Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects, 18398-18403 [E9-9277]

Download as PDF 18398 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 22, 2009 / Notices provide services to the gaming facility; and provides for dispute resolution over any breaches of this Compact. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Dated: April 13, 2009. George T. Skibine, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development. [FR Doc. E9–9260 Filed 4–21–09; 8:45 am] Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. BILLING CODE 4310–4N–P ACTION: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Gaming AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of amendment to approved Tribal-State compact. SUMMARY: This notice publishes the approval of the Seventh Amendment to the Agreement between the Crow Tribe of Montana and the State of Montana Concerning Class III Gaming. DATES: Effective Date: April 22, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paula Hart, Acting Director, Office of Indian Gaming, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary—Policy and Economic Development, Washington, DC 20240, (202) 219–4066. Pursuant to section 11 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA), Public Law 100–497, 25 U.S.C. 2710, the Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register notice of the approved Tribal-State compacts for the purpose of engaging in Class III gaming activities on Indian lands. This Amendment increases the number of Class III video gambling machines available for play to 400; allows for Tribal gaming operations to be located anywhere on the reservation; increases the prize limit for Class III gaming to $2,000.00; increases the wager limit on Tribally owned machines to $5.00; and sets out the technical and internal control standards for Class III gaming machines on the reservation. dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: April 15, 2009. George T. Skibine, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development. [FR Doc. E9–9258 Filed 4–21–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–4N–P VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:31 Apr 21, 2009 Jkt 217001 Bureau of Indian Affairs Notice of rate adjustments. SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) owns, or has an interest in, irrigation projects located on or associated with various Indian reservations throughout the United States. We are required to establish irrigation assessment rates to recover the costs to administer, operate, maintain, and rehabilitate these projects. We are notifying you that we have adjusted the irrigation assessment rates at several of our irrigation projects and facilities to reflect current costs of administration, operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation. DATES: Effective Date: The irrigation assessment rates shown in the tables as final are effective as of January 1, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For details about a particular BIA irrigation project or facility, please use the tables in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section to contact the regional or local office where the project or facility is located. A Notice of Proposed Rate Adjustment was published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2008 (73 FR 64629) to propose adjustments to the irrigation assessment rates at several BIA irrigation projects. The public and interested parties were provided an opportunity to submit written comments during the 60-day period that ended December 29, 2008. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Did the BIA defer or change any proposed rate increases? Yes. At the Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, and Uintah Irrigation Projects, the project operations and maintenance (O&M) has been contracted by the water users and/or tribes. Based on the budget submitted by the water users at Fort Belknap, the rate was only raised to $14.75 instead of $20.00 per acre. Based on the budget submitted by the water users at Fort Peck, the rate was only raised to $24.00 instead of $25.75 per acre. Based on the budget submitted by the water users at Uintah, the rate is raised to $15.00 instead of the previously proposed $13.70 per acre. PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Did the BIA receive any comments on the proposed irrigation assessment rate adjustments? Written comments were received related to the proposed rate adjustments for the San Carlos Irrigation Project— Joint Works, the Wapato Irrigation Project, and the Wind River Irrigation Project. What issues were of concern to the commenters? Individuals and entities commenting on the proposed rates raised concerns about one or more of the following issues: (1) How funds are expended for O&M costs; (2) the BIA’s trust responsibility for projects; (3) the BIA’s responsibility to enhance idle land tracts to make them productive; (4) the efficiencies of contracting with water users groups to perform O&M to save costs; and (5) how rate increases impact the local agricultural economy and individual land owners. Commenters raised concerns specific to the Wind River Irrigation Project (WRIP), asserting that: (1) The BIA is responsible for delivery of the full amount of water quantified in the Big Horn Decree; (2) the WRIP should not be considered self-supporting for irrigation O&M funding and requires Federal assistance; and (3) the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes and their members should not be subsidizing nonIndian lessee water users. A commenter raised concerns specific to the San Carlos Irrigation Project— Joint Works, asserting that: (1) The number of BIA personnel required to operate and maintain the project is too high; (2) the BIA should maintain the project wells; (3) anticipated project expenses for FY 2010 will be higher; and (4) the BIA is budgeting too much for emergency reserves. The Yakama Nation raised concerns specific to the Wapato Irrigation Project, stating that the Yakama Nation does not believe that the BIA has authority to charge the Yakama Nation and its members irrigation O&M charges as provided in this notice. How does the BIA respond to concerns regarding how funds are expended for O&M costs? The BIA considers the following expenses when determining an irrigation project’s budget: 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 that we determine are E:\FR\FM\22APN1.SGM 22APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 22, 2009 / Notices dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES necessary to properly operate and maintain an irrigation project. Personnel costs include the cost of hiring employees, which includes a mandatory background check, as well as the costs of salaries and employee benefits including Social Security and health care. One common misconception water users have is that all salary costs are administrative and are not used to provide services directly related to operation and maintenance of irrigation facilities. Only a portion of each project’s budget is for administrative costs. The administrative costs for a project include office costs, office staff (accounting and clerical), and a portion of the project manager’s salary. Nonadministrative costs are the cost to operate and maintain the irrigation project or facility. O&M workers perform O&M work, and thus their salaries are considered O&M costs, not administrative costs. All projects need essential personnel to operate and maintain the project, including a project manager, accounting staff, and irrigation system operators (ditchriders). There have been concerns raised that irrigation project funds have been used to pay BIA staff members who are not performing work related to operation and maintenance of irrigation facilities. This is not in accordance with applicable law and regulations, and the BIA is committed to ensuring that any such payments do not occur. Central Office staff from the BIA’s Irrigation, Power, and Safety of Dams Program review expenditures routinely to ensure compliance with this policy. At some projects, non-irrigation staff assist the projects and are