October 17, 2019

Hearing Focuses on Bills to Protect Property Rights, Increase Federal Transparency

Press Release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: (I added a link and copy of H.R. 1830 the Water Rights Protection Act)

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2017

Today, the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held a legislative hearing on two bills to increase federal transparency, safeguard private and state water rights, and provide certainty to water and power users.

The “Water Rights Protection Act” discussion draft (Rep. Scott Tipton, R-CO) protects state water law and private property rights from future federal takings.

Private water rights holders should not live in fear of the federal government coming after them. Mr. Tipton’s bill is necessary to ensure that privately held water rights cannot be extracted by the federal government in the future as a condition to secure a federal permit,Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said.

Over many decades, federal attempts to manipulate the federal permit, lease and land management process to circumvent long-established state water law and hijack privately-held water rights have sounded the alarm for all non-federal water users that rely on these water rights for their livelihood. The Water Rights Protection Act is commonsense legislation that provides certainty by upholding longstanding federal deference to state water law,Rep. Tipton stated.

Vice President of the Utah Farm Bureau Randy Parker discussed the water rights issues he sees on the ground everyday as the U.S. Forest Service (FS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “systematically challeng[e] state sovereignty and historically held water rights on public lands.”

The ongoing protests, claims, coercion and even bullying by agents of the FS and the BLM has created and continues to cause considerable uncertainty for ranching families across the West,” Parker said.

Chris Treese, Manager for External Affairs at the Colorado River Water Conservation District, urged swift passage of the “Water Rights Protection Act” to avoid the inevitable downward spiral of litigation.

Unless the FS commits to respecting Western states’ individual water rights adjudication systems to accomplish its flow-related goals, the only sure outcome is contentious, lengthy and expensive litigation. This is a result in no one’s interest, including the environment,” Treese stated.

H.R. 2371 (Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ), the “Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act,” establishes a pilot project to increase the transparency of the Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) costs, rates, and other financial and operational dealings for utility ratepayers and taxpayers. Patrick Ledger, CEO of the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, welcomed the transparency and accountability promoted by this bill in light of the recent trend of increased utility rates.

With better information broken down in key components – and with a historical perspective – customers can have a better dialogue with [WAPA],” Ledger said.This is perhaps the most fundamental benefit that the transparency legislation offers.”

Click here to view full witness testimony.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://tomremington.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BILLS-114hr1830ih.pdf”]

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Secretary Jewell Lays Out Strategy to Address Impacts of Drought and Climate Change in California

*Editor’s Note* – Will the new Interior Secretary continue this nonsense?

Secretarial Order calls for actions by Interior and its bureaus to secure water supplies while providing environmental protection

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today issued a Secretarial Order directing the Department of the Interior and its bureaus to take timely actions to help address the effects of drought and climate change on California’s water supply and imperiled wildlife.

“Long-term drought, fueled by climate change, has adversely affected the state’s water supplies, exacerbated effects of water operations on imperiled species, impacted water quality, and added to the stressors affecting the health of California’s unique ecosystems, particularly the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Bay-Delta),” the order states.

“This Secretarial Order is a practical and broad-based strategy to help protect California’s water lifeline for present and future generations,” said Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor. “This order will ensure the integration of the Department’s actions with those of the State of California to provide a reliable drinking water supply for the public, sustain California’s agriculture, and continue to protect the Bay Delta ecosystem and enhance the conservation of species.”

“Today’s action tracks closely with the state’s multi-pronged Water Action Plan and commits the federal government to a timely review of the California WaterFix project,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. “This state-federal partnership is what’s needed to improve water reliability for residents and farmers and protect vulnerable ecosystems.”

Developed in consultation with the state agencies and other federal agencies, the order specifies steps by Interior and its agencies to achieve “the State’s co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the environmental quality of the Bay-Delta.”

