Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects, 19950-19955 [E7-7558]

Download as PDF 19950 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 76 / Friday, April 20, 2007 / Notices Total Estimated Burden Hours: 67,550. Status: Revision of a currently approved collection. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Authority: Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 35, as amended. Dated: April 16, 2007. Lillian L. Deitzer, Departmental Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. E7–7480 Filed 4–20–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–5125–N–16] Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the Homeless Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, HUD. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice. This Notice identifies unutilized, underutilized, excess, and surplus Federal property reviewed by HUD for suitability for possible use to assist the homeless. SUMMARY: EFFECTIVE DATE: April 20, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathy Ezzell, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Room 7262, 451 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20410; telephone (202) 708–1234; TTY number for the hearing- and speech-impaired (202) 708–2565, (these telephone numbers are not toll-free), or call the toll-free Title V information line at 1–800–927–7588. In accordance with the December 12, 1988 court order in National Coalition for the Homeless v. Veterans Administration, No. 88–2503–OG (D.D.C.), HUD publishes a Notice, on a weekly basis, identifying unutilized, underutilized, excess and surplus Federal buildings and real property that HUD has reviewed for suitability for use to assist the homeless. Today’s Notice is for the purpose of announcing that no additional properties have been determined suitable or unsuitable this week. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: April 12, 2007. Mark R. Johnston, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs. [FR Doc. E7–7284 Filed 4–19–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:52 Apr 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Rate Adjustments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) owns, or has an interest in, irrigation facilities located on various Indian reservations throughout the United States. We are authorized to establish rates to recover the costs to administer, operate, maintain, and rehabilitate those facilities. We are notifying you that we have adjusted the irrigation assessment rates at several of our irrigation facilities for operation and maintenance. DATES: Effective Date: The irrigation assessment rates shown in the tables are effective on January 1, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For details about a particular BIA irrigation project, please use the tables in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section to contact the regional or local office where the project is located. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Proposed Rate Adjustment was published in the Federal Register on November 24, 2006 (71 FR 67897), to adjust the irrigation rates at several BIA irrigation facilities. The public and interested parties were provided an opportunity to submit written comments during the 60-day period prior to January 23, 2007. Did the BIA defer any proposed rate increases? For the Uintah Indian Irrigation Project, the BIA, in consultation with the tribes and Irrigation Project water users, has deferred the rate increase for 2007. For the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project, the BIA, in consultation with the tribes and Irrigation Project water users, has deferred the rate increase for 2008. Did the BIA receive any comments on the proposed irrigation assessment rate adjustments? Written comments were received for the proposed rate adjustments for the Blackfeet Irrigation Project, Montana, Fort Peck Irrigation Project, Montana, Fort Belknap Irrigation Project, Montana, the Flathead Irrigation Project, Montana, the San Carlos Irrigation Project—Joint Works (SCIP–JW), Arizona, Walker River Irrigation Project, PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Nevada, and the Wind River Irrigation Project, Wyoming. What issues were of concern by the commenters? The commenters were concerned with one or more of the following issues: (1) How funds collected from stakeholders are expended on operation and maintenance (O&M); (2) the impact of an assessment rate increase on the local agricultural economy and on individual land owners and irrigators; (3) BIA O&M subsidies for trust land; (4) drainage of water from farm lands and on farm improvements; (5) non-delivery of water to water users with outstanding O&M charges. The following comments are specific to the Walker River Irrigation Project, Nevada: (1) Safety of dams project which will shorten water delivery time; (2) breach of trust issues; and (3) whether the rate increase violates federal law. The following comments are specific to the San Carlos Irrigation Project—Joint Works: (1) The amount of project reserve funds, income, and expenditures; and (2) the timeliness of the rate adjustment notice. How does BIA respond to the concern of how funds are expended for O&M? BIA includes the following expenses in irrigation project budgets: Project personnel costs; materials and supplies; vehicle and equipment repairs; equipment; capitalization expenses; acquisition expenses; rehabilitation costs; maintenance of a reserve fund for contingencies or emergencies; and other expenses we determine necessary to properly operate and maintain the irrigation projects. One common misconception water users have is that all salary costs are administrative. Only a portion of each project budget is for administrative costs. The administrative costs include the office costs, office staff (accounting and clerical), and a portion of the project manager’s salary. The O&M workers are considered O&M costs for operating and maintaining the project. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed an audit report (GAO–06–314) in February 2006. In that report, the GAO recommended that the BIA require project managers to meet at least twice annually with water users. On July 21, 2006, the Director, BIA, directed each BIA revenue-generating irrigation project to meet, at a minimum, twice annually with its water users— once at the end of the irrigation season and once before the next season. For projects that operate year round, those projects will determine their best schedule for holding these meetings. At these meetings, the irrigation staff will E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 76 / Friday, April 20, 2007 / Notices sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES provide to the waters users information on project operations, including budget plans and actual annual expenditures, and will obtain feedback and input from the water users. The BIA’s budget estimates and records of expenditures for all of its irrigation facilities are public records and available for review by stakeholders or interested parties. Stakeholders (project water users/land owners/tribes) can review these records during normal business hours at the individual agency offices. Alternatively, BIA may treat requests to review project records as requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and provide copies of such records to the requesting party in accordance with FOIA. To review or to obtain copies of these records, stakeholders, and interested parties are directed to contact the BIA representative at the specific facility serving them, using the tables in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. How does BIA respond to concerns about irrigation O&M assessment rate increase and related impact on the local agricultural economy and on individual land owners and irrigators? All of the BIA’s irrigation projects are important economic contributors to the local communities they serve, contributing millions in crop value annually. Historically, BIA tempered irrigation rate increases based in part on the economic impact on water users. This tempering of rate increases has resulted in a rate deficiency at most of the irrigation projects. Over the past several years, the BIA’s irrigation program has been the subject of several Office of Inspector General (OIG) and GAO audits. In the most recent OIG audit, No. 96–I–641, March 1996, the OIG concluded, ‘‘Operation and maintenance revenues were insufficient to maintain the projects, and some projects had deteriorated to the extent that their continued capability to deliver water was in doubt. This occurred because operation and maintenance rates were not based on the full cost of delivering water, including the costs of systematically rehabilitating and replacing project facilities and equipment, and because project personnel did not seek regular rate increases to cover the full cost of operation.’’ A previous OIG audit, No. 88–42, February 1988, reached the same conclusion. A separate audit, No. 95–I– 1402, September 1995, performed on one of BIA’s largest irrigation projects, Wapato Indian Irrigation Project, reinforced the general findings of the OIG on the BIA’s irrigation program. