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Calendar No. 884
106th Congress Report
2d Session 106-439
LAKEHAVEN WATER RECLAMATION PROJECT
September 29, 2000.--Ordered to be printed
Filed under authority of the order of the Senate of September 28
(legislative day, September 22), 2000.
Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 2301]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 2301) to amend the Reclamation Wastewater
and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the
Secretary of the Interior to participate in the design,
planning, and construction of the Lakehaven water reclamation
project for the reclamation and reuse of water, having
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an
amendment and an amendment to the title and recommends that the
bill, as amended, do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
1. Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in
lieu thereof the following:
SECTION 1. LAKEHAVEN WATER RECLAMATION PROJECT.
(a) Authorization.--The Secretary of the Interior, in cooperation
with the Lakehaven Utility District, Washington, may participate in the
design, planning, and construction of, and land acquisition for, the
Lakehaven water reclamation project (``Project''), Washington, to
reclaim and reuse wastewater (including degraded groundwater) within
and outside the service area of the Lakehaven Utility District.
(b) Cost Share.--The Federal share of the cost of the Project shall
not exceed 25 percent of the total cost.
(c) Limitation.--Funds provided by the Secretary shall not be used
for the operation or maintenance of the Project.
(d) Funding.--Funds appropriated pursuant to section 1615 of the
Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act may be
used for the Project (106 Stat. 4663-4669, 43 U.S.C. 290h et seq.), as
SEC. 2. RECLAMATION WASTEWATER AND GROUNDWATER STUDY AND FACILITIES
Design, planning and construction of the Project shall be in
accordance with, and subject to the limitations contained in, the
Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act (106
Stat. 4663-4669, 43 U.S.C. 390h et seq.), as amended.
2. Amend the title so as to read: ``To authorize the
Secretary of the Interior, pursuant to the provisions of the
Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act
to participate in the design, planning, and construction of the
Lakehaven water reclamation project for the reclamation and
reuse of water.''
purpose of the measure
The purpose of S. 2301 is to amend the Reclamation
Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the
design, planning, and construction of the Lakehaven water
reclamation project for the reclamation and reuse of water.
background and need
Title XVI of the Reclamation Projects Authorization and
Adjustment Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-575, 106 Stat. 4006)
authorized a program of wastewater reclamation and reuse
feasibility and demonstration projects within the Reclamation
States. The Federal share of costs was limited to 50%. In
addition, several individual studies were directed as well as 5
projects (San Jose, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San
Gabriel Basin) for which funding was limited to 25%. The
legislation was directed at reuse of existing supplies and did
not address desalination, although title XI did authorize a
program to research and demonstrate methods for control of
salinity at the Salton Sea in California with 50% Federal cost-
sharing. Partially in response to the number of requests for
participation in the program and the costs, P.L. 104-266
modified the program to limit Federal contributions to 25% of
the total cost, with a maximum of $20 million, and required a
feasibility analysis prior to the expenditure of any funds for
construction. The new requirements were not made applicable to
several very large projects, mainly in California, authorized
under title XVI. The 1996 Act also included authorization for
18 additional water reclamation and reuse projects in
California, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas. Title XVI was
again amended in October 1998 by P.L. 105-321 to include
authorization for the Willow Lake Natural Treatment System
Project in Oregon.
The use of reclaimed water in the arid West is significant,
especially in areas experiencing groundwater overdraft or
facing reduced freshwater supplies. While municipal uses are
the primary benefits of the program, there can be significant
indirect benefits for other consumptive uses, such as
agriculture, and non-consumptive uses, such as augmenting in-
stream flows or reducing depletions.
Lakehaven Utility District (District) is one of Washington
State's largest water and sewer utilities providing 10 million
gallons of water a day to over 100,000 residents. It is located
in south King County and encompasses the city of Federal Way
and portions of Des Moines, Kent, Auburn, Pacific, Algona,
Milton, unincorporated King County and unincorporated Pierce
The District uses groundwater sources that are recharged
primarily from local precipitation. While development has
reduced the ability for these aquifers to naturally recharge,
the demand for water from these sources has increased to exceed
their safe production limits and has resulted in reduction of
water levels in all local aquifers with a corresponding
reduction in well water production. The District has two
secondary wastewater treatment plants currently discharging
over 6 million gallons of water a day to Puget Sound. The
ability to utilize reclaimed water to manage groundwater levels
has been successful in other areas; however, it has not been
applied in Washington State.
