Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House tonight approved an amendment offered by Representative Kristi Noem which prohibits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from charging a fee for surplus water from the Missouri River.
The amendment, approved during consideration of the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, specifically prohibits the Corps of Engineers from using any of the funds in the bill to issue rules or regulations related to charging a fee for surplus water.
“Rural water systems, businesses and tribes up and down the Missouri River rely on the river for water and have been pulling water from the river for nearly 60 years without a fee,” said Rep. Noem. “The states of South and North Dakota, as well as Montana, sacrificed hundreds of thousands of acres of prime farmland during the creation of the dams along the Missouri. In doing so, however, they did not give up their right to water from the river. This amendment stops an overreach by the Corps in its attempt to charge constituents in our states what is legally theirs – water from the Missouri River.”
Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Steve Daines (R-MT) joined as cosponsors to Rep. Noem’s amendment.
The House is scheduled to vote on final passage of the appropriations bill later this week.