« PreviousContinue »
JUNE 10, 1949, 'he SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
DEAR MR. SPEAKER: I am transmitting herewith a report dated April 5, 1948, om the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, together with accompanying apers and an illustration, on a preliminary examination and survey of the Rio rande and tributaries, New Mexico, authorized by the Flood Control Act approved 2 August 18, 1941. The Flood Control Act of June 30, 1948, approved a roject for the Rio Grande and tributaries, New Mexico, which includes along ith other works the improvements recommended in the report with the excepon of Chiflo Dam.
In accordance with section 1 of Public Law 534, Seventy-eighth Congress, ppies of the proposed report of the Chief of Engineers were furnished the Secretry of the Interior, the Governors of the States of Colorado and New Mexico, nd the board of water engineers, Austin, Tex., which has been designated by the overnor of Texas to act as his representative under the provisions of this act. opies of the report were also furnished the Federal Power Commission, the Jepartment of Agriculture, and the Commissioner, International Boundary and Pater Commission, El Paso, Tex., for their comments. The comments of the kree States and the various Federal agencies are set forth in the inclosed comunications. The comments of the Bureau of the Budget are herewith; and that agency dvises that, while there is no objection to the submission of the report to Conress, authorization of the Chiflo Dam would not be in accord with the program I the President at this time. The comments of the Bureau are contained in se inclosed copy of letter dated April 12, 1949. Sincerely yours,
GORDON GRAY, Under Secretary of the Army.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, D. C., March 31, 1948. t. Gen. R. A. WHEELER,
Chief of Engineers, War Department. MY DEAR GENERAL WHEELER: By letter dated November 21, 1947 (file NGWF), you transmitted for the information and comments of the Department I the Interior, copies of your proposed report on a preliminary examination and urvey of the Rio Grande and tributaries, New Mexico, together with reports I the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors and of the district and division gineers. Concurrent with the transmittal of your report, the proposed report of the Fcretary of the Interior on the middle Rio Grande project, New Mexico, was ansinitted to the Secretary of the Army, to the members of the Federal Intergency River Basin Committee, and to the affected States, including the State nservation officials of New Mexico, for their views and recommendations. The two reports appear to be well coordinated on a comprehensive plan of Helopment for the middle Rio Grande Basin and reflect the high degree of peration that obtained between the Department of the Army, the Department the Interior, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, the Rio Grande ompact Commission, the affected States, and other Federal and local interests
the investigations and negotiations leading up to the formulation of the plan Lat is set forth.
In analysis of your proposed report indicates that the reservoir system, if sprated as proposed, would complement the irrigation and sediment-control prets with which the Bureau of Reclamation is concerned. However, because tp protection and stabilization of agriculture and economic development in the addle Rio Grande Valley require comprehensive treatment and cannot be hirved by either the flood control or the reclamation phase alone, it is essential at this point be made eminently clear in the final reports of both the Secretary the Army and the Secretary of the Interior. The two reports, together cover
entire comprehensive plan which should be undertaken in accordance with Jourit agreement between the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of the Thuv on a unified plan for control of floods, irrigation, and use of water in the neile Rio Grande Basin in New Mexico," dated July 25, 1947. The reservoir capacities for flood control at Chiflo, Chamita, and Jemez, ther with the design maximum flow to be allowed to pass down the main kannel, were determined by the Corps of Engineers. In recognition of the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers for the flood-control function to which these determinations primarily relate in the reports as prepared, the Bureau of Reclamation accepted the decision of the Corps of Engineers in these matters.
No recommendation is made for authorization of power projects in the proposed reports of either agency. However, power development at the Chiflo and Chamits sites may ultimately become feasible through savings of water or through impor tation of Colorado River water to the Rio Chama.
It is essential, as provided in the agreement above referred to, that coordinated reservoir operations be agreed upon by the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reelamation, and the States of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, to assure food control and deliveries of water in full compliance with the provisions of the Rio Grande compact.
As agreed' by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of the Army the Bureau of Reclamation should construct the channel-rectification works The establishment of the final plan would properly be accomplished by the Bureau of Reclamation in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers and with such modification as would be warranted based on detailed studies. In this connee. tion, it is possible that reservoirs on the Rio Puerco and Rio Salado may eventuallr be needed in addition to dredging above Elephant Butte Reservoir, but they are not recommended for construction at the present time.
In addition to the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fish and Wildlife Servire, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Park Service are vitally interested in the middle Rio Grande project as it may affect their particular interests.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has reviewed the report and is appreciative of the sympathetic understanding that has been given to some of the problems involving fish and wildlife conservation. It is noted that certain modifications and plans as recommended by the Fish and Wildlife Service have been include: in the estimate of projert costs. These modifications will reduce, to some extent, the net annual loss to fish and wildlife. It is noted also that detailed engineering plans for fish and wildlife develonment will be prepared eventually by the Com. of Engineers with the Fish and Wildlife Service acting in an advisory eaparity Since the final working plans for operating the project have not been completo.. it is obvious that thorough consideration cannot be given to the fish and wildufe problems until this information is available. For similar reasons the Fish and Wildlife Service has been able to prepare only preliminary evaluation report When final operating schedules are available, the Fish and Wildlife Service will appreciate an opportunitv to make more complete studies of means and measures of mitigating the losses of fish and wildlife.
