[Congressional Bills 118th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 7938 Introduced in House (IH)]


  2d Session
                                H. R. 7938

  To amend the Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2000 to 
  provide the Secretary of the Interior with certain authorities with 
  respect to projects affecting the Klamath Basin watershed, and for 
                            other purposes.



                             April 11, 2024

  Mr. Bentz introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                     Committee on Natural Resources


                                 A BILL

  To amend the Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2000 to 
  provide the Secretary of the Interior with certain authorities with 
  respect to projects affecting the Klamath Basin watershed, and for 
                            other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Klamath Basin Water Agreement 
Support Act of 2024''.


     Congress finds the following:
            (1) The Klamath River Basin is home to important species of 
        fish and wildlife and communities, including Tribal and 
        agricultural communities.
            (2) Tribal fisheries in the Klamath River Basin are 
        depressed, owing to a combination of factors.
            (3) In recent decades, the Klamath River Basin has 
        witnessed chronic conflict, much of which has been fueled or 
        exacerbated by implementation of the Endangered Species Act of 
            (4) The United States has taken, and continues to take, 
        extraordinary actions to attempt to address certain factors 
        affecting Tribal fisheries.
            (5) The United States actions to enhance fisheries have 
        included expenditures of several hundreds of millions of 
        dollars for research and projects, including support of Tribal 
        fisheries programs and imposition of regulatory burdens on 
        other parties who make use of natural resources in the Klamath 
        River Basin for their own livelihoods.
            (6) In the past 16 years, the Bureau of Reclamation has 
        requested and received appropriations of approximately 
        $136,000,000 for Endangered Species Act of 1973 compliance 
        activities, even while denying water deliveries for irrigation 
        and wildlife refuges served through Klamath Reclamation Project 
            (7) Denial of water deliveries through Klamath Reclamation 
        Project facilities has injured communities and wildlife 
        severely but has not resulted in any identifiable benefit to 
        populations of fish species listed as threatened or endangered.
            (8) The United States regulatory actions have also included 
        the imposition of conditions on the generation of clean 
        hydropower that have made hydropower uneconomical, such that a 
        private utility has agreed to the removal of 4 dams that have 
        produced renewable energy for over a century.
            (9) The removal of dams has been funded in substantial part 
        by electric rate payers, including irrigation water users, in 
        Oregon and California, who also are burdened with the cost of 
        paying for replacement power.
            (10) The removal of dams has also led indirectly to other 
        significant public costs that would not have been incurred 
        absent the removal of hydroelectric generation.
            (11) The removal of hydroelectric generation on the Klamath 
        River is expected to result in the availability of 425 miles of 
        habitat for anadromous fish that is not currently accessible.
            (12) Commitments have been made to agricultural communities 
        to the effect that dam removal and restoration activities will 
        not cause new burdens for those communities and, in fact, that 
        those communities will benefit significantly, but those 
        commitments have either not been kept or lack the necessary 
        assurances that they will be met in the future.
            (13) It is appropriate and fair to take measures to 
        stabilize conditions for agricultural communities in the 
        Klamath Basin that have been at the center of conflict and to 
        whom important commitments have been made in connection with 
        extraordinary actions taken by the United States that affect 
        their interests.
            (14) This Act will increase such stability while not 
        adversely affecting other interests in the Klamath Basin.