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:52 Apr 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 This audit pointed out a lack of response by the BIA to the original findings of the OIG in addressing this critical issue over an extended period of time. The BIA must systematically review and evaluate irrigation assessment rates and adjust them, when necessary, to reflect the full costs to properly operate, and perform all appropriate maintenance on the irrigation facility infrastructure for safe and reliable operation. If this review and evaluation are not accomplished, a rate deficiency can eventually accumulate. Overcoming rate deficiencies can result in the BIA having to raise irrigation assessment rates in larger increments and over shorter time frames than would have been otherwise necessary. How does the BIA respond to removing O&M subsidies for trust land? In the past, BIA has provided limited appropriated funds to irrigation projects to assist the projects in their operations and maintenance and, at a few projects, subsidized the O&M costs for trust lands. Unfortunately, the BIA does not have sufficient discretionary funding to continue this practice in the future. Without the necessary rate increases, the impact to projects as a result of the lack of adequate O&M funds could result in the inability to deliver water and maintain irrigation system components adequately. How does BIA respond to concerns about drainage of water off farm lands and on-farm improvements? The BIA is responsible for the O&M of the irrigation delivery system and is not responsible for on-farm activities. In 25 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 171.8, Surface Drainage, it states that the water users are responsible for surface drainage resulting from their irrigation practices. How does BIA respond to concerns about non-delivery of water to water users with outstanding O&M charges? The BIA’s irrigation O&M regulations, 25 CFR 171.17, require payment of annual O&M assessments before irrigation water may be delivered. This requirement includes delinquent payments and balances that have been referred to the Department of the Treasury pursuant to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and Federal debt collection standards at 31 CFR Part 901. PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19951 The Following comments Are Specific to Walker River Irrigation Project, Nevada The Walker River Paiute Tribe (Tribe) objects to the proposed O&M rate increase from $7.32 to $10.00 per acre because: (1) Weber Dam and Reservoir are subject to interim operating criteria for safety of dams reasons, which require the operation of the Reservoir at lower elevations than are normal, and the water users thereby receive a reduced amount of stored water; (2) BIA failed to justify the increased O&M rate; (3) it is a breach of trust duty for the BIA to increase the O&M rate; and (4) the rate increase violates Federal law. How does the BIA respond to objections that raising the O&M rates when the safety of dams project may shorten water delivery time and that the BIA failed to justify the rate increase? Weber Dam Operations—In CY 2007, water supply shortages are more likely to be caused by the below average snowfall and precipitation in the basin (less than 40 percent of normal this year according to the National Resources Conservation Service) than by the interim operating criteria at Weber Dam. The Tribe and the BIA have worked closely in CY 2007 to manage the safety of dams repair activities in a way to minimize inconvenience to the water users in the Project. The BIA’s O&M costs to operate the Project in 2007 remain the same regardless of the available water supply in the system. BIA’s O&M Budget Justification—BIA provided a detailed O&M budget justification to the Project water users on May 23, 2006, and the O&M budget justification was discussed with the Project water users again on September 28, 2006. The budget justification shows that the increased O&M rate proposed for 2007 still does not cover all of BIA’s costs for O&M of the Project and does not include funds to maintain a reserve fund or to pay for deferred maintenance costs. How does the BIA respond to comments regarding breaching its trust duty? The BIA disagrees that increasing O&M rates for Indian irrigation projects violates any trust duty to Indian tribes. The BIA, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 381 et seq. and 25 CFR part 171, has responsibilities to administer constructed Indian irrigation projects, set rates, collect assessments, and make decisions regarding water delivery on BIA irrigation projects. The BIA must collect O&M assessments in order to operate and maintain the irrigation infrastructure. Over time, costs of E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 19952 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 76 / Friday, April 20, 2007 / Notices operating and maintaining the projects increase, and rates must be adjusted accordingly to enable the BIA to continue to provide irrigation services. This is particularly true because O&M rates are the only regular source of funding for the BIA’s irrigation projects. Contrary to the assertion of the commenter, there is no fiduciary obligation for the Department’s O&M of irrigation projects. See, e.g., Grey v. United States, 21 Cl. Ct. 285 (1990), aff’d, 935 F.2d 281 (Fed. Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1057 (1992). How does the BIA respond to the rate increase that violates federal law? The Tribe stated that ‘‘* * * 25 U.S.C. Section 385 states that costs incurred by the BIA may be reimbursed by farmers only if the farmers have adequate funds to repay the Government.’’ This statement misconstrues 25 U.S.C. 385. The Secretary’s authorization to set O&M charges is not subject to a determination of an individual’s ability to pay. The provision quoted from 25 U.S.C. 385 refers only to repayment of construction costs. 25 U.S.C. 385 codifies several separate provisions taken from the Act of August 14, 1914, Pub. L. 63–160, 38 Stat. 582, 583. In addition to authorizing the Secretary to set and assess O&M rates on irrigation projects, the 1914 Act also appropriated a lump sum of money to use for construction of irrigation projects. The second provision of 25 U.S.C. 385, regarding reimbursement of construction costs where Indians have the ability to pay, only applies to the construction money appropriated in the 1914 Act and does not relate to the Secretary’s O&M rate-setting authority. The following comment is specific to San Carlos Irrigation Project—Joint Works (SCIP–JW). How does BIA respond to concerns regarding how funds collected from stakeholders are expended on O&M; the amount of project reserve funds, income and expenditures; and the timeliness of the rate adjustment notice? By letter dated January 22, 2007, an Attorney for the San Carlos Irrigation and Drainage District (District) submitted comments on the proposed 2008 budget and O&M rate for the San Carlos Irrigation Project (Project). On August 8, 2006, the District filed a Complaint in the United States Court of Federal Claims (Case No. 06–576C). The Complaint raises most of the same factual and legal issues the District raised in its comments about the Project’s proposed O&M rate and budget for 2008. Because Federal court litigation is pending concerning most of the issues raised in the District’s comments on the proposed 2008 O&M rate and budget, specific responses to these issues will not be discussed here. As noted in the District’s comments, on or before December 31, 2007, the Project and the District will learn whether the provisions of the Arizona Water Settlement Act (Settlement Act) are deemed effective, which will then trigger the timelines for establishment of the Joint Works Board under the Settlement Act. This process will require the Project and the affected water users to clarify and evaluate future O&M rates, activities and costs, Project name and responsibilities as required by the Settlement Act and implementing agreements. Did the BIA receive comments on any proposed changes other than rate adjustments? No. Does this notice affect me? This notice affects you if you own or lease land within the assessable acreage of one of our irrigation projects or if you have a carriage agreement with one of our irrigation projects. Where can I get information on the regulatory and legal citations in this notice? You can contact the appropriate office(s) stated in the tables for the irrigation project that serves you, or you can use the Internet site for the Government Printing Office at https:// www.gpo.gov. What authorizes BIA to issue this notice? Our authority to issue this notice is vested in the Secretary of the Interior by 5 U.S.C. 301 and the Act of August 14, 1914 (38 Stat. 583; 25 U.S.C. 385). The Secretary has in turn delegated this authority to the Assistant Secretary— Indian Affairs under Part 209, Chapter 8.1A, of the Department of the Interior’s Departmental Manual. Who can I contact for further information? The following tables are the regional and project/agency contacts for our irrigation facilities. Project/agency contacts Northwest Region Contacts Stanley Speaks, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Northwest Regional Office, 911 N.E. 