43 U.S.C. § 485h New Projects; Sale of Water and Electric Power; Lease of Power Privileges

LibraryUnited States Statutes
Edition2023
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-34 (published on www.congress.gov on 12/26/2023), except for [P. L. 118-31]
Year2023
Citation43 U.S.C. § 485h

(a) Findings of Secretary

No expenditures for the construction of any new project, new division of a project, or new supplemental works on a project shall be made, nor shall estimates be submitted therefor, by the Secretary until after he has made an investigation thereof and has submitted to the President and to the Congress his report and findings on-

(1) the engineering feasibility of the proposed construction;

(2) the estimated cost of the proposed construction;

(3) the part of the estimated cost which can properly be allocated to irrigation and probably be repaid by the water users;

(4) the part of the estimated cost which can properly be allocated to power and probably be returned to the United States in net power revenues;

(5) the part of the estimated cost which can properly be allocated to municipal water supply or other miscellaneous purposes and probably be returned to the United States.

If the proposed construction is found by the Secretary to have engineering feasibility and if the repayable and returnable allocations to irrigation, power, and municipal water supply or other miscellaneous purposes found by the Secretary to be proper, together with any allocation to flood control or navigation made under subsection (b) of this section, equal the total estimated cost of construction as determined by the Secretary, then the new project, new division of a project, or supplemental works on a project, covered by his findings, shall be deemed authorized and may be undertaken by the Secretary. If all such allocations do not equal said total estimated cost, then said new project, new division, or new supplemental works may be undertaken by the Secretary only after provision therefor has been made by Act of Congress enacted after the Secretary has submitted to the President and the Congress the report and findings involved.

(b) Allocation of part of cost to flood control or navigation

In connection with any new project, new division of a project, or supplemental works on a project there may be allocated to flood control or navigation the part of said total estimated cost which the Secretary may find to be proper. Items for any such allocations made in connection with projects which may be undertaken pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be included in the estimates of appropriations submitted by the Secretary for said projects, and funds for such portions of the projects shall not become available except as directly appropriated or allotted to the Department of the Interior. In connection with the making of such an allocation, the Secretary shall consult with the Chief of Engineers and the Secretary of the Army, and may perform any of the necessary investigations or studies under a cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the Army. In the event of such an allocation the Secretary of the Interior shall operate the project for purposes of flood control or navigation, to the extent justified by said allocation therefor.

(c) Furnishing water to municipalities; sale of electric power; lease of power privileges

(1) The Secretary is authorized to enter into contracts to furnish water for municipal water supply or miscellaneous purposes: Provided, That any such contract either (A) shall require repayment to the United States, over a period of not to exceed forty years from the year in which water is first delivered for the use of the contracting party, with interest not exceeding the rate of 3½ per centum per annum if the Secretary determines an interest charge to be proper, of an appropriate share as determined by the Secretary of that part of the construction costs allocated by him to municipal water supply or other miscellaneous purposes; or (B) shall be for such periods, not to exceed forty years, and at such rates as in the Secretary's judgment will produce revenues at least sufficient to cover an appropriate share of the annual operation and maintenance cost and an appropriate share of such fixed charges as the Secretary deems proper, and shall require the payment of said rates each year in advance of delivery of water for said year. Any sale of electric power or lease of power privileges, made by the Secretary in connection with the operation of any project or division of a project, shall be for such periods, not to exceed forty years, and at such rates as in his judgment will produce power revenues at least sufficient to cover an appropriate share of the annual operation and maintenance cost, interest on an appropriate share of the construction investment at not less than 3 per centum per annum, and such other fixed charges as the Secretary deems proper: Provided further, That in said sales or leases preference shall be given to municipalities and other public corporations or agencies; and also to cooperatives and other nonprofit organizations financed in whole or in part by loans made pursuant to the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 [ 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.]. Nothing in this subsection shall be applicable to provisions in existing contracts, made pursuant to law, for the use of power and miscellaneous revenues of a project for the benefit of users of water from such project. The provisions of this subsection respecting the sales of electric power and leases of power privileges shall be an authorization in addition to and alternative to any authority in existing laws related to particular projects and reserve to the Secretary the exclusive authority to develop small conduit hydropower using Bureau of Reclamation facilities and pumped storage hydropower exclusively using Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs. No contract relating to municipal water supply or miscellaneous purposes or to electric power or power privileges shall be made unless, in the judgment of the Secretary, it will not impair the efficiency of the project for irrigation purposes.

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