A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Highlights of Congressional Action on the Fiscal Year 2005 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill
On June 16, 2004, the House Appropriations Committee filed its report on H.R. 4614, the 2005 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor during the week of June 21, 2004.
Overall the Committee provides a total of $28.0 billion in new discretionary spending authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Civil, the Department of Interior including the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy, and several Independent Agencies. This bill is $734.5 million above fiscal year 2004 and $49.6 million above the President's budget request.
Department of the Interior programs are funded at $1.0 billion, an increase of $40.0 million over the 2004 level and $52.3 million over the President's request, as amended. This includes $972.9 million for Bureau of Reclamation accounts and $48.0 million for the Central Utah Project Completion Account.
Bureau of Reclamation
The Committee Chairman stated the Energy & Water Development bill contains no new project starts or new authorizations. The increases provided by the House continue work toward completing ongoing projects and studies. Except for the adjustment to reflect the Budget Amendment for Sumner Peck, the House bill contains no reductions to any projects or programs in the President's request.
The House bill provides $972.9 million for Reclamation accounts, $30.0 million above the 2004 level and $50.5 million over the 2005 President's budget, as amended.
Funds provided for Water and Related Resources, Reclamation's primary operating account, total $860.0 million, $7.6 million above 2004 and $65.5 million above the President's budget. Within this total, the House adds $53.6 million for specific projects, programs, or studies; but offsets these increases by reducing the funding for other programs by $33.0 million. The House also reduces the level of underfinancing (allowance for slippage of construction projects) to $25.6 million, which is $35.4 million less than 2004 enacted and $11.0 million below the request level.
The Safety of Dams program is funded at the President's request level of $64.0 million, which is $3.2 million below 2004. Site security is funded at the President's request of $43.2 million, which is $15.4 million over 2004 enacted.
The House bill funds Water 2025 at the President's budget request of $20.0 million, which is $12.5 million above 2004 enacted. Unlike 2004 enacted, none of the funding for Water 2025 is earmarked in report language. Animas LaPlata is funded at the President's request level of $52.0 million, which is $5.3 million above 2004.
The House bill funds the Middle Rio Grande project at the President's request level of $18.0 million, which is $14.4 million below the 2004 level. Klamath is funded at $29.0 million, $5.9 million above 2004 and $4.0 million above the President's request. The Columbia/ Snake Rivers Salmon Recovery program is funded at the President's request level of $17.5 million, which is $4.9 million over 2004 enacted.
The House bill funds rural water projects at $71.5 million, which is $3.4 million below 2004 enacted levels and $4.0 million above the President's budget (figures do not include the non-rural water components of the Garrison Diversion Unit and the Mid-Dakota projects). All of the rural water projects are funded at the President's request level, with the exception of Fort Peck/ Dry Prairie, which is funded at $4.0 million above the President's request.
The Central Valley Project (CVP) is funded at $144.3 million overall, which is $10.8 above 2004 enacted and $15.5 million above the President's request as amended for Sumner Peck. Funding is not provided for payment of settlement costs in the case of Sumner Peck Ranch v. Bureau of Reclamation. The CVP Replacement, Additions and Extraordinary Maintenance program is funded at the request level of $23.2 million. The CVP increases above the President's request include:
$3.0 million for design for the temperature control device at Folsom Dam and Reservoir;
$1.0 million for the Delta Mendota Canal Ð California Aqueduct Inter-tie Project;
$500,000 for continued studies associated with enlarging Los Vaqueros reservoir;
$2.0 million to continue the Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage investigation;
$2.0 million for the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District fish passage improvement project;
$1.0 million for implementation of the Westside Regional Drainage Plan; and
$6.0 million Miscellaneous Project Programs.
The Yakima River Basin project is funded at $19.8 million, $9,000 below the 2004 level and $1.5 million above the request level. The additional funding is to continue work on the feasibility study options for additional water storage in the Yakima River Basin. The Salton Sea Research Project is funded at $3.5 million, which is $100,000 below 2004 enacted and $2.5 million above the President's request.
Title XVI Water Reclamation & Reuse is funded at $18.0 million, which is $10.4 million below 2004 enacted and $6.5 million above the President's request. Water Resource Investigations/ Studies are funded at $28.0 million, an increase of $2.5 million over 2005 enacted and $16.0 million over the President's request. The increases above the President's request include:
$2.4 million for Lower Rio Grande Water Resources study;
$1.0 million for Sacramento River Diversion study; and
$9.0 million for the San Gabriel Basin Restoration project.
The House bill does not provide the $15.0 million requested in the account for the California Bay-Delta Restoration Program (CALFED). The Committee's recommendation of no funding is due to the absence of authorizing legislation. Certain elements of the CALFED program that have prior authorizations are funded individually under the Water & Related Resources account.
The House bill provides the amounts requested for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund ($54.7 million) and for the Loan Program ($0). The Policy and Administration account is funded at the President's request of $58.1 million, which is $3.0 million above 2004.
Central Utah Project
The House provides $48.0 million for completion of the Central Utah Project, $10.4 million above the 2004 level and $1.7 million above the President's budget. It is because of a technical error that the bill funds CUCPA at $48.0 million, rather than the $46.3 million in the President's request. We are working with Committee staff to resolve this issue.
The House bill transfers funding from DOE to DOI for the annual payment to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission. However, the House bill does not contain the language in the President's request that transferred the responsibility to make the annual payment.
The House bill urges that, within funds provided for the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Project, Title I, sufficient funding be dedicated to the Yuma desalting plant so that one-third operational capacity may be achieved by the end of calendar year 2006.
The bill urges Reclamation to give the highest possible priority to the re-opening of the road on Folsom Dam to road traffic, if it may be done within acceptable limits when all risk factors are considered.
The House does not accept the Administration's proposal to directly fund Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation hydropower operation and maintenance through power revenues. In the 2005 request, the Administration sought to reclassify receipts from mandatory to discretionary to offset current appropriations.
The 2005 President's budget proposed deleting language contained in the 2004 enacted bill that required underfinancing to be prorated across all projects. The House accepts this.