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232–4169, Telephone: (503) 231–6702 Flathead Irrigation Project ............... Fort Hall Irrigation Project ............... Wapato Irrigation Project ................ Ernest T. Moran, Superintendent, Flathead Agency Irrigation Division, P.O. Box 40, Pablo, MT 59855– 0040, Telephone: (406) 675–2700. Eric J. LaPointe, Superintendent, Alan Oliver, Supervisory General Engineer, Fort Hall Agency, P.O. Box 220, Fort Hall, ID 83203–0220, Telephone: (208) 238–2301. Pierce Harrison, Project Administrator, Wapato Irrigation Project, P.O. Box 220, Wapato, WA 98951–0220, Telephone: (509) 877–3155. Rocky Mountain Region Contacts sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Ed Parisian, Acting Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, 316 North 26th Street, Billings, Montana 59101, Telephone: (406) 247–7943 Blackfeet Irrigation Project .............. Crow Irrigation Project .................... Fort Belknap Irrigation Project ........ VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:52 Apr 19, 2007 Stephen Pollock, Superintendent, Ted Hall, Irrigation Project Manager, Box 880, Browning, MT 59417, Telephones: (406) 338–7544, Superintendent, (406) 338–7519, Irrigation Project Manager. Ed Lone Fight, Superintendent, Karl Helvik, Irrigation Project Manager, P.O. Box 69, Crow Agency, MT 59022, Telephones: (406) 638–2672, Superintendent, (406) 638–2863, Irrigation Project Manager. Judy Gray, Superintendent, Ralph Leo, Irrigation Project Manager, R.R.1, Box 980, Harlem, MT 59526, Telephones: (406) 353–2901, Superintendent, (406) 353–2905, Irrigation Project Manager. Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 19953 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 76 / Friday, April 20, 2007 / Notices Project name Project/agency contacts Fort Peck Irrigation Project ............. Vacant, Superintendent, P.O. Box 637, Poplar, MT 59255, Vacant, Irrigation Manager 602 6th Avenue North, Wolf Point, MT 59201, Telephones: (406) 768–5312, Superintendent, (406) 653–1752, Irrigation Manager. George Gover, Superintendent, Ray Nation, Acting Irrigation Project Manager, P.O. Box 158, Fort Washakie, WY 82514, Telephones: (307) 332–7810, Superintendent, (307) 332–2596, Irrigation Project Manager. Wind River Irrigation Project ........... Southwest Region Contacts Larry Morrin, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southwest Regional Office, 1001 Indian School Road, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104, Telephone: (505) 563–3100 Pine River Irrigation Project ............ Ross P. Denny, Superintendent, John Formea, Irrigation Engineer, P.O. Box 315, Ignacio, CO, 81137– 0315, Telephones: (970) 563–4511, Superintendent, (970) 563–1017, Irrigation Engineer. Western Region Contacts Alan Anspach Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western Regional Office, Two Arizona Center 400 N. 5th Street, 12th floor, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, Telephone: (602) 379–6600 Colorado River Irrigation Project .... Duck Valley Irrigation Project ......... Fort Yuma Irrigation Project ............ San Carlos Irrigation Project Joint Works. San Carlos Irrigation Project Indian Works. Uintah Irrigation Project .................. Walker River Irrigation Project ........ Perry Baker, Superintendent, Ted Henry, Irrigation Project Manager, R.R. 1 Box 9–C, Parker, AZ 85344, Telephone: (928) 669–7111. Robert Hunter, Acting Superintendent, 1555 Shoshone Circle, Elko, NV 89801, Telephone: (775) 738– 0569. Sam Rideshorse, Superintendent P.O. Box 11000, Yuma, AZ 85366, Telephone: (520) 782–1202. Carl Christensen, Supervisory General Engineer, P.O. Box 250, Coolidge, AZ 85228, Telephone: (520) 723–6216. Joe Revak, Supervisory General Engineer, Pima Agency, Land Operations, Box 8, Sacaton, AZ, 85247, Telephone: (520) 562–3372. Lynn Hansen, Irrigation Manager, P.O. Box 130, Fort Duchesne, UT 84026, Telephone: (435) 722–4341. Robert Hunter, Superintendent, 311 E. Washington Street, Carson City, NV 89701, Telephone: (775) 887– 3500. What irrigation assessments or charges are proposed for adjustment by this notice? The rate table below contains the 2007 final rates for all of our irrigation projects where we recover our costs for operation and maintenance. The table also contains the proposed and final rates for the 2008 season and subsequent years where applicable. An asterisk immediately following the name of the project notes the irrigation projects where rates are have been adjusted. NORTHWEST REGION RATE TABLE Final 2006 rate Project name Rate category Flathead Irrigation Project ............................... Basic Per acre—A .......................................... Basic Per acre—B .......................................... Minimum Charge per tract .............................. Basic Per acre ................................................ Minimum Chare per tract ................................ Basic Per acre ................................................ Minimum Charge per tract .............................. Basic Per acre ................................................ Pressure Per acre .......................................... Minimum Charge per tract .............................. Billing Charge Per Tract ................................. Farm unit/land tracts up to one acre (minimum charge). Farm unit/land tracts up to one acre—per acre. Billing Charge Per Tract ................................. Farm unit/land tracts up to one acre (minimum charge). Farm unit/land tracts up to one acre .............. Billing Charge Per Tract ................................. Farm unit/land tracts up to one acre (minimum charge). ‘‘A’’ farm unit/land tracts over one acre—per acre. Additional Works farm unit/land tracts over one acre—per acre. Fort Hall Irrigation Project* .............................. Fort Hall Irrigation Project—Minor Units* ........ Fort Hall Irrigation Project—Michaud* ............ Wapato Irrigation Project—Toppenish/Simcoe Units*. Wapato Irrigation Project—Ahtanum Units* .... sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Wapato Irrigation Project—Satus Unit* ........... VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:52 Apr 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Final 2007 rate $21.45 10.75 65.00 24.00 25.00 15.00 25.00 34.00 48.50 25.00 5.00 13.50 $23.45 10.75 65.00 27.00 25.00 17.00 25.00 35.75 50.00 25.00 5.00 14.00 13.50 14.00 5.00 13.50 5.00 14.00 13.50 5.00 53.00 14.00 5.00 55.00 53.00 55.00 58.00 60.00 E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 Final 2008 rate $23.45. 10.75. 65.00. To be determined. 19954 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 76 / Friday, April 20, 2007 / Notices NORTHWEST REGION RATE TABLE—Continued Project name Final 2006 rate Rate category ‘‘B’’ farm unit/land tracts over one acre—per acre. Water Rental Agreement Lands—per acre .... Final 2007 rate 63.00 65.00 64.50 Final 2008 rate 67.00 ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION RATE TABLE Final 2006 rate Final 2007 rate Project name Rate category Blackfeet Irrigation Project* ............................ Crow Irrigation Project—Willow * Creek O&M (includes Agency, Lodge Grass #1, Lodge Grass #2, Reno, Upper Little Horn, and Forty Mile Units). Crow Irrigation * Project—All Others (includes Bighorn, Soap Creek, and Pryor Units). Crow Irrigation Two Leggins Drainage District Fort Belknap * Irrigation Project ...................... Basic-per acre ................................................ Basic-per acre ................................................ 13.00 17.30 15.50 19.30 Basic-per acre ................................................ 17.00 19.00 Basic-per acre ................................................ Trust Land per acre ........................................ non-Trust Land per acre ................................. Basic-per acre ................................................ Basic-per acre ................................................ Basic-per acre ................................................ 2.00 8.50 17.00 17.50 14.00 17.00 2.00 13.88 18.50 20.00 15.00 17.00 Fort Peck Irrigation Project* ............................ Wind River Irrigation Project* .......................... Wind River Irrigation Project—LeClair District Final 2008 rate To be determined. 20.00. 20.00. To be determined. SOUTHWEST REGION RATE TABLE Final 2006 rate Project name Rate category Pine River Irrigation Project* ............................................ Minimum Charge per tract ............................................... Basic-per acre .................................................................. Final 2007 rate $50.00 13.00 $50.00 150.00 WESTERN REGION RATE TABLE Final 2006 rate Final 2007 rate Project name Rate category Colorado River Irrigation Project ..... Basic per acre up to 5.75 acre-feet Excess Water per acre-foot over 5.75 acre-feet. Basic-per acre ................................. Basic-per acre up to 5.0 acre-feet .. Excess Water per acre-foot over 5.0 acre-feet. Basic-per acre ................................. $47.00 17.00 $47.00 17.00 5.30 65.00 10.50 30.00 Basic-per acre ................................. 