The Secretarial Order issued today provides direction for the Department, and particularly Reclamation and FWS, with scientific support and technical advice from the USGS, to complete the technical, scientific, and analytical work necessary to make permitting, regulatory, and other decisions associated with various water initiatives. It calls for six actions:

1. California WaterFix Environmental Review. The order directs Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to allocate available resources, as necessary, to complete in a timely manner the Biological Opinions under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and a Record of Decision on the environmental documents for California WaterFix. California released a final environmental impact statement and a final environmental impact review on December 30, clearing the way for a final decision on WaterFix, which is the State’s plan to upgrade infrastructure in the estuary where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet before flowing to San Francisco Bay. This will secure water supplies for 25 million people. Interior’s Reclamation was the lead federal agency on the environmental impact statement issued under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Today’s Secretarial Order directs FWS to take all necessary actions to issue an initial Draft Biological Opinion in January 2017 and a final Draft Biological Opinion by March 2017 after incorporating the results of independent scientific peer reviews. A final Biological Opinion is to be issued by April 2017. It specifies that the Department, working with the State and others, will promptly review and consider any information received after publication of the Final EIR/EIS and issuance of the Biological Opinions, and will then be prepared to sign a Record of Decision. This decision will be made by the next Secretary.

2. Collaborative Delta Science Engagement Process. The order directs Reclamation, FWS, and USGS to work collaboratively with the state and other federal agencies to use the Adaptive Management Framework developed as part of California WaterFix to help guide scientific studies and monitoring, assist with Central Valley Project and State Water Project operations, and achieve the co-equal goals for the Bay Delta. New science proposals will be subject to review under various existing science review processes. Implementation of the framework will include an annual review process that develops innovative approaches to the refinement of monitoring and restoration activities that measure species’ populations. Annual review results will be made available to the public.

3. Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy. This strategy addresses both the risk to the critically endangered Delta smelt—formerly one of the most abundant fish in the Delta— and the risk to water supplies. The order directs Reclamation and FWS to closely coordinate with state and federal agencies and others in implementing all facets of the Strategy. During the next several years, Reclamation will acquire or otherwise make available up to 250,000 acre-feet/year of outflow above current state water quality permit requirements. This additional outflow may include using water transfers, changes in exports from the Bay-Delta, releases from upstream storage, or other measures. Each year FWS must provide to Reclamation and the state a detailed description of specific physical and biological objectives and species needs for Delta Smelt during the spring and summer based on the best available science.

4. Re-initiation of Consultation under the Endangered Species Act on Coordinated Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The Secretarial order directs Reclamation and FWS to work with other state and federal agencies to carry out the work necessary to complete the recently re-initiated consultation on long term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.

5. Active Engagement in Development of Voluntary Agreements for Flow Requirements and Coordination on Flows with ESA Requirements. Reclamation and FWS will work with other agencies to provide information to the State Water Resources Control Board as part of its Bay-Delta Plan initiative. This will include coordination with the California Natural Resources Agency in at least the following areas: 1) engagement with key stakeholders to develop voluntary agreements to increase flows and integrate flow and non-flow measures; 2) providing information necessary to establish water quality standards to meet fish, wildlife, and ecosystem goals; and 3) ensuring that requirements developed through the Bay-Delta Plan process are considered in assessing requirements and compliance under the Biological Opinions related to the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.

6. Winter-run Chinook “Species in the Spotlight” Action Plan. The order underscores that implementation of the “Species in the Spotlight” Action Plan is an essential element of reducing both near-term and long-term risks to Winter-run Chinook salmon. This plan was developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in 2016 as a high priority action plan that would guide allocation of NMFS resources, as well as attract funding from partner agencies and stakeholders. Reclamation and FWS will work with NMFS to incorporate spotlight actions into priorities developed under the Adaptive Management Framework.

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Protecting Aquatic Life From Effects of Hydrologic Alteration

Are you smart enough to understand what this really means?

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Geological Survey are releasing a draft technical report: Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration, for a 60-day public comment period. This report was developed because hydrologic alteration can be a contributor of impairment for water bodies that are designated to support aquatic life. Stresses on aquatic life associated with hydrologic alteration may be further exacerbated through climate change. Recent climate trends have included the change in frequency and duration of extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, which can have an impact on flow and affect aquatic life. The report is a nonprescriptive framework with information to help states, tribes, territories, water resource managers, and other stakeholders responsible for the maintenance of hydrologic flow regime to quantify flow targets for the preservation of aquatic life and habitat. This report also provides information on the relationship between hydrologic condition and water quality and gives examples of what some states and authorized tribes have done to address flow concerns using the Clean Water Act. The framework can also be used to translate narrative criteria and develop flow targets to protect aquatic life and habitat.<<<Read More>>>

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The Satanic Evil of EnvironMENTALism

wake up america

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Suit filed to block ownership transfer for Kerr Dam

…to block the federal government from transferring ownership of the Kerr Dam to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.Everything is all set for control of the dam to be assumed by the tribe Saturday.

