Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects, 37604-37609 [2017-16910]

Download as PDF 37604 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 154 / Friday, August 11, 2017 / Notices II. Background To help us carry out our conservation responsibilities for affected species, and in consideration of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), along with Executive Order 13576, ‘‘Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government,’’ and the President’s Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009—Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; Jan. 26, 2009), which call on all Federal agencies to promote openness and transparency in Government by disclosing information to the public, we invite public comment on these permit applications before final action is taken. asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES III. Permit Applications We invite the public to comment on applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; ESA) prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is acquired that allows such activities. Applicant: Liliana Cortez Ortiz, Ann Arbor, MI; PRT–26524C The applicant requests a permit to import howler monkey (Alouatta palliata palliata) biological samples from nongovernmental organization ´ (NGO) Asociacion para el Desarrollo de ´ Solentiname, Isla Mancarron, El Archipielago de Solentiname, Nicaragua, for the purpose of scientific research. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Zoological Society of Philadelphia, PA; PRT–31910C The applicant requests a permit to import one captive born female jaguar (Panthera onca) from Zoo de Granby, Quebec, Canada, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. Applicant: Ricardo Longoria, Natalia, TX; PRT–192403 The applicant requests renewal of a permit to authorize interstate commerce, export and cull excess barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii), Eld’s deer (Rucervus eldii), and red lechwe (Kobus lechwe) from the captive herds maintained at their facility for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Cynthia Page-Karjian, Florida Atlantic Univ, Fort Pierce, FL; PRT–34054C VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Aug 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 The applicant requests a permit to import DNA samples from the following species: leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), and hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) for the purpose of scientific research. This notification is for a single import. Applicant: John Aynes, Oklahoma City, OK; PRT–29141A The applicant requests a renewal and amendment to a captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the following species: Golden conure/ Queen of Bavaria conure (Aratinga guarouba), which is listed as the golden parakeet; red-vented cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), which is listed as the Philippine cockatoo; citron cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata); and blue-throated macaw (Ara glaucogularis) to enhance the propagation or survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5year period. Applicant: Jason Troxell, Eagle River, AK; PRT–32830 The applicant requests a captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) to enhance species survival. This notification covers activities conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Multiple Applicants Applicant: Sal Davino, Morristown, NJ; PRT–21334C Applicant: Sharon Fisher, Dorr, MI; PRT–32360C The applicant requests a permit to import sport-hunted trophies of a male bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus) culled from a captive herd maintained under the management program of the Republic of South Africa, for the purpose of enhancing the propagation or survival of the species. IV. Next Steps If the Service decides to issue permits to any of the applicants listed in this notice, we will publish a notice in the Federal Register. You may locate the Federal Register notice announcing the permit issuance date by searching in www.regulations.gov under the permit number listed in this document. V. Public Comments You may submit your comments and materials concerning this notice by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We will not consider comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in ADDRESSES. PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 If you submit a comment via http:// www.regulations.gov, your entire comment, including any personal identifying information, will be posted on the Web site. If you submit a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov. VI. Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Joyce Russell, Government Information Specialist, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority. [FR Doc. 2017–16947 Filed 8–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [178A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900 253G] Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: 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. SUMMARY: The irrigation assessment rates are current as of January 1, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For details about a particular BIA irrigation project or facility, please use the tables in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section to find contacts at the regional or local office at which the project or facility is located. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Proposed Rate Adjustment was published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2017 (82 FR 18770) to propose adjustments to the irrigation assessment DATES: E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 154 / Friday, August 11, 2017 / Notices 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 June 20, 2017. Did BIA defer or change any proposed rate increases? Yes. For the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project, the full rate increase to $33.50 as published in the proposed notice for the 2018 rate will not be implemented. The final 2018 rate will be changed from $33.50 to $29.00, with the remainder of the full rate increase to be implemented in 2019. For the Wind River Irrigation Project, the Crowheart and A Canal Units increase to $15.75 as published in the proposed notice for the 2017 rate will not be implemented. The final 2017 rate is $15.50. All other rates are to be implemented at the respective irrigation projects as published. Did BIA receive any comments on the proposed irrigation assessment rate adjustments? Yes. Written comments were received related to the proposed irrigation rate adjustment for the Flathead (FIIP) and Colorado River (CRIIP) Indian Irrigation Projects. asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES What issues were of concern to the commenters? Commenters raised concerns on the proposed rates about the following issues: The Following Comments Are Specific to the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project Written comments relating to the proposed rate adjustment were received by letter. BIA’s summary of the issues and BIA’s responses are provided below. Comment: Several commenters expressed a position that, under the irrigation districts’ repayment contracts, only irrigation districts have the power to assess themselves. Response: As noted in the April 21, 2017 Federal Register notice, BIA is required to establish irrigation assessment rates that recover the costs to administer, operate, maintain, and rehabilitate our projects. As owner of the FIIP, it is BIA’s responsibility to ensure adequate resources are made available to meet the requirements noted above. BIA’s authority to assess rates dates back to the Act of May 29, 1908, is codified at 25 U.S.C. 381 et seq., and is addressed in the BIA’s regulations at 25 CFR part 171. Additionally, the repayment contracts between the irrigation districts and Interior explicitly state that operation and maintenance expenses ‘‘shall be VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Aug 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 paid . . . as provided . . . by rules made or to be made . . . by the Secretary of the Interior.’’ The repayment contracts between the irrigation districts and Interior capture the irrigators’ obligation to pay annual assessments as well as the irrigation districts’ authority to collect such assessments for payment to the United States. The authority to assess rates, however, rests solely with Interior and has not been delegated to the irrigation districts. Comment: Several commenters requested that the rate increase be deferred until current litigation is resolved regarding the transfer of the operation and maintenance of the FIIP. Response: As current project operator, BIA must plan for the 2018 season and set O&M rates at a level sufficient to cover the costs of administering, operating, maintaining and rehabilitating the FIIP. It is imperative that the project operator be able to operate and maintain the project, ensure adequate staffing levels, purchase supplies and materials, repair and/or replace existing key infrastructure, implement an invasive weed control program, maintain operating equipment, maintain an adequate equipment sinking fund for replacing vital heavy equipment, and maintain an adequate Emergency Reserve Fund. Additionally, the project operator will also need to address deferred maintenance projects on the FIIP. Comment: One commenter stated that a 29% increase is unwarranted at this time. Response: The costs associated with operating and maintaining the FIIP have historically and consistently exceeded the amount paid through assessments. Even during the timeframe during which the Cooperative Management Entity operated the FIIP, the O&M assessment rate was increased twice, in 2010 and 2011. Since reassumption, the BIA has made clear the need to increase FIIP assessments rates to address its operation and maintenance needs and has publicly noticed the need to raise rates in both 2015 and 2016 (see 80 FR 33279, June 11, 2015, and 81 FR 51927, August 5, 2016, respectively). The only reason rate increases were not implemented during these years was because of the timeframe necessary to communicate an increase to the counties that collect the O&M funds. Rate increases have been needed for many years, and FIIP’s ability to address its operation and maintenance needs have been compromised by not increasing rates since 2011. Moreover, the methodology used by BIA to determine the 2017 O&M rate PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37605 was reasonable. Based on a review of historical income receipts and expenditures, a budget of projected income receipts and expenditures is developed approximately two years before the O&M assessments are collected and expenses are incurred. BIA relies on financial reports generated by the Financial and Business Management System for reviewing past expenditures and projecting a future budget and expenditures. Procurement files and records maintained by the FIIP were also reviewed and considered. Comment: One commenter stated that no rate increase should be made at this time because of local agricultural economics. Response: BIA’s projects are important economic contributors to the local communities they serve, and they contribute millions of dollars in crop value annually. Unfortunately, the costs associated with operating and maintaining an irrigation project may increase independently of prices and costs that are realized by the irrigators. Historically, BIA tempered irrigation rate increases to demonstrate sensitivity to the economic impact on water users, but that past practice resulted in a rate deficiency at some irrigation projects and BIA does not have discretionary funds to subsidize irrigation projects. Therefore, funding to operate and maintain these projects needs to come from revenues from the water users served by those projects. BIA’s irrigation program has been the subject of several Office of Inspector General (OIG) and U.S. Government Accountability Office (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, 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 E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 37606 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 154 / Friday, August 11, 2017 / Notices operation. If this review and adjustment is not accomplished, a rate deficiency can accumulate over time. Rate deficiencies force BIA to raise irrigation assessment rates in larger increments over shorter periods than would have been otherwise necessary. Comment: One commenter stated that the proposed rate increase was not discussed with the Joint Board of Control (JBC) nor the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). Response: The status of the FIIP budget and the need to increase rates were communicated to the JBC as early as 2014 and have been discussed with both the JBC and CSKT numerous times since then. BIA publicly noticed its intent to increase assessment rates in both 2015 and 2016 (see 80 FR 33279, June 11, 2015, and 81 FR 51927, August 5, 2016). Regarding the 2018 proposed increase, the Project Manager provided and discussed the proposed budget information that supports the rate increase to the JBC in January 2017. This information was also provided at an April 11, 2017 water user meeting. The CSKT was also notified of the rate increase. Comment: One commenter recommended a gradual rate increase over the next 5 to 7 years. Response: BIA has projected this proposed rate increase for several years, and anticipated increasing the assessment rates in both 2015 and 2016. The FIIP O&M budget was prepared in accordance with BIA financial guidelines. BIA considers the following items when determining an irrigation’s 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 are determined to be necessary to operate and maintain an irrigation project. Based on increased costs associated with administering, operating, maintaining and rehabilitating the FIIP, the need for the proposed rate increase is clear and the $7.50 increase is justified. However, given the timing of the Federal Register notice, BIA has decided to impose only a $3.00 increase in 2018 and postpone the remainder of the increase until 2019. The Following Comment Is Specific to the Colorado River Indian Irrigation Project Comment: One commenter suggested that the rate for the Colorado River Indian Tribes should be increased by 11%. Included were several reports related to previous and recent information collected regarding the Colorado River Indian Irrigation Project (CRIIP). Response: The recent information collected concerning the CRIIP is being evaluated to determine how this might impact the future operation and maintenance activities of the project. However, in order to implement an increase it would be necessary to Project name propose the change and again solicit comments. For the purpose of this notice, the proposed rate as published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 18770 (April 21, 2017) will remain unchanged. 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 www.gpo.gov. What authorizes you to issue this notice? Our authority to issue this notice is vested in the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) 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. Whom 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, OR 97232– 4169,Telephone: (503) 231–6702. Flathead Indian Irrigation Project .... Fort Hall Irrigation Project ............... Wapato Irrigation Project ................ Pete Plant, Acting Superintendent, Pete Plant, Irrigation Project Manager, P.O. Box 40, Pablo, MT 59855, Telephones: (406) 675–2700 ext. 1300 Superintendent, (406) 745–2661 ext. 2 Project Manager. David Bollinger, Irrigation Project Manager, Building #2 Bannock Ave., Fort Hall, ID 83203–0220, Telephone: (208) 238–6264. David Shaw, Superintendent, Larry Nelson, Acting Project Administrator, P.O. Box 220, Wapato, WA 98951–0220, Telephones: (509) 865–2421 Superintendent, (509) 877–3155 Acting Project Administrator. Rocky Mountain Region Contacts Darryl LaCounte, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, 2021 4th Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101, Telephone: (406) 247–7943. asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Blackfeet Irrigation Project .............. Crow Irrigation Project .................... Fort Belknap Irrigation Project ........ Fort Peck Irrigation Project ............. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Aug 10, 2017 Thedis Crowe, Superintendent, Greg Tatsey, Irrigation Project Manager, Box 880, Browning, MT 59417, Telephones: (406) 338–7544, Superintendent, (406) 338–7519, Irrigation Project Manager. Vianna Stewart, Superintendent, John Anevski, Acting Irrigation Project Manager, P.O. Box 69, Crow Agency, MT 59022, Telephones: (406) 638–2672, Superintendent, (406) 247–7998, Acting Irrigation Project Manager. John St. Pierre, Superintendent, John Anevski, Acting Irrigation Project Manager (BIA), (Project operation & maintenance contracted to Tribes), R.R.1, Box 980, Harlem, MT 59526, Telephones: (406) 353–2901, Superintendent, (406) 353–8454, Irrigation Project Manager (Tribal Office). Howard Beemer, Superintendent, Huber Wright, Acting Irrigation Project Manager, P.O. Box 637, Poplar, MT 59255, Telephones: (406) 768–5312, Superintendent, (406) 653–1752, Irrigation Project Manager. Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 37607 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 154 / Friday, August 11, 2017 / Notices Project name Project/agency contacts Wind River Irrigation Project ........... Norma Gourneau, Superintendent, John Anevski, Acting Irrigation Project Manager, P.O. Box 158, Fort Washakie, WY 82514, Telephones: (307) 332–7810, Superintendent, (406) 247–7998, Acting Irrigation Project Manager. Southwest Region Contacts William T. Walker, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southwest Regional Office, 1001 Indian School Road, Albuquerque, NM 87104, Telephone: (505) 563–3100. Pine River Irrigation Project ............ Priscilla Bancroft, Superintendent, Vickie Begay, Irrigation Project Manager, P.O. Box 315, Ignacio, CO 81137–0315, Telephones: (970) 563–4511, Superintendent, (970) 563–9484, Irrigation Project Manager. Western Region Contacts Bryan Bowker, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western Regional Office, 2600 N. Central Ave., 4th Floor Mailroom, Phoenix, AZ 85004, Telephone: (602) 379–6600. Colorado River Irrigation Project .... Duck Valley Irrigation Project ......... Yuma Project, Indian Unit ............... San Carlos Irrigation Project Indian Works and Joint Works. Uintah Irrigation Project .................. Walker River Irrigation Project ........ Kellie Youngbear, Superintendent, Gary Colvin, Irrigation Project Manager, 12124 1st Avenue, Parker, AZ 85344, Telephone: (928) 669–7111. Joseph McDade, Superintendent, (Project operation & management compacted to Tribes), 2719 Argent Ave., Suite 4, Gateway Plaza, Elko, NV 89801, Telephone: (775) 738–5165, (208) 759–3100, (Tribal Office). Denni Shields, Superintendent, 256 South Second Avenue, Suite D, Yuma, AZ 85364, Telephone: (928) 782–1202. Ferris Begay, Project Manager, Clarence Begay, Irrigation Manager, 13805 N. Arizona Boulevard, Coolidge, AZ 85128, Telephone: (520) 723–6225. Antonio Pingree, Acting Superintendent, Ken Asay, Irrigation System Manager, P.O. Box 130, Fort Duchesne, UT 84026, Telephone: (435) 722–4300, (435) 722–4344. Robert Eben, 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 of administering, operating, maintaining, and rehabilitating them. The table also contains the final rates for the 2017 calendar year and subsequent years Rate category Project name where applicable. An asterisk immediately following the rate category notes the irrigation projects where 2017 rates are different from the 2016 rates. Final 2016 rate Final 2017 rate Final 2018 rate ** Northwest Region Rate Table Flathead Indian Irrigation Project (See Note #1) .................... Basic-per acre—A .................. Basic-per acre—B .................. Minimum Charge per tract ..... $26.00 13.00 75.00 Project name Rate category Fort Hall Irrigation Project .......................................................................... Basic per acre * ............................... Minimum Charge per tract * ............ Basic per acre * ............................... Minimum Charge per tract * ............ Basic per acre * ............................... Pressure per acre * .......................... Minimum Charge per tract * ............ Minimum Charge per bill ................. Basic per acre ................................. Minimum Charge per bill ................. Basic per acre ................................. Minimum Charge per bill ................. ‘‘A’’ Basic per acre .......................... ‘‘B’’ Basic per acre .......................... Minimum Charge per bill * ............... Basic per acre * ............................... Minimum Charge ............................. Basic per acre ................................. Fort Hall Irrigation Project—Minor Units .................................................... Fort Hall Irrigation Project—Michaud ........................................................ Wapato Irrigation Project—Toppenish/Simcoe Units ................................ Wapato Irrigation Project—Ahtanum Units ................................................ asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Wapato Irrigation Project—Satus Unit ....................................................... Wapato Irrigation Project—Additional Works ............................................ Wapato Irrigation Project—Water Rental .................................................. $26.00 13.00 75.00 Final 2016 rate $29.00 14.50 75.00 Final 2017 rate $52.00 37.00 31.00 37.00 55.00 83.00 37.00 25.00 25.00 30.00 30.00 79.00 79.00 85.00 78.00 78.00 86.00 86.00 $54.00 38.50 32.50 38.50 57.50 88.50 38.50 25.00 25.00 30.00 30.00 79.00 79.00 85.00 80.00 80.00 86.00 86.00 20.00 20.00 Rocky Mountain Region Rate Table Blackfeet Irrigation Project ......................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Aug 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Basic-per acre ................................. Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 37608 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 154 / Friday, August 11, 2017 / Notices Project name Rate category Final 2016 rate Final 2017 rate 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 Project—Two Leggins Unit ............................................... Crow Irrigation Two Leggins Drainage District .......................................... Fort Belknap Irrigation Project ................................................................... Fort Peck Irrigation Project ........................................................................ Wind River Irrigation Project—Units 2, 3 and 4 ........................................ Wind River Irrigation Project—Unit 6 ........................................................ Wind River Irrigation Project—LeClair District .......................................... (see Note #2) ............................................................................................. Wind River Irrigation Project—Crow Heart Unit ........................................ Wind River Irrigation Project—A Canal Unit ............................................. Wind River Irrigation Project—Riverton Valley Irrigation District .............. Basic-per acre * ............................... 26.00 28.00 Basic-per acre * ............................... 26.00 28.00 Basic-per Basic-per Basic-per Basic-per Basic-per Basic-per Basic-per acre ................................. acre ................................. acre ................................. acre ................................. acre * ............................... acre ................................. acre ................................. 14.00 2.00 16.00 26.00 22.50 21.00 47.00 14.00 2.00 16.00 26.50 23.50 21.00 47.00 Basic-per acre ................................. Basic-per acre ................................. Basic-per acre * ............................... 