March 19, 2009
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today led the U.S. Senate to the passage of H.R. 146, the legislative vehicle for the omnibus lands bill. This legislation, which includes eight bills beneficial to Nevada, will designate land and resources for projects important to northern and southern parts of the state. The bill now heads back to the House of Representatives to be considered for final passage.
“I am very pleased we were able to pass this bill, which is important to Nevada and the nation, on a bipartisan basis” Reid said. “This bill will benefit Nevada by improving access to cancer treatment, honoring our Cold War veterans, removing restrictions to development in downtown Reno, and providing resources for the inspection and maintenance of aging water systems.”
Following is a list of Nevada projects in the legislation:
Projects benefitting Southern Nevada:
· The Nevada Cancer Institute Expansion Act will provide 80 acres of land to the Nevada Cancer Institute. The non-profit Nevada Cancer Institute will use the parcel to build a facility devoted to developing new treatments for Nevadans afflicted with cancer.
· The Orchard Detention Basin Flood Control Act releases a small section of the Sunrise Mountain Instant Study Area to allow for construction of a flood control project vital to protecting nearby neighborhoods, schools and businesses. The bill also helps expedite the remediation of the Sunrise Landfill.
· The Southern Nevada Limited Transition Area Act conveys land near the Henderson airport from the Bureau of Land Management to the City of Henderson for the development of a new economic hub and urban green space.
· The Cold War Historical Sites Study Act requires the Department of the Interior to evaluate sites and resources for commemorating and interpreting the Cold War, including the Mt. Charleston Plane Crash Memorial.
Projects benefitting Northern Nevada:
· The Reno ReTRAC Act removes restrictions on land owned by the City of Reno in and around the downtown railroad corridor. It will allow for additional commercial development in Reno’s urban core.
· The Carson City Vital Community Act is a comprehensive lands bill for Carson City which increases open space opportunities and helps the city pursue its smart growth plans. The bill includes a land exchange between the city, the Forest Service and the Washoe Tribe, giving each entity land that is more suited to its mission and management abilities. The bill also conveys the Silver Saddle Ranch and Prison Hill to Carson City for continued public use, with a conservation easement retained by the Bureau of Land Management.
· The Aging Water Infrastructure and Maintenance Act was introduced by Sen. Reid following the devastating Fernley flood. This bill provides resources and direction to the Bureau of Reclamation to inspect and maintain aging water facilities owned by the federal government. Under this bill, extraordinary repairs can be paid for over 50 years instead of the current one year and emergency maintenance repairs are eligible for funding from Reclamation. Reclamation is authorized to develop inspection guidelines for aging water facilities to help ensure they do not fall into disrepair.
· The Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley Reservation Water Settlements Act ratifies a water rights settlement agreement between the Tribes, the State of Nevada and individual rights holders along the East fork of the Owyhee River and settles the Tribes’ claims against the United States for failing to protect and manage its water rights and natural resources.
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