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                                                     Calendar No. 681
115th Congress        }                     {                Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session           }                     {                 115-395

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



 
                 RECLAMATION TITLE TRANSFER ACT OF 2018

                                _______
                                

              November 28, 2018.----Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2560]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2560) to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to establish a program to facilitate the transfer to 
non-Federal ownership of appropriate reclamation projects or 
facilities, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                               AMENDMENT

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Reclamation Title Transfer Act of 
2018''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to facilitate the transfer of title to 
Reclamation project facilities to qualifying entities on the completion 
of repayment of capital costs.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
          (1) Conveyed property.--The term ``conveyed property'' means 
        an eligible facility that has been conveyed to a qualifying 
        entity under section 4.
          (2) Eligible facility.--The term ``eligible facility'' means 
        a facility that meets the criteria for potential transfer 
        established under section 5(a).
          (3) Facility.--
                  (A) In general.--The term ``facility'' includes a dam 
                or appurtenant works, canal, lateral, ditch, gate, 
                control structure, pumping station, other 
                infrastructure, recreational facility, building, 
                distribution and drainage works, and associated land or 
                interest in land or water.
                  (B) Exclusions.--The term ``facility'' does not 
                include a Reclamation project facility, or a portion of 
                a Reclamation project facility--
                          (i) that is a reserved works as of the date 
                        of enactment of this Act;
                          (ii) that generates hydropower marketed by a 
                        Federal power marketing administration; or
                          (iii) that is managed for recreation under a 
                        lease, permit, license, or other management 
                        agreement that does contribute to capital 
                        repayment.
          (4) Project use power.--The term ``project use power'' means 
        the electrical capacity, energy, and associated ancillary 
        service components required to provide the minimum electrical 
        service needed to operate or maintain Reclamation project 
        facilities in accordance with the authorization for the 
        Reclamation project.
          (5) Qualifying entity.--The term ``qualifying entity'' means 
        an agency of a State or political subdivision of a State, a 
        joint action or powers agency, a water users association, or an 
        Indian Tribe or Tribal utility authority that--
                  (A) as of the date of conveyance under this Act, is 
                the current operator of the eligible facility pursuant 
                to a contract with Reclamation; and
                  (B) as determined by the Secretary, has the capacity 
                to continue to manage the eligible facility for the 
                same purposes for which the property has been managed 
                under the reclamation laws.
          (6) Reclamation.--The term ``Reclamation'' means the Bureau 
        of Reclamation.
          (7) Reclamation project.--The term ``Reclamation project'' 
        means--
                  (A) any reclamation or irrigation project, including 
                incidental features of the project--
                          (i) that is authorized by the reclamation 
                        laws;
                          (ii) that is constructed by the United States 
                        pursuant to the reclamation laws; or
                          (iii) in connection with which there is a 
                        repayment or water service contract executed by 
                        the United States pursuant to the reclamation 
                        laws; or
          (B) any project constructed by the Secretary for the 
        reclamation of land.
          (8) Reserved works.--The term ``reserved works'' means any 
        building, structure, facility, or equipment--
                  (A) that is owned by the Bureau; and
                  (B) for which operations and maintenance are 
                performed, regardless of the source of funding--
                          (i) by an employee of the Bureau; or
                          (ii) through a contract entered into by the 
                        Commissioner.
          (9) SECRETARY.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF TRANSFERS OF TITLE TO ELIGIBLE FACILITIES.

