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115th Congress   }                                      {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                      {     115-1082

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

 
 TO DIRECT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO CONVEY CERTAIN FACILITIES, 
EASEMENTS, AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY TO THE KENNEWICK IRRIGATION DISTRICT, AND 
                           FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

 December 19, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 6652]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 6652) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey certain facilities, easements, and rights-of-way to the 
Kennewick Irrigation District, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Agreement.--The term ``Agreement'' means the agreement 
        required under section 2(a).
          (2) District.--The term ``District'' means the Kennewick 
        Irrigation District, located in Benton County, Washington, 
        which operates and maintains a portion of the Kennewick 
        Division of the Yakima Project constructed by the United States 
        to enable the Kennewick Irrigation District to carry out 
        authorized purposes pursuant to the Act of June 12, 1948 (62 
        Stat. 382).
          (3) District's head gate.--The term ``District's head gate'' 
        means the point of diversion for the Kennewick Irrigation 
        District, identified as the KID Main Canal Headworks at the 
        following location: KID Main Canal Headworks, 200 feet east and 
        1100 feet north, more or less, from the southwest corner of 
        section 16, being within the northwest \1/4\ of the southwest 
        \1/4\ of the southwest \1/4\ of section 16, T. 9 N., 26 E.W.M.
          (4) Division.--The term ``Division'' means the Kennewick 
        Division, including the Transferred Works.
          (5) Transferred works.--The term ``Transferred Works'' means 
        the canals, laterals, and appurtenant works and lands, which 
        begin at the District's head gate and extends approximately 40 
        miles east to the Columbia River built to serve the place of 
        use of the 20,201 acres of currently irrigated irrigable lands 
        entitled to delivery of water within the Kennewick Irrigation 
        District.
          (6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.

SEC. 2. AGREEMENT, CONVEYANCE, REPORT.

  (a) Agreement.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary, acting through the Bureau of 
Reclamation, shall enter into an agreement with the District to 
determine the legal, institutional, and financial terms related to the 
conveyance of the Transferred Works. The Agreement shall be completed 
after the requirements in section 5(a) are satisfied. This Agreement 
shall be in accordance with and subject to Memorandum of Agreement No: 
R18MA13703 between the District and the Bureau of Reclamation.
  (b) Conveyance.--Subject to valid leases, permits, rights-of-way, 
easements, and other existing rights and in accordance the terms and 
conditions set forth in the Agreement and this Act, the Secretary shall 
convey to the District all right, title, and interest of the United 
States in and to the Transferred Works.
  (c) Report.--If the conveyance authorized by subsection (b) is not 
completed within 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that--
          (1) describes the status of the conveyance;
          (2) describes any obstacles to completing the conveyance; and
          (3) specifies an anticipated date for completion of the 
        conveyance.

SEC. 3. LIABILITY.

  (a) Damages.--Except as otherwise provided by law and for damages 
caused by acts of negligence committed by the United States or by its 
employees or agents, effective upon the date of the conveyance 
authorized by section 2, the United States shall not be held liable by 
any court for damages of any kind arising out of any act, omission, or 
occurrence relating to the Transferred Works.
  (b) Torts Claims.--Nothing in this section increases the liability of 
the United States beyond that provided in chapter 171 of title 28, 
United States Code (popularly known as the ``Federal Tort Claims 
Act'').

SEC. 4. BENEFITS.

  (a) Status of Land.--After conveyance of the Transferred Works under 
this Act, the Transferred Works shall not be considered to be a part of 
a Federal reclamation project.
  (b) Benefits if Entire Division Conveyed.--If the entire Division is 
conveyed out of Federal ownership, the District shall not be eligible 
to receive any benefits, including project power, with respect to the 
conveyed Division, except benefits that would be available to a 
similarly situated entity with respect to property that is not part of 
a Federal reclamation project.

SEC. 5. COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER LAWS.

  (a) Compliance With Environmental and Historic Preservation Laws.--
Before making the conveyance authorized by this Act, the Secretary 
shall complete all actions required under the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), subtitle III of title 54, United 
States Code, and all other applicable laws.
  (b) Compliance by the District.--After conveyance of the Transferred 
Works under this Act, the District shall comply with all applicable 
Federal, State, and local laws and regulations in its operation of the 
Transferred Works.
  (c) Applicable Authority.--All provisions of Federal reclamation law 
(the Act of June 17, 1902 (43 U.S.C. 371 et seq.), and Acts 
supplemental to and amendatory of that Act) shall continue to be 
applicable to project water provided to the District.

SEC. 6. PAYMENT.

