House Passes Two Costa Amendments To The Energy And Water Appropriations Bill

Jul 17, 2009
Press Release
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 Amendments Will Fund Critical California Water Projects And Ease Regulations To Transfer Water Around The State

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.Earlier in the week, the House of Representatives passed two amendments authored by Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) by voice vote.  The two amendments will provide $10 million in funding toward the Intertie and Two-Gates projects, direct the Secretary of the Interior to diversify sources of water for refuges to free up more water for agricultural water users, ease the ability for the state to do inter-county transfers, and expedite a plan to deal with the Giant Garter Snake, which has been an impediment to critical water transfers.  The bill was passed today by the House and now moves on to the Senate for consideration.

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“I am very pleased my colleagues supported these amendments,” Costa said.   “Two-Gates, if successfully implemented, will give greater flexibility of the federal and state pumps to operate, thereby supplying water to projects south of the Delta to work as they were intended.  During critical times of the year, it would prevent the salmon and smelt from being ingested into the pumps.”

Costa continued, “While these are not the silver bullet to fix our water challenges, these fixes are a step in the right direction and part of a continued effort to help address our short and long-term water strategies.  For far too long, our farmers and farm workers have been held hostage by the lack of a plan to deal with the Giant Garter Snake and the Bureau’s inflexibility to transfer water within and beyond county lines.  We cannot allow endless bureaucracy and misuses of the Endangered Species Act to impede our Valley’s economy.  Finally, I want to thank Congressman Cardoza for his assistance with these amendments.”

The first amendment reduces the Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner’s Policy and Administration account by $10 million and transfers it to the CALFED account to help speed along the Intertie and Two-Gates projects, in addition to diversifying refuge water supplies, which are currently taken from supplies that would otherwise go to agricultural water users within the Central Valley Project.  Costa’s second amendment will allow transfers of water between certain Central Valley Project contractors within the South Delta Divisions of the Central Valley Project.  It also directs the Secretary of the Interior to expeditiously revise, finalize and implement the Draft Recovery plan for the Giant Garter Snake.