    (a) Authorization.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to the requirements of this Act, the 
        Secretary, without further authorization from Congress, may, on 
        application of a qualifying entity, convey to a qualifying 
        entity all right, title, and interest of the United States in 
        and to any eligible facility, if--
                  (A) not later than 90 days before the date on which 
                the Secretary makes the conveyance, the Secretary 
                submits to Congress--
                          (i) a written notice of the proposed 
                        conveyance; and
                          (ii) a description of the reasons for the 
                        conveyance; and
                  (B) a joint resolution disapproving the conveyance is 
                not enacted before the date on which the Secretary 
                makes the conveyance.
          (2) Consultation.--A conveyance under paragraph (1) shall be 
        made by written agreement between the Secretary and the 
        qualifying entity, developed in consultation with any existing 
        water and power customers affected by the conveyance of the 
        eligible facility.
    (b) Reservation of Easement.--The Secretary may reserve an easement 
over a conveyed property if--
          (1) the Secretary determines that the easement is necessary 
        for the management of any interests retained by the Federal 
        Government under this Act;
          (2) the Reclamation project or a portion of the Reclamation 
        project remains under Federal ownership; and
          (3) the Secretary enters into an agreement regarding the 
        easement with the applicable qualifying entity.
    (c) Interests in Water.--If a Federal interest in water rights and 
uses relating to a conveyed property is to be conveyed under this 
section with the conveyed property, the Federal interest in water 
rights and uses shall be quantified and conveyed by an independent 
written agreement, subject to applicable public participation 
requirements.

SEC. 5. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish criteria for 
determining whether a facility is eligible for conveyance under this 
Act.
    (b) Minimum Requirements.--
          (1) Agreement of qualifying entity.--The criteria established 
        under subsection (a) shall include a requirement that a 
        qualifying entity shall agree--
                  (A) to accept title to the eligible facility;
                  (B) to use the eligible facility for substantially 
                the same purposes for which the eligible facility is 
                being used at the time the Secretary evaluates the 
                potential transfer; and
                  (C) to provide, as consideration for the assets to be 
                conveyed, compensation to the reclamation fund 
                established by the first section of the Act of June 17, 
                1902 (32 Stat. 388, chapter 1093), in an amount that is 
                the equivalent of the net present value of any 
                repayment obligation to the United States or other 
                income stream that the United States derives from the 
                eligible facility to be transferred, as of the date of 
                the transfer.
          (2) Determinations of secretary.--The criteria established 
        under subsection (a) shall include a requirement that the 
        Secretary shall--
                  (A) be able to enter into an agreement with the 
                qualifying entity with respect to the legal, 
                institutional, and financial arrangements relating to 
                the conveyance;
                  (B) determine that the proposed transfer--
                          (i) would not have an unmitigated significant 
                        effect on the environment;
                          (ii) is consistent with the responsibilities 
                        of the Secretary--
                                  (I) in the role as trustee for 
                                Federally recognized Indian Tribes; and
                                  (II) to ensure compliance with any 
                                applicable international and Tribal 
                                treaties and agreements and interstate 
                                compacts and agreements;
                          (iii) is in the financial interest of the 
                        United States;
                          (iv) protects the public aspects of the 
                        eligible facility, including water rights 
                        managed for public purposes, such as flood 
                        control or fish and wildlife;
                          (v) complies with all applicable Federal and 
                        State law; and
                          (vi) will not result in an adverse impact on 
                        fulfillment of existing water delivery 
                        obligations consistent with historical 
                        operations and applicable contracts; and
                  (C) if the eligible facility proposed to be 
                transferred is a dam or diversion works diverting water 
                from a water body containing a species listed as a 
                threatened species or an endangered species or critical 
                habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 
                U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), determine that--
                          (i)(I) the eligible facility would remain 
                        subject to consultation requirements under 
                        section 7(a)(2) of that Act (16 U.S.C. 
                        1536(a)(2));
                                  (II) on completion of a biological 
                                assessment under section 402.12 of 
                                title 50, Code of Federal Regulations 
                                (or successor regulations), or an 
                                informal consultation under section 
                                402.13 of title 50, Code of Federal 
                                Regulations (or successor regulations), 
                                the Commissioner of Reclamation and the 
                                Director of the United States Fish and 
                                Wildlife Service or the Director of the 
                                National Marine Fisheries Service, as 
                                applicable, have concurred in writing, 
                                consistent with section 402.14(b)(1) of 
                                title 50, Code of Federal Regulations 
                                (or successor regulations), that no 
                                action associated with the eligible 
                                facility is likely to adversely affect 
                                any species listed as a threatened 
                                species or an endangered species or 
                                critical habitat under that Act (16 
                                U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); or
                                  (III) the qualifying entity completed 
                                a habitat conservation plan pursuant to 
                                section 10 of that Act (16 U.S.C. 1539) 
                                prior to the transfer; and
                          (ii) the eligible facility is not located in 
                        the State of California.
          (3) Status of reclamation land.--The criteria established 
        under subsection (a) shall require that any land to be conveyed 
        out of Federal ownership under this Act is--
                  (A) land acquired by the Secretary; or
                  (B) land withdrawn by the Secretary, only if--
                          (i) the Secretary determines in writing that 
                        the withdrawn land is encumbered by facilities 
                        to the extent that the withdrawn land is 
                        unsuitable for return to the public domain; and
                          (ii) the qualifying entity agrees to pay fair 
                        market value based on historical or existing 
                        uses for the withdrawn land to be conveyed.
    (c) Hold Harmless.--No conveyance under this Act shall adversely 
impact applicable Federal power rates, repayment obligations, or other 
project power uses.

