Text: H.R.1963 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Referred in Senate (12/09/2013)
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1963 Referred in Senate (RFS)]
H. R. 1963
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
December 9, 2013
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and
To amend the Water Conservation and Utilization Act to authorize the
development of non-Federal hydropower and issuance of leases of power
privileges at projects constructed pursuant to the authority of the
Water Conservation and Utilization Act, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Bureau of Reclamation Conduit
Hydropower Development Equity and Jobs Act''.
SEC. 2. AMENDMENT.
Section 9 of the Act entitled ``An Act authorizing construction of
water conservation and utilization projects in the Great Plains and
arid semiarid areas of the United States'', approved August 11, 1939
(16 U.S.C. 590z-7; commonly known as the ``Water Conservation and
Utilization Act''), is amended--
(1) by striking ``In connection with'' and inserting ``(a)
In connection with''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following:
``(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Secretary is authorized
to enter into leases of power privileges for electric power generation
in connection with any project constructed under this Act, and shall
have authority in addition to and alternative to any authority in
existing laws relating to particular projects, including small conduit
``(c) When entering into leases of power privileges under
subsection (b), the Secretary shall use the processes applicable to
such leases under section 9(c) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939
(43 U.S.C. 485h(c)).
``(d) Lease of power privilege contracts shall be at such rates as,
in the Secretary's judgment, will produce revenues at least sufficient
to cover the appropriate share of the annual operation and maintenance
cost of the project and such fixed charges, including interest, as the
Secretary deems proper. Lease of power privilege contracts shall be for
periods not to exceed 40 years.
``(e) No findings under section 3 shall be required for a lease
under subsection (b).
``(f) All right, title, and interest to installed power facilities
constructed by non-Federal entities pursuant to a lease of power
privilege, and direct revenues derived therefrom, shall remain with the
lessee unless otherwise required under subsection (g).
``(g) Notwithstanding section 8, lease revenues and fixed charges,
if any, shall be covered into the Reclamation Fund to be credited to
the project from which those revenues or charges were derived.
``(h) When carrying out this section, the Secretary shall first
offer the lease of power privilege to an irrigation district or water
users association operating the applicable transferred conduit, or to
the irrigation district or water users association receiving water from
the applicable reserved conduit. The Secretary shall determine a
reasonable timeframe for the irrigation district or water users
association to accept or reject a lease of power privilege offer. If
the irrigation district or water users association elects not to accept
a lease of power privilege offer under subsection (b), the Secretary
shall offer the lease of power privilege to other parties using the
processes applicable to such leases under section 9(c) of the
Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (43 U.S.C. 485h(c)).
``(i) The Bureau of Reclamation shall apply its categorical
exclusion process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) to small conduit hydropower development under
this section, excluding siting of associated transmission facilities on
``(j) Nothing in this section shall obligate the Western Area Power
Administration or the Bonneville Power Administration to purchase or
market any of the power produced by the facilities covered under this
section and none of the costs associated with production or delivery of
such power shall be assigned to project purposes for inclusion in
``(k) Nothing in this section shall alter or impede the delivery
and management of water by Bureau of Reclamation facilities, as water
used for conduit hydropower generation shall be deemed incidental to
use of water for the original project purposes. Lease of power
privilege shall be made only when, in the judgment of the Secretary,
the exercise of the lease will not be incompatible with the purposes of
the project or division involved and shall not create any unmitigated
financial or physical impacts to the project or division involved. The
Secretary shall notify and consult with the irrigation district or
legally organized water users association operating the transferred
conduit in advance of offering the lease of power privilege and shall
prescribe such terms and conditions necessary to adequately protect the
planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and other
interests of the United States and the project or division involved.
``(l) Nothing in this section shall alter or affect any agreements
in effect on the date of the enactment of the Bureau of Reclamation
Conduit Hydropower Development Equity and Jobs Act for the development
of conduit hydropower projects or disposition of revenues.
``(m) In this section:
``(1) The term `conduit' means any Bureau of Reclamation
tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar
manmade water conveyance that is operated for the distribution
of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption
and not primarily for the generation of electricity.
``(2) The term `irrigation district' means any irrigation,
water conservation or conservancy, multi-county water
conservation or conservancy district, or any separate public
entity composed of two or more such districts and jointly
exercising powers of its member districts.
``(3) The term `reserved conduit' means any conduit that is
included in project works the care, operation, and maintenance
of which has been reserved by the Secretary, through the
Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.
``(4) The term `transferred conduit' means any conduit that
is included in project works the care, operation, and
maintenance of which has been transferred to a legally
organized water users association or irrigation district.
``(5) The term `small conduit hydropower' means a facility
capable of producing 5 megawatts or less of electric
Passed the House of Representatives December 3, 2013.
KAREN L. HAAS,