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107th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 107-284
KLAMATH BASIN EMERGENCY OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE REFUND ACT OF 2001
November 13, 2001.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on
the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Hansen, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 2828]
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill
(H.R. 2828) to authorize refunds of amounts collected from
Klamath Project irrigation and drainage districts for operation
and maintenance of the Project's transferred and reserved works
for water year 2001, and for other purposes, having considered
the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and
recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Klamath Basin Emergency Operation and
Maintenance Refund Act of 2001''.
SEC. 2. QUALIFIED KLAMATH PROJECT ENTITY DEFINED.
In this Act, the term ``qualified Klamath Project entity'' means an
(1) has executed a water supply contract with the United
States for water from the Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath
River of the Klamath Project pursuant to the reclamation laws,
including the Act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388), and Acts
amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto;
(2) distributes water received under the contract;
(3) received a severely limited irrigation supply from the
Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River based on the Bureau of
Reclamation 2001 annual operations plan dated April 6, 2001;
(4) was not reimbursed for its operation and maintenance
expenses for 2001 pursuant to State law.
SEC. 3. REFUND AND WAIVER OF ASSESSMENTS AND CHARGES FOR OPERATION AND
MAINTENANCE OF KLAMATH RECLAMATION PROJECT.
(a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to pay
to each qualified Klamath Project entity an amount equal to the amount
assessed or charged to members of the qualified Klamath Project entity,
or to other persons receiving water or drainage service from such an
entity, for operation and maintenance of Klamath Project transferred
and reserved works for 2001.
(b) Conditions.--Payment under this section may be made to a
qualified Klamath Project entity only after the entity has--
(1) provided to the Secretary documentation satisfactory to
the Bureau of Reclamation, demonstrating the total amount
assessed or charged to members of the entity or to persons
receiving service from the entity; and
(2) executed a binding agreement under which the funds paid
to the entity under this section shall be distributed to each
member of the entity or persons receiving service from the
entity in an amount equal to the amount collected by the entity
from the member or person for operation and maintenance for
(c) Waiver of Remaining and Additional Charges.--The Secretary may
waive any requirement that a qualified Klamath Project entity pay
remaining or additional charges for operation and maintenance of
Klamath Project reserved works for 2001.
(d) Payments and Waivers for Individuals.--The Secretary--
(1) may pay, to any individual within the Klamath Project who
holds a contract entered into pursuant to the Act of February
21, 1911 (36 Stat. 925; 43 U.S.C. 523-525), popularly known as
the ``Warren Act'', and who is not within a district that
receives a payment pursuant to subsection (a) and a waiver
under subsection (c), an amount equal to the amount collected
from such individual for operation and maintenance of Klamath
Project reserved works for 2001; and
(2) may forego collection from such individual of charges for
operation and maintenance of such works for the remainder of
SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
Amounts not paid by a qualified Klamath Project entity to the Bureau
of Reclamation for the operation and maintenance of the reserved works
for 2001 shall be funded from the appropriations authorized by this
Act. Costs incurred by the Bureau of Reclamation in carrying out this
Act shall not be reimbursable.
SEC. 5. NO SUPPLEMENTAL OR ADDITIONAL BENEFIT.
Activities under this Act or funded pursuant to this Act shall not be
considered a supplemental or additional benefit under the Act of June
17, 1902 (82 Stat. 388), and all Acts amendatory thereof or
Amend the title so as to read:
A bill to authorize payments to certain Klamath Project
water distribution entities for amounts assessed by the
entities for operation and maintenance of the Project's
transferred works for 2001, to authorize refunds to such
entities of amounts collected by the Bureau of Reclamation for
reserved works for 2001, and for other purposes.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 2828 is to authorize refunds of amounts
collected from qualified Klamath Project entities or to other
persons receiving water or drainage service from such entity
for operation and maintenance of the Project's transferred and
reserved works for 2001, and for other purposes.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Klamath Project lies within
three counties along the Oregon and California border; Klamath
County in southern Oregon, and Modoc and Siskiyou Counties in
Northern California. Authorized in 1905 primarily for
irrigation, the Klamath Project serves approximately 1,400
farms and provides irrigation water to approximately 220,000
acres in an otherwise arid area.
In 1988, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the
Shortnose and Lost River sucker fish as ``endangered'' under
the Endangered Species Act (ESA). For the first time in the
Klamath Reclamation Project's history, irrigation deliveries
were curtailed at the end of the 1992 growing season to meet
minimum lake levels for these species.
