This bill would streamline the Dept. of the Interior’s (DOI) process for transferring the ownership of certain eligible reclamation projects (like dams, reservoirs, or canals) to states, a joint action or powers agency, a water users association, or an Indian tribe or tribal utility authority which have the capacity to continue managing the property. The DOI would have to notify Congress of proposed conveyances at least 90 days in advance and could execute the transfer if Congress doesn’t pass a joint resolution of disapproval. Facilities generating hydropower marketed by a power marketing administration wouldn’t be eligible for conveyance, and no conveyance could adversely impact power rates or repayment obligations.
The following criteria would be used to determine whether facilities are eligible for title transfer:
The transfer will not have an unmitigated significant effect on the environment;
The qualifying entity intends to use the property for substantially the same purposes the property is being used for at the time DOI evaluates the potential transfer;
The qualifying entity agrees to provide the U.S. the equivalent of the present value of any repayment obligation or other income stream the U.S. derives from the assets.
DOI would be required to submit a description of actions taken to implement this bill along with a list of conveyances made as part of its annual budget submission to Congress.