Senate Indian Affairs Committee set for hearing on IRRIGATE Act

The San Carlos Irrigation Project in Arizona. Photo from Bureau of Indian Affairs

Update: The hearing has been pushed to 2:40pm.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee holds a hearing tomorrow on S.438, the Irrigation Rehabilitation and Renovation for Indian Tribal Governments and Their Economies Act.

The bill, known as the IRRIGATE Act, authorizes $35 million a year from 2015 to 2036 to cover the costs of operations and maintenance at irrigation projects in Indian Country. The amount, plus interest, would make a huge dent in the backlog at the Bureau of Indian Affairs -- Government Accountability Office report from 2006 put the backlog at $850 million.

The hearing takes place at 2:30pm in Room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The witness list follows:
•The Honorable Kevin Washburn
Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs-U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

•Ms. Anne-Marie Fennell
Director of Natural Resources and Environment-U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC

•The Honorable Charles S. Headdress Sr.
Councilman-Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Fort Peck Reservation, Poplar, MT

•Mr. Mitchel T. Cottenoir
Tribal Water Engineer-Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes of Wind River Reservation, Ft. Washakie, WY

•Mr. Harry C. LaBonde, Jr.
Director-Wyoming Water Development Commission, Cheyenne, WY

Committee Notice:
Legislative Hearing on S. 438, the IRRIGATE Act (March 4, 2015)

Government Accountability Office Report -- Indian Irrigation Projects: Numerous Issues Need to Be Addressed to Improve Project Management and Financial Sustainability:
AbstractHighlights  | Full Report | Text-Only

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