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                                                      Calendar No. 309
116th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                   {      116-160

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



 
         JACKSON GULCH REHABILITATION PROJECT MODIFICATION ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 21, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

        Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural 
                   Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 860]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 860) to amend the Omnibus Public Land 
Management Act of 2009 to modify the terms of the Jackson Gulch 
rehabilitation project in Colorado, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                               Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
    Beginning on page 2, strike line 22 and all that follows 
through page 3, line 4, and insert the following:

                  (C) in subparagraph (B), in the matter 
                preceding clause (i), by striking ``Secretary 
                shall recover reimbursable expenses'' and 
                inserting ``District shall pay the Project 
                costs for which the District is liable''; and

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 860 is to amend the Omnibus Public Land 
Management Act of 2009 to modify the terms of the Jackson Gulch 
rehabilitation project in Colorado.

                          Background and Need

    The Jackson Gulch Dam and Reservoir are the principal 
features of the Mancos Project in the southwest corner of 
Colorado. The dam and reservoir are located in Jackson Gulch, 
east of the West Mancos River. Water is fed from the river by a 
2.6-mile inlet canal and returned to the river by an 2.2-mile 
outlet canal. The project provides domestic water to the Mesa 
Verde National Park, the Mancos Rural Water Company, and the 
town of Mancos, and it supplies irrigation water to 13,746 
acres.
    The Jackson Gulch Reservoir was constructed pursuant to the 
Water Conservation and Utilization Act, which was enacted in 
1939, during the Great Depression. The Act authorized the 
President to use the Works Project Administration and the 
Civilian Conservation Corps to construct water conservation and 
utilization projects in the Great Plains and arid areas to 
stabilize water supplies and enable farmers to remain on their 
land. President Roosevelt approved the Mancos Project under 
this authority in 1940. The first irrigation water was released 
to farms in Montezuma County and Mesa Verde National Park 
visitors in July of 1949. The Mancos Water Conservancy District 
took over operation and maintenance of the project in 1963.
    A hydroelectric power plant was added to the dam outlet by 
the Mancos Water Conservancy District in 1995 to assist with 
operation and maintenance costs during the irrigation season. 
The rehabilitation of this aging infrastructure is primarly the 
responsibility of the Mancos Water Conservancy District.
    In 2009, Congress authorized the Secretary of the Interior 
to provide up to $8.25 million for rehabilitation of the 
Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation Project (Public Law 111-11, 
section 9105) and required Mancos Water Conservancy District to 
repay their share of the total project cost--the lesser of 
either 35 percent of the project cost or $2.9 million--to the 
Bureau of Reclamation over a period of 15 years, less any funds 
the District had contributed to the project for engineering 
work and improvements prior to the date of enactment of the 
2009 Act. The project received an initial appropriation of 
$1.75 million in 2010. An additional $850,000 in appropriated 
dollars was obligated to the project in 2019. The Mancos Water 
Conservancy District has, however, continued the rehabilitation 
work using its own funds.
    S. 860 provides flexibility for the Mancos Water 
Conservancy District to continue its maintenance and operations 
while more clearly defining its responsibilities and funding 
share for the Project rehabilitation. The bill also allows for 
funds to be spent directly on the Project rather than advanced 
by the Bureau of Reclamation and then repaid.

                          Legislative History

    S. 860 was introduced by Senator Gardner on March 25, 2019. 
The Subcommittee on Water and Power held a legislative hearing 
on S. 860 on June 26, 2019.
    Companion legislation, H.R. 1936, was introduced by 
Representative Tipton in the House of Representatives on April 
17, 2019, and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
    In the 115th Congress, Senator Gardner introduced similar 
legislation, S. 3069, on June 14, 2018.
    Companion legislation, H.R. 6083, was introduced by 
Representative Tipton in the House of Representatives on June 
19, 2018, and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in 
open business session on September 25, 2019, and ordered S. 860 
favorably reported, as amended.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on September 25, 2019, by a majority 
voice vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass 
S. 860, if amended as described herein.

                          Committee Amendments

    During its consideration of S. 860, the Committee adopted 
an amendment that strikes section 2(2)(C)(ii), the provision 
that would have extended the cost repayment term for the non-
federal share of the Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation Project from 
15 to 40 years.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Sec. 1. Short title

    Section 1 sets forth the short title.

