[Senate Report 113-73]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                                                       Calendar No. 130
113th Congress   }                                          {    Report
 1st Session     }                                          {   113-73




                 July 15, 2013.--Ordered to be printed


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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 659]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 659) to reauthorize the Reclamation 
States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do 
    The amendment is as follows:

    On page 2, strike lines 1 through 6 and insert the 
    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 301 of the 
Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 (43 
U.S.C. 2241) is amended by striking ``2012'' and inserting 


    The purpose of S. 659 is to reauthorize the Reclamation 
States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991.

                          Background and Need

    The Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act 
(Drought Relief Act) was authorized in 1991 (43 U.S.C. 2214) 
and allows the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to undertake 
activities that would minimize or mitigate drought damages or 
losses within the 17 Reclamation States, including Tribes 
within those states, and Hawaii. The Drought Relief Act was 
amended in 2000 (Public Law 106-566) and reauthorized in 2006 
(Public Law 109-234). In 2010, the Drought Relief Act was 
extended for an additional two years to 2012 (Public Law 111-
212). Its authority expired last year.
    Over 60 percent of the nation experienced some form of 
drought during 2012 with many of the Reclamation States being 
the hardest hit. Reclamation has provided emergency assistance 
and planning assistance to States dealing with the drought 
through the Drought Relief Act authority, and since the Drought 
Relief Act was originally authorized, appropriations amount to 
$74.5 million. S. 659 would reauthorize the Reclamation States 
Emergency Drought Relief Act for an additional five years.

                          Legislative History

    S. 659 was introduced by Senator Wyden on March 22, 2013. 
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee 
on Water and Power, held a hearing on S. 659 on April 16, 2013. 
At its business meeting on May 16, 2013, the Committee ordered 
S. 659 favorably reported as amended.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on May 16, 2013, by a voice vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 659, if 
amended as described herein.

                          Committee Amendment

    During its consideration of S. 659, the Committee adopted 
an amendment to strike the increase in the authorization of 

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 reauthorizes the Reclamation States Emergency 
Drought Relief Act of 1991 by amending section 104(c) of the 
Act (43 U.S.C. 2214(c)), to delay the termination of authority 
from September 30, 2012 to September 30, 2018.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of costs of S. 659 has been provided 
by the Congressional Budget Office:

S. 659--A bill to reauthorize the Reclamation States Emergency Drought 
        Relief Act of 1991, and for other purposes

    Summary: S. 659 would extend the authority of the Secretary 
of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Reclamation, to 
assist states, tribes, and local governments with conservation, 
management, and construction activities to mitigate the effects 
of drought. For the 2005-2012 period, $90 million was 
authorized to be appropriated for this program. The Congress 
appropriated about $75 million before the authority expired in 
2012. S. 659 would extend the authority to appropriate funds 
through 2018. CBO assumes that the remaining $15 million would 
be appropriated in equal amounts over the next five years.
    Based on information from the Bureau of Reclamation, CBO 
estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $14 
million over the 2014-2018 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply to this legislation because it would not affect 
direct spending or revenues.
    S. 659 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 659 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--
                                                            2014     2015     2016     2017     2018   2014-2018

Estimated Authorization Level...........................        3        3        3        3        3        15
Estimated Outlays.......................................        2        3        3        3        3        14

    Pay-As-You-Go Considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 659 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. By extending the legislative authority for the 
relief program, the bill would benefit certain states that 
undertake activities to mitigate damages caused by droughts. 
Any costs incurred by governmental entities would result from 
complying with conditions for receiving federal assistance.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Aurora Swanson; Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Lisa Ramirez-Branum; 
Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, 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 S. 659.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 659, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 659, as reported, does not contain any congressionally 
directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rules 
of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the Bureau of Reclamation at the 
April 16, 2013, Subcommittee on Water and Power hearing on S. 
659 follows:

   Statement of Robert Quint, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Reclamation, 
                       Department of the Interior

