[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 83 (Friday, April 29, 2016)]
[Pages 25691-25698]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-10045]



Bureau of Indian Affairs


Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of rate adjustments.


SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) owns, or has an interest 
in, irrigation projects located on or associated with various Indian 
reservations throughout the United States. We are required to establish 
irrigation assessment rates to recover the costs to administer, 
operate, maintain, and rehabilitate these projects. We are notifying 
you that we have adjusted the irrigation assessment rates at several of 
our irrigation projects and facilities to reflect current costs of 
administration, operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation.

DATES: The irrigation assessment rates are current as of January 1, 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For details about a particular BIA 
irrigation project or facility, please use the tables in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section to contact the regional or local 
office where the project or facility is located.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Proposed Rate Adjustment was 
published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2015 (80 FR 33279) to 
propose adjustments to the irrigation assessment rates at several BIA 
irrigation projects. The public and interested parties were provided an 
opportunity to submit written comments during the 60-day period that 
ended August 10, 2015.

Did BIA defer or change any proposed rate increases?

    Yes. Rate increases were deferred on the Crow Irrigation Project--
Two Leggins Unit and the Wind River Irrigation Project--Riverton Valley 
Irrigation District.

Did BIA receive any comments on the proposed irrigation assessment rate 

    Yes. The BIA received sixteen (16) letters with comments. All 
comments received were associated with the Flathead Indian Irrigation 
Project's (FIIP) proposed rate adjustment for Calendar Year (CY) 2016.

What issues were of concern to the commenters?

    Comments received relate specifically to the proposed rate increase 
for CY 2016 and other activities associated only with the FIIP.
    The BIA's summary of commenters' issues and BIA's response are 
provided below.
    Comment: Three commenters requested the rate increase be postponed 

--Two court cases (one case in State court challenging an alleged 
illegal vote of the state legislature and one case in Federal court 
concerning the re-assumption of operations and maintenance of the FIIP 
by the Bureau of Indian Affairs) are resolved.
--The Confederated and Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) Water Compact 
is ratified by Congress.
--Western Montana is no longer in a federally designated ``Severe 
Drought'' condition.

    Response: The final rate for the FIIP in 2016 will remain the same 
as 2015.
    Comment: How can the request for increased rates be warranted when 
those alleging the need are not fully qualified to do so?
    Response: The final rate for the FIIP in 2016 will remain the same 
as 2015.
    Comment: The BIA Solicitor's Office spent large amounts of 
Cooperative Management Entity (CME) O&M funds traveling back and forth 
from Portland, OR and Washington, DC to Montana, conducting private 
meetings while the project manager was spending a large

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amount of O&M funds on unjustifiable purchases of heavy equipment.
    Response: The CME O&M funds were never spent for Office of the 
Solicitor travel expenses or conducting meetings. Travel costs 
associated with non-FIIP employees are not included in the FIIP's 2016 
budget and are not part of the 2016 rate assessment or any potential 
future O&M rate increases.
    Comment: The recent request for an extra $7 per acre for this year 
(nearly a 30 percent increase) was accompanied by no supporting data 
explaining and justifying the increase.
    Response: The final rate for the FIIP in 2016 will remain the same 
as 2015.

Does this notice affect me?

    This notice affects you if you own or lease land within the 
assessable acreage of one of our irrigation projects or if you have a 
carriage agreement with one of our irrigation projects.

Where can I get information on the regulatory and legal citations in 
this notice?

    You can contact the appropriate office(s) stated in the tables for 
the irrigation project that serves you, or you can use the Internet 
site for the Government Printing Office at www.gpo.gov.

What authorizes you to issue this notice?

    Our authority to issue this notice is vested in the Secretary of 
the Interior by (Secretary) 5 U.S.C. 301 and the Act of August 14, 1914 
(38 Stat. 583; 25 U.S.C. 385). The Secretary has in turn delegated this 
authority to the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs under Part 209, 
Chapter 8.1A, of the Department of the Interior's Departmental Manual.

Whom can I contact for further information?

    The following tables are the regional and project/agency contacts 
for our irrigation facilities.