Sec 2. Modification of Jackson Gulch Rehabiliation Project, Colorado

    Section 2(1) amends section 9105(b)(1) of the Omnibus 
Public Lands Management Act of 2009 to change the reimbursement 
requirements to ``cost-sharing requirements'', and limit the 
federal cost share to no more than 65 percent of the total 
cost.
    Section 2(2) amends section 9105(b)(3) to change the manner 
in which the District share is paid from reimbursement to 
direct payment and specifies that all amounts paid by the 
District for engineering work and improvements directly 
associated with the Project whether before, on, or after the 
date of enactment of this Act is to be credited toward the 
District's liability for the Project.
    Section 2(3) amends section 9105(b)(7) to reduce the 
federal authorization level from $8.25 million to be the lesser 
of 65 percent of the total cost of carrying out the project or 
$5.35 million.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    S. 860 would authorize the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to 
credit the Mancos Water Conservancy District for some of the 
work it performed on the Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation Project 
in Colorado. Under current law, the conservancy district is 
required to reimburse the federal government for its share (35 
percent) of the project's total costs in 15 annual 
installments, without interest. The district begins to make 
those payments one year after it receives any funding for the 
project from the BOR. The conservancy district received credit 
toward its share of the project's costs for expenditures that 
it incurred before the Congress authorized the project in March 
2009.
    After March 2009, the conservancy district continued to 
work at its own expense to advance the project and the 
conservancy district will not receive credit toward its share 
of project costs for that work. S. 860 would require the BOR to 
credit the district for expenditures made after March 2009. 
That requirement would have the effect of reducing annual 
payments from the district (which are recorded as reductions in 
direct spending). Those reductions would total less than 
$500,000 over the 2020-2029 period.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Aurora Swanson. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
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 S. 860. 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 S. 860, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 860, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the June 26, 2019, Subcommittee on Water and Power hearing on 
S. 860 follows:

  Statement of Kiel Weaver, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for 
           Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior

    Chairman McSally, Ranking Member Cortez Masto, and Members 
of the Subcommittee, I am Kiel Weaver, Principal Deputy 
Assistant Secretary for Water and Science with the U.S. 
Department of the Interior (``Department''). Thank you for the 
opportunity to provide the views of the Department on several 
water related pieces of legislation. I will address each of 
these individually.
S. 860, the Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation Project Modification Act
    The Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation Project Modification Act, 
introduced by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), amends Section 9105 
of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-11) 
to allow the Mancos Water Conservancy District (District) the 
ability to credit their share of engineering work and 
improvements directly associated with the Jackson Gulch 
Rehabilitation Project in Colorado as part of the local cost 
share. The bill also adjusts the District's Project cost 
repayment period from 15 to not more than 40 years and reduces 
the authorization for Federal appropriations to cost share this 
project from $8,250,000 to not more than $5,350,000.
    Jackson Gulch Reservoir provides water to the town of 
Mancos, the Mancos Water Conservancy District, and the Mancos 
Rural Water Company. Since 1963, the District has performed 
operation and maintenance of the project, which includes the 
inlet and outlet canal systems and Jackson Gulch Dam and 
reservoir. The canal systems convey water to and from Jackson 
Gulch Reservoir, an off-stream storage facility.
    Pursuant to Section 9105 of P.L. 111-11, Reclamation is 
authorized to receive appropriations to pay a specified Federal 
share of the total cost of carrying out the Jackson Gulch 
Rehabilitation Project (Project) of up to, but not to exceed 
$8,250,000. Under current law, the District is to reimburse the 
United States the amount equal to 35 percent of the total cost 
of the Project, or $2,900,000, whichever is less; under S. 860, 
this amount can change subject to the amount credited for work 
the District performed to date. Reclamation and the District 
entered into a repayment contract in July 2010 to carry out 
these and other provisions of the Act.
    In August 2010, the District received $1,750,000 in Federal 
funds through Reclamation; since 2010, Reclamation has received 
only $850,000 in additional appropriations for the Project in 
the Reclamation Fiscal Year 2019 Spend Plan. The District has 
continued to expend funds on the rehabilitation. Subject to the 
availability of appropriations, Reclamation supports this 
proposal which provides additional flexibility to the District 
to rehabilitate the canal system.
Conclusion
    Again, thank you for the opportunity to testify. The 
Department looks forward to working closely with this Committee 
on these bills. 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 changes in existing law made 
by the original bill, as reported, are shown as follows 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