    Chairman Schatz and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Bob 
Quint, Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Reclamation 
(Reclamation). I am pleased to provide the views of the 
Department of the Interior on S. 659 which reauthorizes Title I 
of the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991 
until the year 2018, and increases the amount of authorized 
federal appropriations from the current ceiling of $90 million 
up to $110 million. The Department supports extending the 
authorization of this program through 2018; however, as 
explained below, we do not believe an increase to the 
authorization of appropriations is necessary at this time. An 
April 31d update to the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 83% of 
the Western United States, where Reclamation operates, is 
abnormally dry, with 63% being in moderate to exceptional 
drought status.
    Title I of the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief 
Act of 1991 provides Reclamation the authority for 
construction, management, and conservation measures to 
alleviate the adverse impacts of drought, including mitigation 
of fish and wildlife impacts. This authority is most often 
implemented through drilling new private wells. Wells are the 
only permanent construction authorized under the Act. All other 
Title I work must be of a temporary nature. No new Reclamation 
projects are authorized under Title I; Reclamation does not 
own, operate, or maintain projects funded under it. S. 659 
would extend the expiration date as well as increase the 
authorization for appropriations from $90 million to $110 
million to allow for greater capacity in Reclamation's 
assistance to States, tribes, and local governments in 
addressing the impacts of drought.
    Title I also provides Reclamation with the flexibility to 
meet contractual water deliveries by allowing acquisition of 
water to meet requirements under the Endangered Species Act, 
benefiting contractors at a time when they are financially 
challenged. We believe that our existing WaterSMART Program 
provides some lessons applicable to the communities where 
Drought Act authorities are used.
    Additionally, Title I authorizes Reclamation to participate 
in water banks established under state law; facilitate water 
acquisitions between willing buyers and willing sellers; 
acquire conserved water for use under temporary contracts; make 
facilities available for storage and conveyance of project and 
nonproject water; make project and nonproject water available 
for nonproject uses; and, acquire water for fish and wildlife 
purposes on a nonreimbursable basis.
    Reclamation's primary approach to drought is to continue 
working with our stakeholders on a proactive basis to assess 
the implications of water shortages, develop flexible 
operational plans that account for expected periods of drought, 
and support projects that conserve water and improve the 
efficiency of water delivery infrastructure. Federal Drought 
relief is a ``last resort'' to be employed only in the most 
extreme of cases. Given the extreme weather conditions 
currently facing the nation, we will continue to consider ideas 
to make drought relief even more effective through improved 
interagency cooperation and other changes.
    Title II of the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief 
Act of 1991 provides Reclamation with permanent authority to 
assist States, Tribes, and local governments with planning and 
technical assistance related to drought planning, preparation, 
and adaptation strategies. This authority allows Reclamation to 
assist non-Federal entities to prepare for drought so that they 
are less vulnerable when drought inevitably happens. This 
authority for drought-related Federal coordination and 
technical assistance does not automatically expire and will 
remain in effect without the authorities that S. 659 would 
    Given that there remains a capacity for over $15 million in 
authorized appropriations for this program, the Department does 
not believe an increase in the authorized appropriations 
ceiling is necessary at this time. If the authorized 
appropriations ceiling should become a more urgent constraint, 
we will evaluate the need for an increase to the appropriations 
ceiling at that time.
    This concludes my written statement. I am pleased to answer 
questions at the appropriate time.

                        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 bill S. 659 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):


                     PUBLIC LAW 102-250, as amended

 AN ACT To provide emergency drought relief to the Reclamation States, 
and for other purposes.

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    (c) Termination of Authority.--The authorities established 
under this title shall terminate on September 30, [2012] 2018.

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    Except as otherwise provided in section 303 of this Act 
(relating to temperature control devices at Shasta Dam, 
California), there is authorized to be appropriated not more 
than [$90,000,000] $110,000,000 in total for the period of 
fiscal years 2006 through [2012] 2018.

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