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Congress Passes Major Water Bill: Omnibus natural resources bill contains provision by Rep. Napolitano to hold down consumers' utility bills

April 29, 2008
Press Release

(Washington D.C.) - Congress passed S. 2739 today, a bill that includes Rep. Grace F. Napolitano’s (D-Norwalk) dam site security bill, H.R. 1662. This bill caps how much water and power customers pay for the cost of security guards at Bureau of Reclamation dams. The Bureau has maintained heightened security at dams since September 11, 2001 and the measure would cap how much customers have to pay for such security at $18.9 million. The legislation will help to protect water and power ratepayers from paying more than their fair share of security cost’s at Bureau of Reclamation dams across the Western United States.

Some of these mandated, costly security measures should be federal responsibilities, not passed down to consumers throughout California and the Western United States,” said Rep. Napolitano. “With the cost of electricity and other utilities rising, this legislation is needed to prevent the bureau from passing these costs onto the backs of consumers.”
Napolitano is chairwoman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power and is a co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressional Water Caucus.
S. 2739 also authorizes funding for:
Water recycling projects in California that would help provide an estimated 52,600 acre-feet of water annually - enough water for 105,000 households for one year - and help reduce the impact of future droughts.
Five water-related studies across the West to better ensure limited water resources are managed efficiently for future needs.