             THE OMNIBUS PUBLIC LAND MANAGEMENT ACT OF 2009


    AN ACT To designate certain land as components of the National 
   Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and 
  activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of 
Agriculture, and for other purposes

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE IX--BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AUTHORIZATIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle B--Project Authorizations

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 9105. JACKSON GULCH REHABILITATION PROJECT, COLORADO.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Assessment.--The term ``assessment'' means the 
        engineering document that is--
                  (A) entitled ``Jackson Gulch Inlet Canal 
                Project, Jackson Gulch Outlet Canal Project, 
                Jackson Gulch Operations Facilities Project: 
                Condition Assessment and Recommendations for 
                Rehabilitation'';
                  (B) dated February 2004; and
                  (C) on file with the Bureau of Reclamation.
          (2) District.--The term ``District'' means the Mancos 
        Water Conservancy District established under the Water 
        Conservancy Act (Colo. Rev. Stat. 37-45-101 et seq.).
          (3) Project.--The term ``Project'' means the Jackson 
        Gulch rehabilitation project, a program for the 
        rehabilitation of the Jackson Gulch Canal system and 
        other infrastructure in the State, as described in the 
        assessment.
          (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of the Interior, acting through the 
        Commissioner of Reclamation.
          (5) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of 
        Colorado.
    (b) Authorization of Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation 
Project.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to the reimbursement 
        [requirement] and cost-sharing requirements described 
        in paragraph (3), the Secretary shall pay the Federal 
        share of the total cost of carrying out the Project, 
        which shall be not more than 65 percent of that total 
        cost.
          (2) Use of existing information.--In preparing any 
        studies relating to the Project, the Secretary shall, 
        to the maximum extent practicable, use existing 
        studies, including engineering and resource information 
        provided by, or at the direction of--
                  (A) Federal, State, or local agencies; and
                  (B) the District.
          (3) Reimbursement [Requirement] and cost-sharing 
        requirements.
                  (A) Amount.--[The Secretary shall recover 
                from the District as reimbursable expenses] 
                Subject to subparagraph (C), the District shall 
                be liable under this subsection for an amount 
                equal to the lesser of--
                          (i) the amount equal to 35 percent of 
                        the cost of the Project; or
                          (ii) $2,900,000.
                  (B) Manner.--The [Secretary shall recover 
                reimbursable expenses] District shall pay the 
                Project costs for which the District is liable 
                under subparagraph (A)--
                          (i) in a manner agreed to by the 
                        Secretary and the District;
                          (ii) over a period of 15 years; and
                          (iii) with no interest.
                  [(C) Credit.--In determining the exact amount 
                of reimbursable expenses to be recovered from 
                the District, the Secretary shall credit the 
                District for any amounts it paid before the 
                date of enactment of this Act for engineering 
                work and improvements directly associated with 
                the Project.]
                  (C) Credit.--In determining the exact amount 
                for the the District is liable under this 
                paragraph, the Secretary shall--
                          (i) review and approve all final 
                        costs associated with the completion of 
                        the project; and
                          (ii) credit the District for all 
                        amounts paid by the District for 
                        engineering work and improvements 
                        directly associated with the Project, 
                        whether before, on, or after the date 
                        of enactement of this Act.
          (4) Prohibition on operation and maintenance costs.--
        The District shall be responsible for the operation and 
        maintenance of any facility constructed or 
        rehabilitated under this section.
          (5) Liability.--The United States shall not be liable 
        for damages of any kind arising out of any act, 
        omission, or occurrence relating to a facility 
        rehabilitated or constructed under this section.
          (6) Effect.--An activity provided Federal funding 
        under this section shall not be considered a 
        supplemental or additional benefit under--
                  (A) the reclamation laws; or
                  (B) the Act of August 11, 1939 (16 U.S.C. 
                590y et seq.).
          (7) Authorization of appropriations--There is 
        authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to pay 
        the Federal share of the total cost of carrying out the 
        Project [$8,250,000] the lesser of--
                  (A) not more than 65 percent of the total 
                cost of carrying out the Project; and
                  (B) $5,350,000.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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