In 1996, the Bureau of Reclamation agreed to meet certain
minimum instream flows below the Iron Gate Dam (which controls
the level of Klamath Lake) to protect habitat for anadromous
fish which are Indian tribal trust resources. In 1997, Southern
Oregon and Northern California Coastal Coho salmon were listed
under the ESA as ``threatened'' species. A 1999 biological
opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service concluded
that the Klamath Project operations would affect, but not
likely jeopardize, coho salmon.
Following a declaration of severe drought for the Klamath
Basin in 2001, two new biological opinions from the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service
were issued on April 5 and April 6, 2001. The opinions stated
that the Bureau of Reclamation's operation of the Klamath
Project for the year would jeopardize the continued existence
of the endangered sucker fish and threatened coho salmon, and
would harm but not jeopardize the continued existence of bald
eagles who also rely on Project water. The opinions also called
for the minimum elevation in upper Klamath Lake to be raised to
4,140 feet above sea level, with no tolerance for lower
elevations in drought years.
On April 6, 2001, the Bureau of Reclamation released the
Klamath Project 2001 Operations Plan, stating that based on the
requirements of the biological opinions issued under the ESA
and the drought conditions, only limited deliveries of Project
water would be made for irrigation. Only a small area (Langell
Valley and Bonanza) would receive water from Clear Lake and
Gerber Reservoirs. Additional minor relief was also provided on
July 24, 2001, when, after Congressional pressure, the
Department of the Interior announced it would release about
70,000 to 75,000 acre feet of water from upper Klamath Lake to
assist farmers in the Klamath Project area.
Despite that water was not delivered to most Klamath Basin
farmers, they were still asked to pay this year's operations
and maintenance expenses for the Project. This legislation
would repay costs already paid and forgive future operation and
maintenance costs in 2001. This is interim and only for 2001.
These payments are limited to a ``qualified Klamath Project
entity'' and only after the entity has:
(1) Provided to the Secretary documentation
satisfactory to the Bureau of Reclamation,
demonstrating the total amount assessed or charged to
members of the entity or to persons receiving service
from the entity; and
(2) Executed a binding agreement under which the
funds paid to the entity under this legislation be
distributed to each member or persons receiving service
from the entity in an amount equal to the amount
assessed and collected by the entity from the member or
person for operation and maintenance for 2001.
H.R. 2828 also authorizes the Secretary to waive any
requirement that a qualified Klamath Project Project entity pay
remaining or additional charges for operation and maintenance
of Klamath Project reserved works for 2001. The bill also
allows the Secretary to issue refunds and to waive collections
for operation and maintenance costs from individuals party to a
Warren Act contract for water.
H.R. 2828 was introduced on August 2, 2001, by Congressman
Greg Walden (R-OR). The bill was referred to the Committee on
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on
Water and Power. On November 7, 2001, the Full Resources
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Water
and Power was discharged from further consideration of the bill
by unanimous consent. Mr. Walden offered an amendment in the
nature of a substitute to make conforming changes requested by
the Administration clarifying who is eligible to receive
refunds and to limit refunds only to those who have not
received substantial amounts of water or have not been
reimbursed under State law. The amendment was adopted by voice
vote. The bill, as amended, was then ordered favorably reported
to the House of Representatives by voice vote.
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations
are reflected in the body of this report.
CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT
Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII
1. Cost of Legislation.--Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be
incurred in carrying out this bill. The Committee believes that
enactment of this bill will have an insignificant impact on the
budget of the United States.
2. Congressional Budget Act.--As required by clause 3(c)(2)
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this
bill does not contain any new budget authority, credit
authority, or an increase or decrease in tax expenditures. The
bill will authorize the Secretary of the Interior to repay 2001
operation and maintenance costs of certain Klamath Project
entities who have not received water from the Project and allow
those entities to forego paying any future operation and
maintenance costs for the remainder of 2001. The Committee
believes the combination of refunds and foregone payments will
equal less than $4 million in 2001.
3. General Performance Goals and Objectives.--As required
by clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or
objective of this bill is to authorize payments to certain
Klamath Project water distribution entities for amounts
assessed by the entities for operation and maintenance of the
Project's transferred works for 2001, and to authorize refunds
to such entities of amounts collected by the Bureau of
Reclamation for reserved works for 2001.
4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate.--Under clause
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act
of 1974, the Committee has requested but not received a cost
estimate for this bill from the Director of the Congressional
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing