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Calendar No. 614
105th Congress Report
2d Session 105-381
LEWIS AND CLARK RURAL WATER SYSTEM ACT OF 1997
October 8, (legislative day, October 2), 1998.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 777]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 777) to authorize the construction of the
Lewis and Clark Rural Water System and to authorize assistance
to the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System, Inc., a nonprofit
corporation, for the planning and construction of the water
supply system, and for other purposes, having considered the
same, reports favorably thereon with amendments and recommends
that the bill, as amended, do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
1. Page 3, line 15-16, revise definition (7) to read as follows:
``(7) System Funding Agencies.--The term `System Funding Agencies'
means the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of
2. Page 4, line 3, delete ``Secretary'' and insert ``System Funding
3. Page 4, line 23, delete ``Secretary'' and insert ``System
4. Page 5, line 12, delete ``Secretary'' and insert ``System
5. Page 6, line 18, strike ``Secretary'' and insert ``Secretary of
6. Page 9, line 17, delete ``Secretary'' and insert ``System
7. Page 10, line 7, delete ``Secretary'' and insert ``System
8. Page 10, line 21, after ``Secretary'' and before ``may'' insert
``of the interior''.
9. Page 11, line 3, delete ``planning and construction'' and insert
``oversight and other technical assistance''.
purpose of the measure
S. 777 authorizes grants for the construction of the Lewis
and Clark Rural Water System in South Dakota, Minnesota, and
Iowa and for the provision of Pick-Sloan power for the
operation of the system. The legislation includes components
for wetlands and wildlife enhancement (sec. 4) and for water
conservation (sec. 5).
background and need
The Lewis and Clark Rural Water System (the ``System'') is
designed to provide replacement or supplemental water supplies
from the Missouri River to areas in southeastern South Dakota,
northwestern Iowa, and southwestern Minnesota serving about
180,000 people. The estimated cost of the project is $283
million, with a twenty percent local cost share based on an
ability to pay analysis. Funding for the Sioux Falls component
is limited to 50-50. Annual operating costs are estimated at
$4.7 million. Although the Bureau of Reclamation participated
in the planning and ability to pay analyses and agreed with the
need for a project to meet both supply and water quality needs,
the Bureau opposed the legislation in the 103rd, 104th and
105th Congresses due to the cost share, overall cost, and the
inclusion of Sioux Falls within the project.
The members of the System collectively provide an average
of about 30 million gallons per day (78% in South Dakota) and
the proposal would provide an average of 16.5 million gallons
of supplemental supply (with a maximum delivery of 23.5 million
gallons). The raw water would be diverted from the Missouri
near Vermilion, South Dakota, treated and distributed through
400 miles of piping with a series of storage reservoirs and
pumping stations. The project is estimated to take about 8
years to complete.
S. 777 was introduced on May 21, 1997 by Senators Johnson,
Daschle, Wellstone, Grams, Harkin and Grassley. A similar
measure, H.R. 1688, was introduced by Congressman Thune on May
21, 1997. A hearing was held by the Subcommittee on Water and
Power on October 7, 1997.
At the business meeting on September 23, 1998, the
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 777
favorably reported as amended.
committee recommendations and tabulation of votes
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on September 23, 1998, by a unanimous voice
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S.
777, as amended.
During the consideration of S. 777, the Committee adopted a
series of amendments that limit the role of the Bureau of
Reclamation to technical assistance in engineering, planning,
and construction oversight while assigning the primary
responsibility for providing financial assistance to the Lewis
and Clark project to the Administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency and the Secretary of Agriculture in light of
their ongoing responsibilities for both rural and municipal
water supply grant and loan programs.
The Committee is concerned over the extent to which the
Bureau should participate in a project extending outside of the
Reclamation States and over a project that is not a traditional
Reclamation project. Given the need for the system to address
water quality needs in the area, as well as supply needs, a
combination of funding from the USDA and EPA appears to be a
Section 1 provides a short title.