SEC. 6. LIABILITY.

    (a) In General.--Effective on the date of conveyance of any 
eligible facility under this Act, the United States shall not be held 
liable by any court for damages of any kind arising out of any act, 
omission, or occurrence relating to the eligible facility, other than 
damages caused by acts of negligence committed by the United States or 
by agents or employees of the United States prior to the date of the 
conveyance.
    (b) Effect.--Nothing in this section increases the liability of the 
United States beyond that currently provided in chapter 171 of title 
28, United States Code (commonly known as the ``Federal Tort Claims 
Act'').

SEC. 7. BENEFITS.

    After a conveyance of an eligible facility under this Act--
          (1) the conveyed property shall no longer be considered to be 
        part of a Reclamation project;
          (2) except as provided in paragraph (3), the qualifying 
        entity to which the conveyed property is conveyed shall not be 
        eligible to receive any benefits, including project use power, 
        with respect to the conveyed property, except for any benefit 
        that would be available to a similarly situated entity with 
        respect to property that is not a part of a Reclamation 
        project; and
          (3) the qualifying entity to which the conveyed property is 
        conveyed may be eligible to receive project use power if--
                  (A) the Secretary determines that the qualifying 
                entity has historically been responsible for a 
                proportionate share of the operation and maintenance 
                expenses for Federal facilities that generate and 
                transmit, if applicable, power used for the delivery of 
                Reclamation project water; and
                  (B) the Secretary and the qualifying entity enter 
                into an agreement under which the qualifying entity 
                agrees to continue to be responsible for a 
                proportionate share of operation and maintenance and 
                capital costs for the Federal facilities that generate 
                and deliver, if applicable, power used for delivery of 
                Reclamation project water after the date of conveyance, 
                in accordance with Reclamation project use power rates.

SEC. 8. COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER LAWS.

