HOUSE COMMITTEE ON STREAM RESTORATION

 & SPECIES RECOVERY

 

April 05, 2001                                                                                                    Hermiston City Hall

7:00 P.M.                                                                                                                      Tapes 82 - 84

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Rep. Bob Jenson, Chair

Rep. Randy Leonard Vice-Chair

Rep. Al King

Rep. Carolyn Tomei

Rep. Kelley Wirth

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:          Rep. Jan Lee, Vice-Chair

Rep. Tim Knopp

Rep. Jeff Kruse

                                                Rep. Patti Smith

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Sandy Thiele-Cirka, Committee Administrator

Linda K. Gatto, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUE HEARD:

                                                Informational Meeting

                                                    District 57 Irrigation & Water Conservation Efforts

                                                Public Hearing

                                                    HB 2998

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 82, A

009

Chair Jenson

Calls the meeting to order at 7:09 p.m. Acknowledges appreciation of the public attendance and introduces the committee members. Opens informational meeting.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

066

Bob Hale

Family Farmer.  Presents an overview of the Columbia Basin using a satellite map. Discusses the ground water areas that have been regulated and permitting situation. (EXHIBIT A).

136

Rep. Tomei

Questions if the red areas on the map are the irrigated areas.

138

Hale

Responds affirmatively.

140

Hale

Refers to page three of (EXHIBIT A).

166

Chair Jenson

Questions if this is consumptive use by all users.

217

Hale

Responds that 80 percent of water uses is for agriculture. Refers to page five of (EXHIBIT A).

271

Rep. Wirth

Asks how the Columbia River compares in miles between the states of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.

287

Hale

Refers to page three of (EXHIBIT A).

310

Hale

States that northeastern Oregon and parts of Washington lead the nation in conservation. Notes how these efforts have become a liability.

340

Chair Jenson

Comments on the development of mitigation credits for technology that has been in place for years.

351

Hale

Explains the market share losses that result if irrigated acres are regulated and land used to replace those acres is not acquired fast enough.

385

Rep. Tomei

Questions why the state of Washington is receiving ten times the permits that Oregon gets.

396

Hale

Explains the difference in water law and continues explanation regarding how the market share was removed from Oregon.

450

Chair Jenson

Clarifies that Washington had a longer lead-time.

TAPE 83, A

020

Hale

Notes that the economics of an area is closely tied to water. Comments on the parties and costs involved.

047

Darrel Olson

Resource Economist submits (EXHBIT B). States the proposal is for improving and developing better water management system throughout the Columbia River Basin.

103

Olson

Discusses the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) no-net-loss policy.

127

Olson

Discusses flow augmentation and water temperature.

198

Olson

Suggests amending the fish program (EXHIBIT B). Proposes that 80 percent of the existing flow augmentation and reshape the water for hydropower production. Explains the cost savings and proposes to use this money in the watersheds on water storage projects.

260

Olson

States the proposed amendment is before the Northwest Power Planning Council (NPPC). Requests that the House Stream Restoration & Species Recovery committee review the proposal.

300

Rep. Tomei

Questions how would habitat and lower temperatures be achieved.

310

Olson

Responds by defining habitat as water availability, that the water is transferred.

330

Rep. Wirth

Questions if water usage encompass storage.

336

Olson

Responds the storage is what is controlled from runoff. Explains consumption and storage.

TAPE 82, B

025

Chair Jenson

Closes the informational meeting and requests information on the Echo Springs project.

038

Harmon Springer

Resident. Reviews the project. Explains that water is removed from the Umatilla River to flood the Echo Meadows in the winter and resurfaces in the river at the colder temperature in July or August.

102

Rep. Leonard

Clarifies that the objective of the project is to cool the river.

108

Springer

Responds affirmatively and concludes by stating that the belief is that the recharge systems are an influence to cooling the river as riparian areas are.

128

Chair Jenson

Closes the informational meeting and opens the public hearing on     HB 2998.

HB 2998 – PUBLIC HEARING

135

Sandy Thiele-Cirka

Administrator. Summarizes HB 2998.