77.00 Basic-per acre ................................. Minimum Bill .................................... Indian per acre ................................ Non-Indian per acre ........................ 12.00 12.00 7.32 15.29 Proposed 2009 rate 5.30 72.00 10.50 30.00 Proposed 2008 rate Duck Valley Irrigation Project .......... Fort Yuma Irrigation Project (See Note #1)*. San Carlos Irrigation Project (Joint Works)* (See Note #2). San Carlos Irrigation Project (Indian Works). Uintah Irrigation Project ................... Walker River Irrigation Project* ....... To be determined To be determined. 77.00 $21.00 Final 2008 Rate. To be determined $21.00. Final 2009 Rate. To be determined. 12.00 25.00 10.00 16.00 13.00 ................... 16.00 ................... $16.00. $16.00. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES * Notes irrigation projects where rates are have been adjusted. Note #1—The O&M rate for the Fort Yuma Irrigation Project has two components. The first component is the O&M rate established by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the owner and operator of the Project. The BOR rate for 2007 has been established at $65 which is an increase from the $62 rate in 2006. The second component is for the O&M rate established by BIA to cover administrative costs, including billing and collections for the Project. Through this notice, the BIA is establishing a $7/acre O&M rate for its component of the rate. The BIA rate assessment would cover approximately 50 percent of the accounting technician and 40 percent of the Natural Resource Officer at the BIA Fort Yuma Agency. Note #2—The 2008 and 2009 irrigation rates are final through this notice. The 2007 rate was established by final notice published in the FEDERAL REGISTER on April 5, 2006 (Vol. 71, No. 65, page 17131). Consultation and Coordination With Tribal Governments (Executive Order 13175) The BIA irrigation projects are vital components of the local agriculture economy of the reservations on which VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:42 Apr 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 they are located. To fulfill its responsibilities to the tribes, tribal organizations, water user organizations, and the individual water users, the BIA communicates, coordinates, and consults on a continuing basis with PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 these entities on issues of water delivery, water availability, and costs of administration, operation, maintenance, E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 76 / Friday, April 20, 2007 / Notices and rehabilitation. This is accomplished at the individual irrigation projects by Project, Agency, and Regional representatives, as appropriate, in accordance with local protocol and procedures. This notice is one component of the BIA’s overall coordination and consultation process to provide notice and request comments from these entities on adjusting our irrigation rates. Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211) The rate adjustments will have no adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use (including a shortfall in supply, price increases, and increase use of foreign supplies) should the proposed rate adjustments be implemented. This is a notice for rate adjustments at BIA-owned and operated irrigation projects, except for the Fort Yuma Irrigation Project. The Fort Yuma Irrigation Project is owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation with a portion serving the Fort Yuma Reservation. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order 12866) Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988) In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has determined that this rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 These rate adjustments do not affect the collections of information which have been approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The OMB Control Number is 1076–0141 and expires August 31, 2009. National Environmental Policy Act The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and that no detailed statement is required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370(d)). Dated: April 12, 2007. Carl J. Artman, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. E7–7558 Filed 4–19–07; 8:45 am] These rate adjustments are not a significant regulatory action and do not need to be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. BILLING CODE 4310–W7–P Regulatory Flexibility Act [NV–040–06–5101–ER–F344; (N–78091)] This rate making is not a rule for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because it is ‘‘a rule of particular applicability relating to rates.’’ 5 U.S.C. 601(2). Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995 These rate adjustments impose no unfunded mandates on any governmental or private entity and are in compliance with the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995. Takings (Executive Order 12630) The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not have significant ‘‘takings’’ implications. The rate adjustments do not deprive the public, State, or local governments of rights or property. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Federalism (Executive Order 13132) The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not have significant Federalism effects because they pertain to Federal-tribal relations and will not interfere with the roles, rights, and responsibilities of States. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:52 Apr 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a Proposed Coal-Fired Electric Power Generating Plant in Eastern White Pine County and Notice of Public Meetings; Nevada Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, a DEIS has been prepared by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Ely Field Office for the White Pine Energy Station (WPES) and is now available for comment. This document evaluates the environmental effects from constructing a coal-fired electric power generating plant (up to 1,600-megawatts) and associated features on public lands in White Pine County, Nevada. DATES: The DEIS is now available for comment. Copies of the DEIS will be mailed to individuals, agencies, or companies who previously requested PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19955 copies. Mailed comments on the DEIS must be postmarked by June 19, 2007. Written comments on the document should be addressed to Jack Tribble, Acting Assistant Field Manager, Bureau of Land Management, Ely Field Office, HC 33 Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301–9408. Oral and/or written comments may also be presented at two public meetings. There will one public meeting in Ely and one public meeting in Reno. The date, time, and location will be made available at least 15 days before each meeting. Public reading copies of the DEIS will be available for reading at public libraries listed below: —University of Nevada-Reno, Getchell Library, Government Publication Dept., Reno, NV 89507. —Washoe County Library, 301 South Center Street, Reno, NV 89501. —White Pine County Library, 950 Campton Street, Ely, NV 89301. A limited number of copies of the document will be available at the following BLM offices: —Bureau of Land Management, Elko Field Office, 3900 Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801. —Bureau of Land Management, Carson City Field Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701. —Bureau of Land Management, Ely Field Office, 702 North Industrial Way, Ely, NV 89301–9408. —Nevada State Office, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, NV 89502–7147. —Washington Office of Public Affairs, 18th and C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. Individual respondents may request confidentiality. If you wish to withhold your name and/or street address from public review or from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your written comments. Such requests will be honored to the extent allowed by law. All submissions from organizations, businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses will be available for public inspection in their entirety. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Metcalf at the above address, or phone: 775–289–1852. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The DEIS addresses alternatives to resolve the following major issues: Ground water, air quality, visual resources, biological resources, and socioeconomic effects. The Proposed Action includes the following actions: Northern coal-fired power plant site right-of-way (ROW), ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 76 (Friday, April 20, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19950-19955]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-7558]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs


Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Rate Adjustments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) owns, or has an interest 
in, irrigation facilities located on various Indian reservations 
throughout the United States. We are authorized to establish rates to 
recover the costs to administer, operate, maintain, and rehabilitate 
those facilities. We are notifying you that we have adjusted the 
irrigation assessment rates at several of our irrigation facilities for 
operation and maintenance.

DATES: Effective Date: The irrigation assessment rates shown in the 
tables are effective on January 1, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For details about a particular BIA 
irrigation project, please use the tables in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section to contact the regional or local office where the project is 
located.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Proposed Rate Adjustment was 
published in the Federal Register on November 24, 2006 (71 FR 67897), 
to adjust the irrigation rates at several BIA irrigation facilities. 
The public and interested parties were provided an opportunity to 
submit written comments during the 60-day period prior to January 23, 
2007.

Did the BIA defer any proposed rate increases?

    For the Uintah Indian Irrigation Project, the BIA, in consultation 
with the tribes and Irrigation Project water users, has deferred the 
rate increase for 2007.
    For the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project, the BIA, in 
consultation with the tribes and Irrigation Project water users, has 
deferred the rate increase for 2008.

Did the BIA receive any comments on the proposed irrigation assessment 
rate adjustments?

    Written comments were received for the proposed rate adjustments 
for the Blackfeet Irrigation Project, Montana, Fort Peck Irrigation 
Project, Montana, Fort Belknap Irrigation Project, Montana, the 
Flathead Irrigation Project, Montana, the San Carlos Irrigation 
Project--Joint Works (SCIP-JW), Arizona, Walker River Irrigation 
Project, Nevada, and the Wind River Irrigation Project, Wyoming.

What issues were of concern by the commenters?

    The commenters were concerned with one or more of the following 
issues: (1) How funds collected from stakeholders are expended on 
operation and maintenance (O&M); (2) the impact of an assessment rate 
increase on the local agricultural economy and on individual land 
owners and irrigators; (3) BIA O&M subsidies for trust land; (4) 
drainage of water from farm lands and on farm improvements; (5) non-
delivery of water to water users with outstanding O&M charges. The 
following comments are specific to the Walker River Irrigation Project, 
Nevada: (1) Safety of dams project which will shorten water delivery 
time; (2) breach of trust issues; and (3) whether the rate increase 
violates federal law. The following comments are specific to the San 
Carlos Irrigation Project--Joint Works: (1) The amount of project 
reserve funds, income, and expenditures; and (2) the timeliness of the 
rate adjustment notice.

How does BIA respond to the concern of how funds are expended for O&M?

    BIA includes the following expenses in irrigation project budgets: 
Project personnel costs; materials and supplies; vehicle and equipment 
repairs; equipment; capitalization expenses; acquisition expenses; 
rehabilitation costs; maintenance of a reserve fund for contingencies 
or emergencies; and other expenses we determine necessary to properly 
operate and maintain the irrigation projects.
    One common misconception water users have is that all salary costs 
are administrative. Only a portion of each project budget is for 
administrative costs. The administrative costs include the office 
costs, office staff (accounting and clerical), and a portion of the 
project manager's salary. The O&M workers are considered O&M costs for 
operating and maintaining the project.
    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed an audit 
report (GAO-06-314) in February 2006. In that report, the GAO 
recommended that the BIA require project managers to meet at least 
twice annually with water users. On July 21, 2006, the Director, BIA, 
directed each BIA revenue-generating irrigation project to meet, at a 
minimum, twice annually with its water users--once at the end of the 
irrigation season and once before the next season. For projects that 
operate year round, those projects will determine their best schedule 
for holding these meetings. At these meetings, the irrigation staff 
will

[[Page 19951]]

provide to the waters users information on project operations, 
including budget plans and actual annual expenditures, and will obtain 
feedback and input from the water users.
    The BIA's budget estimates and records of expenditures for all of 
its irrigation facilities are public records and available for review 
by stakeholders or interested parties. Stakeholders (project water 
users/land owners/tribes) can review these records during normal 
business hours at the individual agency offices.
    Alternatively, BIA may treat requests to review project records as 
requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and provide copies 
of such records to the requesting party in accordance with FOIA. To 
review or to obtain copies of these records, stakeholders, and 
interested parties are directed to contact the BIA representative at 
the specific facility serving them, using the tables in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

How does BIA respond to concerns about irrigation O&M assessment rate 
increase and related impact on the local agricultural economy and on 
individual land owners and irrigators?

    All of the BIA's irrigation projects are important economic 
contributors to the local communities they serve, contributing millions 
in crop value annually. Historically, BIA tempered irrigation rate 
increases based in part on the economic impact on water users. This 
tempering of rate increases has resulted in a rate deficiency at most 
of the irrigation projects.
    Over the past several years, the BIA's irrigation program has been 
the subject of several Office of Inspector General (OIG) and GAO 
audits. In the most recent OIG audit, No. 96-I-641, March 1996, the OIG 
concluded, ``Operation and maintenance revenues were insufficient to 
maintain the projects, and some projects had deteriorated to the extent 
that their continued capability to deliver water was in doubt. This 
occurred because operation and maintenance rates were not based on the 
full cost of delivering water, including the costs of systematically 
rehabilitating and replacing project facilities and equipment, and 
because project personnel did not seek regular rate increases to cover 
the full cost of operation.'' A previous OIG audit, No. 88-42, February 
1988, reached the same conclusion. A separate audit, No. 95-I-1402, 
September 1995, performed on one of BIA's largest irrigation projects, 
Wapato Indian Irrigation Project, reinforced the general findings of 
the OIG on the BIA's irrigation program. This audit pointed out a lack 
of response by the BIA to the original findings of the OIG in 
addressing this critical issue over an extended period of time.
    The BIA must systematically review and evaluate irrigation 
assessment rates and adjust them, when necessary, to reflect the full 
costs to properly operate, and perform all appropriate maintenance on 
the irrigation facility infrastructure for safe and reliable operation. 
If this review and evaluation are not accomplished, a rate deficiency 
can eventually accumulate. Overcoming rate deficiencies can result in 
the BIA having to raise irrigation assessment rates in larger 
increments and over shorter time frames than would have been otherwise 
necessary.

