The legislation, which was offered as an amendment to the FY 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill instructs the Bureau of Reclamation to finish and submit feasibility studies for three dam expansion projects and two dam creation proposals.
Rep. Valadao stated, “Each of the five studies were authorized by Congress over a decade ago. If California had some of these dams or expansions in place, we wouldn’t be in the disastrous situation we are in today.” He continued, “In fact, these dams, if completed, could deliver as much as 79% of the mandated 1.5 million AF of water restrictions recently implemented by Governor Brown.”
The Amendment requires completed feasibility studies be submitted to Congress by specified deadlines. Each study must include timeline for completion, draft environmental impact statement, final environmental impact statement, and Record of Decision for:
1) The Shasta expansion and Temperance Flat dam by December 31, 2015
2) The Los Vaqueros expansion and Sites dam by November 30, 2016
3) The San Luis dam expansion by December 31, 2017
While the Amendment does not require the Bureau of Reclamation to initiate construction, it will prevent the Agency from continuing stalling on these critical decisions.
The Valadao Amendment passed with by the full Appropriations Committee with unanimous consent. The 2016 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill passed Committee on a voice vote and will now head to the House Floor for consideration.
Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District of California, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.
Anna R Vetter ((202) 815-1685)