Chaffetz Sponsored Provo River Bill Passes the House

Dec 3, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 255, the Provo River Title Transfer Act, sponsored by Congressman Jason Chaffetz, by a unanimous vote of 406 - 0. This legislation would clarify existing language in the Provo River Project Transfer Act. 

Why this bill is needed

Congress passed legislation in the 108th Congress authorizing a transfer of the canal to the Provo River Water Users Association. This would allow federal taxpayers to be compensated for capital costs and they would not be liable for operating costs and risks.

Since enactment of the original title transfer bill, the local water authority enclosed the canal using non-federal dollars.

The Bureau of Reclamation is arguing that the original law authorizing title transfer needs to be changed because the law refers to an open canal which is now enclosed. This bill would update the law to reflect that change.

What HR 255 does

  • Strikes the term "canal" from PL 108-382 and replaces it with "water conveyance facility historically known as the Provo Reservoir Canal"
  • Directs the transfer of "all associated bridges, fixtures, structures, facilities, lands, interests in land and rights-of-ways held"

Bottom line: Prior to title transfer, the Provo River Water Users Association will have repaid the federal government for original construction costs. The association did not use federal dollars to complete the canal's enclosure. The association has fulfilled its end of the deal. A technical correction to existing law is needed to complete the federal government's end of the deal.