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S. 233 (102nd): Central Utah Project Completion Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


1/17/1991--Introduced. Central Utah Project Completion Act - Title I: Central Utah Project Construction - Authorizes additional appropriations for the Colorado River water storage project (CRSP), to be available solely for design, engineering, and construction of the facilities identified in this title, the planning and implementation of certain fish and wildlife and recreation mitigation and conservation projects and studies, and the Ute Indian Rights Settlement authorized under this Act. Requires the Secretary of the Interior (the Secretary) to implement specified recommendations prepared by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior with respect to the financial management of the CRSP. Earmarks specified amounts of such additional funds for various reclamation projects and features within Utah. Permits counties in which such projects and features were proposed to be located to participate in certain local development projects. Provides for the termination of the authorization of appropriations for construction of any CRSP participating project located in Utah five years after the enactment of this Act unless the Secretary: (1) executes a cost-sharing agreement with non-Federal entities for construction of such project; and (2) has requested construction funds for such project. Directs the Secretary to: (1) make appropriated funds available in their entirety to non-Federal interests as provided for pursuant to the provisions of this Act; and (2) report to the Congress on the status of CRSP participating projects for which construction has not begun as of October 15, 1990. Makes specified amounts available, subject to certain restrictions, for features of the Bonneville Unit of the Central Utah Project (CUP), including: (1) an irrigation and drainage system; (2) a feasibility study and development of systems to allow ground water recharge, management, and the conjunctive use of surface and ground water resources; (3) a feasibility study of irrigation improvements to facilitate the acquisition of certain Strawberry Basin water rights and to increase efficiency, enhance beneficial uses, and achieve greater water conservation within Wasatch County; (4) a feasibility study to reduce the salinity of Utah Lake; (5) a feasibility study of direct delivery of Colorado River Basin water from the Strawberry Reservoir or elsewhere in the Strawberry Collection System to the Provo River Basin, and evaluating the potential for changes in existing importation patterns and quantities of water from the Weber and Duchesne River Basins; and (6) completing construction of the Diamond Fork System. Directs the Secretary, in exchange for and as a precondition to approval of the Strawberry Water Users Association's petition for Bonneville Unit water, to impose conditions on such approval so as to ensure that the Association manages and develops specified lands in a manner compatible with the management and improvement of adjacent Federal lands for wildlife purposes, natural values, and recreation. Prohibits the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary from permitting commercial or other development of specified Federal lands. Makes specified amounts available to increase efficiency, enhance beneficial uses, and achieve greater water conservation within the Uinta Basin, including funds for: (1) the construction of the Pigeon Water Reservoir, together with an enclosed pipeline conveyance system to divert water from Lake Fork River to Pigeon Water Reservoir and Sandwash Reservoir; (2) the construction of the McGuire Draw and Clay Basin Reservoirs; (3) the rehabilitation of Farnsworth Canal; and (4) the construction of permanent diversion facilities identified by the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission on the Duchesne and Strawberry Rivers, the designs of which shall be approved by the Federal and State fish and wildlife agencies. Sets forth various requirements and restrictions on, and provisions setting conditions for the termination of authorizations for, the Bonneville Unit water development and the Uinta Basin replacement project. Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) contract with the Uintah Water Conservancy District for the retention by the United States of responsibility for part of the municipal and industrial water obligation with a corresponding part of the water supply to be controlled and marketed by the United States in conformance with State law; and (2) establish a conservation pool of 4,000 acre feet in Red Fleet Reservoir to enhance associated fishery and recreational opportunities and for other purposes recommended by the Commission, and enter into an agreement with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation for the management and operation of Red Fleet recreational facilities. Requires that the non-Federal share of the costs for the design, engineering, and construction of the Bonneville Unit water development and the Uinta Basin replacement project be 35 percent and 50 percent the specified feasibility studies. Prohibits the obligation or expenditure of amounts for such development and project, with exceptions, until: (1) the Secretary or the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (the District), at the District's option, completes a Definite Plan