              Project name                   Project/Agency contacts
                        Northwest Region Contacts
 Stanley Speaks, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Northwest
     Regional Office, 911 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232-4169,
                       Telephone: (503) 231-6702.
Flathead Indian Irrigation Project.....  Ernest Moran, Superintendent,
                                          Pete Plant, Irrigation Project
                                          Manager, P.O. Box 40, Pablo,
                                          MT 59855, Telephones: (406)
                                          675-2700 ext. 1300
                                          Superintendent, (406) 745-2661
                                          ext. 2 Project Manager.
Fort Hall Irrigation Project...........  David Bollinger, Irrigation
                                          Project Manager, Building #2
                                          Bannock Ave., Fort Hall, ID
                                          83203-0220, Telephone: (208)
Wapato Irrigation Project..............  David Shaw, Superintendent,
                                          Larry Nelson, Acting Project
                                          Administrator, P.O. Box 220,
                                          Wapato, WA 98951-0220,
                                          Telephones: (509) 865-2421,
                                          Superintendent, (509) 877-3155
                                          Acting Project Administrator.
                     Rocky Mountain Region Contacts
   Darryl LaCounte, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Rocky
  Mountain Regional Office, 316 North 26th Street, Billings, MT 59101,
                       Telephone: (406) 247-7943.
Blackfeet Irrigation Project...........  Thedis Crowe, Superintendent,
                                          Greg Tatsey, Irrigation
                                          Project Manager, Box 880,
                                          Browning, MT 59417,
                                          Telephones: (406) 338-7544,
                                          Superintendent, (406) 338-
                                          7519, Irrigation Project
Crow Irrigation Project................  Vianna Stewart, Superintendent,
                                          Karl Helvik, Acting Irrigation
                                          Project Manager, P.O. Box 69,
                                          Crow Agency, MT 59022,
                                          Telephones: (406) 638-2672,
                                          Superintendent, (406) 247-
                                          7469, Acting Irrigation
                                          Project Manager.
Fort Belknap Irrigation Project........  John St. Pierre,
                                          Superintendent, Vacant,
                                          Irrigation Project Manager,
                                          (Project operation &
                                          maintenance contracted to
                                          Tribes), R.R.1, Box 980,
                                          Harlem, MT 59526, Telephones:
                                          (406) 353-2901,
                                          Superintendent, (406) 353-
                                          8454, Irrigation Project
                                          Manager (Tribal Office).
Fort Peck Irrigation Project...........  Howard Beemer, Superintendent,
                                          Huber Wright, Acting
                                          Irrigation Project Manager,
                                          P.O. Box 637, Poplar, MT
                                          59255, Telephones: (406) 768-
                                          5312, Superintendent, (406)
                                          653-1752, Irrigation Project
Wind River Irrigation Project..........  Norma Gourneau, Superintendent,
                                          Karl Helvik, Acting Irrigation
                                          Project Manager, P.O. Box 158,
                                          Fort Washakie, WY 82514,
                                          Telephones: (307) 332-7810,
                                          Superintendent, (307) 247-
                                          7469, Acting Irrigation
                                          Project Manager.
                        Southwest Region Contacts
     William T. Walker, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs,
   Southwest Regional Office, 1001 Indian School Road, Albuquerque, NM
                    87104, Telephone: (505) 563-3100.
Pine River Irrigation Project..........  Priscilla Bancroft,
                                          Superintendent, Vickie Begay,
                                          Irrigation Project Manager,
                                          P.O. Box 315, Ignacio, CO
                                          81137-0315, Telephones: (970)
                                          563-4511, Superintendent,
                                          (970) 563-9484, Irrigation
                                          Project Manager.

