< Back to H.R. 2974 (106th Congress, 1999–2000)

Text of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project Facilities Conveyance Act of 1999

This bill was introduced on September 29, 1999, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 29, 1999 (Introduced).

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HR 2974 IH

106th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2974

To convey the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project, the Savage Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, and the Intake Irrigation Project to the appurtenant irrigation districts.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 29, 1999

Mr. HILL of Montana introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources


A BILL

To convey the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project, the Savage Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, and the Intake Irrigation Project to the appurtenant irrigation districts.

    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 ‘Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project Facilities Conveyance Act of 1999’.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) CONTROL BOARD- The term ‘Control Board’ means the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project Board of Control organized under the laws of the State of Montana for the purposes of--

        (A) managing--

          (i) Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1; and

          (ii) Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2; and

        (B) operating and maintaining the facilities of the Savage Unit and the Intake Project, under contract with the respective irrigation districts.

      (2) DIVERSION DAM- The term ‘diversion dam’ means the Lower Yellowstone Diversion Dam, a feature of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project.

      (3) INTAKE IRRIGATION DISTRICT- The term ‘Intake Irrigation District’ means the Montana Irrigation District that--

        (A) is organized under the laws of the State of Montana; and

        (B) operates the Intake Project.

      (4) INTAKE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT- The term ‘Intake original construction contract’ means the repayment contract between the Intake Irrigation District and the Secretary, numbered Irl-1436.

      (5) INTAKE PROJECT- The term ‘Intake project’ means the Federal irrigation feature operated by the Intake Irrigation District through contract with the Control Board, located adjacent to the main canal and 3 miles below the Diversion Dam, serving approximately 828 irrigated acres, and authorized under the terms of the Act of August 11, 1939 (53 Stat. 1418, chapter 717).

      (6) IRRIGATION DISTRICT- The term ‘irrigation district’ means--

        (A) the Intake Irrigation District;

        (B) the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1;

        (C) the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2; and

        (D) the Savage Irrigation District.

      (7) LOWER YELLOWSTONE IRRIGATION DISTRICT NO. 1- The term ‘Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1’ means the irrigation district that is organized under the laws of the State of Montana and operates the part of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project located in the State of Montana.

      (8) LOWER YELLOWSTONE IRRIGATION DISTRICT NO. 2- The term ‘Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2’ means the irrigation district organized under the laws of the State of North Dakota and that operates the part of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project located in the State of North Dakota.

      (9) MAIN CANAL- The term ‘main canal’ means the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project main canal, a feature of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project that--

        (A) serves Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1, Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2, the Savage Irrigation District, and the Intake Irrigation District; and

        (B) is operated and maintained by the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project Board of Control.

      (10) PICK-SLOAN MISSOURI BASIN PROGRAM- The term ‘Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program’ means the comprehensive Federal program for multipurpose benefits within the Missouri River Basin (including irrigation) authorized by section 9 of the Act of December 22, 1944 (commonly known as the ‘Flood Control Act of 1944’) (58 Stat. 891, chapter 665).

      (11) PROJECT- The term ‘project’ means--

        (A) the Yellowstone Project;

        (B) the Intake Irrigation Project; and

        (C) the Savage Unit.

      (12) SAVAGE IRRIGATION DISTRICT- The term ‘Savage Irrigation District’ means the irrigation district that is organized under the laws of the State of Montana that operates the Savage Unit.

      (13) SAVAGE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT- The term ‘Savage original construction contract’ means the repayment contract between the Savage Irrigation District and the Secretary, numbered Irl-1525, as extended or amended.

      (14) SAVAGE UNIT- The term ‘Savage Unit’ means the Savage Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, a Federal irrigation feature transferred under this Act, operated by the Savage Irrigation District through contract with the Control Board, located adjacent to the Main Canal and 12 miles below the Diversion Dam, serving approximately 2,187 irrigated acres and authorized by the Act of December 22, 1944 (commonly known as the ‘Flood Control Act of 1944’) (58 Stat. 891, chapter 665).

      (15) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of the Interior.

      (16) YELLOWSTONE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT- The term ‘Yellowstone original construction contract’ means--

        (A) the repayment contract between the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1 and the Secretary, numbered Irl-103; and

        (B) the repayment contract between the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2 and the Secretary, numbered Irl-104.

      (17) YELLOWSTONE PROJECT- The term ‘Yellowstone project’ means the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project, operated by Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1 and Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2, serving approximately 51,429 irrigated acres, and authorized by the Act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388, chapter 1093).

SEC. 3. CONVEYANCE OF PROJECT.

    (a) CONVEYANCES-

      (1) LOWER YELLOWSTONE IRRIGATION DISTRICT NO. 1, LOWER YELLOWSTONE IRRIGATION DISTRICT NO. 2, AND SAVAGE IRRIGATION DISTRICT-

        (A) IN GENERAL- On acceptance by Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1 and Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2 and by the Intake Irrigation District of the obligations of the Federal Government for the Yellowstone Project and the Intake Irrigation Project, respectively, the Secretary shall convey the respective portions of the projects to each of the irrigation districts.

        (B) METHOD- The conveyance under subparagraph (A)--

          (i) shall be by quitclaim deed or patent; and

          (ii) shall convey--

            (I) all right, title, and interest in all withdrawn land except certain parcels not used for purposes of the projects;

            (II) all fee ownership land used for diversion dam maintenance;

            (III) all fee ownership land, easements, and rights-of-way in connection with the carriage, distribution, and drainage of water to serve the land of the projects; and

            (IV) all diversion, carriage, distribution, and drainage physical features used to serve the land of the projects.

      (2) CONVEYANCE TO SAVAGE IRRIGATION DISTRICT-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall convey the Savage Unit to the Savage Irrigation District, in accordance with the methods described in subsection (a)(2), immediately after the conditions in subparagraph (B) are satisfied.

        (B) CONDITIONS- The conditions for conveyance under subparagraph (A) are--

          (i) the acceptance by the Savage Irrigation District of the obligations of the Federal Government for the Savage Unit; and

          (ii) the payment by the Savage Irrigation District of the net present value of the remaining repayment obligation of the Savage Irrigation District under the Savage original construction contract, determined in accordance with Office of Management

and Budget Circular A-129 (as in effect on the date of enactment of this Act).

      (3) WATER RIGHTS-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall transfer the ownership of the water rights of the projects to the respective and appurtenant irrigation districts in accordance with applicable laws of the State of Montana.

        (B) NO ALTERATION- The purpose, point of diversion, place of use, flow rate, and volume of each water right transferred shall not be altered.

    (b) TRANSFER OF DOCUMENTS- Patents, land deeds, court proceedings, water right abstracts, contracts, special use permits, licenses, permits, and any other documents of each project executed on behalf of the Secretary shall be transferred to the district of the project.

    (c) PICK-SLOAN MISSOURI BASIN PROGRAM PUMPING POWER-

      (1) IN GENERAL-

        (A) LOWER YELLOWSTONE IRRIGATION DISTRICTS- The Secretary and the Western Area Power Administration shall continue to provide Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1 and Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2 with Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program power at 3 pump stations for as long as the Yellowstone Project continues to operate under the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program.

        (B) RATE OF DELIVERY- Pick-Sloan power shall be delivered under subparagraph (A) at 460 volts and at a collective rate not to exceed 500 kilowatts.

        (C) COST- The cost to Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1 and Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2 of power delivered under subparagraph (A) (including transmission costs) shall be based on the payment ability of the irrigation districts, as determined by the Secretary.

      (2) SAVAGE IRRIGATION DISTRICT-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary and the Western Area Power Administration shall continue to provide the Savage Irrigation District with Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program power at the Savage Pumping Plant for as long as the Savage Irrigation District continues to operate as intended under the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program.

        (B) RATE OF DELIVERY- Pick-Sloan power shall be delivered under subparagraph (A) at 2,400 volts and at a capacity rate not to exceed 650 kilowatts.

        (C) COST- The cost to the Savage Irrigation District of power delivered under subparagraph (A) (including transmission costs) shall be based on the payment ability of the Savage Irrigation District, as determined by the Secretary.