not being paid out of irrigation funds. For example, at the Wind River Irrigation Project, the Deputy Superintendent—Trust Services acted as the project manager and was not paid out of irrigation funding. How does the BIA respond to comments regarding the BIA’s trust responsibility in relation to projects? The BIA disagrees that establishing irrigation assessments in accordance with applicable law violates any trust duty. The BIA has no trust obligation to operate and maintain 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). The BIA, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. section 381 et seq. and 25 CFR Part 171, has the responsibility to administer constructed projects, set rates, collect assessments, and make decisions regarding water delivery. The BIA must collect O&M assessments to operate and maintain the irrigation infrastructure on VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:31 Apr 21, 2009 Jkt 217001 its projects. Over time, the costs of operating and maintaining these projects increases, and rates must be adjusted accordingly to enable the BIA to continue to provide irrigation services. Raising rates to reflect the full costs associated with operating and maintaining projects is essential because O&M rates are the only consistent source of funding for the BIA’s irrigation projects. How does the BIA respond to comments regarding the BIA’s trust responsibility to enhance idle tracts to make them productive? As stated in the answer to the preceding question, the BIA has no trust obligation to operate and maintain irrigation projects. Likewise, the BIA has no obligation to enhance idle tracks of land within an irrigation project. However, recognizing the potential benefits to projects from such enhancements, the updated Irrigation O&M regulations (25 CFR 171.610) provide for an incentive to potential lessees who want to lease project land that is not being farmed (idle land). The lessee is eligible to enter into an Incentive Agreement with BIA. Under such an Incentive Agreement, BIA is able to waive O&M fees for up to three years while improvements are made to bring lands that are currently idle back into production. This feature provides benefits to landowners, who can more readily lease their lands; to lessees, who experience reduced costs associated with bringing lands back into production through reduced or waived O&M assessments; and to the projects, which will realize a more stable and productive land base. How does the BIA respond to comments regarding the efficiencies of contracting with water user associations to perform O&M to save costs? The BIA remains committed to work with all project water users to review and develop options for cost savings. If the water users believe that they can perform O&M functions more efficiently and effectively, the BIA will consider proposals and work with the appropriate parties regarding the potential to facilitate the transfer of O&M functions through a contract or other agreement. How does the BIA respond to concerns regarding the impact of irrigation assessment rate increases on local agricultural economies and individual land owners? The BIA’s projects are important economic contributors to the local communities they serve. These projects PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18399 contribute millions of dollars in crop value annually. Historically, the BIA tempered irrigation rate increases to demonstrate sensitivity to the economic impact on water users. This past practice resulted in a rate deficiency at some irrigation projects. The BIA does not have discretionary funds to subsidize irrigation projects. Funding to operate and maintain these projects needs to come from revenues from the water users served by those projects. 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 irrigation 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 project operation.’’ A previous OIG audit performed on one of the BIA’s largest irrigation projects, the Wapato Indian Irrigation Project, No. 95–I–1402, September 1995, reached the same conclusion. To address the issues noted in these audits, the BIA must systematically review and evaluate irrigation assessment rates and adjust them, when necessary, to reflect the full costs to operate and perform all appropriate maintenance on the irrigation project or facility infrastructure to ensure safe and reliable operation. If this review and adjustment is not accomplished, a rate deficiency can accumulate over time. Rate deficiencies force the BIA to raise irrigation assessment rates in larger increments over shorter periods of time than would have been otherwise necessary. The following comments are specific to the Wind River Irrigation Project (WRIP): How does the BIA respond to concerns regarding the BIA’s responsibility for delivery of the full amount of water quantified in the Big Horn Decree, as BIA only delivers 40 percent of the water quantified? This notice only pertains to the water delivered to WRIP, which is approximately 40 percent of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes’ water right quantified under the Big Horn Decree. The BIA delivers the E:\FR\FM\22APN1.SGM 22APN1 18400 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 22, 2009 / Notices amount of water that it has the capacity to deliver and is requested for use through the WRIP. The balance of the Tribes’ water right is available for future uses and not affected by this notice. How does the BIA respond to the concern that the WRIP should not be considered self-supporting for irrigation O&M funding and requires Federal assistance? During some periods in the past, the BIA provided limited appropriated funds to irrigation projects to assist the projects with their O&M. At this time the BIA does not have discretionary funding available to subsidize O&M costs. Without necessary rate increases, the lack of adequate O&M funds could result in the inability of the project to maintain irrigation system components and deliver water. How does the BIA respond to comments that the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes and Tribal members should not be subsidizing the non-Indians? This comment implies that Tribes and Tribal members are subsidizing nonIndians by paying for the O&M on lands leased by non-Indians. This is incorrect. Irrigation O&M for lands leased by others, Indian or non-Indian, are paid by the lessee, not the land owner. The following comments are specific to the San Carlos Irrigation Project— Joint Works: How does the BIA respond to the issue raised by users of the San Carlos Irrigation Project—Joint Works regarding the number of BIA personnel required to operate and maintain the project and the decision to lower the grade of the Supervisory Civil Engineer and make the position part time, as well as to abolish one Irrigation System Operator? The Supervisory Civil Engineer position is typically responsible for management of the BIA irrigation employees and the irrigation system, including performing engineering analysis of system needs. As the BIA owns the entire San Carlos Irrigation Project—Joint Works, a Supervisory Civil Engineer will still be necessary to exercise oversight responsibility over the Joint Control Board to ensure that O&M is carried out in compliance with Government Standards. In addition, the BIA is still responsible for ‘‘Scheduling and Delivery’’ of water, and based on workload projections, 3 Irrigation System Operators are needed in order to properly manage and schedule water. Joint Works is within the recommended guidelines. The following comment is specific to the Wapato Irrigation Project: How does the BIA respond to the issue raised by users of the San Carlos Irrigation Project—Joint Works regarding who is to manage the project’s wells, and whether this can be changed in order to reduce anticipated FY 2010 project expenses? The Yakama Nation, which is served by the Wapato Irrigation Project, has an administrative appeal pending regarding the BIA’s policy of setting irrigation assessment rates on assessable lands within BIA irrigation projects. The BIA’s position is that we have statutory authority to establish