Report for the Bonneville Unit and a feasibility study for the Uinta project; (2) the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 have been satisfied; and (3) a plan has been developed and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent any harmful contamination of waters due to concentrations of selenium or other such toxicants, if the Service determines that development of the particular system may result in contamination. Bars the provision of Federal funds under this Act to any non-Federal interest until such interest enters into a binding agreement with the appropriate Federal authority to be considered a "Federal agency" for purposes of compliance with all Federal fish, wildlife, recreation, and environmental laws with respect to the use of such funds, and to comply with this Act. Requires the District, at the option of specified eligible counties, to rebate to such counties all ad valorem tax contributions paid by such counties to the District, with interest less the value of any benefits received by such counties and less the administrative expenses incurred by the District to that date. Directs the Secretary, upon request of eligible counties that elect not to participate in the project, to provide as grants to such counties sums for potable water distribution and treatment, wastewater collection and treatment, agricultural water management, and other public infrastructure improvements approved by the Secretary. Bars the use of available funds for the draining of wetlands, the dredging of natural water courses, and planning or constructing water impoundments of greater than 5,000 acre feet, with exceptions. Requires the District to: (1) prepare and maintain a comprehensive water management improvement plan, including specified water conservation goals and providing for a water management improvement inventory; (2) establish a continuous process for the identification, evaluation, and implementation of water conservation measures, and submit a report thereon to the Secretary; (3) prepare and transmit to the Secretary a study of wholesale and retail pricing to encourage water conservation, and a study of the coordinated operation of independent municipal, industrial, and irrigation water systems; and (4) evaluate cost-effective, flexible operating procedures that will serve specified purposes, including improving the availability and reliability of the water supply, coordinating the timing of reservoir releases, assisting in managing drought emergencies, and encouraging the maintenance of existing wells and other facilities which may be placed on standby status when water deliveries from the project become available. Authorizes appropriations. Authorizes the Governor of Utah (or, if the Governor fails to do so, directs the Secretary) to establish the Utah Water Conservation Advisory Board. Directs the Board to recommend water conservation standards and regulations for promulgation by State or local authorities in the service area of each petitioner of project water. Requires the District to pay a surcharge for each year of substantial noncompliance according to a specified formula. Sets forth provisions with respect to: (1) judicial review; (2) citizen suits; (3) jurisdiction and venue; and (4) costs awarded by the Court. Requires that hydropower generation facilities associated with the CUP operate in accordance with a specified statute. Prohibits the diversion of Colorado River Basin waters exclusively for power generation purposes. Requires the District to utilize its best efforts to achieving operating agreements with the Jordanelle Reservoir, Deer Creek Reservoir, Utah Lake, and Strawberry Reservoir. Authorizes the prepayment of certain expenses in connection with the Jordan Aqueduct System. Requires the Comptroller General to audit project cost allocations among the various project purposes and submit a report to the Secretary and to the Congress. Grants the Secretary authority to reallocate project costs and to defer repayment of such costs under certain circumstances. Directs the Secretary to impose a surcharge for the use of CUP water to grow surplus commodity crops until the construction costs of certain facilities authorized by this Act are repaid. Title II: Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation Mitigation and Conservation - Establishes the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission to coordinate the implementation of the mitigation and conservation provisions of this Act among the Federal and State fish, wildlife, and recreation agencies. Requires the Commission to complete certain plans and submit specified reports. Provides funding for the Commission. Directs the District to acquire, with funds provided by the Commission, specified water rights in the Provo River Drainage. Earmarks specified funds for such acquisition. Provides all water rights after such acquisition to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for maintaining certain instream flows for fish, wildlife, and recreation purposes in the Provo River. Authorizes appropriations. Directs the District, annually, to provide amounts of water sufficient to sustain minimum stream flows established pursuant to a prior Stream Flow Agreement. Directs the District to acquire with Commission funds all of the Strawberry Basin water rights being diverted to the Heber Valley through the Daniel's Creek drainage and to apply such rights to increase the minimum stream