HJR16-1002

HJR16-1002 - Dam Restoration Access To Federal Lands

Passed/Signed into Law
Concerning timely access to federal lands for dam restoration projects.

WHEREAS, Colorado faces an increasing gap between water supply and demand that could reach a statewide shortfall totaling 500,000 acre-feet or more by 2050; and

WHEREAS, Water storage is paramount as a means to address this increasing gap in Colorado; and

WHEREAS, Reservoirs used for water storage and the dams used to retain water within them should be operated and maintained in a manner to maximize their water storage capacity; and

WHEREAS, The General Assembly has authorized the State Engineer to inspect dams routinely to determine the safe storage level of reservoirs; and

WHEREAS, When, upon inspection, the State Engineer determines that the condition of a dam is unsatisfactory and the dam is in need of repair or rehabilitation, the State Engineer will restrict the water level behind the dam for safety purposes, thus limiting the reservoir's storage capacity; and

WHEREAS, It is imperative for the purpose of maximizing our state's water storage capacity that any dam put under restriction be restored to a satisfactory condition as soon as practicable to remove the storage restriction; and

WHEREAS, In order to access a dam for maintenance, repairs, or rehabilitation, an owner or operator of a dam located on federal land must seek permission, sometimes in the form of a special use permit, from the federal agency managing the land; and

WHEREAS, Federal agencies have not responded promptly to requests for approval to access the federal land on which a dam is located, even when the purpose of seeking access to the dam is to maintain, repair, or rehabilitate the dam; and

WHEREAS, A federal agency's failure to respond promptly to requests for permission to access a dam located on federal land extends the period of time during which the dam is under a storage restriction, thus counteracting efforts to maximize our state's water storage capacity; and

WHEREAS, A federal agency's failure to respond promptly to requests for permission to access a dam in need of maintenance, repairs, or rehabilitation could further exacerbate the deteriorating condition of the dam, potentially increasing both the cost to restore the dam to a satisfactory condition and the risk the deteriorating dam poses to the safety of the citizens of Colorado; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Seventieth General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the Senate concurring herein:

That we, the members of the Colorado General Assembly, urge federal agencies, specifically the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, to respond promptly to requests for permission to access a dam located on federal land when the purpose of  accessing the dam is to maintain, repair, or rehabilitate the dam.

Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Resolution be sent to members of Colorado's congressional delegation, the Chief of the United States Forest Service, and the Director of the Bureau of Land Management.

Latest update: February 16, 2016
02/16/2016 Signed by the President of the Senate
02/10/2016 Signed by the Speaker of the House
02/08/2016 Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
02/05/2016 Senate Third Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
02/05/2016 Introduced In Senate - Assigned to
02/04/2016 House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
02/01/2016 House Third Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
01/27/2016 House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
01/13/2016 Introduced In House - Assigned to Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources