Summary: S.2717 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (11/17/2016)

Dam Repairs and Improvements for Tribes Act of 2016 or the DRIFT Act of 2016

TITLE I--INDIAN DAM SAFETY DEFERRED MAINTENANCE FUNDS

Subtitle A--High-Hazard Fund

(Sec. 101) This bill establishes the High-Hazard Indian Dam Safety Deferred Maintenance Fund.

(Sec. 102) The Department of the Treasury must make deposits to this fund at least monthly until the fund is terminated at the end of FY2037.

Subtitle B--Low-Hazard Fund

(Sec. 111) This bill establishes the Low-Hazard Indian Dam Safety Deferred Maintenance Fund.

(Sec. 112) The Department of the Treasury must make deposits to this fund at least monthly until the fund is terminated at the end of FY2037.

TITLE II--REPAIR, REPLACEMENT, AND MAINTENANCE OF CERTAIN INDIAN DAMS

Subtitle A--Program Establishment

(Sec. 201) The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) must establish a program to address the deferred maintenance needs of Indian dams that create flood risks or other risks to safety, natural resources, or cultural resources and impede the management and efficiency of Indian dams.

(Sec. 202) To be eligible, a dam must be federally owned and included in the BIA's Safety of Dams program. The low hazard fund and high hazard fund must be used to pay for maintenance, repair, and replacement activities for dams classified under guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as low hazard and significant or high hazard, respectively.

(Sec. 203) The BIA must: (1) develop programmatic goals and prioritization criteria before expending funds; (2) prioritize dams that serve more than one tribe or highly populated Indian communities; (3) consult with landowners served by the dam before expending funds, except in emergencies; and (4) ensure that, each year, every dam in need of critical maintenance receives funding.

Subtitle B--Management

(Sec. 211) The Department of the Interior must establish in the BIA the Tribal Safety of Dams Committee to study the modernization of the Indian Dams Safety Act of 1994 and develop recommendations for legislation to improve that Act.

(Sec. 212) The BIA must: (1) request that Indian tribes report on dams on their land at least once every 180 days, and (2) report on each dam under BIA jurisdiction at least once each year.

(Sec. 213) The BIA must establish a flood plain management pilot program to provide, upon request, guidance to Indians tribes on best practices for the mitigation and prevention of floods. The program is funded through the funds for high- and low-hazard dams and is terminated four years after enactment of this bill.

(Sec. 214) This bill amends the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 to revise the tribal partnership program, including to permit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide assistance for any activity relating to the feasibility, planning, design, or construction of a water resources development project.

(Sec. 215) This bill amends the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 to extend to tribes the waiver of cost-sharing requirements for studies and projects.