15.50 15.50 26.00 15.50 15.50 30.65 50.00 18.00 50.00 19.00 54.00 17.00 54.00 17.00 5.30 113.00 24.50 5.30 118.50 27.50 113.00 118.50 Southwest Region Rate Table Pine River Irrigation Project ....................................................................... Minimum Charge per tract .............. Basic-per acre * ............................... Western Region Rate Table Colorado River Irrigation Project ............................................................... Duck Valley Irrigation Project .................................................................... Yuma Project, Indian Unit (See Note #3) .................................................. Project name San Carlos Irrigation Project (Joint Works) (See Note #4). 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 up to 5.0 acre-feet (Ranch 5) *. Rate category Final 2016 rate Final 2017 rate Final 2018 rate ** Basic per acre * ................. $30.00 ............................... $25.00 ............................... $27.90. Final 2017–2018 Construction Water Rate Schedule: Off Project Construction Administrative Fee ............ Usage Fee ........................ Excess Water Rate † ........ $300.00 ............................. $250.00 per month ............ $5.00 per 1,000 gal ........... On Project Construction— Gravity Water $300.00 ............................. No Fee .............................. No Charge ......................... On Project Construction— Pump Water. $300.00. $100.00 per acre foot. No Charge. † The excess water rate applies to all water used in excess of 50,000 gallons in any one month. Final 2016 rate Project name Rate category San Carlos Irrigation Project (Indian Works) (See Note #5) ..................... Uintah Irrigation Project ............................................................................. Basic per acre ................................. Basic per acre ................................. Minimum Bill .................................... Basic per acre ................................. asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Walker River Irrigation Project ................................................................... $81.00 18.00 25.00 31.00 Final 2017 rate $81.00 18.00 25.00 31.00 * Notes irrigation projects where rates are adjusted. ** The requirement for a final 2018 Rate is only applicable to the Flathead and San Carlos Irrigation Projects due to their specific billing requirements. Note #1: Federal Register Notice on April 06, 2017 established the 2017 rate for the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project (82 FR 16849). This notice makes final the 2018 rate for the FIIP. Note #2: The O&M rate may vary yearly based upon the budget submitted by the LeClair District. Note #3: The O&M rate for the Yuma Project, Indian Unit 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 2017 is $115.00/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 2017 BIA rate is $3.50/acre. Note #4: The construction water rate schedule identifies the fees assessed for use of irrigation water for non-irrigation purposes. Federal Register Notice on April 06, 2017 established the 2017 rate for the SCIP–JW (82 FR 16849). This notice makes final the 2018 rate for the SCIP– JW. Note #5: The 2017 O&M rate for the San Carlos Irrigation Project—Indian Works has three components. The first component is the O&M rate established by the San Carlos Irrigation Project—Indian Works, the owner and operator of the Project; this rate is $50.00 per acre. The second component is for the O&M rate established by the San Carlos Irrigation Project—Joint Works and is determined to be $25.00 per acre. The third component is the O&M rate established by the San Carlos Irrigation Project Joint Control Board and is $6.00 per acre. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Aug 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 154 / Friday, August 11, 2017 / Notices Consultation and Coordination With Tribal Governments (Executive Order 13175) The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-togovernment relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their right to selfgovernance and Tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this notice under the Department’s consultation policy and under the criteria of Executive Order 13175 and have determined there to be substantial direct effects on federally recognized Tribes because the irrigation projects are located on or associated with Indian reservations. To fulfill its consultation responsibility to Tribes and Tribal organizations, 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, 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, and request comments from, 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 are not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required. asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Aug 10, 2017 Jkt 241001 million per year. They do 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) These rate adjustments do not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have ‘‘takings’’ implications under Executive Order 12630. The rate adjustments do not deprive the public, state, or local governments of rights or property. Federalism (Executive Order 13132) Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, these rate adjustments do not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement 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. A federalism summary impact statement is not required. Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988) This notice complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. Specifically, in issuing this notice, 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 June 30, 2019. 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), pursuant to 43 CFR 46.210(i). In addition, the rate adjustments do not present any of the 12 extraordinary circumstances listed at 43 CFR 46.215. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37609 Data Quality Act In developing this notice, we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act (Pub. L. 106–554). Dated: July 27, 2017. Michael S. Black, Acting Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2017–16910 Filed 8–10–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [178A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900 253G] Land Acquisitions; The Cherokee Nation Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs made a final agency determination to acquire 45.92 acres, more or less, located in Cherokee County, Oklahoma (Cherokee Springs Site) in trust for the Cherokee Nation for gaming and other purposes on January 19, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Paula L. Hart, Director, Office of Indian Gaming, Bureau of Indian Affairs, MS– 3657 MIB, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240, telephone (202) 219–4066. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is published in the exercise of authority delegated by the Secretary of the Interior to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs by 209 Departmental Manual 8.1, and is published to comply with the requirements of 25 CFR 151.12 (c)(2)(ii) that notice of the decision to acquire land in trust be promptly provided in the Federal Register. On January 19, 2017, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs issued a decision to accept the Cherokee Springs Site, consisting of approximately 45.92 acres, more or less, of land in trust for the Nation, under the authority of the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. 5108. The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs determined that the Nation’s request also meets the requirements of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’s ‘‘Oklahoma exception,’’ 25 U.S.C. 2719(a)(2)(A)(i), to the general prohibition contained in 25 U.S.C. 2719(a) on gaming on lands acquired in trust after October 17, 1988. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 154 (Friday, August 11, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37604-37609]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-16910]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

