CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 325, the Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration, on Tuesday, June 2, 2009, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 325 was introduced on January 8, 2009, by Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ) and referred to the Committee on Financial Services, which took no official action.
H.R. 325 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, in cooperation with Pima County, Arizona, to participate in the planning, design, and construction of water recycling facilities in the Avra Valley, and to enhance and restore riparian habitat in the Black Wash Sonoran Desert ecosystem which lies west of the metropolitan Pima County area. The federal share of the cost could not exceed 25 percent of the total cost.
The legislation authorizes $14 million to be used in the construction and planning of the recycling project in the Avra Valley/Black Wash.
This project is designed to recycle and conserve water in the Avra Valley region and Black Wash Sonoran Desert, located in the Southern region of Arizona. The desert has a number of riparian areas where natural water ways such as rivers and streams cut through the desert. The majority of species identified in Pima County's Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan utilize or require riparian habitat. Riparian is defined as pertaining to the banks of a river or stream. Riparian areas provide recreational opportunities, flood control, fish and wildlife habitat, and flood plain irrigation water. The riparian areas in Pima County are used for different reasons, initially for agriculture, and more recently for recreation and urban water needs.
A CBO score for H.R. 325 was not yet available at press time, however, the legislation would authorize the appropriation of $14 million.