How does the BIA respond to removing O&M subsidies for trust land?

    In the past, BIA has provided limited appropriated funds to 
irrigation projects to assist the projects in their operations and 
maintenance and, at a few projects, subsidized the O&M costs for trust 
lands. Unfortunately, the BIA does not have sufficient discretionary 
funding to continue this practice in the future. Without the necessary 
rate increases, the impact to projects as a result of the lack of 
adequate O&M funds could result in the inability to deliver water and 
maintain irrigation system components adequately.

How does BIA respond to concerns about drainage of water off farm lands 
and on-farm improvements?

    The BIA is responsible for the O&M of the irrigation delivery 
system and is not responsible for on-farm activities. In 25 Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 171.8, Surface Drainage, it states 
that the water users are responsible for surface drainage resulting 
from their irrigation practices.

How does BIA respond to concerns about non-delivery of water to water 
users with outstanding O&M charges?

    The BIA's irrigation O&M regulations, 25 CFR 171.17, require 
payment of annual O&M assessments before irrigation water may be 
delivered. This requirement includes delinquent payments and balances 
that have been referred to the Department of the Treasury pursuant to 
the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and Federal debt collection 
standards at 31 CFR Part 901.

The Following comments Are Specific to Walker River Irrigation Project, 
Nevada

    The Walker River Paiute Tribe (Tribe) objects to the proposed O&M 
rate increase from $7.32 to $10.00 per acre because: (1) Weber Dam and 
Reservoir are subject to interim operating criteria for safety of dams 
reasons, which require the operation of the Reservoir at lower 
elevations than are normal, and the water users thereby receive a 
reduced amount of stored water; (2) BIA failed to justify the increased 
O&M rate; (3) it is a breach of trust duty for the BIA to increase the 
O&M rate; and (4) the rate increase violates Federal law.

How does the BIA respond to objections that raising the O&M rates when 
the safety of dams project may shorten water delivery time and that the 
BIA failed to justify the rate increase?

    Weber Dam Operations--In CY 2007, water supply shortages are more 
likely to be caused by the below average snowfall and precipitation in 
the basin (less than 40 percent of normal this year according to the 
National Resources Conservation Service) than by the interim operating 
criteria at Weber Dam. The Tribe and the BIA have worked closely in CY 
2007 to manage the safety of dams repair activities in a way to 
minimize inconvenience to the water users in the Project. The BIA's O&M 
costs to operate the Project in 2007 remain the same regardless of the 
available water supply in the system.
    BIA's O&M Budget Justification--BIA provided a detailed O&M budget 
justification to the Project water users on May 23, 2006, and the O&M 
budget justification was discussed with the Project water users again 
on September 28, 2006. The budget justification shows that the 
increased O&M rate proposed for 2007 still does not cover all of BIA's 
costs for O&M of the Project and does not include funds to maintain a 
reserve fund or to pay for deferred maintenance costs.

How does the BIA respond to comments regarding breaching its trust 
duty?

    The BIA disagrees that increasing O&M rates for Indian irrigation 
projects violates any trust duty to Indian tribes. The BIA, pursuant to 
25 U.S.C. 381 et seq. and 25 CFR part 171, has responsibilities to 
administer constructed Indian irrigation projects, set rates, collect 
assessments, and make decisions regarding water delivery on BIA 
irrigation projects. The BIA must collect O&M assessments in order to 
operate and maintain the irrigation infrastructure. Over time, costs of

[[Page 19952]]

operating and maintaining the projects increase, and rates must be 
adjusted accordingly to enable the BIA to continue to provide 
irrigation services. This is particularly true because O&M rates are 
the only regular source of funding for the BIA's irrigation projects. 
Contrary to the assertion of the commenter, there is no fiduciary 
obligation for the Department's O&M of irrigation projects. See, e.g., 
Grey v. United States, 21 Cl. Ct. 285 (1990), aff'd, 935 F.2d 281 (Fed. 
Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1057 (1992).

How does the BIA respond to the rate increase that violates federal 
law?

    The Tribe stated that ``* * * 25 U.S.C. Section 385 states that 
costs incurred by the BIA may be reimbursed by farmers only if the 
farmers have adequate funds to repay the Government.'' This statement 
misconstrues 25 U.S.C. 385. The Secretary's authorization to set O&M 
charges is not subject to a determination of an individual's ability to 
pay. The provision quoted from 25 U.S.C. 385 refers only to repayment 
of construction costs. 25 U.S.C. 385 codifies several separate 
provisions taken from the Act of August 14, 1914, Pub. L. 63-160, 38 
Stat. 582, 583. In addition to authorizing the Secretary to set and 
assess O&M rates on irrigation projects, the 1914 Act also appropriated 
a lump sum of money to use for construction of irrigation projects. The 
second provision of 25 U.S.C. 385, regarding reimbursement of 
construction costs where Indians have the ability to pay, only applies 
to the construction money appropriated in the 1914 Act and does not 
relate to the Secretary's O&M rate-setting authority.
    The following comment is specific to San Carlos Irrigation 
Project--Joint Works (SCIP-JW).

How does BIA respond to concerns regarding how funds collected from 
stakeholders are expended on O&M; the amount of project reserve funds, 
income and expenditures; and the timeliness of the rate adjustment 
notice?

    By letter dated January 22, 2007, an Attorney for the San Carlos 
Irrigation and Drainage District (District) submitted comments on the 
proposed 2008 budget and O&M rate for the San Carlos Irrigation Project 
(Project). On August 8, 2006, the District filed a Complaint in the 
United States Court of Federal Claims (Case No. 06-576C). The Complaint 
raises most of the same factual and legal issues the District raised in 
its comments about the Project's proposed O&M rate and budget for 2008. 
Because Federal court litigation is pending concerning most of the 
issues raised in the District's comments on the proposed 2008 O&M rate 
and budget, specific responses to these issues will not be discussed 
here.
    As noted in the District's comments, on or before December 31, 
2007, the Project and the District will learn whether the provisions of 
the Arizona Water Settlement Act (Settlement Act) are deemed effective, 
which will then trigger the timelines for establishment of the Joint 
Works Board under the Settlement Act. This process will require the 
Project and the affected water users to clarify and evaluate future O&M 
rates, activities and costs, and responsibilities as required by the 
Settlement Act and implementing agreements.

Did the BIA receive comments on any proposed changes other than rate 
adjustments?

    No.

Does this notice affect me?

    This notice affects you if you own or lease land within the 
assessable acreage of one of our irrigation projects or if you have a 
carriage agreement with one of our irrigation projects.

Where can I get information on the regulatory and legal citations in 
this notice?

    You can contact the appropriate office(s) stated in the tables for 
the irrigation project that serves you, or you can use the Internet 
site for the Government Printing Office at https://www.gpo.gov.

