Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after the Senate passed the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act. Senator Cortez Masto cosponsored this legislation which ensures the implementation of the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) while also respecting vital environmental protections for the states along the Colorado River Basin. This evening, the House also passed companion DCP legislation. The measure will be sent to the President for signature.
"This legislation was developed to ensure water conservation activities in the Colorado River Basin are able to begin in 2019 and be built into the planning of operations for 2020. For this to happen, there can be no delay between execution of the DCP by the States and the signing and implementation by the Secretary of the Interior". (Senator Cortez-Masto, D Nevada, April 3, 2019, Congressional Record-Senate)
“The passage of the Drought Contingency Plan is the culmination of years of work by the seven Colorado River Basin States, researchers, local stakeholders and tribal governments. I’d also like to thank Mr. John Entsminger, the General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority for all of the hard work he’s done on behalf of the State of Nevada to get us to this day. This legislation will help conserve Lake Mead’s vital water supply and ensure Nevadans have access to critical water resources. As drought continues to threaten our Western states, collaborative conservation and restoration efforts must remain a local, state and national priority. I’ll keep fighting for solutions that protect both our urban centers and our farming and ranching communities, prioritize our tourism economy and ensure environmental protections for the Colorado River and all of Nevada’s water resources.”
"It is expected that the Secretary will sign these agreements without delay since the actions to be undertaken are within the analyses and range of effects reviewed in the environmental documents prepared pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, ESA, and in the 2007 final environmental impact statement, EIS, on Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead; and the EISs and ESA documents prepared for operation of the Colorado River Storage Project Act initial storage unit reservoirs. Additional environmental compliance is only applicable should Federal actions be undertaken that are outside the range of effects analyzed in those documents or the applicable records of decision". (Senator Lisa Murkowshi, R Alaska, April 3, 2019, Congressional Record-Senate)