flows of streams and rivers in the Strawberry River and Reservoir area. Earmarks funds for such acquisition. Requires the yield and operating plans for the Bonneville Unit of the CUP to be established or adjusted to provide for specified minimum stream flows for streams and rivers in the Diamond Fork and Provo Rivers. Requires such minimum flows to be provided continuously and in perpetuity from the date first feasible as determined by the Commission. Directs the District to prepare a study and develop a mitigation plan of the effects of peak season flows in the Provo River. Earmarks specified funds for such study and plan. Provides that, upon completion of the Diamond Fork water delivery system, the Strawberry Tunnel shall no longer be used, except for delivery of water for specified instream purposes. Provides an exception where the District has determined that the Syar Tunnel or the Sixth Water Aqueduct is rendered unusable or emergency circumstances require the use of the Strawberry Tunnel for the delivery of contracted CUP water and Strawberry Valley Reclamation Project water. Requires the fish, wildlife, and recreation projects identified or proposed in the Definite Plan Report (a May 1988 report for the Bonneville Unit of the CUP) which have not been completed as of the enactment of this Act to be completed in accordance with such Report and a fish, wildlife, and recreation mitigation schedule appearing later in this Act, with exceptions. Directs the Commission to acquire on an expedited basis big game winter range lands to compensate for the impacts of Federal reclamation projects in Utah. Requires such acquired lands to be transferred to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources or, for such parcels as may be within the boundaries of Federal land ownerships, to the appropriate Federal agency, for management as a big game winter range. Requires the Commission to construct big game crossings and wildlife escape ramps for the protection of big game animals along the Provo Reservoir Canal, Highline Canal, Strawberry Power Canal, and others. Earmarks funds for such construction. Earmarks funds for the planning and implementation of projects to preserve, rehabilitate, and enhance wetlands areas around the Great Salt Lake in accordance with a plan to be developed by the Commission. Requires the Commission to inventory, prioritize, and map the occurrences in Utah of sensitive nongame wildlife species and their habitat, and sensitive plant species and ecosystems. Authorizes appropriations. Directs the Commission to acquire private land, water rights, conservation easements, or other interests necessary for the establishment of the Utah Lake Wetlands Preserve. Directs the Secretary to enter into an agreement under which the Wetlands Preserve shall be managed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources pursuant to a plan developed in accordance with this Act and the substantive requirements of the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966. Requires that the Wetlands Preserve be managed for the protection of migratory birds, wildlife habitat, and wetland values in a manner compatible with the surrounding farmlands, orchards, and agricultural production area, with limited grazing. Makes funds available for the acquisition of such land, water rights, and other interests for the establishment of the Wetlands Preserve. Bars the acquisition of lands, easements, or water rights without the consent of the owner of such lands or water rights. Specifies that base property of a lessee or permitee under a Federal grazing permit or lease held on the date of enactment of this Act shall include land of such lessee or permitee acquired by the Secretary under this Act. Prohibits the United States from issuing Federal permits allowing commercial, industrial, or residential development on the southern portion of Provo Bay in Utah Lake, with exceptions. Earmarks specified funds for fisheries acquisition, rehabilitation, and improvements within Utah. Requires the project plan for the stabilization of high mountain lakes in the Upper Provo River drainage to be revised to provide for the stabilization of specified lakes in such area at levels beneficial for fish habitat and recreation. Earmarks specified funds for stabilization and of fish and wildlife habitat restoration in such lakes. Earmarks specified funds for stream access and riparian habitat development in Utah at specified areas. Earmarks funds to the Commission to conduct a study of the impacts to soils and riparian fish and wildlife habitats in drainages that will experience substantially-reduced water flows resulting from operation of the Strawberry Collection System. Earmarks specified funds for: (1) Jordan River riparian habitat rehabilitation; (2) acquisition of the wetland acreages along the Jordan River; (3) recreational facilities for the Provo/Jordan River Parkway; and (4) riparian habitat acquisition and preservation, stream habitat improvements, and recreation and angler access along the Provo River in specified areas. Earmarks specified funds for: (1) specified CUP recreation features; (2) watershed and fish and wildlife improvements in the Fremont River drainage; (3) small dams and watershed improvements in specified areas within Utah and the CUP; and (4) the planning and implementation of improvements to existing hatchery facilities or the construction and development of new hatcheries for