KLAMATH BASIN EMERGENCY OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE REFUND ACT OF 2001
(House of Representatives - November 13, 2001)

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[Pages H8060-H8061]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  KLAMATH BASIN EMERGENCY OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE REFUND ACT OF 2001

  Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 2828) to authorize refunds of amounts collected 
from the 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, as amended.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                               H.R. 2828

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     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 entity that--
       (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; and
       (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 2001.
       (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 2001.

     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 supplementary thereto.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Walden) and the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Rahall) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Walden).
  Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Madam Speaker, H.R. 2828 gives hope to those people whose livelihoods 
face ruin as a result of the Interior Department's decision to shut off 
water to some 1,200 farm families of the Klamath Basin for the first 
time in the nearly 100-year history of the Bureau of Reclamation's 
Klamath Project.
  Many of these farm families are proud veterans or descendants of 
American veterans who wore our country's uniform and fought for 
freedom. The Federal Government lured them to this basin with a promise 
of water and land for life. They were encouraged by the Federal 
Government to settle the land and to feed the country.
  Last summer, without water, parched fields turned to dust and farm 
families began to stare bankruptcy in the face. To make matters even 
worse, these same farmers were paying for the operation and maintenance 
of the myriad of canals and waterways this year, paying for a project 
that would deliver them virtually no water. You know, in America you 
should not have to pay for something you do not receive, and that is 
where this legislation rights a wrong.
  I want to thank the gentleman from Utah (Chairman Hansen) and the 
ranking member, the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Rahall) for their 
cooperation and support of this legislation. This measure results from 
testimony at a field hearing we held earlier this year in Klamath 
Falls. It is very much appreciated that we had that opportunity.
  I also want to thank my colleagues, the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. 
DeFazio) and the gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. Hooley), for their 
bipartisan cosponsorship and support of H.R. 2828. We continue to work 
together to find real solutions to the very real and difficult problems 
confronting the farmers, the tribes and the environment of the Klamath 
Basin. Rest assured, in the months ahead we will continue to bring 
legislation to address other very significant issues in this basin.
  H.R. 2828 provides both a measure of fairness and a measure of 
emergency relief. It authorizes the Bureau of Reclamation to return or 
waive fees paid

[[Page H8061]]

by irrigation districts and, ultimately, by their patrons this year. It 
puts money back in the hands of the farmers who so desperately need it.
  H.R. 2828 will authorize the Secretary of Interior to pay each 
qualified Klamath Project entity an amount of money that was assessed 
them for operation and maintenance of the Klamath Project for 2001.
  Section 2 defines the qualified Klamath Project as an entity that, 
one, has a water supply contract with the Bureau of Reclamation for 
water from the Upper Klamath Lake and Klamath River; two, distributes 
water received under the water supply contract; and three, received a 
severely limited supply based on the 2001 annual operations plan issued 
April 6, 2001; and finally, four, did not already receive refund 
payments.

                              {time}  1700

  Mr. Speaker, this bill is the fair thing to do for the people who 
have experienced such terrible hardship. I hope that all of my 
colleagues can support this straightforward bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the pending legislation would enable the Secretary of 
the Interior to waive or refund operation and maintenance payments for 
certain irrigation districts which contract with the Bureau of 
Reclamation for water from the Klamath Project. This measure is being 
advanced because while many water districts have paid their operation 
and maintenance expenses, due to drought conditions, they ultimately 
did not receive water from the Klamath Project.
  While I am not opposed to this bill, I do want to note for the record 
that the United States has experienced additional expenses due to the 
reaction of certain individuals to the drought-related reduction in 
Klamath water deliveries. For instance, when the drought caused the 
Interior Department to not deliver water, certain individuals took it 
upon themselves to pry open the headgates of Klamath Lake to release 
water. This has caused the Government to expend approximately $750,000 
guarding the headgates of the Klamath Project from further acts of 
lawlessness.
  Certainly, these funds would have been better spent developing long-
term solutions to the water problems in the Klamath Basin.
  For the time being, however, recognizing the hard work put into this 
measure by the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio) and the gentleman 
from Oregon (Mr. Walden), I do urge its adoption.
  Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers, and I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Culberson). The question is on the 
motion offered by the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Walden) that the House 
suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 2828, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  The title of the bill was amended 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.''.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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