Reauthorizes the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act
December 10, 2016 - Washington—The Senate yesterday passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. This $12 billion bill reauthorizes the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act and funds a wide range of programs addressing the country’s water and wastewater infrastructure, ports and inland waterways, flood protection, ecosystem restoration and drought resiliency. The bill also authorizes $170 million to address the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on the bill:
“The bill includes a host of programs that benefit California. These include Corps of Engineers projects to limit the risk of flooding in West Sacramento, restoring the Los Angeles River and the American River Watershed and improve the San Francisco shoreline. The ports of Hueneme and San Diego are also now eligible for funding in the bill to cover crucial harbor maintenance programs.
“Overall this bill is a big win for California’s aging infrastructure, flood protection and ecosystem restoration and I’m grateful to Senator Boxer for her work as chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works.”
Key projects in California:
- San Francisco Shoreline: Authorizes $70 million for critical flood protection and environmental restoration in Santa Clara County.
- Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project: Authorizes $380 million to restore ecosystems along the Los Angeles River in Los Angeles County.
- American River Watershed: Authorizes $880 million to reduce floods along American and Sacramento Rivers in Sacramento.
- West Sacramento flood control: Authorizes $780 million to reduce flooding in West Sacramento.
- Expands the eligibility of an existing federal program to increasing funding for harbor maintenance to include the ports of Hueneme and San Diego.
“I’m thrilled that the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act is included in this bill. We’ve been working to pass an updated Tahoe restoration bill for seven years. This bill authorizes $415 million to carry on the work of the original bill, improving water quality, reducing hazardous fuels to prevent wildfires, fighting the spread of invasive species and restoring critical habitat throughout the Tahoe Basin.”
The bill authorizes:
- $45 million for lake-wide aquatic invasive species control and a watercraft inspection program.
- $113 million for storm water management and watershed restoration projects.
- $80 million for environmental restoration projects.
- $150 million for fire risk reduction and forest management programs.
Tribal Water Rights Settlements
“The bill includes two important Indian water rights settlements that will bring to a close decades of litigation and uncertainty: The Pechanga Water Settlement Act and San Luis Rey Settlement. These two settlements will go a long way toward providing much-needed closure for the tribes, surrounding communities and federal government.”
- Finalizes the water rights settlement among the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians California Tribes, the United States, and surrounding water districts, and authorizes $28.2 million for the purchase of water and the construction of vital water infrastructure.
- Finalizes the San Luis Rey settlement, directs Interior to provide 16,000 acre feet of water to the five tribes, and allows the tribes to access $57 million in settlement funds.
Source: Senator Dianne Feinstein