[178A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900 253G]


Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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

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: The irrigation assessment rates are current as of January 1, 
2017.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Proposed Rate Adjustment was 
published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2017 (82 FR 18770) to 
propose adjustments to the irrigation assessment

[[Page 37605]]

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 June 20, 2017.

Did BIA defer or change any proposed rate increases?

    Yes. For the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project, the full rate 
increase to $33.50 as published in the proposed notice for the 2018 
rate will not be implemented. The final 2018 rate will be changed from 
$33.50 to $29.00, with the remainder of the full rate increase to be 
implemented in 2019. For the Wind River Irrigation Project, the 
Crowheart and A Canal Units increase to $15.75 as published in the 
proposed notice for the 2017 rate will not be implemented. The final 
2017 rate is $15.50. All other rates are to be implemented at the 
respective irrigation projects as published.

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

    Yes. Written comments were received related to the proposed 
irrigation rate adjustment for the Flathead (FIIP) and Colorado River 
(CRIIP) Indian Irrigation Projects.

What issues were of concern to the commenters?

    Commenters raised concerns on the proposed rates about the 
following issues:

The Following Comments Are Specific to the Flathead Indian Irrigation 
Project

    Written comments relating to the proposed rate adjustment were 
received by letter. BIA's summary of the issues and BIA's responses are 
provided below.
    Comment: Several commenters expressed a position that, under the 
irrigation districts' repayment contracts, only irrigation districts 
have the power to assess themselves.
    Response: As noted in the April 21, 2017 Federal Register notice, 
BIA is required to establish irrigation assessment rates that recover 
the costs to administer, operate, maintain, and rehabilitate our 
projects. As owner of the FIIP, it is BIA's responsibility to ensure 
adequate resources are made available to meet the requirements noted 
above. BIA's authority to assess rates dates back to the Act of May 29, 
1908, is codified at 25 U.S.C. 381 et seq., and is addressed in the 
BIA's regulations at 25 CFR part 171. Additionally, the repayment 
contracts between the irrigation districts and Interior explicitly 
state that operation and maintenance expenses ``shall be paid . . . as 
provided . . . by rules made or to be made . . . by the Secretary of 
the Interior.'' The repayment contracts between the irrigation 
districts and Interior capture the irrigators' obligation to pay annual 
assessments as well as the irrigation districts' authority to collect 
such assessments for payment to the United States. The authority to 
assess rates, however, rests solely with Interior and has not been 
delegated to the irrigation districts.
    Comment: Several commenters requested that the rate increase be 
deferred until current litigation is resolved regarding the transfer of 
the operation and maintenance of the FIIP.
    Response: As current project operator, BIA must plan for the 2018 
season and set O&M rates at a level sufficient to cover the costs of 
administering, operating, maintaining and rehabilitating the FIIP. It 
is imperative that the project operator be able to operate and maintain 
the project, ensure adequate staffing levels, purchase supplies and 
materials, repair and/or replace existing key infrastructure, implement 
an invasive weed control program, maintain operating equipment, 
maintain an adequate equipment sinking fund for replacing vital heavy 
equipment, and maintain an adequate Emergency Reserve Fund. 
Additionally, the project operator will also need to address deferred 
maintenance projects on the FIIP.
    Comment: One commenter stated that a 29% increase is unwarranted at 
this time.
    Response: The costs associated with operating and maintaining the 
FIIP have historically and consistently exceeded the amount paid 
through assessments. Even during the timeframe during which the 
Cooperative Management Entity operated the FIIP, the O&M assessment 
rate was increased twice, in 2010 and 2011. Since reassumption, the BIA 
has made clear the need to increase FIIP assessments rates to address 
its operation and maintenance needs and has publicly noticed the need 
to raise rates in both 2015 and 2016 (see 80 FR 33279, June 11, 2015, 
and 81 FR 51927, August 5, 2016, respectively). The only reason rate 
increases were not implemented during these years was because of the 
timeframe necessary to communicate an increase to the counties that 
collect the O&M funds. Rate increases have been needed for many years, 
and FIIP's ability to address its operation and maintenance needs have 
been compromised by not increasing rates since 2011.
    Moreover, the methodology used by BIA to determine the 2017 O&M 
rate was reasonable. Based on a review of historical income receipts 
and expenditures, a budget of projected income receipts and 
expenditures is developed approximately two years before the O&M 
assessments are collected and expenses are incurred. BIA relies on 
financial reports generated by the Financial and Business Management 
System for reviewing past expenditures and projecting a future budget 
and expenditures. Procurement files and records maintained by the FIIP 
were also reviewed and considered.
    Comment: One commenter stated that no rate increase should be made 
at this time because of local agricultural economics.
    Response: BIA's projects are important economic contributors to the 
local communities they serve, and they contribute millions of dollars 
in crop value annually. Unfortunately, the costs associated with 
operating and maintaining an irrigation project may increase 
independently of prices and costs that are realized by the irrigators. 
Historically, BIA tempered irrigation rate increases to demonstrate 
sensitivity to the economic impact on water users, but that past 
practice resulted in a rate deficiency at some irrigation projects and 
BIA does not have discretionary funds to subsidize irrigation projects. 
Therefore, funding to operate and maintain these projects needs to come 
from revenues from the water users served by those projects.
    BIA's irrigation program has been the subject of several Office of 
Inspector General (OIG) and U.S. Government Accountability Office (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, 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