      (a) In General.--Before conveying an eligible facility under this 
Act, the Secretary shall comply with all applicable Federal 
environmental laws, including--
          (1) the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
        4321 et seq.);
          (2) the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
        seq.); and
          (3) subtitle III of title 54, United States Code.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that any 
Federal permitting and review processes required with respect to a 
conveyance of an eligible facility under this Act should be completed 
with the maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry 
out this Act such sums as are necessary.
    (b) Use of Amounts.--Amounts made available under subsection (a) 
may be used--
          (1) to carry out any investigations appropriate to carry out 
        this Act; and
          (2) to pay any other costs associated with conveyances under 
        this Act, including an appropriate Federal share, as determined 
        by the Secretary, of the costs of compliance with the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and 
        any other applicable law.
    (c) Not Treated as Project Costs.--Expenditures made by the 
Secretary under this Act--
          (1) shall not be a project cost assignable to a Reclamation 
        project; and
          (2) shall be nonreimbursable.
    (d) Effect.--Nothing in this section affects the authority of the 
Secretary to recover non-Federal costs associated with conveyances 
under this Act.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 2560 is to facilitate the transfer of 
title to Reclamation project facilities to qualifying entities 
on the completion of repayment capital costs.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau or BOR) owns 480 dams and 
dikes and nearly 40,000 miles of water conveyance facilities, 
along with various buildings, lands and other facilities. Over 
two-thirds of these assets are maintained and operated by non-
Federal entities, such as water or irrigation districts. These 
facilities, which are known as ``transferred works,'' are 
managed under contracts with BOR while title to the property 
remains with the Federal Government. The remaining one-third 
are facilities that are both owned and operated by the Bureau. 
These facilities, known as ``reserved works,'' are often the 
larger, multi-beneficiary facilities where operations are 
inherently Federal and transfers of ownership has not been 
considered.
    Under Reclamation law, water and power beneficiaries of a 
BOR project repay the Federal Government for both the upfront 
Federal capital investment and annual operations and 
maintenance (O&M) costs. Interest is also charged on capital 
for certain classes of water and power users. Upon repayment of 
a project, contractors often seek title to the project because 
it provides greater operational flexibility, increased 
autonomy, decreased O&M costs, and better access to debt 
financing. However, while Reclamation law provides authority 
for the Bureau to transfer O&M responsibilities, physical 
ownership, or title to a project can only be transferred 
through an act of Congress.
    In 1995, BOR developed a Framework for the Transfer of 
Title (revised in 2004) (Framework) to help guide parties 
through the process of securing ownership of ``uncomplicated'' 
projects. These ``uncomplicated'' projects are typically viewed 
as those where agreement among the Bureau, the operating 
entity, and other local stakeholders can be reached. One 
impediment to transferring more single purpose or easily 
separable facilities is the time, cost, and uncertainty of 
securing Congressional approval.
    S. 2560 authorizes BOR facilities within the scope of the 
existing Framework and that meet specific eligibility criteria 
to be conveyed through administrative process without further 
action by Congress. More complicated systems or facilities with 
non-standard components or operational requirements may be good 
candidates for title transfer and remain able to pursue 
conveyance with the Bureau through its Framework, but will 
continue to require Congressional approval.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senator Risch introduced S. 2560 on March 15, 2018. The 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on the 
bill on March 22, 2018.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on October 2, 2018, and ordered S. 2560 
favorably reported, as amended.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on October 2, 2018, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
2560, if amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During its consideration of S. 2560, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The substitute 
amendment modified key definitions; added criteria to the 
minimum eligibility requirements; revised language regarding 
the scope of analysis required to transfer ownership; and 
included an exception to allow some conveyed facilities to 
continue receiving project use power. The substitute amendment 
also included technical and perfecting changes and is further 
described in the section-by-section analysis.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Sec. 1. Short title

    Section 1 sets forth the short title.

Sec. 2. Purpose

    Section 2 states the bill's purpose.

Sec. 3. Definitions

    Section 3 defines key terms.

Sec. 4. Authorization of transfers of title to eligible facilities

    Subsection (a) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary) to transfer title to eligible facilities upon 
application by a qualifying entity if, within 90 days prior to 
the conveyance, the Secretary submits a written notice of the 
proposed conveyance to Congress, including the reasons for such 
conveyance. Congress may disapprove the transfer through a 
joint resolution within the 90-day time period. This subsection 
further requires that any conveyance be made by a written 
agreement between the Secretary and the qualifying entity, in 
consultation with any existing water and power customers 
affected by the conveyance.
    Subsection (b) authorizes the Secretary to reserve an 
easement over conveyed property if certain conditions are met.
    Subsection (c) specifies that if the Secretary conveys the 
Federal interest in water rights and uses along with an 
eligible facility, such conveyance must be done explicitly and 
by written agreement.

