S. 1760

Southern Oregon Bureau of Reclamation Repayment Act of 2005

Statement of William E. Rinne

Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation

U.S. Department of the Interior

On S. 1760

Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Subcommittee on Water and Power

United States Senate   

October 6, 2005

Madam Chairman, I am William E. Rinne, Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.  Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of S. 1760, a bill to authorize early repayment of obligations to the Bureau of Reclamation within the Rogue River Valley Irrigation District or within the Medford Irrigation District.

I am pleased to present the Department's views in support of S. 1760.  There are three districts in our Rogue River Project that are subject to the acreage limitation provisions of Federal reclamation law.  Under section 213 of the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 (RRA), early repayment of a district’s construction costs is prohibited unless the district’s repayment contract with Reclamation included a provision allowing for early repayment when the RRA was enacted. 

One of the three districts in the Rogue River Project has such a provision (specifically, the contract with Talent Irrigation District).  As a result, a landowner who may own land in Talent Irrigation District and one or both of the other two districts in the Rogue River Project and would like to payout early would find that early repayment is allowed in only one of the districts.  We support S. 1760’s approach to allow early repayment in all three districts within this particular project.  This legislation would accomplish such by providing early repayment authority to landowners in the Rogue River Valley Irrigation District and the Medford Irrigation District.  Early payout would accelerate the repayment of these project costs to the United States Treasury.

This concludes my written statement.  I am pleased to answer any questions.

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