the rates provided for under this notice. The current agreement requires the BIA to continue maintenance of project wells until such time as they become a District Rehabilitation Responsibility project as defined in sections 9.1 and 9.4 of the Joint Control Board (JCB) Agreement. It may at some point prove feasible to transfer this responsibility to the JCB that has taken over portions of the project. However, as the agreement between the BIA and the JCB has yet to be implemented—a task the parties of the JCB rejected during settlement negotiations—it makes little sense to amend the agreement prior to implementation. How does the BIA respond to concerns raised regarding amount of the emergency reserve for the project? This concern is based on the preceding questions, so the BIA does not agree that the amount of the emergency reserve fund should be adjusted. The reserve funds are to prepare for events or emergencies which might interrupt the delivery of irrigation water and are required for BIA irrigation projects. The BIA recommends all projects follow U.S. Bureau of Reclamation guidelines to determine the amount of the reserve fund. The amount is based on a percentage of the annual O&M revenue funds collected by the project each year. The amount proposed for the San Carlos Irrigation Project— Project name How does the BIA respond to the Yakama Nation’s objection to the BIA’s policy of charging the Yakama Nation and its members irrigation O&M charges regardless of whether the parcel is producing adequate funds from agriculture to pay the O&M? 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 http:// www.gpo.gov. What authorizes you 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 projects. Project/agency contacts dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES Northwest Region Contacts Stanley Speaks, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Northwest Regional Office, 911 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232–4169, Telephone: (503) 231–6702. Flathead Irrigation Project ............... Fort Hall Irrigation Project ............... VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:31 Apr 21, 2009 Chuck Courville, Superintendent, John Plouffe, Acting Irrigation Manager, Flathead Agency Irrigation Division, P.O. Box 40, Pablo, MT 59855–0040, Telephone: (406) 675–2700. Eric J. LaPointe, Superintendent, Vacant, Supervisory General Engineer, Fort Hall Agency, P.O. Box 220, Fort Hall, ID 83203–0220, Telephone: (208) 238–2301. Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\22APN1.SGM 22APN1 18401 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 22, 2009 / Notices Project name Project/agency contacts 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, 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 ........ Fort Peck Irrigation Project ............. Wind River 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. Frank Merchant, Acting Superintendent, Vacant, 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, Vacant, Irrigation Project Manager, (Project Operations and Mgmt Contracted by Tribes), R.R. 1, Box 980, Harlem, MT 59526, Telephones: (406) 353–2901, Superintendent, (406) 353–2905, Irrigation Project Manager. Florence White Eagle, Superintendent, P.O. Box 637, Poplar, MT 59255, Richard Kurtz, Irrigation Manager, 602 6th Avenue North, Wolf Point, MT 59201, Telephones: (406) 768–5312, Superintendent, (406) 653–1752, Irrigation Manager. Ed Lone Fight, Superintendent, Sheridan Nicholas, 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 William T. Walker, Acting 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 ............ Vacant, Superintendent, John Formea, Irrigation Engineer, P.O. Box 315, Ignacio, CO 81137–0315, Telephones: (970) 563–4511, Superintendent, (970) 563–9484, Irrigation Engineer. Western Region Contacts Allen 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 ........ Janice Staudte, Superintendent, Ted Henry, Irrigation Project Manager, 12124 1st Avenue, Parker, AZ 85344, Telephone: (928) 669–7111. Joseph McDade, Superintendent, 1555 Shoshone Circle, Elko, NV 89801, Telephone: (775) 738–0569. Raymond Fry, Superintendent, P.O. Box 11000, Yuma, AZ 85366, Telephone: (520) 782–1202. Bryan Bowker, Project Manager, Augie Fisher, Acting Supervisory General Engineer, P.O. Box 250, Coolidge, AZ 85228, Telephone: (520) 723–6216. Cecilia Martinez, Superintendent, Joe Revak, Supervisory General Engineer, Pima Agency, Land Operations, P.O. Box 8, Sacaton, AZ 85247, Telephone: (520) 562–3326, Telephone: (520) 562–3372. Daniel Picard, Superintendent, Karnel Murdock, Acting Irrigation Manager, P.O. Box 130, Fort Duchesne, UT 84026, Telephone: (435) 722–4300, Telephone: (435) 722–4341. Athena Brown, Superintendent, 311 E. Washington Street, Carson City, NV 89701, Telephone: (775) 887– 3500. What irrigation assessments or charges are adjusted by this notice? The rate table below contains the current rates for all irrigation projects where we recover costs for operation and maintenance. The table also contains the final rates for the 2009 season and subsequent years where Project name applicable. An asterisk immediately following the name of the project notes the irrigation projects where rates are adjusted for 2009. Final 2008 rate Rate category Final 2009 rate Final 2010 rate Northwest Region Rate Table Flathead Irrigation Project* (See Note #1) ..... dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES Fort Hall Irrigation Project* ............................. Fort Hall Irrigation Project—Minor Units* ....... Fort Hall Irrigation Project—Michaud* ............ VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:31 Apr 21, 2009 Jkt 217001 Basic per acre—A .......................................... Basic per acre—B .......................................... Minimum Charge per tract ............................. Basic per acre ................................................ $23.45 10.75 65.00 31.00 $23.45 10.75 65.00 40.50 Minimum Charge per tract ............................. Basic per acre ................................................ Minimum Charge per tract ............................. Basic per acre ................................................ Pressure per acre .......................................... Minimum Charge per tract ............................. Minimum Charge for farm unit/land tracts up to one acre. 27.00 21.00 27.00 39.75 55.50 27.00 14.00 30.00 21.00 30.00 41.50 58.00 30.00 15.00 PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\22APN1.SGM 22APN1 $23.45 11.75 65.00 To be determined 18402 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 22, 2009 / Notices Project name Final 2008 rate Rate category Wapato Irrigation Project—Toppenish/Simcoe Units*. Wapato Irrigation Project—Ahtanum Units* ... Wapato Irrigation Project—Satus Unit* .......... Wapato Irrigation Project—Additional Works* Wapato Irrigation Project—Water Rental* ...... Final 2009 rate Farm unit/land tracts over one acre—per acre. Minimum Charge per tract ............................. 14.00 15.00 14.00 15.00 Basic per acre ................................................ Minimum Charge per tract ............................. Basic per acre ................................................ Minimum Charge per tract ............................. ‘‘A’’ Basic per acre ......................................... ‘‘B’’ Basic per acre ......................................... Minimum Charge per tract ............................. Basic per acre ................................................ Minimum Charge ............................................ Basic per acre ................................................ 14.00 14.00 14.00 55.00 55.00 65.00 60.00 60.00 67.00 67.00 Final 2010 rate 15.00 15.00 15.00 58.00 58.00 68.00 63.00 63.00 70.00 70.00 Project name Final 2008 rate Rate category Final 2009 rate Rocky Mountain Region Rate Table 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* ................................................................ Fort Peck Irrigation Project* ..................................................................... Wind River Irrigation Project * .................................................................. Wind River Irrigation Project—*LeClair District ........................................ Basic-per acre ................................ Basic-per acre ................................ $17.00 20.80 $18.00 20.80 Basic-per acre ................................ 20.50 20.50 Basic-per Basic-per Basic-per Basic-per Basic-per ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 2.00 13.88 22.00 16.00 17.00 2.00 14.75 24.00 18.00 19.00 Minimum Charge per tract ............. Basic-per acre ................................ 50.00 15.00 50.00 15.00 acre acre acre acre acre Southwest Region Rate Table Pine River Irrigation Project ...................................................................... Project name Final 2008 rate Rate category Final 2009 rate Final 2010 rate Final 2011 rate $52.50 To be determined To be determined To be determined $54.00. .................... Western Region Rate Table Colorado River* Irrigation Project ............. Fort Yuma* Irrigation Project (See Note #2). San Carlos Irrigation Project (Joint Works) (See Note #3). San Carlos Irrigation Project (Indian Works). Uintah Irrigation Project* ........................... Walker River Irrigation Project* (See Note #4). $47.00 17.00 $51.00 17.00 5.30 5.30 Basic per acre up to 5.0 acre-feet ........... 77.00 77.00 Excess Water per acre-foot over 5.0 acre-feet. Basic per acre up to 5.0 acre-feet (Ranch 5). Basic per acre .......................................... 14.00 14.00 28.00 77.00 21.00 21.00 21.00 Basic per acre .......................................... 57.00 57.00 To be determined To be determined. To be determined. Basic per acre .......................................... Minimum Bill ............................................ Indian per acre ......................................... 12.50 25.00 $13.00 15.00 25.00 $16.00 $19.00 $22.00. non-Indian per acre ................................. Duck Valley Irrigation Project .................... Basic per acre up to 5.75 acre-feet ......... Excess Water per acre-foot over 5.75 acre-feet. Basic per acre .......................................... 16.00 16.00 19.00 22.00. dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES * To be determined. To be determined. Notes irrigation projects where rates are proposed for adjustment. Note #1—The 2009 rate was established by final notice published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2008 (Vol. 73, No. 109, page 32046). The 2010 rate is final by this notice. Note #2—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 2009 remains unchanged at $70.00/acre. The second component is for the O&M rate established by BIA to cover administrative costs including billing and collections for the Project. The 2009 BIA rate remains unchanged at $7.00/acre. In 2009, the BOR rate for ‘‘Ranch 5’’ will be increased from $28.00/acre to $70.00/acre, and BIA will begin charging the $7.00/acre administrative fee on ‘‘Ranch 5’’ acreage. Note #3—The 2009 rate was established by final notice published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2007 (Vol. 72, No. 76, page 19954). Note #4—The 2009 rate was established by final notice published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2008 (Vol. 73, No. 109, page 32047). The 2010 rate is final through this notice. VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:31 Apr 21, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\22APN1.SGM 22APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 22, 2009 / Notices Consultation and Coordination With Tribal Governments (Executive Order 13175) To fulfill its consultation responsibility to tribes and tribal organizations, BIA communicates, coordinates, and consults on a continuing basis with these entities on issues related to water delivery, water availability, and costs of administration, operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of projects that concern them. This is accomplished at the individual irrigation project by Project, Agency, and Regional representatives, as appropriate, in accordance with local protocol and procedures. This notice is one component of our overall coordination and consultation process to provide notice to these entities when we adjust irrigation assessment rates. Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211) 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 These rate adjustments are not a rule for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because they establish ‘‘a rule of particular applicability relating to rates.’’ 5 U.S.C. 601(2). dwashington3 on PROD1PC60 with NOTICES Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 These rate adjustments do not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or on the private sector, of more than $130 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, the Department is not required to prepare a statement containing the information 15:31 Apr 21, 2009 Jkt 217001 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 will not affect the States, the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government. Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988) 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. VerDate Nov<24>2008 required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). In issuing this rule, the Department has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, as required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988. 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)). Information Quality Act In developing this notice, we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Information Quality Act (Pub. L. 106– 554). Dated: April 13, 2009. George Skibine, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development. [FR Doc. E9–9277 Filed 4–21–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–W7–P PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18403 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R4–ES–2009–N0067; 40120–1113– 0000–C2] Technical Agency Draft Recovery Plan for the Endangered St. Andrew Beach Mouse AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of document availability and opening of public comment period. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the technical agency draft recovery plan for the St. Andrew beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus peninsularis). This technical agency draft recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be met in order to reclassify this species to threatened status and delist it under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We request review and comment on this technical agency draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public. DATES: In order to be considered, comments on the technical agency draft recovery plan must be received on or before June 22, 2009. ADDRESSES: If you wish to review this technical agency draft recovery plan, you may obtain a copy by contacting Janet Mizzi, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1601 Balboa Ave, Panama City, FL 32405, tel. (850) 769–0552, or by visiting either the Service’s recovery plan Web site at http:// endangered.fws.gov/recovery/ index.html#plans or the Panama City Field Office Web site at http:// www.fws.gov/panamacity/. If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments by one of the following methods: 1. You may submit written comments and materials to Janet Mizzi, at the above address. 2. You may hand-deliver written comments to our Panama City Field Office, at the above address. 3. You may fax your comments to (850) 763–2177. 4. You may send comments by e-mail to janet_mizzi@fws.gov. For directions on submitting comments electronically, see the ‘‘Public Comments Solicited’’ section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janet Mizzi at the above addresses or telephone: (850) 769–0552, ext. 247. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\22APN1.SGM 22APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 76 (Wednesday, April 22, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18398-18403]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-9277]