[[Page 25693]]

                         Western Region Contacts
   Bryan Bowker, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western
 Regional Office, 2600 N. Central Ave., 4th Floor Mailroom, Phoenix, AZ
                    85004, Telephone: (602) 379-6600.
Colorado River Irrigation Project......  Kellie Youngbear
                                          Superintendent, Gary Colvin,
                                          Irrigation Project Manager,
                                          12124 1st Avenue, Parker, AZ
                                          85344, Telephone: (928) 669-
Duck Valley Irrigation Project.........  Joseph McDade, Superintendent,
                                          (Project operation &
                                          management compacted to
                                          Tribes), 2719 Argent Ave.,
                                          Suite 4, Gateway Plaza, Elko,
                                          NV 89801, Telephone: (775) 738-
                                          5165, (208) 759-3100, (Tribal
Yuma Project, Indian Unit..............  Irene Herder, Superintendent,
                                          256 South Second Avenue, Suite
                                          D, Yuma, AZ 85364, Telephone:
                                          (928) 782-1202.
San Carlos Irrigation Project Indian     Ferris Begay, Project Manager,
 Works and Joint Works.                   Clarence Begay, Irrigation
                                          Manager, 13805 N. Arizona
                                          Boulevard, Coolidge, AZ 85128,
                                          Telephone: (520) 723-6225.
Uintah Irrigation Project..............  Bart Stevens Superintendent,
                                          Ken Asay, Irrigation System
                                          Manager, P.O. Box 130, Fort
                                          Duchesne, UT 84026, Telephone:
                                          (435) 722-4300, (435) 722-
Walker River Irrigation Project........  Robert Eben, Superintendent,
                                          311 E. Washington Street,
                                          Carson City, NV 89701,
                                          Telephone: (775) 887-3500.

What irrigation assessments or charges are adjusted by this notice?

    The rate table below contains the current rates for all irrigation 
projects where we recover costs of administering, operating, 
maintaining, and rehabilitating them. The table also contains the final 
rates for the CY 2015 and subsequent years where applicable. An 
asterisk immediately following the rate category notes the irrigation 
projects where 2015 rates are different from the 2014 rates.

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Consultation and Coordination With Tribal Governments (Executive Order 

    To fulfill its consultation responsibility to tribes and tribal 
organizations, BIA communicates, coordinates, and consults on a 
continuing basis with these entities on issues of water delivery, water 
availability, and costs of administration, operation, maintenance, and 
rehabilitation of projects that concern them. This is accomplished at 
the individual irrigation project by pProject, aAgency, and rRegional 
representatives, as appropriate, in accordance with local protocol and 
procedures. This notice is one component of our overall coordination 
and consultation process to provide notice to, and request comments 
from, these entities when we adjust irrigation assessment rates.

Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211)

    The rate adjustments will have no adverse effects on energy supply, 
distribution, or use (including a shortfall in supply, price increases, 
and increase use of foreign supplies) should the rate adjustments be 
implemented. This is a notice for rate adjustments at BIA-owned and 
operated irrigation projects, except for the Fort Yuma Irrigation 
Project. The Fort Yuma Irrigation Project is owned and operated by the 
Bureau of Reclamation with a portion serving the Fort Yuma Indian 

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order 12866)

    These rate adjustments are not a significant regulatory action and 
do not need to be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under 
Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    These rate adjustments are not a rule for the purposes of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act because they establish ``a rule of 
particular applicability relating to rates.'' 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    These rate adjustments do not impose an unfunded mandate on State, 
local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or on the private 
sector, of more than $130 million per year. The rule does not have a 
significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or 
the private sector. Therefore, the Department is not required to 
prepare a statement containing the information required by the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not 
have significant ``takings'' implications. The rate adjustments do not 
deprive the public, state, or local governments of rights or property.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not 
have significant Federalism effects because they will not affect the 
States, the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among various 
levels of government.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    In issuing this rule, the Department has taken the necessary steps 
to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential 
litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, as 
required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    These rate adjustments do not affect the collections of information 
which have been approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995. The OMB Control Number is 1076-0141 and expires March 31, 

National Environmental Policy Act

    The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not 
constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality 
of the human environment and that no detailed statement is required 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-

Data Quality Act

    In developing this notice, we did not conduct or use a study, 
experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act 
(Pub. L. 106-554).

    Dated: April 20, 2016.
Lawrence S. Roberts,
Acting Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2016-10045 Filed 4-28-16; 8:45 am]