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115th Congress   }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                     {      115-156

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



 
                 BUREAU OF RECLAMATION TRANSPARENCY ACT

                                _______
                                

  June 2, 2017.--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. 660]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 660) to require the Secretary of the Interior to 
submit to Congress a report on the efforts of the Bureau of 
Reclamation to manage its infrastructure assets, 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. 660 is to require the Secretary of the 
Interior to submit to Congress a report on the efforts of the 
Bureau of Reclamation to manage its infrastructure assets.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The goal of H.R. 660 is to provide Congress, States, 
localities, and water and power users with a better 
understanding of the estimated cost of repairs at Bureau of 
Reclamation (Reclamation) facilities.
    According to the agency, Reclamation is the nation's 
largest wholesale water supplier, providing 1 out of 5 (or 
140,000) Western farmers with irrigation water for 10 million 
farmland acres that produce 60 percent of the nation's 
vegetables and one quarter of its fresh fruit and nut crops. It 
also delivers 10 trillion gallons of water to more than 31 
million people annually and is the second largest domestic 
producer of hydropower. Reclamation's assets include 475 dams 
and 53 hydroelectric power plants. With much of this 
infrastructure built over 50 years ago, maintaining these 
assets is critical for safety and economic security. Despite 
this need, some believe that Reclamation has not been 
transparent in providing the extent of its maintenance backlog.
    Reclamation operates a Facility Maintenance and 
Rehabilitation Program that identifies the needs of both its 
``transferred works''--infrastructure owned by Reclamation but 
operated by local project sponsors--and its ``reserved 
works''--projects owned and operated solely by Reclamation. 
However, such reviews are not typically made public and exclude 
project specific needs, even though other federal agencies 
provide such detail. As an example, a Congressional Research 
Service policy analyst stated last Congress:

          . . . some agencies, such as the Environmental 
        Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation, 
        publish ``need assessments'' that include project level 
        estimates for needed repairs and upgrades . . . the 
        availability of estimates for individual Reclamation 
        facilities varies, and are generally not compiled or 
        regularly updated in a centralized, public record.

    H.R. 660 requires Reclamation to compile an Infrastructure 
Needs Assessment Report every two years as part of its existing 
Asset Management Plan reporting process. In response to the 
aforementioned criticism and prior legislation, Reclamation is 
making efforts to be more transparent about its infrastructure. 
In testimony delivered to the Water, Power and Oceans 
Subcommittee in June 2015, an agency official indicated that a 
bill nearly identical to H.R. 660 was consistent with its draft 
``Infrastructure Investment Strategy''.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 660 was introduced on January 24, 2017, by Congressman 
Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Water, Power and Oceans. On April 26, 2017, the Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee 
on Water, Power and Oceans was discharged by unanimous consent. 
No amendments were offered and the bill was adopted and ordered 
favorably reported by unanimous consent on April 27, 2017.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 states the short title of the bill as the 
``Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act''.
    Section 2 lists findings related to Reclamation, its 
infrastructure assets, and the need for more information about 
the agency's maintenance needs due to its aging infrastructure.
    Section 3 defines key terms used throughout the Act.
    Section 4 directs the Secretary of the Interior to submit a 
report on Reclamation's reserved works. The report shall 
include a detailed assessment of major repair and 
rehabilitation needs, with a cost estimate for completion of 
each item and a categorical rating. This section also allows 
the Secretary to exclude sensitive or classified information 
from the report, and requires consultation with the Secretary 
of the Army in preparing the Asset Management Report.
    Section 5 directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
coordinate with non-federal entities responsible for the 
operation and maintenance of transferred works in developing 
reporting requirements for Asset Management Reports, and 
requires the Secretary to develop and implement a rating system 
for transferred works that incorporated the same rating system 
for reserved works.
    Section 6 provides an offset for costs associated with the 
bill.

            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, May 9, 2017.
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. 660, the Bureau of 
Reclamation Transparency Act.
    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.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 660--Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act

    H.R. 660 would require the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to 
assess the maintenance needs of its facilities, develop a 
ranking system to prioritize the rehabilitation needs of 
facilities that it operates, and work with nonfederal partners 
that have taken over the operation of certain other facilities 
to develop similar systems for those facilities that need 
rehabilitation. Under current law, BOR gathers data on its 
facilities, analyzes the data, and makes the results of its 
analysis available to the Congress and the public through its 
budget documents and various other reports throughout the year. 
Under the bill, BOR would need to consolidate those results 
into one report every two years including the ranking 
information and the estimated costs of necessary rehabilitation 
projects. Based on an analysis of information from BOR, CBO 
estimates that implementing those provisions would cost $2 
million; such spending would be subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    H.R. 660 also would reduce the authorization level for the 
Central Valley Water Recycling Project in Salt Lake County, 
Utah, by $2 million. Under current law, that project is 
authorized to receive up to $20 million in federal funding for 
construction costs. Under the bill, the ceiling would be 
reduced to $18 million and federal costs would be lower by $2 
million when the project is constructed. Based on information 
from BOR, CBO does not expect construction of the project to 
begin within the next five years.
    Enacting H.R. 660 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting the bill would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 660 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Any 
costs incurred by public entities to comply with the bill's 
reporting requirements would result from participating in a 
voluntary federal program.
    On April 12, 2017, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
216, the Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act, as ordered 
reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources on March 30, 2017. The two pieces of legislation are 
similar and CBO's estimates of the budgetary effects are the 
same.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Aurora Swanson 
(for federal costs) and Jon Sperl (for intergovernmental 
mandates). The estimate was approved 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 require the Secretary of the 
Interior to submit to the Congress a report on the efforts of 
the Bureau of Reclamation to manage its infrastructure assets.

                           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 in existing 
law.

                                  [all]