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U.S. Senate bill includes Klamath measures


A U.S. Senate bill introduced Sunday in Washington, D.C. includes an amendment with a number of measures pushed by Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) that are designed to assist Klamath Project irrigators.

Key elements of an amendment to the bill include direction provided to the U.S. Department of the Interior to develop a plan and then make actions to reduce power costs for irrigators in the Klamath Project.

The amendment also includes eliminating contracts or permits for conveyance of non-Klamath Project groundwater, a designation of C-Flume Emergency and Extraordinary Operation and Maintenance (EEOM) that could save millions of dollars for project irrigators, and clear and permanent authorization for locally supported water bank activities.

Scott White, executive director of the KWUA, said in a press release Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, both Oregon Democrats, as well as U.S.Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., worked with KWUA for six months on the elements of the amendment.

The bill amendment also received support from U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both California Democrats, and the leadership of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“We were anticipating seeing our provisions in this version of the bill, but you never really know until it’s introduced,” said Brad Kirby, president of KWUA, in a news release. “These things don’t just happen, they take a tremendous amount of time, effort, persistence, and hope.


“This is just one step toward a larger goal of securing the viability of our family farms and ranches, but it is very important and welcome, and solid foundation for the next steps,” Kirby added.

Walden actively engaged Republicans on the contents of the amendment, according to a news release, which White said was “critical.”

“They were extremely engaged in our issues last year and remain that way with this version as well,” White said. “We are very grateful.”

Senate Bill 1406 (should be SB1460, not 1406) is a revitalized bipartisan energy and natural resource package that passed the Senate in 2016, but failed later that year.




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              Page Updated: Tuesday August 01, 2017 02:38 AM  Pacific

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