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112th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 112-442
LAKE THUNDERBIRD EFFICIENT USE ACT OF 2011
April 16, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 3263]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 3263) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior
to allow the storage and conveyance of nonproject water at the
Norman project in Oklahoma, and for other purposes, having
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment
and recommend that the bill do pass.
Purpose of the Bill
The purpose of H.R. 3263 is to authorize the Secretary of
the Interior to allow the storage and conveyance of non-project
water at the Norman Project in Oklahoma.
Background and Need for Legislation
Lake Thunderbird was developed as part of the Federal
Norman Project in the early 1960s. The Norman Project is
located on the Little River in central Oklahoma and includes
Lake Thunderbird, Norman Dam, and a water conveyance pumping
and pipeline system that provides supplemental water to the
Oklahoma cities of Norman, Del City, and Midwest City.
Additional uses include flood control and recreation. Since
1966, the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District
(District) has operated and maintained the Norman Project under
contract with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation).
The Lake Thunderbird watershed experienced a major drought
in 2005 and 2006, which resulted in the lowest lake level since
the dam was constructed. That drought highlighted the need for
additional water supply. Reclamation and the District have
determined that Lake Thunderbird has the capacity to store up
to 4,600 acre feet of non-project water. The District wants the
ability to purchase non-project water from Oklahoma City to
augment storage in Lake Thunderbird during times of drought.
Reclamation has general authority under the Warren Act of
1911 to allow for the storage and conveyance of non-project
water. However, Reclamation does not have the administrative
authority to approve the Lake Thunderbird action since the
water does not originate within the same watershed. H.R. 3263
would give Reclamation such authority by amending the
underlying Norman Project authorization. All costs, including
water costs and environmental planning, would be borne by the
H.R. 3263 was introduced on October 26, 2011, by
Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK). The bill was referred to the
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the
Subcommittee on Water and Power. On December 2, 2011, the
Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On February 29, 2012,
the Full Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill.
The Subcommittee on Water and Power was discharged by unanimous
consent. No amendments were offered and the bill was then
ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by
Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations
Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.
Compliance With House Rule XIII
1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B)
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
H.R. 3263--Lake Thunderbird Efficient Use Act of 2011
H.R. 3263 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to
allow the Norman water project in central Oklahoma to store
water conveyed from other projects. Enacting H.R. 3263 would
affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures
apply. Based on information from the Bureau of Reclamation,
however, CBO estimates that any impact on net direct spending
would be negligible. Enacting the legislation would not affect
The Norman Project consists of Norman Dam, Lake
Thunderbird, and a pipeline system. It provides municipal and
industrial water and flood protection to nearby communities. In
1966, the operation and maintenance responsibilities for the
project were transferred from the federal government to the
Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District.
H.R. 3263 would authorize the bureau to approve the
conveyance and storage of water from other water projects in
Lake Thunderbird. Under the bill, the district would purchase
water from Oklahoma City's Atoka Reservoir by accessing the
nearby Atoka pipeline. The district would be required to pay
all costs associated with constructing any additional
facilities and associated operation and maintenances costs.
Based on information from the bureau, CBO estimates that
enacting the bill would affect direct spending (through the
collection and spending of receipts), but such effects would
not be significant.
H.R. 3263 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.
On January 12, 2012, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S.
802, the Lake Thunderbird Efficient Use Act of 2011, as ordered
reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources on November 10, 2011. The two pieces of legislation
are similar, and the CBO cost estimates are the same.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Aurora Swanson.
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in
revenues or tax expenditures. Based on information from the
Bureau of Reclamation, CBO estimates that enacting the bill
would affect direct spending through the collection and
spending of receipts, but any impact on net direct spending
would be negligible.
3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or
objective of this bill is to authorize the Secretary of the
Interior to allow the storage and conveyance of non-project
water at the Norman Project in Oklahoma.
This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks,
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of
the House of Representatives.
Compliance With Public Law 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates as defined under
Public Law 104-4.
Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported
In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is
proposed is shown in roman):
ACT OF JUNE 27, 1960
(Public Law 86-529)
AN ACT To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct,
operate, and maintain the Norman project, Oklahoma, and for other
* * * * * * *
SEC. 10. LAKE THUNDERBIRD.
(a) In General.--If the Secretary of the Interior determines
that there is enough excess capacity in the reservoir on the
Little River known as ``Lake Thunderbird'' that nonproject
water can be stored in Lake Thunderbird, the Secretary of the
Interior may, in accordance with the reclamation laws, amend an
existing contract, or enter into 1 or more new contracts, with
the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District for the
storage and conveyance of nonproject water in Norman project
facilities to augment municipal and industrial supplies for the
cities served by the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy
(b) Costs.--If any additional infrastructure is needed to
enable the storage and conveyance of non-project water in
Norman project facilities under subsection (a) or any other
provision of this Act, the costs of constructing, operating,
and maintaining the infrastructure shall be the responsibility
of the non-Federal entity contracting with the Secretary of the
Interior for storage and conveyance rights.