On Tuesday, October 29, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 2640, the Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on July 10, 2013, by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote.
H.R. 2640 amends the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to: (1) modify the boundary of the Crooked River in Oregon; (2) require the developer for any hydropower development at Bowman Dam, in consultation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to analyze impacts to the Outstanding Remarkable Values of the Wild and Scenic River that may be caused by the development; and (3) propose mitigation for any impacts caused by such development as part of any license application submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Furthermore, this legislation would permit the City of Prineville, Oregon to utilize 5,100 acre feet of groundwater to meet existing and future demands. The legislation would protect the release of this water from diversion by others, which could benefit downstream fish and wildlife. Moreover, this legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to, on a “first fill” priority basis, store in and release water from the Prineville Reservoir.
H.R. 2640 also authorizes any landowner within the Ochoco Irrigation District in Oregon, to repay the construction costs of project facilities allocated to that landowner’s lands within the district. In turn, the bill requires the Secretary of the Interior, upon the request of a landowner who has repaid construction costs, to provide a certificate of freedom from ownership and pricing limitations. Finally, it modifies the District’s reclamation contracts to: (1) authorize the use of water for instream purposes in order for the District to engage in, or take advantage of, conserved water projects and temporary instream leasing; (2) include 2,742 acres in the vicinity of McKay Creek as part of the district boundary; (3) classify 685 of those acres as irrigable; and (4) provide the District with stored water from the Prineville Reservoir for supplying those 685 acres.
Identical legislation passed the House in the 112th Congress by voice vote.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2640 would have an insignificant impact on direct spending.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.