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Congressman Doug LaMalfa

Representing the 1st District of California

LaMalfa Helps Shape Water Appropriations

May 1, 2015
Press Release
House Adopts LaMalfa Regulation Reform & Drought Language, Includes Reservoir Study, Levee Upgrade in Bill

Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) applauds the passage of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.  When the bill passed today, it included two amendments sponsored by Rep. LaMalfa intended to roll back excessive regulations and protect California’s access to water supplies during the drought.  Additionally, LaMalfa was successful in securing funds for a levee project in the North State and accelerate the completion of the Sites feasibility study. LaMalfa’s first amendment prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from ignoring regulatory exemptions for farming activities

“The amendment I sponsored prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers from using creative interpretations of the law to penalize farmers for changing crops or fallowing fields. Congress never intended for the Corps to interpret the law in this way, and the House has once again expressed its opposition to this overreach.”

LaMalfa’s second proposal will prevent the Bureau of Reclamation from diverting water from cities and farms beyond what is required by the Trinity Record of Decision (ROD). In 2013 and 2014, the Bureau ignored the ROD to divert even more water toward environmental purposes.

“I’m also pleased that the House supported my language preventing the Bureau of Reclamation from abandoning the Trinity Record of Decision and diverting more water away from the Central Valley Project,” continued LaMalfa. “Despite the state’s historic drought, the Bureau has diverted far more water for environmental purposes that the Record of Decision allows, depriving the state of water that could supply hundreds of thousands of Californians. We need every drop we can spare during this crisis, and this amendment will put an end to this misuse.”

LaMalfa also was successful in working with Rep. David Valadao from the Central Valley in securing language in the final funding bill aimed at increasing water infrastructure in the North State, and across California. The measure instructs the Bureau of Reclamation to finish and submit feasibility studies for three dam expansion and two dam creation proposals, including language setting a 2016 deadline on the study of Sites Reservoir. California's voters approved $2.7 billion in construction funds for projects like Sites, and the state will begin selecting projects to fund at the end of 2016.

"California's voters have spoken strongly in support of funding projects like Sites Reservoir, and completing the study brings us one step closer to construction. It's time to end the decades of studies and start working to ensure that California's farms, cities and environment have water in generations to come."

LaMalfa also announced that the measure provided $15 million toward the Hamilton City levee construction project, which will protect 1,800 residents from flooding.  

“We’ve again been successful in providing funding to rebuild Hamilton City’s levees, protecting families and farms from winter floods. The community’s contributions to this project are paying dividends today, and we hope to secure final funding for this project in the coming year.” 

To view Rep. LaMalfa's comments on the House floor, please click here: https://youtu.be/JRB3CJGLPAE