areas affected by the CRSP. Provides certain restrictions in connection with the appropriation of funds for the CRSP. Outlines the fish, wildlife, and recreation mitigation and conservation schedule. Earmarks a specified percentage of funds allocated for scheduled projects for use by the Secretary to: (1) restore damaged natural ecosystems affected by the Federal reclamation program in a manner that provides for jobs and sustainable economic development; (2) expand recreational activities; and (3) support research and training in ecosystem restoration. Title III: Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Account - Establishes in the Treasury the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Account. Provides for deposits into such Account by Federal, State, and project beneficiary contributors. Authorizes the Commission to administer and expend all sums deposited into the Account. Requires the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, or its successors, to receive all amounts contributed annually to the Account and all interest on the principal of the Account at the beginning of each year. Requires funds received by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to be expended in accordance with a conservation plan, and amendments thereto, to be developed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Specifies that the financial management of the Account shall be subject to audit by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior. Title IV: Ute Indian Rights Settlement - Provides that, commencing July 1, 1992, and continuing for 50 years, the Ute Indian Tribe shall receive from the United States 26 percent of the annual Bonneville Unit municipal and industrial capital repayment obligation attributable to 35,500 acre-feet of water representing a portion of the Tribe's water rights which will not be supplied from the CUP because the Upalco and Uintah units are not to be constructed. Directs the Tribe, commencing in the year 2042, to receive seven percent of the fair market value of the Bonneville Unit agricultural water which has been converted to municipal and industrial water, to be utilized by the Tribe for governmental purposes, not distributed per capita, and to be used to enhance educational, social, and economic opportunities for the Tribe. Authorizes the Secretary to make any unused capacity in the Bonneville Unit Strawberry Aqueduct and Collection System diversion facilities available for use by the Tribe. Allows the Tribe at any time to elect to return all or a portion of the water which is delivered for use in the Uinta Basin. Ratifies and approves the revised compact reserving waters to the Ute Indian Tribe and establishing the uses and management of such tribal waters, subject to reratification by the State of Utah and the Tribe. Authorizes the Secretary to take all actions necessary to implement such compact. Restricts the disposal of waters secured to the Tribe in such compact into or in the Lower Colorado River Basin. Specifies that the use of water rights concerning such waters shall be governed solely as provided in this Act and in such compact. Earmarks specified amounts of the funds authorized under title I: (1) to permit the Ute Tribe to develop a farming/feed lot operation equipped with satisfactory water facilities, as well as a plan and a fund in connection with other farming projects of the Tribe; (2) to permit the Secretary to repair a leak in the Cedarview Reservoir in Dark Canyon, Utah; (3) to undertake stream improvements for certain rivers and creeks within Utah, under a specified condition; (4) to permit the Secretary to clean the Bottle Hollow Reservoir on the Ute Indian Reservation of trash and debris resulting from a submerged sanitary landfill, to remove all nongame fish, and to secure minimum flow of water to the reservoir to make it a suitable habitat for a cold water fishery; (5) for development of big game hunting, fisheries, campgrounds, and fish and wildlife management facilities on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation; (6) for Tribal participation in the construction of pipelines associated with the Duchesne County Municipal Water Conveyance System; and (7) for the Tribal Development Fund which the Secretary is authorized and directed to establish for the Ute Indian Tribe. Directs the Secretary to endeavor to maintain minimum stream flows from the outlet works of the Upper Stillwater Dam into Rock Creek during specified periods of the year. Directs the Bureau of Reclamation to transfer specified real property for the Ute Indian Tribe. Directs the Tribe to prepare a Tribal Development Plan for all or part of the Tribal Development Fund. Bars the Secretary from obligating or expending sums from the Fund for any economic project to be developed or constructed pursuant to this Act unless the Secretary has complied fully with the requirements of applicable fish, wildlife, recreation, and environmental laws. Authorizes the Tribe to waive and release claims concerning or related to water rights as described. Authorizes the Tribe to resurrect such claims if funds authorized for the Tribe under this Act are not actually received. Title V: Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act - Specifies that nothing in this Act shall be interpreted as modifying or amending the provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 or the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.