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

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 projects located on or associated with various Indian 
reservations throughout the United States. We are required to establish 
irrigation assessment rates to recover the costs to administer, 
operate, maintain, and rehabilitate these projects. We are notifying 
you that we have adjusted the irrigation assessment rates at several of 
our irrigation projects and facilities to reflect current costs of 
administration, operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation.

DATES: Effective Date: The irrigation assessment rates shown in the 
tables as final are effective as of January 1, 2009.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Proposed Rate Adjustment was 
published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2008 (73 FR 64629) to 
propose adjustments to the irrigation assessment rates at several BIA 
irrigation projects. The public and interested parties were provided an 
opportunity to submit written comments during the 60-day period that 
ended December 29, 2008.

Did the BIA defer or change any proposed rate increases?

    Yes. At the Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, and Uintah Irrigation 
Projects, the project operations and maintenance (O&M) has been 
contracted by the water users and/or tribes. Based on the budget 
submitted by the water users at Fort Belknap, the rate was only raised 
to $14.75 instead of $20.00 per acre. Based on the budget submitted by 
the water users at Fort Peck, the rate was only raised to $24.00 
instead of $25.75 per acre. Based on the budget submitted by the water 
users at Uintah, the rate is raised to $15.00 instead of the previously 
proposed $13.70 per acre.

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

    Written comments were received related to the proposed rate 
adjustments for the San Carlos Irrigation Project--Joint Works, the 
Wapato Irrigation Project, and the Wind River Irrigation Project.

What issues were of concern to the commenters?

    Individuals and entities commenting on the proposed rates raised 
concerns about one or more of the following issues: (1) How funds are 
expended for O&M costs; (2) the BIA's trust responsibility for 
projects; (3) the BIA's responsibility to enhance idle land tracts to 
make them productive; (4) the efficiencies of contracting with water 
users groups to perform O&M to save costs; and (5) how rate increases 
impact the local agricultural economy and individual land owners.
    Commenters raised concerns specific to the Wind River Irrigation 
Project (WRIP), asserting that: (1) The BIA is responsible for delivery 
of the full amount of water quantified in the Big Horn Decree; (2) the 
WRIP should not be considered self-supporting for irrigation O&M 
funding and requires Federal assistance; and (3) the Eastern Shoshone 
and Northern Arapaho Tribes and their members should not be subsidizing 
non-Indian lessee water users.
    A commenter raised concerns specific to the San Carlos Irrigation 
Project--Joint Works, asserting that: (1) The number of BIA personnel 
required to operate and maintain the project is too high; (2) the BIA 
should maintain the project wells; (3) anticipated project expenses for 
FY 2010 will be higher; and (4) the BIA is budgeting too much for 
emergency reserves.
    The Yakama Nation raised concerns specific to the Wapato Irrigation 
Project, stating that the Yakama Nation does not believe that the BIA 
has authority to charge the Yakama Nation and its members irrigation 
O&M charges as provided in this notice.

How does the BIA respond to concerns regarding how funds are expended 
for O&M costs?

    The BIA considers the following expenses when determining an 
irrigation project's budget: 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 that 
we determine are

[[Page 18399]]

necessary to properly operate and maintain an irrigation project. 
Personnel costs include the cost of hiring employees, which includes a 
mandatory background check, as well as the costs of salaries and 
employee benefits including Social Security and health care.
    One common misconception water users have is that all salary costs 
are administrative and are not used to provide services directly 
related to operation and maintenance of irrigation facilities. Only a 
portion of each project's budget is for administrative costs. The 
administrative costs for a project include office costs, office staff 
(accounting and clerical), and a portion of the project manager's 
salary. Non-administrative costs are the cost to operate and maintain 
the irrigation project or facility. O&M workers perform O&M work, and 
thus their salaries are considered O&M costs, not administrative costs. 
All projects need essential personnel to operate and maintain the 
project, including a project manager, accounting staff, and irrigation 
system operators (ditchriders).
    There have been concerns raised that irrigation project funds have 
been used to pay BIA staff members who are not performing work related 
to operation and maintenance of irrigation facilities. This is not in 
accordance with applicable law and regulations, and the BIA is 
committed to ensuring that any such payments do not occur. Central 
Office staff from the BIA's Irrigation, Power, and Safety of Dams 
Program review expenditures routinely to ensure compliance with this 
policy. At some projects, non-irrigation staff assist the projects and 
are not being paid out of irrigation funds. For example, at the Wind 
River Irrigation Project, the Deputy Superintendent--Trust Services 
acted as the project manager and was not paid out of irrigation 
funding.

How does the BIA respond to comments regarding the BIA's trust 
responsibility in relation to projects?

    The BIA disagrees that establishing irrigation assessments in 
accordance with applicable law violates any trust duty. The BIA has no 
trust obligation to operate and maintain 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). The BIA, pursuant 
to 25 U.S.C. section 381 et seq. and 25 CFR Part 171, has the 
responsibility to administer constructed projects, set rates, collect 
assessments, and make decisions regarding water delivery. The BIA must 
collect O&M assessments to operate and maintain the irrigation 
infrastructure on its projects. Over time, the costs of operating and 
maintaining these projects increases, and rates must be adjusted 
accordingly to enable the BIA to continue to provide irrigation 
services. Raising rates to reflect the full costs associated with 
operating and maintaining projects is essential because O&M rates are 
the only consistent source of funding for the BIA's irrigation 
projects.

