Interior Region 9, Columbia-Pacific Northwest Region Title Transfer

The C–PN Region is committed to improving efficiencies related to the title transfer process:

  • by actively implementing the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (P.L. 116-9), and
  • continuing to implement title transfer that were already underway and utilizing previous framework of obtaining specific legislation.

Public Law 116-9, Title VIII, Subtitle A (Pub. L. 116-9), authorizes Reclamation to transfer title to certain Federal facilities to non-Federal entities on the completion of payment of all capital costs.

Title to facilities that are not eligible for title transfer under Pub. L. 116-9 may only be transferred following specific authorization of the title transfer by the U.S. Congress.

The transfer of title divests Reclamation of responsibility for the operation, maintenance, replacement, management, regulation of, and liability for Federal interests in lands and project facilities. The transfer of title to dams also will result in a change in regulatory oversight and associated requirements.

Ownership of assets may provide non-Federal entities with greater autonomy and flexibility to manage the facilities.

Reclamation and a title transfer requestor will work together throughout the process

Active Idaho Title Transfers
12/2019 A&B Irrigation District Title Transfer
12/2019 Minidoka Irrigation District Title Transfer
Active Washington Title Transfers
03/2020 Kennewick Irrigation District Title Transfer

Background

Since 1995, Reclamation has conveyed title to several project facilities, including dams, reservoirs, canals, laterals, buildings, project lands, and easements to project beneficiaries. The title transfer process followed a framework that Reclamation and its partners collaboratively developed, and that included NEPA and other legal requirements and involved project stakeholders. Title to these facilities was only transferred to project beneficiaries, usually the operating entities, after the passage of individual Acts of Congress. This process was often costly and time consuming.

Over the past 20 years, more than 30 different Reclamation projects have successfully transferred facilities through individual acts of Congress, 6 of those have been in the Columbia–Pacific Northwest Region: Oroville-Tonasket Irrigation District (1998), Burley Irrigation District (2000), Nampa-Meridian Irrigation District (2001), Fremont-Madison Irrigation District (2004), American Falls Reservoir District No. 2 (2008), Yakima Tieton (2009).

Districts and Reclamation are encouraged by the recent title transfer legislation because this will reduce costs and expedite the process.

Reference Materials
Reclamation Title Transfer of Projects & Facilities

Contact

Chris Keith
Regional Title Transfer Coordinator
(208) 378-5360
ckeith@usbr.gov

Bureau of Reclamation
1150 N Curtis Road
Boise, Idaho 83706


Last Update: 6/24/20