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H.R. 3980 (113th): Water Supply Permitting Coordination 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.

1/31/2014--Introduced. Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act - Establishes the Bureau of Reclamation as the lead agency for purposes of coordinating all reviews, analyses, opinions, statements, permits, licenses, or other approvals or decisions (reviews) required under federal law to construct new surface water storage projects on lands administered by the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture (USDA), exclusive of any easement, right-of-way, lease, or any private holding (qualifying projects).

Directs the Commissioner of the Bureau: (1) upon receipt of an application for a qualifying project, to identify any federal agency that may have jurisdiction over a required review; and (2) to notify such agency that it has been designated as a cooperating agency unless the agency notifies the Bureau that the agency has no jurisdiction or authority over the project, has no expertise or information relevant to the project or any associated review, or does not intend to submit comments other than in cooperation with the Bureau. Requires each cooperating agency to submit to the Bureau: (1) a timeframe for completing the agency's authorizing responsibilities, (2) all environmental review material produced in the course of carrying out activities required under federal law consistent with the project schedule, and (3) all relevant project data.

Allows a state in which a qualifying project is being considered to choose to: (1) participate as a cooperating agency; and (2) make subject to the processes of this Act all state agencies that have jurisdiction over the project, are required to conduct or issue a review, or are required to make a determination on issuing a permit, license, or approval for the project.

Lists as the principal responsibilities of the Bureau under this Act to: (1) serve as the point of contact for applicants, state agencies, Indian tribes, and others regarding proposed projects; (2) coordinate preparation of unified environmental documentation that will serve as the basis for all federal decisions necessary to authorize the use of federal lands for qualifying projects; and (3) coordinate all federal agency reviews necessary for the development and construction of qualifying projects.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to accept and expend funds contributed by a non-federal public entity to expedite the evaluation of a permit of that entity related to a qualifying project or activity for a public purpose under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. Directs the Secretary to ensure that all final permit decisions are made available to the public, including on the Internet.