How does the BIA respond to comments regarding the BIA's trust 
responsibility to enhance idle tracts to make them productive?

    As stated in the answer to the preceding question, the BIA has no 
trust obligation to operate and maintain irrigation projects. Likewise, 
the BIA has no obligation to enhance idle tracks of land within an 
irrigation project. However, recognizing the potential benefits to 
projects from such enhancements, the updated Irrigation O&M regulations 
(25 CFR 171.610) provide for an incentive to potential lessees who want 
to lease project land that is not being farmed (idle land). The lessee 
is eligible to enter into an Incentive Agreement with BIA. Under such 
an Incentive Agreement, BIA is able to waive O&M fees for up to three 
years while improvements are made to bring lands that are currently 
idle back into production. This feature provides benefits to 
landowners, who can more readily lease their lands; to lessees, who 
experience reduced costs associated with bringing lands back into 
production through reduced or waived O&M assessments; and to the 
projects, which will realize a more stable and productive land base.

How does the BIA respond to comments regarding the efficiencies of 
contracting with water user associations to perform O&M to save costs?

    The BIA remains committed to work with all project water users to 
review and develop options for cost savings. If the water users believe 
that they can perform O&M functions more efficiently and effectively, 
the BIA will consider proposals and work with the appropriate parties 
regarding the potential to facilitate the transfer of O&M functions 
through a contract or other agreement.

How does the BIA respond to concerns regarding the impact of irrigation 
assessment rate increases on local agricultural economies and 
individual land owners?

    The BIA's projects are important economic contributors to the local 
communities they serve. These projects contribute millions of dollars 
in crop value annually. Historically, the BIA tempered irrigation rate 
increases to demonstrate sensitivity to the economic impact on water 
users. This past practice resulted in a rate deficiency at some 
irrigation projects. The BIA does not have discretionary funds to 
subsidize irrigation projects. Funding to operate and maintain these 
projects needs to come from revenues from the water users served by 
those projects.
    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 irrigation 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 project operation.'' A previous OIG audit performed on 
one of the BIA's largest irrigation projects, the Wapato Indian 
Irrigation Project, No. 95-I-1402, September 1995, reached the same 
conclusion.
    To address the issues noted in these audits, the BIA must 
systematically review and evaluate irrigation assessment rates and 
adjust them, when necessary, to reflect the full costs to operate and 
perform all appropriate maintenance on the irrigation project or 
facility infrastructure to ensure safe and reliable operation. If this 
review and adjustment is not accomplished, a rate deficiency can 
accumulate over time. Rate deficiencies force the BIA to raise 
irrigation assessment rates in larger increments over shorter periods 
of time than would have been otherwise necessary.
    The following comments are specific to the Wind River Irrigation 
Project (WRIP):

How does the BIA respond to concerns regarding the BIA's responsibility 
for delivery of the full amount of water quantified in the Big Horn 
Decree, as BIA only delivers 40 percent of the water quantified?

    This notice only pertains to the water delivered to WRIP, which is 
approximately 40 percent of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho 
Tribes' water right quantified under the Big Horn Decree. The BIA 
delivers the

[[Page 18400]]

amount of water that it has the capacity to deliver and is requested 
for use through the WRIP. The balance of the Tribes' water right is 
available for future uses and not affected by this notice.

How does the BIA respond to the concern that the WRIP should not be 
considered self-supporting for irrigation O&M funding and requires 
Federal assistance?

    During some periods in the past, the BIA provided limited 
appropriated funds to irrigation projects to assist the projects with 
their O&M. At this time the BIA does not have discretionary funding 
available to subsidize O&M costs. Without necessary rate increases, the 
lack of adequate O&M funds could result in the inability of the project 
to maintain irrigation system components and deliver water.

How does the BIA respond to comments that the Shoshone and Arapaho 
Tribes and Tribal members should not be subsidizing the non-Indians?

    This comment implies that Tribes and Tribal members are subsidizing 
non-Indians by paying for the O&M on lands leased by non-Indians. This 
is incorrect. Irrigation O&M for lands leased by others, Indian or non-
Indian, are paid by the lessee, not the land owner.
    The following comments are specific to the San Carlos Irrigation 
Project--Joint Works:

How does the BIA respond to the issue raised by users of the San Carlos 
Irrigation Project--Joint Works regarding the number of BIA personnel 
required to operate and maintain the project and the decision to lower 
the grade of the Supervisory Civil Engineer and make the position part 
time, as well as to abolish one Irrigation System Operator?

    The Supervisory Civil Engineer position is typically responsible 
for management of the BIA irrigation employees and the irrigation 
system, including performing engineering analysis of system needs. As 
the BIA owns the entire San Carlos Irrigation Project--Joint Works, a 
Supervisory Civil Engineer will still be necessary to exercise 
oversight responsibility over the Joint Control Board to ensure that 
O&M is carried out in compliance with Government Standards.
    In addition, the BIA is still responsible for ``Scheduling and 
Delivery'' of water, and based on workload projections, 3 Irrigation 
System Operators are needed in order to properly manage and schedule 
water.

How does the BIA respond to the issue raised by users of the San Carlos 
Irrigation Project--Joint Works regarding who is to manage the 
project's wells, and whether this can be changed in order to reduce 
anticipated FY 2010 project expenses?

    The current agreement requires the BIA to continue maintenance of 
project wells until such time as they become a District Rehabilitation 
Responsibility project as defined in sections 9.1 and 9.4 of the Joint 
Control Board (JCB) Agreement. It may at some point prove feasible to 
transfer this responsibility to the JCB that has taken over portions of 
the project. However, as the agreement between the BIA and the JCB has 
yet to be implemented--a task the parties of the JCB rejected during 
settlement negotiations--it makes little sense to amend the agreement 
prior to implementation.

How does the BIA respond to concerns raised regarding amount of the 
emergency reserve for the project?