What authorizes BIA to issue this notice?

    Our authority to issue this notice is vested in the Secretary of 
the Interior by 5 U.S.C. 301 and the Act of August 14, 1914 (38 Stat. 
583; 25 U.S.C. 385). The Secretary has in turn delegated this authority 
to the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs under Part 209, Chapter 
8.1A, of the Department of the Interior's Departmental Manual.

Who can I contact for further information?

    The following tables are the regional and project/agency contacts 
for our irrigation facilities.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Project name                    Project/agency contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Northwest Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Stanley Speaks, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Northwest
   Regional Office, 911 N.E. 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232-4169,
                        Telephone: (503) 231-6702
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead Irrigation Project.......  Ernest T. Moran, Superintendent,
                                     Flathead Agency Irrigation
                                     Division, P.O. Box 40, Pablo, MT
                                     59855-0040, Telephone: (406) 675-
                                     2700.
Fort Hall Irrigation Project......  Eric J. LaPointe, Superintendent,
                                     Alan Oliver, Supervisory General
                                     Engineer, Fort Hall Agency, P.O.
                                     Box 220, Fort Hall, ID 83203-0220,
                                     Telephone: (208) 238-2301.
Wapato Irrigation Project.........  Pierce Harrison, Project
                                     Administrator, Wapato Irrigation
                                     Project, P.O. Box 220, Wapato, WA
                                     98951-0220, Telephone: (509) 877-
                                     3155.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Rocky Mountain Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ed Parisian, Acting Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Rocky
 Mountain Regional Office, 316 North 26th Street, Billings, Montana
 59101, Telephone: (406) 247-7943.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blackfeet Irrigation Project......  Stephen Pollock, Superintendent, Ted
                                     Hall, Irrigation Project Manager,
                                     Box 880, Browning, MT 59417,
                                     Telephones: (406) 338-7544,
                                     Superintendent, (406) 338-7519,
                                     Irrigation Project Manager.
Crow Irrigation Project...........  Ed Lone Fight, Superintendent, Karl
                                     Helvik, Irrigation Project Manager,
                                     P.O. Box 69, Crow Agency, MT 59022,
                                     Telephones: (406) 638-2672,
                                     Superintendent, (406) 638-2863,
                                     Irrigation Project Manager.
Fort Belknap Irrigation Project...  Judy Gray, Superintendent, Ralph
                                     Leo, Irrigation Project Manager,
                                     R.R.1, Box 980, Harlem, MT 59526,
                                     Telephones: (406) 353-2901,
                                     Superintendent, (406) 353-2905,
                                     Irrigation Project Manager.

[[Page 19953]]

 
Fort Peck Irrigation Project......  Vacant, Superintendent, P.O. Box
                                     637, Poplar, MT 59255, Vacant,
                                     Irrigation Manager 602 6th Avenue
                                     North, Wolf Point, MT 59201,
                                     Telephones: (406) 768-5312,
                                     Superintendent, (406) 653-1752,
                                     Irrigation Manager.
Wind River Irrigation Project.....  George Gover, Superintendent, Ray
                                     Nation, Acting Irrigation Project
                                     Manager, P.O. Box 158, Fort
                                     Washakie, WY 82514, Telephones:
                                     (307) 332-7810, Superintendent,
                                     (307) 332-2596, Irrigation Project
                                     Manager.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Southwest Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Larry Morrin, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southwest
Regional Office, 1001 Indian School Road, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104,
                        Telephone: (505) 563-3100
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pine River Irrigation Project.....  Ross P. Denny, Superintendent, John
                                     Formea, Irrigation Engineer, P.O.
                                     Box 315, Ignacio, CO, 81137-0315,
                                     Telephones: (970) 563-4511,
                                     Superintendent, (970) 563-1017,
                                     Irrigation Engineer.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Western Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alan Anspach Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western
   Regional Office, Two Arizona Center 400 N. 5th Street, 12th floor,
            Phoenix, Arizona 85004, Telephone: (602) 379-6600
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado River Irrigation Project.   Perry Baker, Superintendent, Ted
                                     Henry, Irrigation Project Manager,
                                     R.R. 1 Box 9-C, Parker, AZ 85344,
                                     Telephone: (928) 669-7111.
Duck Valley Irrigation Project....  Robert Hunter, Acting
                                     Superintendent, 1555 Shoshone
                                     Circle, Elko, NV 89801, Telephone:
                                     (775) 738-0569.
Fort Yuma Irrigation Project......  Sam Rideshorse, Superintendent P.O.
                                     Box 11000, Yuma, AZ 85366,
                                     Telephone: (520) 782-1202.
San Carlos Irrigation Project       Carl Christensen, Supervisory
 Joint Works.                        General Engineer, P.O. Box 250,
                                     Coolidge, AZ 85228, Telephone:
                                     (520) 723-6216.
San Carlos Irrigation Project       Joe Revak, Supervisory General
 Indian Works.                       Engineer, Pima Agency, Land
                                     Operations, Box 8, Sacaton, AZ,
                                     85247, Telephone: (520) 562-3372.
Uintah Irrigation Project.........  Lynn Hansen, Irrigation Manager,
                                     P.O. Box 130, Fort Duchesne, UT
                                     84026, Telephone: (435) 722-4341.
Walker River Irrigation Project...  Robert Hunter, Superintendent, 311
                                     E. Washington Street, Carson City,
                                     NV 89701, Telephone: (775) 887-
                                     3500.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

What irrigation assessments or charges are proposed for adjustment by 
this notice?

    The rate table below contains the 2007 final rates for all of our 
irrigation projects where we recover our costs for operation and 
maintenance. The table also contains the proposed and final rates for 
the 2008 season and subsequent years where applicable. An asterisk 
immediately following the name of the project notes the irrigation 
projects where rates are have been adjusted.

                                           Northwest Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Final 2006   Final 2007
           Project name                 Rate category         rate         rate            Final 2008 rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead Irrigation Project.......  Basic Per acre--A...       $21.45       $23.45  $23.45.
                                    Basic Per acre--B...        10.75        10.75  10.75.
                                    Minimum Charge per          65.00        65.00  65.00.
                                     tract.
Fort Hall Irrigation Project*.....  Basic Per acre......        24.00        27.00  To be determined.
                                    Minimum Chare per           25.00        25.00
                                     tract.
Fort Hall Irrigation Project--      Basic Per acre......        15.00        17.00
 Minor Units*.                      Minimum Charge per          25.00        25.00
                                     tract.
Fort Hall Irrigation Project--      Basic Per acre......        34.00        35.75
 Michaud*.                          Pressure Per acre...        48.50        50.00
                                    Minimum Charge per          25.00        25.00
                                     tract.
Wapato Irrigation Project--         Billing Charge Per           5.00         5.00
 Toppenish/Simcoe Units*.            Tract.                     13.50        14.00
                                    Farm unit/land
                                     tracts up to one
                                     acre (minimum
                                     charge).
                                    Farm unit/land              13.50        14.00
                                     tracts up to one
                                     acre--per acre.
Wapato Irrigation Project--Ahtanum  Billing Charge Per           5.00         5.00
 Units*.                             Tract.                     13.50        14.00
                                    Farm unit/land
                                     tracts up to one
                                     acre (minimum
                                     charge).
                                    Farm unit/land              13.50        14.00
                                     tracts up to one
                                     acre.
Wapato Irrigation Project--Satus    Billing Charge Per           5.00         5.00
 Unit*.                              Tract.                     53.00        55.00
                                     Farm unit/land
                                     tracts up to one
                                     acre (minimum
                                     charge).
                                    ``A'' farm unit/land        53.00        55.00
                                     tracts over one
                                     acre--per acre.
                                    Additional Works            58.00        60.00
                                     farm unit/land
                                     tracts over one
                                     acre--per acre.