  (a) Administrative Costs.--Except as provided in subsection (b), 
administrative costs for conveyance of the Transferred Works under this 
Act shall be paid in equal shares by the Secretary and the District.
  (b) Real Estate Transfer Cost.--Costs of all boundary surveys, title 
searches, cadastral surveys, appraisals, and other real estate 
transactions required for the conveyance of the Transferred Works shall 
be paid by the District.
  (c) Costs of Compliance With Other Laws.--Costs associated with any 
review required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), subtitle III of title 54, United States Code, and all 
other applicable laws for conveyance of the Transferred Works shall be 
paid in equal shares by the Secretary and the District.

SEC. 7. MISCELLANEOUS.

  (a) Applicability of Other Law.--Section 1212 of Public Law 103-434 
shall apply to and be incorporated into this Act.
  (b) Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this Act shall or shall be 
construed for any purpose--
          (1) to transfer, affect, reduce, modify, or impair the water 
        rights of any person;
          (2) to affect, reduce, modify, or impair the United States' 
        authority to regulate and manage water in the Yakima Basin, 
        including water diverted into the Chandler Power Canal and 
        Prosser Dam through and including the Kennewick Irrigation 
        District's head gate;
          (3) to change how water is diverted at Prosser Dam and 
        delivered to the Kennewick Irrigation District through the 
        Chandler pumps through the District's head gate; and
          (4) to affect reduce, modify, or impair the United States' 
        control, management, and ownership of the ``Reserved works'' as 
        defined in the United States Bureau of Reclamation and 
        Kennewick Irrigation District Amendatory Repayment Contract 
        (1953) (Contract No. 14-06-W-56) as amended, at pp. 2-3, which 
        Reserved works include but are not limited to Prosser Dam, the 
        Chandler Power Canal and hydroelectric and pumping plant, all 
        Yakima Project facilities, and the siphon under the Yakima 
        River to the District's head gate.

SEC. 8. LIMITATIONS.

