretary, in cooperation with the
City of Salem, Oregon, is authorized to participate in the
design, planning, and construction of the Willow Lake Natural
Treatment System Project to reclaim and reuse wastewater within
and without the service area of the City of Salem.
(b) Cost Share.--The Federal share of the cost of a project
described in subsection (a) shall not exceed 25 percent of the
(c) Limitation.--The Secretary shall not provide funds for
the operation and maintenance of a project described in
SEC.  1632. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as
may be necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of
sections 1601 through  1631 of this title.
* * * * * * *
SEC.  1633. GROUNDWATER STUDY.
* * * * * * *
(c) The report shall be submitted to the Committees on
Appropriations and Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of
Representatives and the Committees on Appropriations and Energy
and Natural Resources of the Senate within three years of the
appropriation of funds authorized by [section 1633] section
SEC.  1634. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal years
beginning after September 30, 1992, $4,000,000 to carry out the
study authorized by [section 1632] section 1633.