< Back to H.R. 4188 (104th Congress, 1995–1996)

Text of the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System Act of 1995

This bill was introduced on September 25, 1996, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 25, 1996 (Introduced).

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HR 4188 IH

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4188

To authorize the construction of the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System, Montana, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 25, 1996

Mr. WILLIAMS introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources


A BILL

To authorize the construction of the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System, Montana, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System Act of 1995’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds that--

      (1) there are insufficient water supplies available to residents of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana, and the water systems that are available do not meet minimum health and safety standards, thereby posing a threat to public health and safety;

      (2) the United States has a trust responsibility to ensure that adequate and safe water supplies are available to meet the economic, environmental, water supply, and public health needs of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation; and

      (3) the best available, reliable, and safe rural and municipal water supply to serve the needs of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation is the Missouri River.

    (b) PURPOSE- The Congress declares that the purposes of sections 1 through 7 are to ensure a safe and adequate municipal, rural, and industrial water supply for the residents of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana;

SEC. 3. FORT PECK RESERVATION RURAL WATER SYSTEM.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION- The Secretary of the Interior (hereafter referred to as the ‘Secretary’) is authorized and directed to plan, design, construct, operate, maintain, and replace a municipal, rural and industrial water system, to be known as the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System, as generally described in the report entitled Technical Report for the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System and dated July, 1995. The Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System shall consist of--

      (1) pumping and treatment facilities located along the Missouri River near Poplar, Montana;

      (2) pipelines extending from the Missouri River near Poplar, Montana, throughout the Fort Peck Indian Reservation;

      (3) facilities to allow for future interconnections to areas outside the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, including communities of Plentywood, Scobey, Flaxville, and Culbertson;

      (4) distribution and treatment facilities to serve the needs of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, including but not limited to the purchase, improvement and repair of existing water systems, including systems owned by individual tribal members and other residents of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation;

      (5) appurtenant buildings and access roads;

      (6) necessary property and property rights;

      (7) electrical power transmission and distribution facilities necessary for services to water systems facilities; and

      (8) such other pipelines, pumping plants, and facilities as the Secretary deems necessary or appropriate to meet the water supply, economic, public health, and environmental needs of the reservation, including (but not limited to) water storage tanks, water lines, and other facilities for the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes and reservation villages, towns, and municipalities.

    (b) Agreement to Plan, Construct, Operate and Maintain the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System:

      (1) In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary shall enter into cooperative agreements with the Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board for planning, designing, constructing, operating, maintaining, and replacing the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System.

      (2) Such cooperative agreements shall set forth, in a manner acceptable to the Secretary and the Tribal Executive Board--

        (A) the responsibilities of the parties for needs assessment, feasibility, and environmental studies; engineering and design; construction; water conservation measures; and administration of any contracts with respect to this subparagraph;

        (B) the procedures and requirements for approval and acceptance of such design and construction; and

        (C) the rights, responsibilities, and liabilities of each party to the agreement.

      (3) Such cooperative agreements may include purchase, improvement, and repair of existing water systems, including systems owned by individual tribal members and other residents located on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

      (4) The Secretary may unilaterally terminate any cooperative agreement entered into pursuant to this section if the Secretary determines that the quality of construction does not meet all standards established for similar facilities constructed by the Secretary or that the operation and maintenance of the system does not meet conditions acceptable to the Secretary of fulfilling the obligations of the United States to the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes.

      (5) Upon execution of any cooperative agreement authorized upon this section, and in accordance with its terms, the Secretary is authorized to transfer to the Fort Peck Tribes on a non-reimbursable basis, the funds authorized to be appropriated by section 6 for the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System.

    (c) SERVICE AREA- The service area of the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System shall be the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and surrounding communities.

    (d) CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS- The pumping plants, pipelines, treatment facilities, and other appurtenant facilities for the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System shall be planned and constructed to a size sufficient to meet the municipal, rural, and industrial water supply requirements of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and the rural areas north of the Reservation, taking into account the effects of the water conservation plans described in section 4.

    (e) TITLE TO SYSTEM- Title to the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water Supply System shall be held in trust for the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes by the United States and shall not be transferred without a subsequent Act of Congress.

    (f) LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF CONSTRUCTION FUNDS- The Secretary shall not obligate funds for the construction of the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water Supply System until--

      (1) the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 have been met; and

      (2) a final engineering report has been approved by the Secretary.

    (g) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE- The Secretary is authorized and directed to provide such technical assistance as may be necessary to the Fort Peck Tribes to plan, develop, construct, operate, maintain and replace the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water Supply System, including (but not limited to) operation and management training.

    (h) APPLICATION OF INDIAN SELF-DETERMINATION ACT- Planning, design, construction and operation of the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System within the Fort Peck Reservation shall be subject to the provisions of the Indian Self-Determination Act (Public Law 93-638; U.S.C. 450).

SEC. 4. WATER CONSERVATION PROGRAMS.

    (a) In order to reduce costs and to reduce water consumption, the Secretary, prior to obligating any construction funds, shall issue a public notice finding that plans for the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System include prudent and responsible water conservation measures for the operation of the system where such measures are shown to be economically and financially feasible. The Fort Peck Tribes shall develop a water conservation plan containing definite goals, appropriate water conservation measures, and a time schedule for meeting the water conservation objectives. The provisions of section 210(c) of Public Law 97-293 (96 Stat. 1268) shall apply with respect to the systems.

    (b) PURPOSE- The water conservation program required under this section shall be designed to ensure that users of water from the water supply system will use the best practicable technology and management techniques to conserve water.

SEC 5. USE OF PICK-SLOAN POWER.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System shall utilize power from Pick-Sloan for operation. This power shall be deemed to be a project use pumping requirement of Pick-Sloan.

    (b) POWER TO BE USED- As of the date of enactment of this Act, power identified for future project use pumping shall be reserved for and made available for the purpose authorized by subsection (a).

    (c) RATE- The rate for project use power made available pursuant to subsection (a) shall be the wholesale firm power rate for Pick-Sloan (Eastern Division) in effect at the time the power is sold.

    (d) ADDITIONAL POWER- If additional power beyond that made available through subsection (b) is required to meet the pumping requirements of the system, the Administrator of the Western Area Power Administration is authorized to purchase the additional power needed under such terms and conditions the Administrator deems appropriate. Expenses associated with such power purchases shall be recovered through a separate power charge, sufficient to recover these expenses, applied to the System.

    (e) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section--

      (1) the term ‘System’ means the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System; and

      (2) the term ‘Pick Sloan’ means the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program authorized by section 9 of the Act of December 22, 1944 (58 Stat. 891; commonly referred to as the Flood Control Act of 1944).

SEC. 6. AUTHROIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) PLANNING, DESIGN, AND CONSTRUCTION- There are authorized to be appropriated $114,734,300 for the planning, design, and construction of the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System, the system defined under the provisions of section 3. Such funds are authorized to be appropriated only through the end of the fifth fiscal year after which construction funds are first made available. The funds authorized to be appropriated by the first sentence of this section, less any amounts previously obligated for the System, may be increased or decreased by such amounts as may be justified by reason of ordinary fluctuations in development costs incurred after January 1, 1995, as indicated by engineering costs indices applicable for the type of construction involved.

    (b) OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF FORT PECK RESERVATION RURAL WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the operation and maintenance of the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System.

SEC. 7. WATER RIGHTS.

    Nothing in sections 1 through 12 shall be construed to--

      (1) impair the validity of or preempt any provision of State water law, or of any interstate compact governing water;

      (2) alter the rights of any State to any appropriated share of the waters of any body or surface or ground water, whether determined by past or future interstate compacts, or by past or future legislative or final judicial allocations;

      (3) preempt or modify any State or Federal law or interstate compact dealing with water quality or disposal;

      (4) confer upon any non-Federal entity the ability to exercise any Federal right to the waters of any stream or to any groundwater resources; or

      (5) affect any water rights of the Fort Peck Tribes, whether located within or without the external boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, based on treaty, compact, executive orders, agreement, Act of Congress, aboriginal title, the Winters doctrine (Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564 (1908)), or otherwise. Nothing contained in this section or in section 1 through 7, however, is intended to validate or invalidate any assertion of the existence, nonexistence or extinguishment of any water rights, or compacts thereto, held by the Fort Peck Tribes, or any other Indian Tribe or individual Indian under Federal or State law.