Share

After Senate Failed to Act, Newhouse Reintroduces Legislation to Transfer Kennewick Irrigation District Title

January 8, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement after re-introducing legislation to transfer title of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) related works and lands to the Kennewick Irrigation District (KID). H.R. 278 is identical to legislation the House of Representatives approved before the end of the 115th Congress, but the Senate failed to act on the bill before the 115th Congress adjourned. In accordance with the December 2017 Memorandum of Agreement between KID and BOR, this legislation will transfer title of works beginning at KID’s head gate and extending 40 miles east to the Columbia River. The transfer includes the conveyance of land and project facilities and should be completed no later than two years after the enactment.

“Had the Senate acted promptly, this legislation to give more local control to Central Washington water users would already have been signed into law,” said Rep. Newhouse. “By reintroducing this bill for this Congress, I am continuing to push for responsive, local management of the Kennewick Irrigation District.”

Click here to read the text of H.R. 278.

Background:

  • H.R. 278 conveys title for the facilities managed and operated by Kennewick Irrigation District (KID). It does not privatize federal water projects or properties within the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).
  • KID will complete an environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as all necessary Endangered Species Act, National Historical Preservation Act, and hazardous review processes.
  • KID and BOR have committed to ensuring that all stakeholders, tribal concerns, and local interests have a seat at the table throughout the process.
  • In addition to ensuring the proper reviews are completed, KID will repay their allocated share of construction costs to the federal government.