[[Page 19954]]

 
                                    ``B'' farm unit/land        63.00        65.00
                                     tracts over one
                                     acre--per acre.
                                    Water Rental                64.50        67.00
                                     Agreement Lands--
                                     per acre.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                        Rocky Mountain Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Final 2006   Final 2007
           Project name                 Rate category         rate         rate            Final 2008 rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blackfeet Irrigation Project*.....  Basic-per acre......        13.00        15.50  To be determined.
Crow Irrigation Project--Willow *   Basic-per acre......        17.30        19.30
 Creek O&M (includes Agency, Lodge
 Grass 1, Lodge Grass
 2, Reno, Upper Little
 Horn, and Forty Mile Units).
Crow Irrigation * Project--All      Basic-per acre......        17.00        19.00
 Others (includes Bighorn, Soap
 Creek, and Pryor Units).
Crow Irrigation Two Leggins         Basic-per acre......         2.00         2.00
 Drainage District.
Fort Belknap * Irrigation Project.  Trust Land per acre.         8.50        13.88  20.00.
                                    non-Trust Land per          17.00        18.50  20.00.
                                     acre.
Fort Peck Irrigation Project*.....  Basic-per acre......        17.50        20.00  To be determined.
Wind River Irrigation Project*....  Basic-per acre......        14.00        15.00
Wind River Irrigation Project--     Basic-per acre......        17.00        17.00
 LeClair District.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                       Southwest Region Rate Table
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Final 2006   Final 2007
         Project name           Rate category       rate         rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pine River Irrigation          Minimum Charge        $50.00       $50.00
 Project*.                      per tract.            13.00       150.00
                               Basic-per acre.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                            Western Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Final 2006   Final 2007    Proposed 2008      Proposed 2009
         Project name             Rate category        rate         rate            rate              rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado River Irrigation       Basic per acre up       $47.00       $47.00  To be determined.  To be
 Project.                        to 5.75 acre-           17.00        17.00                      determined.
                                 feet.
                                Excess Water per
                                 acre-foot over
                                 5.75 acre-feet.
Duck Valley Irrigation Project  Basic-per acre...         5.30         5.30
Fort Yuma Irrigation Project    Basic-per acre up        65.00        72.00
 (See Note 1)*.         to 5.0 acre-feet.       10.50        10.50
                                Excess Water per
                                 acre-foot over
                                 5.0 acre-feet.
San Carlos Irrigation Project   Basic-per acre...        30.00        30.00  $21.00 Final 2008  $21.00. Final
 (Joint Works)* (See Note                                                     Rate.              2009 Rate.
 2).
San Carlos Irrigation Project   Basic-per acre...        77.00        77.00  To be determined.  To be
 (Indian Works).                                                                                 determined.
Uintah Irrigation Project.....  Basic-per acre...        12.00        12.00
                                Minimum Bill.....        12.00        25.00
Walker River Irrigation         Indian per acre..         7.32        10.00  13.00............  $16.00.
 Project*.
                                Non-Indian per           15.29        16.00  16.00............  $16.00.
                                 acre.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Notes irrigation projects where rates are have been adjusted.
Note 1--The O&M rate for the Fort Yuma Irrigation Project has two components. The first component is
  the O&M rate established by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the owner and operator of the Project. The BOR
  rate for 2007 has been established at $65 which is an increase from the $62 rate in 2006. The second component
  is for the O&M rate established by BIA to cover administrative costs, including billing and collections for
  the Project. Through this notice, the BIA is establishing a $7/acre O&M rate for its component of the rate.
  The BIA rate assessment would cover approximately 50 percent of the accounting technician and 40 percent of
  the Natural Resource Officer at the BIA Fort Yuma Agency.
Note 2--The 2008 and 2009 irrigation rates are final through this notice. The 2007 rate was established
  by final notice published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2006 (Vol. 71, No. 65, page 17131).

Consultation and Coordination With Tribal Governments (Executive Order 
13175)

    The BIA irrigation projects are vital components of the local 
agriculture economy of the reservations on which they are located. To 
fulfill its responsibilities to the tribes, tribal organizations, water 
user organizations, and the individual water users, the BIA 
communicates, coordinates, and consults on a continuing basis with 
these entities on issues of water delivery, water availability, and 
costs of administration, operation, maintenance,

[[Page 19955]]

and rehabilitation. This is accomplished at the individual irrigation 
projects by Project, Agency, and Regional representatives, as 
appropriate, in accordance with local protocol and procedures. This 
notice is one component of the BIA's overall coordination and 
consultation process to provide notice and request comments from these 
entities on adjusting our irrigation rates.

Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211)

    The rate adjustments will have no adverse effects on energy supply, 
distribution, or use (including a shortfall in supply, price increases, 
and increase use of foreign supplies) should the proposed rate 
adjustments be implemented. This is a notice for rate adjustments at 
BIA-owned and operated irrigation projects, except for the Fort Yuma 
Irrigation Project. The Fort Yuma Irrigation Project is owned and 
operated by the Bureau of Reclamation with a portion serving the Fort 
Yuma Reservation.

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order 12866)

    These rate adjustments are not a significant regulatory action and 
do not need to be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under 
Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rate making is not a rule for the purposes of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act because it is ``a rule of particular applicability 
relating to rates.'' 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

    These rate adjustments impose no unfunded mandates on any 
governmental or private entity and are in compliance with the 
provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not 
have significant ``takings'' implications. The rate adjustments do not 
deprive the public, State, or local governments of rights or property.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not 
have significant Federalism effects because they pertain to Federal-
tribal relations and will not interfere with the roles, rights, and 
responsibilities of States.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the 
Solicitor has determined that this rule does not unduly burden the 
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    These rate adjustments do not affect the collections of information 
which have been approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995. The OMB Control Number is 1076-0141 and expires August 31, 
2009.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The Department has determined that these rate adjustments do not 
constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality 
of the human environment and that no detailed statement is required 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-
4370(d)).

    Dated: April 12, 2007.
Carl J. Artman,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
 [FR Doc. E7-7558 Filed 4-19-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-W7-P