Sec. 5. Eligibility criteria

    Subsection (a) directs the Secretary to establish 
eligibility criteria for facility conveyance.
    Subsection (b)(1) sets forth minimum requirements for the 
Secretary to include in establishing eligibility criteria under 
subsection (a). Pursuant to these minimum requirements, the 
qualifying entity must agree to accept title to the eligible 
facility; use the eligible facility for substantially the same 
purpose as at the time of transfer; and provide payment equal 
to the net present value of any outstanding capital repayment 
obligation or other revenue stream to the Reclamation Fund.
    Subsection (b)(2)(A) and (B) requires the Secretary to make 
project specific determinations in establishing eligibility 
criteria under subsection (a). The Secretary must be able to 
enter into an agreement with the qualifying entity regarding 
conveyance-related legal, institutional, and financial 
arrangements. The Secretary is further required to determine 
that the proposed transfer would not result in an unmitigated 
significant environmental impact; is consistent with Indian 
Tribe and related responsibilities, including international 
treaties and interstate compacts. The Secretary must also 
determine that a proposed transfer is in the financial interest 
of the United States; protects public aspects of the facility, 
including water rights for flood control or fish and wildlife; 
complies with applicable State and Federal law; and will not 
adversely impact existing water delivery obligations.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C) requires the Secretary to make 
additional determinations specific to the proposed transfer of 
a dam or diversion works diverting water from a water body 
containing a threatened or endangered species listed under the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), to be 
eligible for title transfer under this Act. Dams and diversion 
works generally include on-stream diversion or storage dams, 
in-stream weirs, or pumping plants. Facilities connected to 
such works that do not contain listed species would still be 
eligible for transfer. For this subset of eligible facilities, 
the Secretary must determine that (I) the eligible facility 
will remain subject to ESA's section 7 consultation 
requirements; (II) the BOR Commissioner and the Director of the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the Director of the National 
Marine Fisheries Service have concurred in writing that actions 
associated with the eligible facility are not likely to affect 
any listed species or critical habitat under the ESA; or (III) 
the qualifying entity completed a habitat conservation plan 
under section 10 of the ESA prior to conveyance. In addition, 
this subsection makes clear that this subset of facilities 
located in the State of California do not qualify for 
consideration as eligible facilities.
    Subsection (b)(3) directs the Secretary, in established 
eligibility criteria under subsection (a) to require that any 
conveyance of Federal land must be land acquired by the 
Secretary, or withdrawn land determined by the Secretary in 
writing to be unsuitable for return to the public domain and 
for which the qualifying entity agrees to pay fair market 
value.
    Subsection (c) prohibits a conveyances under this Act if it 
would have an adverse impact on Federal power rates, repayment 
obligations, or other project power uses.

Sec. 6. Liability

    Section 6 states that the United States shall only be 
liable for acts of negligence related to the eligible facility 
committed prior to the date of the conveyance and shall not be 
liable for any damages after the conveyance. This section 
further specifies that any liability of the United States shall 
be in accordance with the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Sec. 7. Benefits

    Section 7 specifies that after the conveyance of an 
eligible facility, the conveyed property is no longer 
considered a Reclamation project and is not eligible for any 
benefits, including project use power. This section further 
authorizes the Secretary to make an exception and allow the 
conveyed property to receive project use power if the Secretary 
determines the qualifying entity meets certain criteria related 
to historic payments of operation and maintenance expenses of a 
Federal facility's power generation and transmission costs and 
the Secretary and the qualifying entity enter into an agreement 
for the qualifying entity to continue to be responsible for an 
equitable proportion of operation, maintenance and capital 
costs associated with generation and delivery of power used for 
BOR project water delivery.

Sec. 8. Compliance with other laws

    Section 8 requires the Secretary to comply with all 
applicable Federal environmental laws before conveying an 
eligible facility, and states the sense of the Congress that 
any permitting and review process be completed with the maximum 
efficiency and effectiveness.

