Sending Office: Honorable Jim Costa
Sent By:
Scott.Petersen@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Become a Cosponsor of the “Non-Federal Reservoir Operations Improvement Act

Dear Colleague:

We are writing to request your support for H.R. 5726, the Non-Federal Reservoir Operations Improvement Act.

This legislation is a simple, straightforward authorization for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accept non-federal funding from the owners of non-federal dams/reservoirs regulated by the Corps for flood control under Section 7 of the
Flood Control Act of 1944 to pay for Corps to review, update and revise Water Control Manuals, including flood-control diagrams, for such projects.

The authority is necessary to facilitate the modernization of operations criteria to reflect changed watershed conditions, improved forecasting technology, and to allow non-federal project owners to make physical and operational improvements to their facilities
that will enhance project benefits, including flood control, water storage and hydroelectric production.

Although Corps regulations (ER 1110-2-240, 5-30-2016) specify that Water Control Manuals, including flood-control curves, should be reviewed updated regularly, the Corps does not do this, citing budgetary constraints. 

A July 2016 GAO report
(“ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: Additional Steps Needed for Review and Revision of Water Control Manuals, GAO-16-685
”) found that for Corps-owned projects, “revisions to water control manuals are often a lower priority than other O&M activities, such as equipment
repairs, sediment removal, or levee repairs. As a result, (Corps) districts may not get funding to revise water control manuals.”  Non-Corps “Section 7” projects have an even lower budget priority.

WRRDA 2014 authorized the Corps to accept funds from “non-federal entities” for review of control manuals at Corps-owned projects, but not at Section 7 projects. This legislation would similarly authorize the Corps to accept non-federal funding from the
owners of non-federal projects regulated by the Corps. Such projects include reservoirs and related facilities owned and operated by local public agencies, irrigation districts, states, and electric utilities.

Our legislation is narrowly focused on funding from the owners of non-federal projects rather than authorizing acceptance by the Corps of funding from the broader “non-federal interests/entities,” which could encompass interests that have no connection
to or vested interest in the affected non-federal projects. For this reason, a broader “non-federal-entity” authorization would likely be controversial among the owners of some non-federal Section 7 projects.

Additionally, our legislation would affect only non-federal projects regulated by the Corps. It would not affect Corps-owned projects or other federal projects, such as those owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, that are regulated by the Corps. Again,
this narrow approach avoids controversy and unintended impacts on other types of projects.

Finally, our legislation would in no way limit the Corps’ existing authority, or mandate any action by the Corps or by the owners of non-federal projects. It merely authorizes the Corps to accept funding from those owners of non-federal projects who are
seeking review of their operations manuals and are willing to help pay for it.

If you have any questions and/or would like to cosponsor, please contact Scott Petersen (scott.petersen@mail.house.gov) with Representative Costa.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jim Costa                                                                                            Jeff Denham

MEMBER OF CONGRESS                                                              MEMBER OF CONGRESS

 

 

John Garamendi                                                                                  Tom McClintock

MEMBER OF CONGRESS                                                              MEMBER OF CONGRESS

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Economy, Environment, Natural Resources, Transportation

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 5726
Special Note:

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