Source: Suit filed to block ownership transfer for Kerr Dam

 

Robert Fanning on the Montana Water Compact-Cram Down from Scott Rockholm on Vimeo.

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CCofCC Seeks “protection of citizen’s health, safety, welfare, and prosperity”

Press Release from the Concerned Citizens of Central California:

To the citizens of Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa Counties:

Concerned Citizens of Central California hereby notify you that they have formally demanded the County Board of Supervisors and Sheriffs, as responsible representatives of our communities bring together all agencies to devise an emergency plan of action.

The purpose is to secure local control for the protection of citizen’s health, safety, welfare, and prosperity. Some resolutions have been passed at the county level, but no actions have taken place to regain local control of our Sierra National Forest, leading to massive water loss, and catastrophic fires.

Even with a forecast of a strong El Nino this year with above average rainfall, there will be further environmental complications. Increased rainfall from El Nino will bring mudslides and silt into the watershed, the streams, and the rivers killing the fish, making the water unpotable, and useless for our valley agricultural industry.

Without major changed in forest management, the fire danger will increase next year, and the drought will continue.

The whole community is coming together as the current conditions are so destructive that it is burning down the forest, killing wildlife, including the various endangered species. The only way to correct this mismanagement is to work with the US Forest Service using local county controls. The effects of this drought and high fire danger causing natural and socioeconomic disaster will be with us for generations.

Below is a sample letter, which has been mailed to the County Supervisors and Sheriffs in all three counties:

The residents of Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa Counties hereby inform you that degraded conditions in the County forests are endangering the health, safety, welfare and prosperity of all County citizens, businesses, public and private lands.

 Concerned Citizens of Central California request the immediate focused attention and decisive action of all three counties’ Boards of Supervisors as we address the complex issues that this catastrophe presents. We have lost the luxury of time for study and planning. Prompt action is crucial to protect our residents, animals, infrastructure, homes, businesses, natural resources, and recreational industry. Our Sheriff’s departments are over tasked, and underfunded to meet the demands that a mismanaged forest has created.

In 2013, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors passed and adopted the RESOLUTION REQUESTING a STATE OF EMERGENCY IN FRESNO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA DUE TO DEGRADED FOREST CONDITIONS AND IMMINENT THREAT FROM CATASTROPHIC FIRES AND EXTREME DROUGHT. This resolution states that, “It is the responsibility and within the scope of authority of the Board of Supervisors of Fresno County to exercise powers necessary and proper to protect public safety, health, and the economic prosperity of the inhabitants of the County pursuant to the provisions of the constitution of laws of this State;” The Board of Supervisors follows with a request that a state of emergency be declared in and around the County’s forest communities.

On October 21, 2014, the Madera County Board of Supervisors passed and adopted the RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF SUSTAINABLE FOREST POLICIES. “It is the responsibility and within the scope of authority of the Board of Supervisors of Madera County (“County”) to exercise powers necessary and proper to protect public safety, health, and the economic prosperity of the inhabitants of the County pursuant to the provisions of the constitution of laws of this State;” The Board of Supervisors follows with a request that a state of emergency be declared in and around the County’s forest communities.

In April, 2015, the Concerned Citizens of Central California spoke before the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors about the urgent need to pass an EMERGENCY RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF SUSTAINABLE FOREST POLICIES. “It is the responsibility and within the scope of authority of the Board of Supervisors of Mariposa County to exercise powers necessary and proper to protect public safety, health and economic prosperity of the inhabitants of the County pursuant to the provisions of the constitution of laws of this State.”  The Concerned Citizens of Central California request that the Board of Supervisors declare a State of Emergency in and around the County’s forest communities.

The residents of Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa Counties, whose health, safety and welfare you have sworn to protect, do now call upon you, the members of all three County Board of Supervisors, to act promptly and decisively to protect your counties against further destruction. As our Federal and State agencies have failed us, in preventing this emergency, local action becomes the only logical solution.