    This concern is based on the preceding questions, so the BIA does 
not agree that the amount of the emergency reserve fund should be 
adjusted. The reserve funds are to prepare for events or emergencies 
which might interrupt the delivery of irrigation water and are required 
for BIA irrigation projects. The BIA recommends all projects follow 
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation guidelines to determine the amount of the 
reserve fund. The amount is based on a percentage of the annual O&M 
revenue funds collected by the project each year. The amount proposed 
for the San Carlos Irrigation Project--Joint Works is within the 
recommended guidelines.
    The following comment is specific to the Wapato Irrigation Project:

How does the BIA respond to the Yakama Nation's objection to the BIA's 
policy of charging the Yakama Nation and its members irrigation O&M 
charges regardless of whether the parcel is producing adequate funds 
from agriculture to pay the O&M?

    The Yakama Nation, which is served by the Wapato Irrigation 
Project, has an administrative appeal pending regarding the BIA's 
policy of setting irrigation assessment rates on assessable lands 
within BIA irrigation projects. The BIA's position is that we have 
statutory authority to establish the rates provided for under this 
notice.

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 http://www.gpo.gov.

What authorizes you 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 projects.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Project name                    Project/agency contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Northwest Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Stanley Speaks, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Northwest
   Regional Office, 911 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232-4169,
                       Telephone: (503) 231-6702.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead Irrigation Project.......  Chuck Courville, Superintendent,
                                     John Plouffe, Acting Irrigation
                                     Manager, Flathead Agency Irrigation
                                     Division, P.O. Box 40, Pablo, MT
                                     59855-0040, Telephone: (406) 675-
                                     2700.
Fort Hall Irrigation Project......  Eric J. LaPointe, Superintendent,
                                     Vacant, Supervisory General
                                     Engineer, Fort Hall Agency, P.O.
                                     Box 220, Fort Hall, ID 83203-0220,
                                     Telephone: (208) 238-2301.

[[Page 18401]]

 
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, 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...........  Frank Merchant, Acting
                                     Superintendent, Vacant, 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, Vacant,
                                     Irrigation Project Manager,
                                     (Project Operations and Mgmt
                                     Contracted by Tribes), R.R. 1, Box
                                     980, Harlem, MT 59526, Telephones:
                                     (406) 353-2901, Superintendent,
                                     (406) 353-2905, Irrigation Project
                                     Manager.
Fort Peck Irrigation Project......  Florence White Eagle,
                                     Superintendent, P.O. Box 637,
                                     Poplar, MT 59255, Richard Kurtz,
                                     Irrigation Manager, 602 6th Avenue
                                     North, Wolf Point, MT 59201,
                                     Telephones: (406) 768-5312,
                                     Superintendent, (406) 653-1752,
                                     Irrigation Manager.
Wind River Irrigation Project.....  Ed Lone Fight, Superintendent,
                                     Sheridan Nicholas, 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
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 William T. Walker, Acting 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.....  Vacant, Superintendent, John Formea,
                                     Irrigation Engineer, P.O. Box 315,
                                     Ignacio, CO 81137-0315, Telephones:
                                     (970) 563-4511, Superintendent,
                                     (970) 563-9484, Irrigation
                                     Engineer.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Western Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Allen 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.  Janice Staudte, Superintendent, Ted
                                     Henry, Irrigation Project Manager,
                                     12124 1st Avenue, Parker, AZ 85344,
                                     Telephone: (928) 669-7111.
Duck Valley Irrigation Project....  Joseph McDade, Superintendent, 1555
                                     Shoshone Circle, Elko, NV 89801,
                                     Telephone: (775) 738-0569.
Fort Yuma Irrigation Project......  Raymond Fry, Superintendent, P.O.
                                     Box 11000, Yuma, AZ 85366,
                                     Telephone: (520) 782-1202.
San Carlos Irrigation Project       Bryan Bowker, Project Manager, Augie
 Joint Works.                        Fisher, Acting Supervisory General
                                     Engineer, P.O. Box 250, Coolidge,
                                     AZ 85228, Telephone: (520) 723-
                                     6216.
San Carlos Irrigation Project       Cecilia Martinez, Superintendent,
 Indian Works.                       Joe Revak, Supervisory General
                                     Engineer, Pima Agency, Land
                                     Operations, P.O. Box 8, Sacaton, AZ
                                     85247, Telephone: (520) 562-3326,
                                     Telephone: (520) 562-3372.
Uintah Irrigation Project.........  Daniel Picard, Superintendent,
                                     Karnel Murdock, Acting Irrigation
                                     Manager, P.O. Box 130, Fort
                                     Duchesne, UT 84026, Telephone:
                                     (435) 722-4300, Telephone: (435)
                                     722-4341.
Walker River Irrigation Project...  Athena Brown, Superintendent, 311 E.
                                     Washington Street, Carson City, NV
                                     89701, Telephone: (775) 887-3500.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

What irrigation assessments or charges are adjusted by this notice?

    The rate table below contains the current rates for all irrigation 
projects where we recover costs for operation and maintenance. The 
table also contains the final rates for the 2009 season and subsequent 
years where applicable. An asterisk immediately following the name of 
the project notes the irrigation projects where rates are adjusted for 
2009.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Final 2008      Final 2009      Final 2010
            Project name                    Rate category              rate            rate            rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Northwest Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead Irrigation Project* (See    Basic per acre--A..........          $23.45          $23.45          $23.45
 Note 1).
                                     Basic per acre--B..........           10.75           10.75           11.75
                                     Minimum Charge per tract...           65.00           65.00           65.00
Fort Hall Irrigation Project*......  Basic per acre.............           31.00           40.50           To be
                                                                                                      determined
                                     Minimum Charge per tract...           27.00           30.00
Fort Hall Irrigation Project--Minor  Basic per acre.............           21.00           21.00
 Units*.
                                     Minimum Charge per tract...           27.00           30.00
Fort Hall Irrigation Project--       Basic per acre.............           39.75           41.50
 Michaud*.
                                     Pressure per acre..........           55.50           58.00
                                     Minimum Charge per tract...           27.00           30.00
                                     Minimum Charge for farm               14.00           15.00
                                      unit/land tracts up to one
                                      acre.

