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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    109-290

======================================================================



 
    TO DIRECT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO CONVEY CERTAIN WATER 
  DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES TO THE NORTHERN COLORADO WATER CONSERVANCY 
                                DISTRICT

                                _______
                                

 November 10, 2005.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3443]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3443) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey 
certain water distribution facilities to the Northern Colorado 
Water Conservancy District, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3443 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to convey certain water distribution facilities to the 
Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Colorado-Big Thompson Project was authorized by 
Congress in 1937 to provide water for agricultural and other 
uses. The Project, owned by the Bureau of Reclamation of the 
Department of the Interior, consists of dams, dikes, 
reservoirs, powerplants, pumping plants, pipelines, tunnels, 
and substations spread over approximately 250 miles. The 
Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District is the Project's 
local government sponsor. The District operates and maintains 
all of the Project's water conveyance facilities.
    H.R. 3443 directs the Secretary of the Interior to transfer 
58 miles of the Project's water conveyance facilities (the St. 
Vrain Supply Canal, Boulder Creek Supply Canal, and South 
Platte Supply Canal) to the District. The transfer will allow 
the District to more cost-effectively manage the facilities, 
reduce paperwork requirements, provide for local ownership and 
reduce the federal government's liability. The District, which 
has operated and maintained these water conveyance facilities 
since 1957, has repaid the appropriate capital costs associated 
with the facilities. Despite this repayment, the title of the 
facilities remains in the Bureau of Reclamation. This 
legislation directs the transfer of this title with no 
conditions.
    This legislation is modeled on the successful transfer 
(Public Law 106-376) of other single purpose water conveyance 
facilities associated with the Colorado Big-Thompson Project.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3443 was introduced on July 26, 2005, by Congresswoman 
Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Water and Power. On September 27, 2005, the Subcommittee held a 
hearing on the bill. On October 19, 2005, 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. No amendments were offered, and the bill 
was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives 
by unanimous consent.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Definitions
    Section 1 defines a number of terms relevant to the bill.
Section 2. Conveyance of transferred water distribution facilities
    Section 2 directs the Secretary of the Interior to transfer 
all right, title and interest in the facilities as soon as 
practicable and in accordance with applicable law to the 
Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The section also 
directs the Interior Secretary to transfer the facilities 
without the imposition of any conditions. The section also 
finds that the District has completed its capital cost 
repayment obligations as stipulated under Federal contract. The 
section further directs the Secretary of the Treasury to 
transfer an unspecified amount of funds related to the 
Project's electricity sales from the Reclamation Fund to the 
Secretary of the Interior. The Committee has concluded that 
this provision is unnecessary and will delete it when it is 
considered by the House of Representatives. Instead, language 
will be included which states that the Western Area Power 
Administration shall continue to include the unpaid portion of 
the transferred facilities in its annual power repayment 
studies for the Loveland Area Projects until such facilities 
are repaid in accordance with the laws and policies regarding 
repayment of investment in effect on the date of enactment of 
this Act.

Section 3. Liability

    Upon the effective date of transfer, the Federal Government 
is released from liability of any kind based on prior 
ownership.

Section 4. Effect

    This section stipulates that nothing in the bill has any 
impact on other water rights owners who utilize the facilities 
to be transferred under the bill.

Section 5. Reports

    Section 5 requires the Secretary of the Interior to submit 
a report to Congress if the transfer has not taken place within 
1 year of the date of enactment of this Act. The report, to be 
submitted no later than 30 days after the 1-year period, will 
detail the reasons why the transfer did not place and a 
schedule for completion of the transfer. The Interior Secretary 
is further directed to submit annual reports thereafter if the 
transfer did not occur.

            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. Based on cost estimates 
prepared for other facility transfers, the Committee believes 
that enactment of this bill would have no impact on the Federal 
budget. The District has repaid in full its cost share of the 
project and is eligible for conveyance of the Project 
facilities associated with these costs. While the bill as 
introduced includes an unspecified transfer of funds from the 
Secretary of the Treasury to the Reclamation Fund in the 
Treasury to reflect amounts collected by the Western Area Power 
Administration for the sale of electricity from the Loveland 
Area Projects,\1\ which is part of the Colorado-Big Thompson 
Project, the Committee has determined that this provision is 
not necessary and will delete it when the bill is considered by 
the House of Representatives. Instead, language will be 
included which states that the Western Area Power 
Administration shall continue to include the unpaid portion of 
the transferred facilities in its annual power repayment 
studies for the Loveland Area Projects until such facilities 
are repaid in accordance with the laws and policies regarding 
repayment of investment in effect on the date of enactment of 
this Act.
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    \1\ Because of the unspecified nature of this amount, the 
Congressional Budget Office declined to prepare a cost estimate for the 
bill as ordered reported.
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    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, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.

                    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 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.