[[Page 37606]]

operation. If this review and adjustment is not accomplished, a rate 
deficiency can accumulate over time. Rate deficiencies force BIA to 
raise irrigation assessment rates in larger increments over shorter 
periods than would have been otherwise necessary.
    Comment: One commenter stated that the proposed rate increase was 
not discussed with the Joint Board of Control (JBC) nor the 
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).
    Response: The status of the FIIP budget and the need to increase 
rates were communicated to the JBC as early as 2014 and have been 
discussed with both the JBC and CSKT numerous times since then. BIA 
publicly noticed its intent to increase assessment rates in both 2015 
and 2016 (see 80 FR 33279, June 11, 2015, and 81 FR 51927, August 5, 
2016). Regarding the 2018 proposed increase, the Project Manager 
provided and discussed the proposed budget information that supports 
the rate increase to the JBC in January 2017. This information was also 
provided at an April 11, 2017 water user meeting. The CSKT was also 
notified of the rate increase.
    Comment: One commenter recommended a gradual rate increase over the 
next 5 to 7 years.
    Response: BIA has projected this proposed rate increase for several 
years, and anticipated increasing the assessment rates in both 2015 and 
2016. The FIIP O&M budget was prepared in accordance with BIA financial 
guidelines. BIA considers the following items when determining an 
irrigation's 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 
are determined to be necessary to operate and maintain an irrigation 
project.
    Based on increased costs associated with administering, operating, 
maintaining and rehabilitating the FIIP, the need for the proposed rate 
increase is clear and the $7.50 increase is justified. However, given 
the timing of the Federal Register notice, BIA has decided to impose 
only a $3.00 increase in 2018 and postpone the remainder of the 
increase until 2019.

The Following Comment Is Specific to the Colorado River Indian 
Irrigation Project

    Comment: One commenter suggested that the rate for the Colorado 
River Indian Tribes should be increased by 11%. Included were several 
reports related to previous and recent information collected regarding 
the Colorado River Indian Irrigation Project (CRIIP).
    Response: The recent information collected concerning the CRIIP is 
being evaluated to determine how this might impact the future operation 
and maintenance activities of the project. However, in order to 
implement an increase it would be necessary to propose the change and 
again solicit comments. For the purpose of this notice, the proposed 
rate as published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 18770 (April 21, 
2017) will remain unchanged.

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 www.gpo.gov.

What authorizes you to issue this notice?

    Our authority to issue this notice is vested in the Secretary of 
the Interior (Secretary) 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.

Whom 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, OR 97232-
                     4169,Telephone: (503) 231-6702.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead Indian Irrigation Project  Pete Plant, Acting Superintendent,
                                     Pete Plant, Irrigation Project
                                     Manager, P.O. Box 40, Pablo, MT
                                     59855, Telephones: (406) 675-2700
                                     ext. 1300 Superintendent, (406) 745-
                                     2661 ext. 2 Project Manager.
Fort Hall Irrigation Project......  David Bollinger, Irrigation Project
                                     Manager, Building #2 Bannock Ave.,
                                     Fort Hall, ID 83203-0220,
                                     Telephone: (208) 238-6264.
Wapato Irrigation Project.........  David Shaw, Superintendent, Larry
                                     Nelson, Acting Project
                                     Administrator, P.O. Box 220,
                                     Wapato, WA 98951-0220, Telephones:
                                     (509) 865-2421 Superintendent,
                                     (509) 877-3155 Acting Project
                                     Administrator.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Rocky Mountain Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Darryl LaCounte, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Rocky
  Mountain Regional Office, 2021 4th Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101,
                       Telephone: (406) 247-7943.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blackfeet Irrigation Project......  Thedis Crowe, Superintendent, Greg
                                     Tatsey, Irrigation Project Manager,
                                     Box 880, Browning, MT 59417,
                                     Telephones: (406) 338-7544,
                                     Superintendent, (406) 338-7519,
                                     Irrigation Project Manager.
Crow Irrigation Project...........  Vianna Stewart, Superintendent, John
                                     Anevski, Acting Irrigation Project
                                     Manager, P.O. Box 69, Crow Agency,
                                     MT 59022, Telephones: (406) 638-
                                     2672, Superintendent, (406) 247-
                                     7998, Acting Irrigation Project
                                     Manager.
Fort Belknap Irrigation Project...  John St. Pierre, Superintendent,
                                     John Anevski, Acting Irrigation
                                     Project Manager (BIA), (Project
                                     operation & maintenance contracted
                                     to Tribes), R.R.1, Box 980, Harlem,
                                     MT 59526, Telephones: (406) 353-
                                     2901, Superintendent, (406) 353-
                                     8454, Irrigation Project Manager
                                     (Tribal Office).
Fort Peck Irrigation Project......  Howard Beemer, Superintendent, Huber
                                     Wright, Acting Irrigation Project
                                     Manager, P.O. Box 637, Poplar, MT
                                     59255, Telephones: (406) 768-5312,
                                     Superintendent, (406) 653-1752,
                                     Irrigation Project Manager.

