H.R. 255: To Amend Certain Definitions Contained in the Provo River Project Transfer Act for Purposes of Clarifying Certain Property Descriptions

H.R. 255

To Amend Certain Definitions Contained in the Provo River Project Transfer Act for Purposes of Clarifying Certain Property Descriptions

Date
December 3, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 255, a bill to Amend Certain Definitions Contained in the Provo River Project Transfer Act for Purposes of Clarifying Certain Property Descriptions, under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced on January 15, 2013 by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

H.R. 255 amends the Provo River Transfer Act to modify the definition of “canal” to mean the water conveyance facility historically known as the Provo Reservoir Canal, and directs the transfer of all associated bridges, fixtures, structures, facilities, lands, interests in land, and rights of way held.  These non-controversial, technical changes to the Provo River Transfer Act are intended to ensure federal property is transferred into local ownership.

Background

The Provo Reservoir Canal (PRC) diverts water from the Provo River beginning at the Murdock Diversion Dam near the mouth of Provo Canyon, Utah, and runs 21 miles northwest and provides agricultural water for over 46,000 acres of land.  The PRC was originally an open canal that ran through rural Utah, but due to urban development, the Provo River Water Users Association began to promote the enclosure of the canal in 1995 to resolve the potential public safety threats. 

In 2004, the Association successfully pursued legislation that transferred the title of the Provo Reservoir Canal (PRC) to the Association in order to help generate non-federal investment toward the canal’s enclosure.  The PRC project was finished despite the failure to reach an agreement by interested parties and stakeholders.  However, due to the enclosure of the PRC prior to the title transfer, the Bureau of Reclamation contends that the definition of “canal” in the law is no longer legally sufficient to convey what is now a piped PRC.  Amending the definition of the PRC to reflect its enclosure will allow for the completion of the title transfer originally intended in federal law.    

Cost

The CBO estimates that enacting this legislation will result in a net reduction in direct spending of $400,000 over the 2014-2018 period and $100,000 over the 2014-2023 period.[1]

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.