As now proposed, the plan of development would result in substantial benefits to the middle Rio Grande Valley and its resources excepting fish and wildlife In this particular field the losses, estimated at $275,000 annually, would represent a real and substantial loss to the economy of the States of New Mexico and Colorado. Therefore, it is suggested that to the extent practicable the promo be provided with means for maintaining fish and wildlife values at not less than present-day levels and that all practical and feasible steps be explored to foresta" restore, or offset such losses, and that such means as are found to be feasible 1 the accomplishment of this objective be carried forward in the development of ths project, pursuant to the provisions of Public Law 732, Seventy-ninth Congres.
It is the hope of the National Park Service that recreational development of th: project may be made in accordance with recommendations of that Service whics have been incorporated in your report as appendix G.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is deeply concerned with the proposed Bluewate: floodway because of its possible affect upon the limited water supply that is nos available to the Acoma and Laguna Pueblos in the Bluewater Basin. The Bureau points out that as a result of the storage of water and diversions fie irrigation which have taken place above the Pueblos, the only source of water supply now available to the Indians is derived from springs along the channel the river which, for the greater part, is believed to be the accumulated outtos of ground water from the upstream valley fill. Since the construction of the proposed Bluewater floodway may affect the sources of water from which the Acoma and Laguna Pueblos now obtain their water supplies, the Bureau of India Affairs requests that opportunity be afforded to negotiate agreements with tre Corps of Engineers with respect to distribution of ground and surface water prior to the construction of the Bluewater floodway. I am advised informali that such a proposal is satisfactory to your office and that it will be made s 264 of your report.
Two other matters of concern to the Bureau of Indian Affairs are related to the maintenance and operation of the levee and pumping plant in connection with the Santa Ana Pueblo, and the matter of location of levees, channels, and other works within the various Indian pueblos.
It is understood that the levee and pumping plant in connection with the Santa Ana Pueblo would be considered a part of the Jemez Reservoir project and therefore, in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the Flood Control Act approved December 22, 1944, they would be maintained and operated by the Federal Government without obligation on the part of the Santa Ana Pueblo, and that in accordance with regular procedures, surveys, and operations on the various pueblos would be a matter of negotiations between your office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Indians. In connection with the Indian problems, I am pleased to advise you that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is most appreciative of the sincerity and desire of the Corps of Engineers to be fair and to deal cooperatively with the Indians of the various pueblos.
As the project is carried forward, continuing coordination and refining adjustments of the technical details of the two complementary plans will be essential.
Your consideration of the suggestions enumerated herein in the preparation of your final report will be appreciated. It is a source of satisfaction to me that two Federal Departments have been able to formulate a coordinated joint plan of development for the middle Rio Grande Basin, N. Mex., and I am pleased to recommend that authorization be sought for a comprehensive plan of development as outlinea in the proposed reports. Sincerely yours,
William E. WARNE, Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
Washington, D. C., May 18, 1949. Hon. Dennis CHAVEZ, Chairman, Committee on Public Works,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR Chavez: This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of March 25, 1949, inviting the Bureau of the Budget to comment on S. 1392, authorizing appropriations for the comprehensive plan for the Rio Grande Basin, X. Mex.
The project for the Middle Rio Grande Basin was approved in the Flood Control Act of 1948, and $3,500,000 was authorized to be appropriated for expenditure by the Department of the Army for partial accomplishment of the comprehensive plan. This proposal would authorize the appropriation of $38,000,000 additional to the Department of the Army, and $15,000,000 to the Department of the Interior for the prosecution of the project.
Inasmuch as the bill does not actually appropriate any further funds, but merely authorizes additional appropriations for the accomplishment of the project, this Office is not aware of any reason why the legislation should not receive the favorable consideration of the Congress. Sincerely yours,
FRANK PACE, Jr., Director.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY,
Washington, June 18, 1949. Hon. DENNIS CHAVEZ, Chairman, Committee on Public Work,
United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR Chavez: Reference is made to your request for a report on Senate bill 1392, authorizing appropriations for the comprehensive plan for the Rio Grande Basin, N. Mex.
'The purpose of the bill is to authorize to be appropriated, in addition to previous authorizations, the sum of $38,000,000 to be expended by the Department of the Army and $15,000,000 to be expended by the Interior Department for prosecution of the comprehensive plan for the Rio Grande Basin as approved by the Flood ('ontrol Act of June 30, 1948, subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in tbat act. The total estimated Federal cost of the part of this plan to be constructed by the Corps of Engineers is $49,760,000 of which $3,500,000 has been authorized by the Flood Control Act of June 30, 1948.