Section 2 provides a series of definitions that are self-
explanatory. The term ``System Funding Agencies'' is defined as
the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of
Agriculture, the agencies charged with providing financial
assistance for construction to the Lewis and Clark Rural Water
Section 3 generally provides the conditions for Federal
financial assistance and is self-explanatory.
Section 4 provides for funding of the initial development
of the environmental enhancement component of the System and is
Section 5 provides for a water conservation program and is
Section 6 provides standard language on mitigation for fish
and wildlife losses.
Section 7 provides for the use of Pick-Sloan Power for the
System and is self-explanatory.
Section 8 provides that this legislation does not limit any
other authorization for water projects is South Dakota, Iowa,
Section 9 is self-explanatory.
Section 10 provides a cost-share formula and is self-
Section 11 defines the role of the Bureau of Reclamation
and is self-explanatory.
Section 12 authorizes $226,320,000 for the System of which
not less than $8,487,000 is for the initial development of the
environmental enhancement component.
cost and budgetary considerations
An estimate of the cost of this measure has been requested
from the Congressional Budget Office, but has not been received
as of the date of filing of this report. When the estimate is
received, the Chairman will have it printed in the
Congressional Record for the advice of the Senate. The
legislation authorizes $226.3 million as the Federal share of
the costs of the system.
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. 777. The bill is not a regulatory measure in
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 777, as ordered reported.
On June 5, 1998, the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 777. These reports
had not been received at the time the report on S. 777 was
filed. When the reports become available, the Chairman will
request that they be printed in the Congressional Record for
the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by the
Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the
Interior, at the Subcommittee hearing follows:
Statement of Eluid Martinez, Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
My name is Eluid Martinez, I am Commissioner of the U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to be here today to provide
the Administration's view on S. 777.
s. 777, the lewis and clark rural water system act of 1997
Reclamation opposes S. 777 in its current form.
S. 777, the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System Act of 1997,
authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to make grants and
provide project construction oversight to the Lewis and Clark
Rural Water System, Inc. for the planning and construction of a
water supply system that would serve over 180,000 persons in
southeastern South Dakota, including to the City of Sioux Falls
with a metropolitan population of 153,466, southwestern
Minnesota and northwestern Iowa for domestic and industrial
purposes. The project would provide a reliable and good quality
drinking water supply to meet the current and future needs of
the project beneficiaries. A small part of the project's
construction budget would be dedicated to fish, wildlife, and
wetland enhancement features.
The bill authorizes the appropriation of $226.3 million, of
which not less than $8.4 million would be used for the
environmental enhancement component set forth in Section 4.
With the exception of the City of Sioux Falls component, the
Federal Government would fund 80 percent of the project
planning and construction costs, and non-Federal interests
would provide the remaining 20 percent. For the City of Sioux
Falls component, non-Federal interests would provide 50
The Bureau of Reclamation has worked closely with
proponents of the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System.
Reclamation believes the project would meet an important local
need. We recognize the need for a safe and adequate water
supply for the residents of the rural and urban areas that
would be served by the proposed project. However, we cannot
support this bill as drafted due to the cost share requirement
in Section 10 directing the Federal government to provide 80
percent of the design and construction costs through grants (50
percent for the Sioux Falls component). We support the
authorization of single-purpose rural, municipal and industrial
water supply projects only where the needs of Native Indian
communities require the involvement of the Department of the
Interior and then only where the non-Federal interests repay--
at current interest rates--100 percent of all project
construction, operation, and maintenance costs allocated to
them. In addition, the City of Sioux Falls, the largest user on
the proposed system, cannot be viewed as a rural community.
Urban areas like Sioux Falls should have a sufficient
population base and economic resources to finance their own
water system. This makes it difficult to justify any Federal
assistance for the portion of the project serving Sioux Falls.
In summary, Reclamation recognizes that this project would
improve the water supply in the region. However, that does not
necessarily mean the project has merit as a Federal project. It
is difficult to justify S. 777 with its minimal cost sharing,
especially considering the already tight competition for
funding of ongoing projects in the region.
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 S. 777, as ordered