House Bill Would Require Cost-Benefit Study for BDCP Conveyance Options

Legislation introduced last month in Congress would require the federal government to study the full costs and benefits of conveyance improvements under review as part of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

HR 6484, introduced by U.S. Rep. John Garamendi of California along with fellow Reps. George Miller, Mike Thompson, Jerry McNerney and Doris Matsui, would direct the Interior Department to evaluate the costs and benefits of conveyance options being considered in the BDCP process, including at least one option that does not call for construction of one or more new conveyance tunnels. The department would be required to submit an analysis of the costs and benefits to Congress by June 30, 2013.

State legislation authored earlier this year by Assembly Member Bill Berryhill (R-Stockton) would have required a similar cost-benefit analysis. That bill, AB 2421, failed to clear the Assembly.

HR 6484 also would direct the Interior Department to establish a program to assist non-federal interests in maintaining and improving Delta levees. To be eligible for funding assistance, levees would have to be publicly owned and have a direct role in delivering water for the federal Central Valley Project.

Implementation costs would be repaid by CVP contractors that receive water conveyed through the Delta.

The bill has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee. Details can be found here.