      (3) INTAKE IRRIGATION DISTRICT-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary and the Western Area Power Administration shall continue to provide the Intake Irrigation District with Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program power at the Intake Pumping Plant for as long as the Intake Irrigation District continues to operate as intended under the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program.

        (B) RATE OF DELIVERY- Pick-Sloan power shall be delivered under subparagraph (A) at 460 volts and at a capacity rate not to exceed 50 kilowatts.

        (C) COST- The cost to the Intake Irrigation District for power delivered under subparagraph (A) (including transmission costs) shall be based on the payment ability of the Intake Irrigation District, as determined by the Secretary.

    (d) DEADLINE-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall complete each conveyance under this Act expeditiously, but not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

      (2) DEADLINES IF CHANGES IN OPERATIONS INTENDED- If an irrigation district notifies the Secretary that the irrigation district intends to change operations as a result of the conveyance under subsection (a), the Secretary shall--

        (A) take into account the potential changes for the purpose of completing any required environmental evaluation associated with the conveyance; and

        (B) complete the conveyance not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

      (3) ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS OF CONVEYANCE-

        (A) UNTIMELY CONVEYANCE- If the Secretary fails to complete a conveyance under this Act in accordance with the applicable deadline under paragraph (1) or (2), the full costs of any administrative action and environmental compliance for the conveyance shall be paid by the Secretary.

        (B) TIMELY CONVEYANCE- If the Secretary completes a conveyance under this Act in accordance with the applicable deadline under paragraph (1) or (2), the costs of administrative action and environmental compliance for the conveyance shall be paid--

          (i) in an amount equal to 50 percent of the costs, by the Secretary; and

          (ii) in an amount equal to 50 percent of the costs, by the irrigation district to which the project is conveyed.

SEC. 4. RELATIONSHIP TO EXISTING OPERATIONS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Nothing in this Act expands or otherwise changes the use or operation of a project from the use and operation of the project on the day before the date of enactment of this Act.

    (b) FUTURE ALTERATIONS- If an irrigation district alters the use or operation of a project, the irrigation district shall comply with all applicable laws (including regulations) governing the alteration of use.

    (c) ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS-

      (1) FISH ENTRAINMENT- The Control Board and the irrigation district for each project shall continue to work cooperatively with the Commissioner of Reclamation and the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department of the State of Montana--

        (A) to complete a fish entrainment study at the diversion dam; and

        (B) if necessary, to assist in the development of a method for excluding fish from the Main Canal.

      (2) FISH PASSAGE- The Control Board and the irrigation district for each project shall continue to work cooperatively with the Commissioner of Reclamation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service--

        (A) to identify any influences of the diversion dam on fish passage; and

        (B) if necessary, to assist in the development of a method to improve fish passage.

    (d) RECREATION MANAGEMENT- Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1 and Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2 shall each convey a perpetual conservation easement to the State of Montana, at no cost to the State, for the purposes of protecting, preserving, and enhancing the conservation values and permitting recreation on Yellowstone Project land (including land known as ‘Joe’s Island’), located at the diversion dam.

SEC. 5. RELATIONSHIP TO CONTRACT OBLIGATIONS.

    (a) YELLOWSTONE ORIGINAL AND SUBSEQUENT CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS AND INTAKE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION AND SUBSEQUENT CONTRACTS- All repayment obligations of Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 1, Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District No. 2, and the Intake Irrigation District have been fulfilled.

    (b) SAVAGE ORIGINAL AND SUBSEQUENT CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS- The acceptance of all obligations of the Federal Government with respect to the Savage Unit by the Savage Irrigation District in accordance with section 3(a)(2) shall extinguish all repayment contract obligations under the Savage original construction contract.

SEC. 6. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAWS.

    On conveyance of the projects under this Act, the Act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388, chapter 1093), and Acts supplemental to and amendatory of that Act (43 U.S.C. 371 et seq.) shall not apply to the projects.

SEC. 7. LIABILITY.

    Except as otherwise provided by law, effective on the date of conveyance of a project under this Act, the United States shall not be liable for damages of any kind arising out of any act, omission, or occurrence based on prior ownership or operation by the United States of the project property.