140

Chair Jenson

Summarizes the background of HB 2998.  Comments on the proposed amendment of create a pilot program.

180

Kent Madison

Refers to the –1 amendment dated 03/19/01(EXHIBIT C). Explains and reviews how the program would be based on permitted water rights.

225

Madison

Refers to section two and reads the hand engrossed version, line 19    (EXHIBIT D). Notes that the tax would last four years and the citizens would have to re-vote to keep the tax in place.

282

Madison

Continues review on the types of projects the fee could be used for.  Proposes a conceptual amendment that would allow the Soil and Water Conservation District to reimburse the election expenses.

300

Chair Jenson

Explains that legislative concepts sometimes come back as bill drafts that do not reflect the intent of bill.

348

Rep. Tomei

Clarifies that the fee would be based on the legal entitlement.

350

Madison

Responds affirmatively. Discusses conservation incentives.

381

Rep. King

Questions if the irrigation districts would be a better place to pilot the program.

434

Madison

Responds this does not fall under the double majority criteria.  Explains why the Soil and Water Conservation Districts have been selected.

TAPE 83, B

017

Rep. King

Requests clarification on how the excise tax affects someone passing along water rights to in-stream use.

019

Madison

Responds the tax bill would come to the legal holder of the permit.  Notes the advantage that the Water Resources Department would have to digitize the water right map to match the water rights map.

033

Rep. Wirth

Refers to (EXHIBIT D) and questions how the water rights differ between users.

040

Madison

Responds that it depends what the rights are based on.

064

Rep. Wirth

Questions what assurance is there that users do not go over the maximum amount allowed. Questions if the largest right holders are the largest users.

065

Madison

Responds that the bill would combine a fiscal consequence with a metering device. Compares the usage of a port right to an agricultural right.

090

Bill Brewer

Landowner and Water User, Board of Director on the Westland Irrigation District. Testifies in opposition to HB 2998. States the irrigation district already believe that too much money is designated to the government for water consumption. Clarifies that every acre-foot of water is monitored closely and that all users have a headgate or meter.

170

Rep. King

Questions what he is opposed to.

175

Brewer

Responds he is opposed to an overall tax, adds he is not opposed to the projects. States he is opposed to a bill that creates another tax.

194

Chester Prior

Testifies in opposition to HB 2998. Comments that funding for conservation projects needs to be from the bottom up and there is funding currently available from other sources.

270

Tom Gilleese

President of the Hermiston Economic Development Corporation.  States that over 5,000 gallons a day requires a water right. Explains the methodology that would be needed to monitor the taxing process.

329

Rep. King

Questions how many foot acres of water does it take to create a new job in Umatilla county.

343

Gilleese

Responds it has been determined that it takes three acre feet of water to raise a crop on a farm, and 30 jobs for a 1000 acres of farm.

366

Chuck Miller

Chairman of the Board of the Hermiston Irrigation District.  Testifies in opposition to HB 2998.  States the cost to the users would be about $12,500.  States some of the acres are metered and some are not.

420

Rep. Leonard

Questions why all outlets are not metered.

TAPE 84, A

013

Rep. Tomei

Clarifies that the electors in the district would approve the tax.

 

Miller

Responds the bill is using the Soil and Water Conservation District, which is larger than the irrigation district.

027

Rep. Wirth

Asks what are the maximum amounts allowed by a water right for municipalities.

033

Miller

Responds it is based on the soil type.

052

Chair Jenson

Closes the public hearing on HB 2998 and adjourns the meeting at        9:05 p.m.

 

Submitted By,                                                                           Reviewed By,

 

 

 

Linda K. Gatto,                                                                        Sandy Thiele-Cirka,

Committee Assistant                                                                 Committee Administrator

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     Irrigation & Water, graphs, Bob Hale, 6 pp.

B.     Irrigation & Water, printed materials, Darrel Olson, 15 pp.

C.     HB 2998, -1 amendments dated 3/19/01, staff, 2 pp.

D.    HB 2998, hand engrossed with the –1 amendments dated 3/19/01, staff, 2 pp.