Senate OKs Measure Blocking Fees for Missouri River H2O

U.S. Capitol Illustration


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The U.S. Senate has passed an amendment blocking the Corps of Engineers from charging fees to access water in upper Missouri River reservoirs.
The effort spearheaded by senators from the Dakotas and Montana is part of the 2013 Water Resources Development Act, which now goes to the House.
The corps has proposed a fee system that would designate some water in the reservoirs as surplus because it hasn’t been used for purposes authorized when dams were built.
The senators say the proposed fees would violate states’ rights to waters that naturally flow through their boundaries. The states have promised to sue if fees are charged.
The corps has issued free permits to tap surplus water to oil drillers and other industrial users until a national policy is developed.


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