WASHINGTON D.C. (NMB) – Montana’s two U.S. Senators, Steve Daines (R) and Jon Tester (D), both testified at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Wednesday to urge the quick passage of the St. Mary’s Reinvestment Act.
As written, the legislation would authorize $52 million to rehabilitate the St. Mary’s Diversion Dam, which is a the start of the canal and conveyance works system that provides water to the Milk River.
The legislation would also require the Bureau of Reclamation to use the results of a recent ability-to-pay study of water users to set the cost share for rehabilitation.
The bill was introduced by Tester in the Senate and Daines was an original co-sponsor. Representative Matt Rosendale (R) has introduced the legislation in the House.
The St. Mary’s Project has already been assured $100 million in funding through the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Tester was a lead negotiator on. However, rehabilitating the entire system is expected to cost several hundred million dollars.