[[Page 37607]]

 
Wind River Irrigation Project.....  Norma Gourneau, Superintendent, John
                                     Anevski, Acting Irrigation Project
                                     Manager, P.O. Box 158, Fort
                                     Washakie, WY 82514, Telephones:
                                     (307) 332-7810, Superintendent,
                                     (406) 247-7998, Acting Irrigation
                                     Project Manager.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Southwest Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     William T. Walker, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs,
   Southwest Regional Office, 1001 Indian School Road, Albuquerque, NM
                    87104, Telephone: (505) 563-3100.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pine River Irrigation Project.....  Priscilla Bancroft, Superintendent,
                                     Vickie Begay, Irrigation Project
                                     Manager, P.O. Box 315, Ignacio, CO
                                     81137-0315, Telephones: (970) 563-
                                     4511, Superintendent, (970) 563-
                                     9484, Irrigation Project Manager.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Western Region Contacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Bryan Bowker, Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western
 Regional Office, 2600 N. Central Ave., 4th Floor Mailroom, Phoenix, AZ
                    85004, Telephone: (602) 379-6600.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado River Irrigation Project.  Kellie Youngbear, Superintendent,
                                     Gary Colvin, Irrigation Project
                                     Manager, 12124 1st Avenue, Parker,
                                     AZ 85344, Telephone: (928) 669-
                                     7111.
Duck Valley Irrigation Project....  Joseph McDade, Superintendent,
                                     (Project operation & management
                                     compacted to Tribes), 2719 Argent
                                     Ave., Suite 4, Gateway Plaza, Elko,
                                     NV 89801, Telephone: (775) 738-
                                     5165, (208) 759-3100, (Tribal
                                     Office).
Yuma Project, Indian Unit.........  Denni Shields, Superintendent, 256
                                     South Second Avenue, Suite D, Yuma,
                                     AZ 85364, Telephone: (928) 782-
                                     1202.
San Carlos Irrigation Project       Ferris Begay, Project Manager,
 Indian Works and Joint Works.       Clarence Begay, Irrigation Manager,
                                     13805 N. Arizona Boulevard,
                                     Coolidge, AZ 85128, Telephone:
                                     (520) 723-6225.
Uintah Irrigation Project.........  Antonio Pingree, Acting
                                     Superintendent, Ken Asay,
                                     Irrigation System Manager, P.O. Box
                                     130, Fort Duchesne, UT 84026,
                                     Telephone: (435) 722-4300, (435)
                                     722-4344.
Walker River Irrigation Project...  Robert Eben, 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 of administering, operating, 
maintaining, and rehabilitating them. The table also contains the final 
rates for the 2017 calendar year and subsequent years where applicable. 
An asterisk immediately following the rate category notes the 
irrigation projects where 2017 rates are different from the 2016 rates.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Final 2016      Final 2017      Final 2018
             Project name                     Rate category            rate            rate           rate **
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Northwest Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead Indian Irrigation Project      Basic-per acre--A.......          $26.00          $26.00          $29.00
 (See Note #1).                         Basic-per acre--B.......           13.00           13.00           14.50
                                        Minimum Charge per tract           75.00           75.00           75.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Final 2016      Final 2017
                 Project name                             Rate category                rate            rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fort Hall Irrigation Project..................  Basic per acre *................          $52.00          $54.00
                                                Minimum Charge per tract *......           37.00           38.50
Fort Hall Irrigation Project--Minor Units.....  Basic per acre *................           31.00           32.50
                                                Minimum Charge per tract *......           37.00           38.50
Fort Hall Irrigation Project--Michaud.........  Basic per acre *................           55.00           57.50
                                                Pressure per acre *.............           83.00           88.50
                                                Minimum Charge per tract *......           37.00           38.50
Wapato Irrigation Project--Toppenish/Simcoe     Minimum Charge per bill.........           25.00           25.00
 Units.
                                                Basic per acre..................           25.00           25.00
Wapato Irrigation Project--Ahtanum Units......  Minimum Charge per bill.........           30.00           30.00
                                                Basic per acre..................           30.00           30.00
Wapato Irrigation Project--Satus Unit.........  Minimum Charge per bill.........           79.00           79.00
                                                ``A'' Basic per acre............           79.00           79.00
                                                ``B'' Basic per acre............           85.00           85.00
Wapato Irrigation Project--Additional Works...  Minimum Charge per bill *.......           78.00           80.00
                                                Basic per acre *................           78.00           80.00
Wapato Irrigation Project--Water Rental.......  Minimum Charge..................           86.00           86.00
                                                Basic per acre..................           86.00           86.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Rocky Mountain Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blackfeet Irrigation Project..................  Basic-per acre..................           20.00           20.00

[[Page 37608]]

