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Newhouse, Kennewick Irrigation District Announce Introduction of Title Transfer Legislation

August 6, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Charles Freeman, Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) District Manager, and Dean Dennis, KID Board of Directors President hosted a press conference on Rep. Newhouse’s introduction of H.R. 6652, federal legislation to transfer title of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) lands to KID. 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. The transfer includes the conveyance of land and project facilities and should be completed no later than two years after the enactment.

“Water providers across our region and across the West face numerous challenges to supply water, including growing demand, aging infrastructure, and changing precipitation patterns,” said Rep. Newhouse. “By transferring title to a local entity like the KID, water suppliers can better manage critical water resources and empower water managers to be as responsive, efficient, and innovative as possible in serving the community. I am proud that this bill will streamline water uses while reducing government waste and burdensome regulations.”

President of KID Board of Directors, Dean Dennis, and KID District Manager, Charles Freeman released the following statement: “We would like to thank Congressman Newhouse for introducing this important legislation for our District and community. Title transfer allows the District to take ownership of what our customers have paid for. It will greatly benefit our community by allowing local challenges to be addressed locally and enhancing operational efficiencies. Thank you again, Congressman Newhouse, for your leadership and support on this legislation.”

Click here to read the text of H.R. 6652.

Background:

  • H.R. 6652 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.