Summary: S.677 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.677. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/21/2017)

Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act

This bill establishes the Bureau of Reclamation as the lead agency for purposes of coordinating all reviews, permits, licenses, or other approvals or decisions (reviews) required under federal law to construct new surface water storage projects in the states covered under the Reclamation Act on lands administered by the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture, exclusive of any easement, right-of-way, lease, or any private holding (qualifying projects).

The Bureau: (1) upon receipt of an application for a qualifying project, shall identify any federal agency that may have jurisdiction over a required review; and (2) shall notify such agency that it has been designated as a cooperating agency unless specified conditions apply. Each cooperating agency must submit to the Bureau: (1) a timeframe for completing the agency's authorizing responsibilities, (2) all environmental review material produced in the course of carrying out activities required under federal law consistent with the project schedule, and (3) all relevant project data.

A state in which a qualifying project is being considered may choose to: (1) participate as a cooperating agency; and (2) make subject to the processes of this bill all state agencies that have jurisdiction over the project, are required to conduct or issue a review, or are required to make a determination on issuing a permit, license, or approval for the qualifying project.

The principal responsibilities of the Bureau are to: (1) serve as the point of contact for applicants, state agencies, Indian tribes, and others regarding qualifying projects; (2) coordinate preparation of unified environmental documentation that will serve as the basis for all federal decisions necessary to authorize the use of federal lands for qualifying projects; and (3) coordinate all federal agency reviews necessary for the development and construction of qualifying projects.

The Department of the Interior, after public notice, may accept and expend funds contributed by a non-federal public entity to expedite the evaluation of a permit of that entity related to a qualifying project. Interior must ensure that all final permit decisions are made available to the public, including on the Internet.