 We are asking for the County Supervisors to schedule a meeting, as promptly as can be organized, including all three Boards of Supervisors, the Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa County Sheriffs, all appropriate County agencies, the United States Forest Service, Cal Fire, P.G. & E., So. Cal Edison Co. and the residents and businesses, to discuss the implementation of measures, to protect our public and private lands and communities from further damage. Mountain residents will be happy to assist in organizing this event.

 In conclusion, we will work with the Supervisors and Sheriffs in this process unless they are unwilling to work to take action to protect the citizen’s health, safety, welfare, and prosperity. Meaningless political resolutions, statements, and posturing without action is no longer tolerable. Further actions are planned to take place to ensure that the people representing our communities are there to serve the best interests of the people.

 Thank you,

 Concerned Citizens of Central California

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Interview 1080 – Claire Bernish Reports on the Nestle Water Scandal : The Corbett Report

“Nestle Pays Only $524 to Extract 27,000,000 Gallons of California Drinking Water.” We talk about the (expired) permit that has allowed Nestle to pump the water from the San Bernardino National Forest for decades, the effect it is having on California’s drought-ravaged ecosystem, the growing movement to draw awareness to the issue, and reddit’s censorship of Bernish’s viral article.

Source: Interview 1080 – Claire Bernish Reports on the Nestle Water Scandal : The Corbett Report

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Obama team ramps up water regulations

The Obama administration moved Wednesday to expand anti-pollution regulations over smaller bodies of water, another executive action that drew cheers from environmentalists and jeers from Republicans.

Source: Obama team ramps up water regulations

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New Approach to ‘Eating Shit’

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Six False Claims the Environmental Protection Agency is Making to Hide Its Attempt to Control America’s Water

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Obama Administration’s Proposed Water Regulation Also Would Make the Environmental Protection Agency the “Lord and Master of Private Land,” New Analysis Says

Washington, DC – Landowners, homeowners, home builders, construction companies, farmers, ranchers, fruit growers, the forestry and mining industries, and just about everyone else engaged in productive activities in the United States are in the crosshairs of the most far-reaching power grab ever undertaken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a new analysis by Bonner Cohen, Ph. D., senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and senior policy analyst with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

In the name of “clarifying” the federal government’s regulatory authority over certain bodies of water under the Clean Water Act, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in March unleashed a torrent of proposed regulations that would give Washington final authority over land-use decisions from coast-to-coast.

The regulations cover “waters of the United States” and are commonly referred to as “WOTUS.”

In the analysis, “WOTUS: The Facts About EPA’s Wet Fiction,” Dr. Cohen points out that the EPA contends that its regulatory onslaught is necessary to clear up “uncertainties” arising from U.S. Supreme Court decisions from 2001 and 2006. Those rulings restricted the EPA’s authority and cast doubt over the legitimacy of its schemes to regulate wetlands and intermittent bodies of water.

“Despite losing both cases,” Dr. Cohen says, “EPA now claims that ambiguities in the rulings give it greater authority than ever before to regulate isolated and intermittent bodies of water on private land.”

Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA is authorized to regulate “navigable waters of the United States,” such as rivers, bays, channels, etc. But under the guise of “clarifying” its power, EPA is seeking to effectively delete the word “navigable” from the statute, allowing the agency to expand its writ far beyond congressional intent.

Dr. Cohen’s analysis notes that staffers on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee have rated the following six claims about WOTUS by Obama’s EPA as “NOT TRUE”:

• The EPA says WOTUS does not apply to ditches. (Not true.)
• The EPA says WOTUS will not regulate activities on land. (Not true.)
• The EPA says WOTUS will not apply to groundwater. (Not true.)
• The EPA says WOTUS will not affect stock ponds. (Not true.)
• The EPA says WOTUS does not require permits for normal farming activities, like moving cattle. (Not true.)
• The EPA says WOTUS does not regulate puddles. (Not true.)

In fact, Dr. Cohen says, Obama’s EPA is granting itself the power, under certain circumstances, to regulate:

• Ditches;
• Activities on land including homebuilding, agriculture, ranching, and mining;
• Groundwater;
• Stock ponds on farms and ranches;
• Traditional agricultural activities, such as moving cattle; and
• Puddles.

“If the proposed regulations are allowed to go into effect,” Dr. Cohen says, “the Obama EPA and the Corps will become lord and master over millions of acres of private land in the United States.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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