[[Page 18402]]

 
                                     Farm unit/land tracts over            14.00           15.00
                                      one acre--per acre.
Wapato Irrigation Project--          Minimum Charge per tract...           14.00           15.00
 Toppenish/Simcoe Units*.
                                     Basic per acre.............           14.00           15.00
Wapato Irrigation Project--Ahtanum   Minimum Charge per tract...           14.00           15.00
 Units*.
                                     Basic per acre.............           14.00           15.00
Wapato Irrigation Project--Satus     Minimum Charge per tract...           55.00           58.00
 Unit*.
                                     ``A'' Basic per acre.......           55.00           58.00
                                     ``B'' Basic per acre.......           65.00           68.00
Wapato Irrigation Project--          Minimum Charge per tract...           60.00           63.00
 Additional Works*.
                                     Basic per acre.............           60.00           63.00
Wapato Irrigation Project--Water     Minimum Charge.............           67.00           70.00
 Rental*.
                                     Basic per acre.............           67.00           70.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Final 2008
                 Project name                             Rate category               rate      Final 2009 rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Rocky Mountain Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blackfeet Irrigation Project*.................  Basic-per acre..................       $17.00             $18.00
Crow Irrigation Project--Willow Creek O&M       Basic-per acre..................        20.80              20.80
 (includes Agency, Lodge Grass 1,
 Lodge Grass 2, Reno, Upper Little
 Horn, and Forty Mile Units).
Crow Irrigation Project--All Others (includes   Basic-per acre..................        20.50              20.50
 Bighorn, Soap Creek, and Pryor Units).
Crow Irrigation Two Leggins Drainage District.  Basic-per acre..................         2.00               2.00
Fort Belknap Irrigation Project*..............  Basic-per acre..................        13.88              14.75
Fort Peck Irrigation Project*.................  Basic-per acre..................        22.00              24.00
Wind River Irrigation Project *...............  Basic-per acre..................        16.00              18.00
Wind River Irrigation Project--*LeClair         Basic-per acre..................        17.00              19.00
 District.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Southwest Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pine River Irrigation Project.................  Minimum Charge per tract........        50.00              50.00
                                                Basic-per acre..................        15.00              15.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Final 2008   Final 2009   Final 2010   Final 2011
           Project name                  Rate category            rate         rate         rate         rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Western Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado River* Irrigation         Basic per acre up to 5.75       $47.00       $51.00       $52.50      $54.00.
 Project.                           acre-feet.
                                   Excess Water per acre-           17.00        17.00        To be  ...........
                                    foot over 5.75 acre-feet.                            determined
Duck Valley Irrigation Project...  Basic per acre...........         5.30         5.30        To be        To be
                                                                                         determined  determined.
Fort Yuma* Irrigation Project      Basic per acre up to 5.0         77.00        77.00        To be        To be
 (See Note 2).             acre-feet.                                           determined  determined.
                                   Excess Water per acre-           14.00        14.00
                                    foot over 5.0 acre-feet.
                                   Basic per acre up to 5.0         28.00        77.00
                                    acre-feet (Ranch 5).
San Carlos Irrigation Project      Basic per acre...........        21.00        21.00        21.00        To be
 (Joint Works) (See Note 3).
San Carlos Irrigation Project      Basic per acre...........        57.00        57.00        To be        To be
 (Indian Works).                                                                         determined  determined.
Uintah Irrigation Project*.......  Basic per acre...........        12.50        15.00
                                   Minimum Bill.............        25.00        25.00
Walker River Irrigation Project*   Indian per acre..........       $13.00       $16.00       $19.00      $22.00.
 (See Note 4).
                                   non-Indian per acre......        16.00        16.00        19.00       22.00.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\*\ Notes irrigation projects where rates are proposed for adjustment.
Note 1--The 2009 rate was established by final notice published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2008
  (Vol. 73, No. 109, page 32046). The 2010 rate is final by this notice.
Note 2--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 2009 remains unchanged at $70.00/acre. The second component is for the O&M rate established by BIA to
  cover administrative costs including billing and collections for the Project. The 2009 BIA rate remains
  unchanged at $7.00/acre. In 2009, the BOR rate for ``Ranch 5'' will be increased from $28.00/acre to $70.00/
  acre, and BIA will begin charging the $7.00/acre administrative fee on ``Ranch 5'' acreage.
Note 3--The 2009 rate was established by final notice published in the Federal Register on April 20,
  2007 (Vol. 72, No. 76, page 19954).
Note 4--The 2009 rate was established by final notice published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2008
  (Vol. 73, No. 109, page 32047). The 2010 rate is final through this notice.


[[Page 18403]]

Consultation and Coordination With Tribal Governments (Executive Order 
13175)

    To fulfill its consultation responsibility to tribes and tribal 
organizations, BIA communicates, coordinates, and consults on a 
continuing basis with these entities on issues related to water 
delivery, water availability, and costs of administration, operation, 
maintenance, and rehabilitation of projects that concern them. This is 
accomplished at the individual irrigation project by Project, Agency, 
and Regional representatives, as appropriate, in accordance with local 
protocol and procedures. This notice is one component of our overall 
coordination and consultation process to provide notice to these 
entities when we adjust irrigation assessment 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

    These rate adjustments are not a rule for the purposes of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act because they establish ``a rule of 
particular applicability relating to rates.'' 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    These rate adjustments do not impose an unfunded mandate on State, 
local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or on the private 
sector, of more than $130 million per year. The rule does not have a 
significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or 
the private sector. Therefore, the Department is not required to 
prepare a statement containing the information required by the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

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 will not affect the 
States, the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among various 
levels of government.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    In issuing this rule, the Department has taken the necessary steps 
to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential 
litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, as 
required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988.

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)).

Information Quality Act

    In developing this notice, we did not conduct or use a study, 
experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Information 
Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554).

    Dated: April 13, 2009.
George Skibine,
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development.
[FR Doc. E9-9277 Filed 4-21-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-W7-P