Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 453
108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     108-243

======================================================================



 
     TOM GREEN COUNTY WATER CONTROL AND IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1

                                _______
                                

                 March 9, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 856]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the Act (H.R. 856) to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to revise a repayment contract with the Tom Green 
County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1, San Angelo 
project, Texas, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the Act do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of H.R. 856 is to authorize the Secretary of 
the Interior to revise a repayment contract with the Tom Green 
County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1, San Angelo 
project, Texas.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Due to current drought conditions in the area of Texas 
serviced by the Tom Green County Water Control and Improvement 
District No. 1, the District has limited quantities of water to 
deliver to users and limited revenues to repay its required 
repayment obligation. The Bureau of Reclamation does not have 
general authority to extend the District's repayment period 
without an Act of Congress. By extending the repayment period, 
the annual payments will remain constant and allow for 
repayment of the remaining obligation, albeit over a longer 
time period.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    H.R. 856 was introduced by Representative Stenholm on 
February 13, 2003. A similar bill, H.R. 4910, was introduced in 
the 107th Congress. H.R. 856 passed the House of 
Representatives on May 14, 2003, by a voice vote on a motion to 
suspend the rules, and was referred to the Committee on 
Environment and Public Works on May 15, 2003. On June 19, 2003, 
the bill was discharged and referred to the Committee on Energy 
and Natural Resources. The Subcommittee on Water and Power held 
a hearing on H.R. 856 on September 23, 2003. S. Hrg. 108-211. 
At the business meeting on February 11, 2004, the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources ordered H.R. 856 favorably 
reported.

            COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION AND TABULATION OF VOTES

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on February 11, 2004, by a unanimous vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 856.
    The roll call vote on reporting the measure was 23 yeas and 
0 nays, as follows:
        YEAS                          NAYS
Mr. Domenici
Mr. Nickles
Mr. Craig
Mr. Campbell*
Mr. Thomas
Mr. Alexander
Ms. Murkowski
Mr. Talent
Mr. Burns
Mr. Smith*
Mr. Bunning
Mr. Kyl*
Mr. Bingaman
Mr. Akaka
Mr. Dorgan*
Mr. Graham*
Mr. Wyden*
Mr. Johnson*
Ms. Landrieu*
Mr. Bayh*
Mrs. Feinstein*
Mr. Schumer*
Ms. Cantwell

    *Indicates vote by proxy.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to 
revise a repayment contract with the Tom Green County Water 
Control and Improvement District No. 1, by extending the 
repayment period from 40 years to 50 years.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 25, 2004.
Hon. Pete V. Domenici,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 856, an act to 
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to revise a repayment 
contract with the Tom Green County Water Control and 
Improvement District No. 1, San Angelo project, Texas, and for 
other purposes.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Julie 
Middleton.
            Sincerely,
                               Douglas Holtz-Eakin,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 856--An act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to revise a 
        repayment contract with the Tom Green County Water Control and 
        Improvement District No. 1, San Angelo project, Texas, and for 
        other purposes

    H.R. 856 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior 
through the Bureau of Reclamation to revise its repayment 
contract with the Tom Green County Water Control and 
Improvement District in Texas for reimbursable construction 
costs of the San Angelo project. This act would extend the 
repayment period from 40 years to 50 years.
    CBO estimates that H.R. 856 would have no significant 
impact on the federal budget. The district has been unable to 
make regular payments of the reimbursable construction costs 
due to a severe drought. With an extension of the repayment 
period, the district would be able to make smaller payments to 
the federal government over a longer period of time. 
Consequently, CBO estimates that implementing this act would 
result in a loss of less than $1 million in offsetting receipts 
over the 2004-2019 period, followed by an increase of the same 
amount over the 2020-2031 period.
    H.R. 856 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Julie Middleton. 
This estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      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 H.R. 856. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of H.R. 856, as ordered reported.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the Subcommittee hearing follows:

   Statement of Michael Gabaldon, Director, Policy, Management, and 
   Technical Services, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the 
                                Interior

    My name is Michael Gabaldon and I am the Director, Policy, 
Management, and Technical Services of the Bureau of 
Reclamation. I am pleased to present the Department's views on 
H.R. 856 which authorizes the Secretary to revise a repayment 
contract with the Tom Green County Water Control and 
Improvement District No. 1 (District) at Reclamation's San 
Angelo Project, Texas.
    The San Angelo Project (Project) was authorized by the 
Congress in 1957 to provide flood control, municipal and 
industrial water for the City of San Angelo, recreation, fish 
and wildlife, and supplemental irrigation supplies to the 
District. The Project has been beset by chronic drought 
conditions since it was constructed in 1963. These arid 
conditions have resulted in Reclamation granting a total of 
seven deferments of the annual installments due on the 
District's forty-year repayment contract. Due to the continued 
drought the District has requested a partial deferment for the 
2003 annual installment. Since 1997, four deferments for the 
District's annual payment to the United States have been 
granted because of the unavailability of irrigation water. The 
District has not taken any water from the reservoir since 1998. 
H.R. 856 provides some immediate financial relief to the 
District by extending its contract with Reclamation by ten 
years and thereby reducing its annual payments to the United 
States by approximately $70,000 per year. Extension of the 
repayment period will not likely be a permanent solution to the 
water scarcity facing this project. However, taking this action 
will give Reclamation some time to assess the project's long-
term challenges and will aid the District by providing needed 
repayment relief.
    Therefore, the Department supports H.R. 856.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you again for the opportunity to 
present the Department's views on H.R. 856.

                        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 Act H.R. 856, as 
ordered reported.