WASHINGTON DC – Representative Dan Newhouse (WA-04) toured Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) facilities and spoke with the KID Board regarding water supply in the lower river basin Yakima and the pending title transfer from the Bureau of Reclamation. He also visited the site of the future reservoir and the canal lining project.
“This transfer of title is a win-win. It will allow KID to more effectively manage water supplies, while reducing federal liabilities and providing cost savings to the federal government. Our region’s water providers and of the West face many water supply challenges, including growing demand, aging infrastructure and changing rainfall patterns,” Rep. Newhouse said. “By transferring title to a local entity like Kennewick, water providers can better manage critical water resources and enable water managers to be as responsive, efficient and innovative as possible in serving the community. “
On Monday, Rep. Newhouse questioned David Palumbo, Deputy Commissioner for Operations for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, during the House Committee on Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee hearing on the title transfer status. Mr Palumbo confirmed the transfer was on track to be completed by the summer.
- Rep. Newhouse introduced legislation authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to transfer title to certain United States Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) assets to the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) in July 2018 in the 115and Congress and again in January 2019 in the 116and Congress. Click here to find out more.
- The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed into law by President Trump in 2019, created a process for transfers of title to be made administratively.
- Representative Newhouse worked with KID and BOR to complete this process and transfer title to the works commencing at KID’s main gate extending 40 miles to the east.
- The transfer conveys title to the facilities managed and operated by KID. It does not privatize federal water supply projects or properties within the BOR.
- KID has completed an environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act, along with all necessary endangered species laws, the National Historic Preservation Act, and risk review processes.
- KID and BOR ensured that all stakeholders, tribal concerns and local interests had a seat at the table throughout the process and included an open public comment period from March to April 2020.
- In addition to ensuring that the appropriate reviews are performed, KID will reimburse its allocated share of construction costs to the federal government.