 
Crow Irrigation Project--Willow Creek O&M       Basic-per acre *................           26.00           28.00
 (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 *................           26.00           28.00
 Bighorn, Soap Creek, and Pryor Units).
Crow Irrigation Project--Two Leggins Unit.....  Basic-per acre..................           14.00           14.00
Crow Irrigation Two Leggins Drainage District.  Basic-per acre..................            2.00            2.00
Fort Belknap Irrigation Project...............  Basic-per acre..................           16.00           16.00
Fort Peck Irrigation Project..................  Basic-per acre..................           26.00           26.50
Wind River Irrigation Project--Units 2, 3 and   Basic-per acre *................           22.50           23.50
 4.
Wind River Irrigation Project--Unit 6.........  Basic-per acre..................           21.00           21.00
Wind River Irrigation Project--LeClair          Basic-per acre..................           47.00           47.00
 District.
(see Note #2).................................
Wind River Irrigation Project--Crow Heart Unit  Basic-per acre..................           15.50           15.50
Wind River Irrigation Project--A Canal Unit...  Basic-per acre..................           15.50           15.50
Wind River Irrigation Project--Riverton Valley  Basic-per acre *................           26.00           30.65
 Irrigation District.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Southwest Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pine River Irrigation Project.................  Minimum Charge per tract........           50.00           50.00
                                                Basic-per acre *................           18.00           19.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Western Region Rate Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado River Irrigation Project.............  Basic per acre up to 5.75 acre-            54.00           54.00
                                                 feet.
                                                Excess Water per acre-foot over            17.00           17.00
                                                 5.75 acre-feet.
Duck Valley Irrigation Project................  Basic per acre..................            5.30            5.30
Yuma Project, Indian Unit (See Note #3).......  Basic per acre up to 5.0 acre-            113.00          118.50
                                                 feet *.
                                                Excess Water per acre-foot over            24.50           27.50
                                                 5.0 acre-feet *.
                                                Basic per acre up to 5.0 acre-            113.00          118.50
                                                 feet (Ranch 5) *.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Project name               Rate category      Final 2016 rate     Final 2017 rate   Final 2018 rate **
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
San Carlos Irrigation Project     Basic per acre *..  $30.00............  $25.00............  $27.90.
 (Joint Works) (See Note #4).
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Final 2017-2018 Construction Water Rate Schedule:
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Off Project         On Project          On Project
                                                       Construction        Construction--Gra   Construction--Pum
                                                                           vity Water          p Water.
                                  Administrative Fee  $300.00...........  $300.00...........  $300.00.
                                  Usage Fee.........  $250.00 per month.  No Fee............  $100.00 per acre
                                                                                               foot.
                                  Excess Water Rate   $5.00 per 1,000     No Charge.........  No Charge.
                                   [dagger].           gal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[dagger] The excess water rate applies to all water used in excess of 50,000 gallons in any one month.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Final 2016      Final 2017
                 Project name                             Rate category                rate            rate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
San Carlos Irrigation Project (Indian Works)    Basic per acre..................          $81.00          $81.00
 (See Note #5).
Uintah Irrigation Project.....................  Basic per acre..................           18.00           18.00
                                                Minimum Bill....................           25.00           25.00
Walker River Irrigation Project...............  Basic per acre..................           31.00           31.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Notes irrigation projects where rates are adjusted.
** The requirement for a final 2018 Rate is only applicable to the Flathead and San Carlos Irrigation Projects
  due to their specific billing requirements.
Note #1: Federal Register Notice on April 06, 2017 established the 2017 rate for the Flathead Indian Irrigation
  Project (82 FR 16849). This notice makes final the 2018 rate for the FIIP.
Note #2: The O&M rate may vary yearly based upon the budget submitted by the LeClair District.
Note #3: The O&M rate for the Yuma Project, Indian Unit 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 2017
  is $115.00/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 2017 BIA rate is $3.50/acre.
Note #4: The construction water rate schedule identifies the fees assessed for use of irrigation water for non-
  irrigation purposes. Federal Register Notice on April 06, 2017 established the 2017 rate for the SCIP-JW (82
  FR 16849). This notice makes final the 2018 rate for the SCIP-JW.
Note #5: The 2017 O&M rate for the San Carlos Irrigation Project--Indian Works has three components. The first
  component is the O&M rate established by the San Carlos Irrigation Project--Indian Works, the owner and
  operator of the Project; this rate is $50.00 per acre. The second component is for the O&M rate established by
  the San Carlos Irrigation Project--Joint Works and is determined to be $25.00 per acre. The third component is
  the O&M rate established by the San Carlos Irrigation Project Joint Control Board and is $6.00 per acre.


[[Page 37609]]

Consultation and Coordination With Tribal Governments (Executive Order 
13175)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and Tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this 
notice under the Department's consultation policy and under the 
criteria of Executive Order 13175 and have determined there to be 
substantial direct effects on federally recognized Tribes because the 
irrigation projects are located on or associated with Indian 
reservations. To fulfill its consultation responsibility to Tribes and 
Tribal organizations, 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, 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, and request comments 
from, 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 are not a significant energy action under the 
definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is 
not required.

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. They do 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)

    These rate adjustments do not effect a taking of private property 
or otherwise have ``takings'' implications under Executive Order 12630. 
The rate adjustments do not deprive the public, state, or local 
governments of rights or property.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, these 
rate adjustments do not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement 
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. A federalism 
summary impact statement is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This notice complies with the requirements of Executive Order 
12988. Specifically, in issuing this notice, 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 June 30, 
2019.

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), pursuant to 43 CFR 46.210(i). In addition, the rate 
adjustments do not present any of the 12 extraordinary circumstances 
listed at 43 CFR 46.215.

Data Quality Act

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

    Dated: July 27, 2017.
Michael S. Black,
Acting Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2017-16910 Filed 8-10-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4337-15-P