S. 2301 was introduced by Senator Gorton on March 28, 2000.
The Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on June 21,
2000. At the business meeting on September 20, 2000 the
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 2301, as
amended, favorably reported.
committee recommendation and tabulation of votes
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on September 20, 2000 by a unanimous voice
vote with a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S.
2301, if amended as described herein.
During the consideration of S. 2301, the Committee adopted
a technical amendment in the nature of a substitute that
rewrites the legislation to make it a freestanding bill, rather
than amending title 16 of Public Law 105-575, which established
the wastewater reclamation project. The title of the bill was
also amended to reflect that change.
cost and budgetary considerations
The Congressional Budget Office estimate of the costs of
this measure has been requested but was not received at the
time the report was filed. When the report is available, the
Chairman will request it to be printed in the Congressional
Record for the advice of the Senate.
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. 2301. 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. 2301, as ordered reported.
On June 16, 2000, 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. 2301. These
reports had not been received at the time the report on S. 2301
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 at the Subcommittee
Statement of Eluid L. Martinez, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation,
Department of the Interior
Thank you for the opportunity to appear today to provide
the Administration's view on S. 2301, concerning the Lakehaven
water reclamation and reuse project in the state of Washington.
My name is Eluid Martinez. I am Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau
of Reclamation (Reclamation).
S. 2301 would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and
Groundwater Study and Facilities Act (43 U.S.C. 390 et seq.)
[Title XVI of P.L. 102-575 (1992)] to authorize the Secretary
of the Interior (Secretary) to participate in the design,
planning, and construction of, and land acquisition for, the
Lakehaven water reclamation project in the state of Washington
to reclaim and reuse wastewater (including degraded
groundwater) within and outside the service area of the
Lakehaven Utility District. S. 2301 limits the Federal share of
project costs to 25 percent of the total costs and restricts
the Secretary from providing funding for the operation and
maintenance of this project. While Reclamation strongly
encourages local water recycling efforts, we must oppose
authorizing this additional Federal recycling project for the
reasons described below.
Mr. Chairman, in 1992, Congress adopted, and the President,
signed the Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment
Act (Public Law 102-575). Title XVI of this Act, the Wastewater
and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act, authorized the
construction of five water reclamation and reuse projects. Four
of these projects are in California and the fifth in Arizona.
The Secretary was also authorized to undertake a program to
identify other water recycling opportunities throughout the 17
western United States, and to conduct appraisal level and
feasibility level studies to determine if those opportunities
are worthy of implementation. The Bureau of Reclamation has
been administering a grant program to fund these Title XVI
projects since FY 1994.
In 1996, Public Law 104-266, the Reclamation Recycling and
Water Conservation Act was enacted into law. This Act amended
Title XVI and authorized the Secretary to participate in the
planning, design, and construction of 18 additional projects,
including two desalination research and development projects.
These new projects are distributed within five states,
including California, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and New Mexico.
Title XVI of Public Law 102-575 was further amended in 1998 by
Public Law 105-321, to authorize Reclamation to participate in
the design, planning, and construction of the Willow Lake
Natural Treatment System Project in Salem, Oregon. To date,
Congress has provided funding to construct 14 of these
projects, and to conduct feasibility studies on an additional
Municipal, industrial, domestic, and agricultural
wastewater reuse efforts can assist states and local
communities in solving contemporary water supply problems.
However, the Department opposes authorizing additional projects
in the absence of feasibility studies to determine whether
these particular projects warrant Federal funding. In general,
Reclamation places priority on funding new projects that (1)
are economically justified and environmentally acceptable in a
watershed context; (2) are not eligible for funding under
another Federal program; and (3) directly address
Administration priorities for the Reclamation program, such as
reducing the demand on existing Federal water supply
The Department also opposes enactment of this legislation
because authorizing new projects is likely to place an
additional burden on Reclamation's already tight budget. To
date, Reclamation has been unable to provide the full
authorized funding amounts for any of the water reclamation and
reuse projects presently authorized by Title XVI. At current
funding levels, it will take Reclamation more than 10 years to
complete funding of the 24 currently authorized projects.
Finally, the Department opposes enactment of the provision
in S. 2301 authorizing land acquisition prior to completion of
a feasibility study. Federal contributions for land acquisition
should await the outcome of the study.
For all of the above reasons, the Department of the
Interior cannot support authorizing this new construction
This concludes my prepared testimony. I would be happy to
answer any questions.
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. 2301, as