[Senate Report 108-244]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



                                                       Calendar No. 454
108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     108-244

======================================================================



 
      IRVINE BASIN SURFACE AND GROUNDWATER IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2003

                                _______
                                

                 March 9, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1598]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the Act (H.R. 1598) to amend the Reclamation 
Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to 
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in 
projects within the San Diego Creek Watershed, California, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the Act 
do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of H.R. 1598 is to amend the Reclamation 
Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to 
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in 
projects within the San Diego Creek Watershed, California, and 
for other purposes.

                          Background and Need

    H.R. 1598 would authorize the Secretary, in cooperation 
with the Irvine Ranch Water District, to participate in the 
design, planning, and construction of projects to naturally 
treat impaired surface water, reclaim and reuse impaired 
groundwater, and provide brine disposal within the San Diego 
Creek Watershed.
    Three water projects in Southern California are proposed. 
The first project would filter surface water and urban runoff 
in the San Diego Creek Watershed and Upper Newport Bay. The 
second project, the Irvine Desalter, would clean brackish 
groundwater and provide drinking water to the community. The 
facility is intended to provide the Irvine Basin with access to 
an alternative water source. The third project would allow for 
the construction of a regional brine line to directly dispose 
of brine into the ocean. The brine line would allow the 
District to continue its efforts in increasing use of brackish 
water resources. The total Federal cost share for projects 
under the bill may not exceed 25 percent, and Federal funds may 
not be used for project operation and maintenance.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 1598 was introduced by Representative Cox on April 3, 
2003. A companion measure, S. 649, was introduced by Senator 
Feinstein on March 18, 2003. H.R. 1598 passed the House of 
Representatives on October 15, 2003, by a voice vote on a 
motion to suspend the rules, and was referred to the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources on October 16, 2003. The 
Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on S. 649 on May 
13, 2003. S. Hrg. 108-64. The Committee ordered H.R. 1598 
favorably reported without amendment on February 11, 2004.

            Committee Recommendation and Tabulation of Votes

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on February 11, 2004, by a unanimous vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 1598. The 
rollcall vote on reporting the measure was 23 yeas and 0 nays, 
as follows:
        YEAS                          NAYS
Mr. Domenici
Mr. Nickles
Mr. Craig
Mr. Campbell*
Mr. Thomas
Mr. Alexander
Ms. Murkowski
Mr. Talent
Mr. Burns
Mr. Smith*
Mr. Bunning
Mr. Kyl*
Mr. Bingaman
Mr. Akaka
Mr. Dorgan*
Mr. Graham*
Mr. Wyden*
Mr. Johnson*
Ms. Landrieu*
Mr. Bayh*
Mrs. Feinstein*
Mr. Schumer*
Ms. Cantwell

    *Indicates vote by proxy

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 provides the short title.
    Section 2 amends the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater 
Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to participate in the design, planning, and 
construction of projects to naturally treat impaired surface 
water, reclaim and reuse impaired groundwater, and provide 
brine disposal within the San Diego Creek Watershed. The 
section limits the Federal share of project costs to 25 
percent, and prohibits Federal funds from being used for 
operation or maintenance of a project.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 20, 2004.
Hon. Pete V. Domenici,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1598, the Irvine 
Basin Surface and Groundwater Improvement Act of 2003.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Julie 
Middleton.
            Sincerely,
                                      Elizabeth M. Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1598--Irvine Basin Surface and Groundwater Improvement Act of 2003

    Summary: H.R. 1598 would authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior, in cooperation with the Irvine Ranch Water District, 
to participate in the design, planning, and construction of 
projects to treat surface water, reclaim groundwater, and 
dispose of brine in the San Diego Creek Watershed. The act 
would limit the federal share of all project costs to 25 
percent.
    Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 1598 would cost $19 million 
over the 2005-2009 period. Enacting H.R. 1598 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 1598 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
Enacting this legislation would benefit local governments, 
particularly the Irvine Ranch Water District and nearby city 
and county governments. These governments would incur some 
costs to match the federal funds authorized by this act, but 
these costs would be voluntary.
    Estimated Cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1598 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated authorization level.............................        0        5        5        5        4        0
Estimated outlays.........................................        0        1        3        7        5        3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of Estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1598 will be enacted before the end of fiscal year 2004 and 
that the necessary amounts will be appropriated in each fiscal 
year starting in 2005. Based on information about the plans for 
this project from the Bureau of Reclamation, CBO estimates that 
implementing the act would cost $19 million over the 2005-2009 
period.
    Intergovernmental and Private-Sector Impact: H.R. 1598 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. Enacting this legislation would benefit local 
governments, particularly the Irvine Ranch Water District and 
nearby city and county governments. These governments would 
incur some costs to match the federal funds authorized by this 
act, but these costs would be voluntary.
    Previous Estimate: On October 6, 2003, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for H.R. 1598 as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Resources on September 24, 2003. Except for a 
change in the assumed enactment date, the cost estimates are 
identical.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Julie Middleton. 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Marjorie 
Miller. Impact on the Private Sector: Selena Caldera.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out H.R. 1598. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of H.R. 1598, as ordered reported.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the Subcommittee hearing on the companion measure, S. 649, 
follows:

   Statement of John Keys III, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, 
                       Department of the Interior

    My name is John Keys and I am the Commissioner of the 
Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to appear before this 
Subcommittee to provide the Department's views on S. 649. S. 
649 would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater 
Study and Facilities Act (43 U.S.C. 390h et seq.), commonly 
called Title XVI, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
participate in projects within the San Diego Creek Watershed in 
California and for other purposes.
    Reclamation has had some preliminary discussions with the 
Irvine Ranch Water District about proposed surface water 
treatment, groundwater treatment, and brine disposal components 
of their project. However, S. 649 authorizes the design and 
construction of the project before Reclamation or the project 
sponsors have completed a feasibility study that meets the 
legal requirements of title XVI. Reclamation prefers that 
feasibility studies be completed first to determine whether 
these particular projects warrant Federal construction 
authorization. Therefore, we believe the legislation is 
premature and the Department cannot support S. 649.
    The Department also opposes enactment of this legislation 
because authorizing new projects is likely to place an 
additional burden on Reclamation's already tight budget. With 
the tremendous backlog of existing Title XVI projects, we 
oppose the addition of new projects at this time. Based on 
recent funding levels, it could take Reclamation more than 15 
years to complete funding of the 27 currently authorized 
projects. For these reasons, Madame Chairwoman, the Department 
cannot support S. 649.
    For the record, Madame Chairwoman, in 1992, Congress 
adopted, and the President signed, the Reclamation Projects 
Authorization and Adjustment Act (Public Law 192-575). Title 
XVI of this Act, the Wastewater and Groundwater Study and 
Facilities Act, authorized the construction of five water 
reclamation and reuse projects. The Secretary was also 
authorized to undertake a program to identify other water 
recycling opportunities throughout the 17 western United 
States, and to conduct appraisal level and feasibility level 
studies to determine if those opportunities are worthy of 
implementation. The Bureau of Reclamation has been 
administering a grant program to fund these Title XVI projects 
since FY 1994.
    In 1996, Public Law 104-266, the Reclamation Recycling and 
Water Conservation Act was enacted into law. This Act amended 
Title XVI and authorized the Secretary to participate in the 
planning, design, and construction of 18 additional projects, 
including two desalination research and development projects. 
Since 1996, Title XVI has been amended several other times and 
now there are 27 projects authorized for construction in eight 
states, and Reclamation has been granted authority to conduct 
planning studies in the State of Hawaii.
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on S. 649. That 
concludes my statement and I would be happy to answer any 
questions.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the Act H.R. 1598, as ordered reported, are shown as follows 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

RECLAMATION PROJECTS AUTHORIZATION AND ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1992

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 2. DEFINITION AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    For purposes of this Act, the term ``Secretary'' means the 
Secretary of the Interior.

                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sec. 1. Short title.
     * * * * * * *

        TITLE XVI--RECLAMATION WASTEWATER AND GROUNDWATER STUDIES

Sec. 1601. Short title.
     * * * * * * *
Sec. 1635. Lakehaven, Washington, Water Reclamation and Reuse Project.
Sec. 1636. Irvine basin groundwater and surface water improvement 
          projects.
     * * * * * * *

       TITLE XVI--RECLAMATION WASTEWATER AND GROUNDWATER STUDIES

SEC. 1601. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be referred to as the ``Reclamation 
Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act''.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 1636. IRVINE BASIN GROUNDWATER AND SURFACE WATER IMPROVEMENT 
                    PROJECTS.

    (a) Authorization.--The Secretary, in cooperation with the 
Irvine Ranch Water District, California, is authorized to 
participate in the design, planning, and construction of 
projects to naturally treat impaired surface water, reclaim and 
reuse impaired groundwater, and provide brine disposal within 
the San Diego Creek Watershed.
    (b) Cost Share.--The Federal share of the costs of the 
projects authorized by this section shall not exceed 25 percent 
of the total cost.
    (c) Limitation.--The Secretary shall not provide funds for 
the operation or maintenance of a project authorized by this 
section.