Mercury's surface in "enhanced color," a color scheme created to emphasize color differences. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but by applying mathematical analysis to images, color differences can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
Statement of Robert Quint, Acting Deputy Commissioner
Bureau of Reclamation
U.S.Department of the Interior
House Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on Water and Power
May 24, 2007
Madam Chairwoman and members of the subcommittee, I am Bob Quint, Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to be here today to provide the Department of the Interior's views on HR 1526, the Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program Authorization Act. The Department does not support HR 1526.
HR 1526 would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act (Public Law 102-575, 43 U.S.C. 390h et seq.) to include authorization for construction of seven new projects. These new projects are the Mountain View Moffett Area Reclaimed Water Pipeline Project; the Pittsburg Recycled Water Project; the Antioch Recycled Water Project; the North Coast County Water District Recycled Water Project; the Redwood City Recycled Water Project; the South Santa Clara County Recycled Water Project; and the South Bay Advanced Recycled Water Treatment Facility. The Federal share of the costs to implement each of the seven new Title XVI projects would not exceed 25 percent. HR 1526 also establishes a Federal cost ceiling for each of the seven new projects, collectively totaling $27.5 million.
Of the 32 specific Title XVI projects authorized to date, 21 have received funding. The remaining estimated total authorized Federal cost share of these 21 active Title XVI projects is at least $328 million. Given the costs of the currently active Title XVI projects, we do not support the authorization of new projects at this time. Additionally, the bill contains language requiring the Secretary to request amounts necessary for fully funding the San Jose Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project by the end of Fiscal Year 2010. This provision raises constitutional concerns, as discussed below, and would divert funding from other high priority projects within Reclamation's Program.
Section 3 of HR 1526 would require the Secretary to request “amounts necessary to fully fund” the San Jose Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project by the end of Fiscal Year 2010. After Fiscal Year 2007, $7.4 million will remain of the Federal share of the cost to construct the project. The Department of Justice has advised that section 3 of this bill is in conflict with the President's constitutional authority to determine the legislative and budget submissions of the Executive Branch, see U.S. Const. art. II, sec. 3, because this section would direct the Secretary of the Interior to make a budget or appropriations request as determined by Congress rather than the President. We therefore recommend that section 3 be deleted from the bill or that the mandatory language in that section be eliminated.
I would like to briefly describe the status of these projects, most of which are already under review by Reclamation's Regional and Area Office staff. Of the seven projects providing new Title XVI construction authorization, the South Bay Advanced Recycled Water Treatment Facility, is already authorized by Congress and is considered feasible under Reclamation guidelines. Two additional projects – the Pittsburg Recycled Water Project and the Mountain View/Moffett Area Recycled Water Project -- have received feasibility determinations from Reclamation.
Meanwhile, the sponsors of the South Santa Clara County Recycled Water Project and the Antioch Recycled Water Project have not yet completed a review of their draft feasibility reports and environmental documents. Therefore, the feasibility reports do not meet the requirements for Title XVI feasibility studies.
Feasibility reports for the last two projects identified for construction authorization in HR 1526 – the North Coast County Water District Recycled Water Project and the Redwood City Recycled Water Project -- were reviewed by the Bureau of Reclamation in 2006. The feasibility reports for both projects needed additional environmental and financial capability information. To date, the project sponsors have not provided this additional information in order for Reclamation to complete the determination of feasibility.
Although one of the projects included in the bill is already authorized for design, planning, and construction, and two of the projects have feasibility reports that meet the requirements of Title XVI feasibility studies, the remaining four projects do not have feasibility reports that meet those requirements. As such, the Department believes that it is premature to authorize projects prior to completion of feasibility reports.
While Reclamation does not support new authorizations for Federal cost sharing of water recycling projects, we understand that the projects established by Title XVI are important to many water users in the West. To that end, Reclamation has set about revising and improving its Directives and Standards that govern reviews of Title XVI projects. By doing so, we believe that Reclamation can play a more constructive role with local sponsors in weighing the merits and ultimate feasibility of proposed water recycling projects.
The Department appreciates local efforts to address future water issues. However, in light of the concerns expressed above, we do not support H.R. 1526. That concludes my prepared remarks. I would be pleased to answer any questions.