Sec. 9. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 9 authorizes appropriations in such sums as are 
necessary to carry out the Act. This section also specifies 
that appropriated funds may be used to carry out investigations 
and to pay any other conveyance-related costs but that 
expenditures made by the Secretary are not assignable 
Reclamation project costs and are not reimbursable. This 
section further states that the Secretary may continue to 
recover non-Federal costs associated with conveyances.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    S. 2560 would authorize the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to 
convey the title to federal water infrastructure facilities to 
nonfederal entities if the entity has assumed responsibility 
from BOR for operating the facility before enactment of the 
bill and if certain criteria are met. Using information from 
BOR, CBO estimates that implementing S. 2560 would cost about 
$1 million over the 2019-2023 period for staff to establish 
criteria for conveying a title under the bill and to carry out 
the work for completing title transfers, including negotiating 
agreements and coordinating National Environmental Policy Act 
reviews and surveys. Such spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    Enacting S. 2560 also would affect direct spending because 
nonfederal entities seeking title to a facility would pay BOR 
for a portion of the costs to carry out the title transfer. CBO 
estimates that the net effect on direct spending would be 
insignificant because BOR would spend any amounts collected to 
perform the work. Because enacting the bill would affect direct 
spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues.
    Over the past two decades, titles to 30 facilities were 
conveyed from BOR to nonfederal entities. In each of those 
cases, after BOR and the nonfederal entity negotiated the 
required agreements and completed the reviews and surveys, the 
Congress enacted legislation to convey each title to the 
nonfederal entity because under current law the title transfer 
cannot occur without an act of the Congress.
    S. 2560 would authorize BOR to transfer titles 
administratively in certain cases. BOR would notify the 
Congress of the proposed conveyance and the rationale for the 
conveyance. Unless the Congress passed a joint resolution 
disapproving the conveyance within 90 days of the notification, 
the transfer would proceed.
    CBO expects that removing the need for Congressional action 
to transfer the title of BOR facilities would increase the 
number of nonfederal entities seeking title transfers. Across 
the 17 western states where BOR operates, hundreds of 
nonfederal entities and associated facilities could be eligible 
for title transfer under the bill. Currently, about 15 
nonfederal entities are pursing title transfers. CBO expects 
that under the bill another 15 entities would seek title 
transfer in the year after enactment, as well as a few more 
each year thereafter.
    Using information from BOR, CBO estimates that BOR would 
need about five additional employees to implement the bill--one 
employee for each of BOR's five regions--which would roughly 
double the number of employees working on title transfers. At 
an average annual cost of $90,000 per employee, those 
additional costs would total $2 million in the first five years 
after enactment. However, CBO estimates that because about half 
of those costs would be covered by payments from participating 
nonfederal entities, implementing the legislation would cost 
the federal government about $1 million over the 2018-2023 
period.
    CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    S. 2560 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On August 29, 2017, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 3281, the Reclamation Title Transfer and Non-Federal 
Infrastructure Incentivization Act, as ordered reported by the 
House Committee on Natural Resources on July 26, 2017. The two 
pieces of legislation are similar, and CBO's estimates of their 
budgetary effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Aurora Swanson. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      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. 2560. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 2560, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 2560, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the March 22, 2018, hearing on S. 2560 follows:

Statement of Timothy Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, 
                    U.S. Department of the Interior

    The Department supports the provisions of this bill and 
appreciates the Committee for working so closely with us in 
drafting its provisions.
    Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and the Department 
generally, have long endorsed a legislative remedy to allow 
local water managers to make their own decisions to improve 
water management at the local level while allowing Reclamation 
to focus management efforts on projects with a greater Federal 
nexus.
    S. 2560 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey all right, title, and interest in any facility that is 
determined to be eligible based upon specific criteria.
    Currently, Reclamation law requires that title to 
Reclamation projects, lands, and facilities remain with the 
United States until title transfer is specifically authorized 
by Congress. Even for simple transfers, this can be a time-
consuming and costly process. Reclamation's legislative 
proposal aims to streamline the title transfer process for 
those ``non-complicated'' transfers, creating incentives for 
non-Federal entities to closely engage with the Secretary 
through Reclamation to complete the process, and allowing 
appropriate transfers to take place without legislation. It is 
our understanding that the focus of Section 203 is to 
facilitate the transfer of uncomplicated projects and 
facilities. This process will ensure that the transfer 
protects: the authorized purposes for which the projects were 
developed, the contractors and other stakeholders who enjoy 
benefits from these facilities, the public, the contractors and 
other stakeholders who enjoy benefits from these facilities, 
the public and tribal entities, the environmental resources 
that may be impacted by the project facilities, and the Federal 
financial investment.
    While we have some technical recommendations for the 
Committee to consider, the Department strongly supports S. 
2560.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill as ordered 
reported.

                                  [all]