The Department of the Army has no objection to the enactment of Senate bill 1392.
This report has been coordinated among the departments and boards in the National Military Establishment in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,
GORDON GRAY, Under Secretary of the Army.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington 25, D. C., May 23, 1949. MY DEAR SENATOR Chavez: The committee on Public Works has requested my views on S. 1392, a bill authorizing appropriations for the comprehensive plan for the Rio Grande Basin, N. Mex.
I recommend enactment of this bill.
The Flood Control Act of 1948 (Public Law 858, 80th Cong.), approved the comprehensive plan for the Rio Grande Basin as set forth in the coordinated reports of the Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army, and the Bureau of Reclamation of this Department, and authorized the sum of $3,500,000 to be appropriated for the partial accomplishment of the comprehensive plans by the Department of the Army. S. 1392 would authorize the appropriation of an additional sum of $38,000,000 to be expended by the Department of the Army, and the sum of $15,000,000 to be expended by the Department of the Interior for the prosecution of the approved plan.
Enactment of this bill would not only authorize appropriations sufficient for partial but orderly undertaking of the task contemplated in the comprehensive plan but it would also put beyond doubt that authority of the Secretary of the Interior to proceed with work under the plans.
The cost of the part of the comprehensive plan which was assigned, by the agreement approved by the Secretary of the Army and the Acting Secretary of the Interior on November 21, 1947, for accomplishment by the Department of the Interior, is now estimated at $30,179,000. This part of the plan includes, among other things, rehabilitation and extension of irrigation and drainage works (including El Vado Dam and Reservoir) for the purpose of irrigating approximately 85,000 acres, channel rectification in the middle Rio Grande Valley (including the Espanola Valley and Hot Springs area) and dredging from near the south boundary of the middle Rio Grande Conservancy District into Elephant Butte Reservoir, aid in the financial rehabilitation of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and rehabilitation or construction of irrigation and drainage works on Indian lands, the cost for which is nonreimbursable under reclamation law under the approved plan, all of which work would be performed by the Bureau of Reclamation; measures for development of fish and wildlife resources, which would be undertaken by the Fish and Wildlife Service; and development of recreational resources by the National Park Service, provided agreements for their operation by State or local governmental agencies are secured in advance. The authorization contemplated in S. 1392 would enable all of this work to be put underway. However, the total estimated cost of $30,179,000 does not include the cost of land development work on Indian lands which would be performed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs with funds appropriated to that agency under separate authorization.
Authorization for appropriation of the $15,000,000 which would be provided by the enactment of this bill would make it necessary for the Secretary of the Interior to seek authority later for additional appropriations in the amount required to complete the Interior Department's portion of the plan. When such authority would have to be sought would depend, of course, upon the rate at which appropriations are actually made by the Congress. The committee may wish to consider increasing the presently contemplated authorization of $15,000,000 to be expended by the Department of the Interior to $30,179,000 in onder that it may not be necessary to burden a future Congress with further consideration of this same project.
In view of my understanding that the Committee on Public Works of the House of Representatives is now considering a measure which includes the substance of $. 1392 and desires an immediate expression of the views of this Department hereon, this report has not been submitted to the Bureau of the Budget for review. I am, therefore, unable to advise you concerning the relation of $. 1392 and this report to the program of the President. Sincerely yours,
J. A. G, Secretary of the Interior. Hon. DENNIS CHAVEZ, Chairman, Committee on Public Works,
United States Senate.
ATOMIC ENERGY CommissION,
April 7, 1949. Hon. DENNIS CHAVEZ,
Senate Office Building, Washington, 25 D. C. DEAR SENATOR Chavez: This is in reply to your letters of March 25 concerning S. 1392, a bill to authorize appropriations for comprehensive flood control for the Rio Grande River Basin.
The Commission is, of course, vitally interested in the maintenance of rail, air, and road communications for both the Los Alamos and Sandia Laboratories. We bave not gone into the numerous aspects and varied objectives of the proposed legislation. We believe, however, to the extent that one result of this program would be to reduce the possibility of damage to the railhead at Albuquerque in case of food conditions, this program would contribute to reducing the likelihood of a contingency arising which would force the Commission to rely on currently available motor and air communications to its installations with an attendant inconvenience, expense, and delay.
The Atomic Energy Commission has not been advised by the Bureau of the Budget as to the relationship of this bill to the program of the President. Sincerely yours,
UNITED STATES Atomic ENERGY COMMISSION,
DAVID E. LILIENTHAL, Chairman.
(Whereupon, at 11:59 a. m., a recess was taken until 10 a. m., Wednesday, July 20, 1949.)