  After completing the requirements of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Secretary of the 
Interior shall convey title, if the Secretary affirms in writing to the 
House Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Energy 
and Natural Resources that the following criteria have been met:
          (1) The Kennewick Irrigation District agrees to accept title 
        to the property proposed for transfer.
          (2) The proposed title transfer will not have an unmitigated 
        negative effect on the environment.
          (3) The transfer is consistent with the Secretary's 
        responsibility to protect land and water resources held in 
        trust for federally recognized Indian Tribes.
          (4) The transfer is consistent with the Secretary's 
        responsibility to ensure compliance with international treaties 
        and interstate compacts.
          (5) The Kennewick Irrigation District agrees to provide, as 
        consideration for the assets to be conveyed, compensation to 
        the United States worth the equivalent of the present value of 
        any repayment obligation to the United States or other income 
        stream the United States derives from the assets to be 
        transferred at the time of the transfer.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 6652 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to convey certain facilities, easements, and rights-
of-way to the Kennewick Irrigation District.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Authorized in 1948 by Public Law 80-629,\1\ and originally 
constructed in 1958,\2\ the Kennewick Division is one of seven 
divisions of the Bureau of Reclamation's Yakima Project.\3\ The 
Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) diverts water from the 
Division, which is a combined irrigation and power development 
project that includes a 12-megawatt power plant and pump 
station serving water to over 20,200 acres of land.\4\ KID was 
initially built for agricultural purposes in the tristate area. 
Today, however, most rate payers who reimburse the federal 
government for the cost of the water project live in 
residential developments.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\https://www.loc.gov/law/help/statutes-at-large/80th-congress/
session-2/c80s2ch453.pdf.
    \2\https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=400.
    \3\Id. At ``History''.
    \4\https://www.kid.org/your-kid/history-of-kid/.
    \5\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Taking a system designed for agricultural use to provide 
for a growing number of urban water users has created unique 
problems for KID. At a 2018 Water and Power and Oceans 
Subcommittee oversight hearing, Mr. Charles Freeman, General 
Manager of KID, stated, ``[T]he reality of it is our particular 
circumstance, we are growing at such a fast rate that I have 
five engineers, three [project engineers], just to keep up with 
the commercial and residential growth in our cities.''\6\ In 
his written testimony, Mr. Freeman further explained, 
``Reclamation is not always timely in meeting the needs of the 
communities KID serves. Developers in Kennewick have had to 
endure years long waiting times for Reclamation's approval to 
move easement lines on properties the developer owns.''\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Oral Testimony of Mr. Charles Freeman, General Manager, 
Kennewick Irrigation District, before the House Water and Power 
Subcommittee, February 14, 2018.
    \7\Submitted Testimony of Mr. Charles Freeman, General Manager, 
Kennewick Irrigation District, before the House Water and Power 
Subcommittee, February 14, 2018, p. 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Division, like many other water, power supply and 
delivery facilities constructed by Reclamation, is wholly owned 
by the federal government. Reclamation provided the initial 
capital contribution to build these projects; however, the 
water and power customers who benefitted from the facilities 
entered into long-term contracts with the federal government to 
repay their part of the initial taxpayer investment.\8\ Under 
the Reclamation Act of 1902, Reclamation may transfer day-to-
day operational and maintenance responsibilities to project 
beneficiaries; however, the title or ownership of any facility 
must remain in federal ownership until Congress enacts 
legislation specifically authorizing such a transfer.\9\ Since 
1996, more than three dozen Reclamation projects have been 
transferred or authorized to be transferred to local 
entities.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\https://www.loc.gov/law/help/statutes-at-large/80th-congress/
session-2/c80s2ch453.pdf at Sec. 4.
    \9\https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/contracts/
Legislation.pdf.
    \10\U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Title Transfer of Projects and 
Facilities, Title Transfer of Projects and Facilities of the Bureau of 
Reclamation; available at: http://www.usbr.gov/title/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A title transfer can provide a number of benefits to end 
users. A transfer can reduce regulatory paperwork and staff 
time at both the federal and local levels, reduce the federal 
backlog for repairs and upgrades to infrastructure and help 
improve the environment and public safety. Additionally, a 
title transfer can reduce federal liability since the local 
entity assumes a transferred facility's liability. KID General 
Manager Charles Freeman submitted testimony to the Subcommittee 
which stated, ``Transfer of title in this instance will reduce 
federal liabilities and prepayment will provide a cost savings 
benefit to the federal government. Taking title will allow 
[KID] to more efficiently manage water supplies. This is a win-
win for both parties.''\11\ It is because of these and other 
benefits of title transfers that Reclamation included in its 
Fiscal Year 2018 budget language reaffirming the agency's 
commitment to facilitate title transfers when they are mutually 
beneficial to all parties.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Submitted Testimony of Mr. Charles Freeman, General Manager, 
Kennewick Irrigation District, before the House Water and Power 
Subcommittee, February 14, 2018, p. 2.
    \12\Bureau of Reclamation Fiscal Year 2018 Budget in Brief, p. BH-
36.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 6652 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey all right, title and interest to certain canals, 
laterals, and appurtenant works and lands that begin at KID's 
head gate and extend approximately 40 miles east to the 
Columbia River (defined as ``Transferred Works''' by the bill) 
to KID. The goal of this legislation is to allow KID to reduce 
federal paperwork requirements while also relieving Reclamation 
of all future liability and responsibilities. The Secretary 
will comply with all environmental and historic preservation 
requirements and all other applicable laws when making the 
conveyance. The bill requires KID to comply with all applicable 
federal, State and local laws and regulations in its operation 
of the Transferred Works. Costs of the conveyance are allocated 
between the Secretary and KID.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 6652 was introduced on August 3, 2018, by Congressman 
Dan Newhouse (R-WA). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Water, Power and Oceans. The Subcommittee held a hearing on 
the bill on September 5, 2018. On November 15, 2018, the 
Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
Jared Huffman (D-CA) offered an amendment designated 169; it 
was adopted by unanimous consent. No additional amendments were 
offered, and the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            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 AND 
                        CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, December 18, 2018.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 6652, a bill to 
direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain 
facilities, easements, and rights-of-way to the Kennewick 
Irrigation District, and for other purposes.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Aurora 
Swanson.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 6652--A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey 
        certain facilities, easements, and rights-of-way to the 
        Kennewick Irrigation District, and for other purposes

    H.R. 6652 would direct the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to 
convey certain federal land and facilities to the Kennewick 
Irrigation District (district) in the state of Washington. 
Using information from BOR, CBO estimates that implementing 
H.R. 6652 would cost less than $100,000 over the 2019-2028 
period for staff to carry out the title transfer including 
coordinating surveys and National Environmental Policy Act 
reviews. Any spending would be subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    Under current law, the district pays the federal government 
about $70,000 annually for outstanding capital obligations it 
owes for the costs of constructing the project. Under the bill, 
the district would discontinue those payments and instead would 
pay the federal government an amount equal to the net present 
value of its outstanding obligation in 2020. Those payments are 
recorded in the federal budget as offsetting receipts, or 
reductions in direct spending. Because enacting the bill would 
affect direct spending pay-as-you-go procedures apply; however, 
CBO estimates that the net effect on direct spending would not 
be significant. Enacting H.R. 6652 would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 6652 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 6652 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Aurora Swanson. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. 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 direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to convey certain facilities, easements, and rights-
of-way to the Kennewick Irrigation District.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    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.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes to existing 
law.

                                  [all]