Newhouse Applauds Natural Resources Committee Approval of Drought Bill to Streamline Surface Water Storage Projects; House Passage of Wildfire Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) issued the following statement after the House Natural Resources Committee voted in a business meeting to approve the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015, which includes legislation he introduced earlier this year, the Bureau of Reclamation Surface Water Storage Streamlining Act.
“I thank Chairman Bishop and my colleague, Rep. Valadao, for their work on this critical drought and water supply legislation,” said Rep Newhouse. “Water is the lifeblood of the West’s economy and of vital importance to agriculture. Forward-thinking improvements are needed to improve water storage infrastructure and drought response. I am pleased that the Committee has approved this bill and included my legislation, the Bureau of Reclamation Surface Water Storage Streamlining Act, which would make important improvements to accelerate the Bureau of Reclamation’s permitting process for surface water projects. I look forward to this legislation passing the House to address the nation’s grave water needs.”
Rep. Newhouse introduced H.R. 2097, the Bureau of Reclamation Surface Water Storage Streamlining Act of 2015 earlier this year to streamline the Bureau of Reclamation’s environmental planning and study process for new surface water storage projects. The bill would apply the same streamlined water project development process used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Water Resources Reform Development Act of 2014 to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in order to facilitate the construction of new dams and reservoirs.
For the text of H.R. 2097, the Bureau of Reclamation Surface Water Storage Streamlining Act of 2015, click here.
For a summary of the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015, click here.
House Passes H.R. 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act
Rep. Newhouse also issued a statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act by a vote of 262-167. This legislation would tackle the issue of wildfire ‘borrowing’ while addressing the growing economic and environmental threats of catastrophic wildfire. If enacted, the bill could be implemented immediately by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to dramatically improve the health and resiliency of federal forests and rangelands.
“I applaud House passage of this bipartisan, comprehensive legislation to improve forest management of federal forests and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires,” said Rep. Newhouse. “The recurrence of devastating wildfires in Central Washington and across the nation show the critical need to reform the way the federal government prepares for, responds to, and funds wildfire response and mitigation efforts. The Resilient Federal Forests Act provides new methods for funding to tackle the problem of ‘fire-borrowing’ and includes tools the U.S. Forest Service can implement immediately to treat thousands of acres of forest land at a lower cost.”
For a summary of H.R. 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act, click here.