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Statement of William E. Rinne, Acting Commissioner
Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Department of the Interior
Before the
Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on Water and Power
U.S. Senate
on
S 3404
A bill to reauthorize the Mni Wiconi Rural Water Supply Project

June 28, 2006

Madam Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I am Bill Rinne, Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on S. 3404. S. 3404 reauthorizes the Mni Wiconi Rural Water System by amending Section 10(a) of the Mni Wiconi Project Act of 1988. Specifically, S. 3404 extends the sunset date for the completion of project construction from 2008, as currently authorized, until 2012. Reclamation supports the need for this amendment, but would prefer that the sunset be extended through the end of 2013.

Reclamation is committed to completing project construction in a timely manner, and should be nearing 70% completion by the end of fiscal year 2006. Reclamation is supportive of extending the authorization for the project. However, given the amount of remaining construction work needing to take place prior to full completion, Reclamation feels a more appropriate date for extending the authorization would be 2013. Consequently, Reclamation would ask that the sponsors and the committee consider extending the sunset date through 2013 rather than 2012 as currently proposed.

We support the amendment to extend the sunset date for completing construction of the Mni Wiconi Project and look forward to working with the sponsors and the Committee to address issues concerning the appropriate length for extending the authorization.

That concludes my testimony and I would be pleased to answer any questions.