    (a) Addressing Water, Power, and Facilities Management for 
Irrigation.--Section 4 of the Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement 
Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-498) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (b), by amending paragraph (1) to read as 
            ``(1) In general.--Subject to appropriations and required 
        environmental reviews, the Secretary is authorized to carry out 
        activities, including entering into a contract or making 
        financial assistance available through cooperative agreements 
        or other methods, to plan, implement, and administer voluntary 
        programs, including conservation and efficiency measures, 
        demand limitation or management, and use of groundwater, to 
        align water supplies and demand for irrigation water users 
        associated with the Klamath Project, with a primary emphasis on 
        programs developed or endorsed by local entities comprised of 
        representatives of those water users.'';
            (2) in subsection (c), by adding at the end the following:
            ``(2) Implementation.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Beginning not later than 180 
                days after the date of enactment of the Klamath Power 
                and Facilities Agreement Support Act, the Secretary 
                shall, through 1 or more cooperative agreements, 
                financial assistance agreements, or other methods, 
                implement, or support the implementation of, the 
                recommendations identified in the report described in 
                paragraph (1) that the Secretary determines would lead 
                to bringing the net delivered power cost for covered 
                power use to an amount that is the same as, or less 
                than, the power cost benchmark, subject to the 
                availability of appropriations, on the fastest timeline 
                practicable, with respect to near- and long-term 
                    ``(B) Requirement.--The implementation of 
                recommendations under subparagraph (A) shall be carried 
                out in accordance with--
                            ``(i) the report submitted under paragraph 
                        (1); and
                            ``(ii) any reports submitted under 
                        paragraph (3).
            ``(3) Additional reports.--Not later than April 30, 2025, 
        and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to 
        each committee described in the matter preceding subparagraph 
        (A) of paragraph (1) a report that describes--
                    ``(A) any progress toward meeting the requirements 
                of this subsection; and
                    ``(B) any modifications or updates to the actions 
                recommended under paragraph (1)(B).''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(d) Restoration Activities.--The Secretary may--
            ``(1) plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain 
        projects in the Klamath Basin watershed, including--
                    ``(A) facilities to reduce fish entrainment;
                    ``(B) projects that reduce or avoid impacts on 
                aquatic resources of facilities involved in the storage 
                or diversion of water for irrigation in the Klamath 
                Project service area; and
                    ``(C) projects that restore habitats in the Klamath 
                Basin watershed, including Tribal fishery resources 
                held in trust;
            ``(2) undertake studies, including feasibility studies, and 
        improvements that the Secretary determines to be necessary to 
        implement this subsection;
            ``(3) in implementing this subsection, enter into 
        contracts, memoranda of understanding, financial assistance 
        agreements, cost-sharing agreements, or other appropriate 
        agreements with--
                    ``(A) State, Tribal, and local governmental 
                agencies; and
                    ``(B) private parties; and
            ``(4) accept and expend non-Federal funds in order to 
        facilitate implementation of this subsection.
    ``(e) Goals.--The goals of activities under subsections (b) and (d) 
shall include, as applicable--
            ``(1) the short-term and long-term reduction and resolution 
        of conflicts relating to water in the Klamath Basin watershed; 
            ``(2) compatibility and utility for protecting natural 
        resources throughout the Klamath Basin watershed, including the 
        protection, preservation, and restoration of Klamath River 
        Tribal fishery resources, particularly through collaboratively 
        developed agreements.
    ``(f) Pumping Plant D.--The Secretary may enter into 1 or more 
agreements with the Tulelake Irrigation District to reimburse the 
Tulelake Irrigation District for not more than 69 percent of the cost 
incurred by the Tulelake Irrigation District for the operation and 
maintenance of Pumping Plant D, subject to the condition that the cost 
results in benefits to the United States.
    ``(g) Infrastructure.--
            ``(1) Keno and link river dams.--The Secretary shall comply 
        with the terms of the agreement entitled `2016 Klamath Power 
        and Facilities Agreement', including Attachment A to the 
            ``(2) Realization of benefits.--No modification of Keno Dam 
        infrastructure to modify current fish passage capability shall 
        occur, and no artificial action to introduce or reintroduce 
        aquatic species above Keno Dam shall occur, until 90 days after 
        the Secretary has certified to the Chairs and Ranking Members 
        of the Natural Resources Committee of the House of 
        Representatives and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee 
        of the Senate that--
                    ``(A) all State and Federal parties to the 2016 
                Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement have complied 
                with the first sentence of section II. B.2.a. of that 
                agreement; and
                    ``(B) the parties to the 2016 Klamath Power and 
                Facilities Agreement and the parties to the Klamath 
                Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement have completed and 
                approved the agreement or agreements contemplated by 
                section III.C. of the 2016 Klamath Power and Facilities 
                Agreement and Section 1.9 of the Klamath Hydroelectric 
                Settlement Agreement.
            ``(3) Draft certification.--Not less than 180 days before 
        providing a certification under paragraph (2), the Secretary 
        shall provide a draft certification to the parties to the 
        respective agreements.
            ``(4) Replacement of c canal flume.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The replacement of the C Canal 
                flume within the Klamath Project shall be considered to 
                be, and shall receive the treatment authorized for, 
                qualified emergency extraordinary operation and 
                maintenance work in accordance with Federal reclamation 
                law (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.)).
                    ``(B) Contract.--
                            ``(i) In general.--Not later than 180 days 
                        after the date of receipt of a request from the 
                        Klamath Irrigation District to enter into a 
                        contract with that district to amend the 
                        contract numbered 16-WC-20-4838, the Secretary 
                        shall enter into a contract with the Klamath 
                        Irrigation District providing that under the 
                        contract entered into under this subparagraph--
                                    ``(I) 35 percent of the total 
                                repayment obligation is nonreimbursable 
                                to the United States; and
                                    ``(II) 65 percent of the total 
                                repayment obligation shall be repaid to 
                                the United States over a period of 50 
                            ``(ii) Inclusion.--Although the Secretary 
                        shall not condition the agreement to the 
                        contract entered into under subparagraph (A) on 
                        any other term, the contract may include other 
                        terms that are not less favorable to the 
                        contractor than contract numbered 16-WC-20-
            ``(5) Cost allocation.--Past and future costs incurred by 
        the Secretary for compliance with laws enacted by the United 
        States for protection of the environment that are not 
        explicitly identified in contracts between the Secretary and a 
        Klamath Project contractor shall not be--
                    ``(A) allocated to such contractor; or
                    ``(B) considered in determining the contractor's 
                responsibility for reimbursement of the costs of 
                operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, modification, 
                or replacement of Klamath Project works.''.
    (b) Administration; Effect.--
            (1) Compliance.--In implementing the amendments made by 
        this section, the Secretary of the Interior shall comply with--
                    (A) the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
                (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);
                    (B) the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 
                1531 et seq.); and
                    (C) all other applicable laws.
            (2) Effect.--None of the amendments made by this section--
                    (A) modify any authority or obligation of the 
                United States with respect to any Tribal trust or 
                treaty obligation of the United States;
                    (B) create or determine any water right;
                    (C) affect any water right or water right claim in 
                existence on the date of the enactment of this Act; or
                    (D) authorize the use of Federal funds for the 
                physical deconstruction of the Iron Gate, Copco 1, 
                Copco 2, or John C. Boyle Dam located on the Klamath 
                River in the States of California and Oregon.