Chapter 9 - UGA Hydrology

Report
Chapter 9
Federal Water Agencies
Chapter Headings
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Natural Resources Conservation Service
U.S. Forest Service
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
National Marine Fisheries Service
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Chapter Headings
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Natural Resources Conservation Service
U.S. Forest Service
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
National Marine Fisheries Service
Federal Emergency Management Agency
US Army Corps of Engineers (COE)
• Founded in 1794
• Early history in removing snags and building
levees on the Mississippi
– Average lifespan of a steamboat in 1800’s was less
than 2 years
• Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 stimulated
federal role in flood control
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Peak discharge of 2.5 million cfs
200 people killed and 600,000 left homeless
Flood Control Acts of 1928 and 1936
1936 law required cost-benefit analysis
Mississippi Flood 1927
Mississippi Flood 1927
U.S. Army COE: Dams
• Until 1930’s primary activity was flood
control and navigation in Eastern States
– Most navigable rivers are in the East
– 230 locks
• Federal government began large western
dam-building program during Great
Depression
– Hoover Dam completed in 1935
– Part of purpose was to provide employment
U.S. Army COE: Dams
• COE began to compete with Bureau of
Reclamation (USBR) for western dam projects
– Primary purpose was irrigation
– Flood control and navigation was secondary
• Example is Garrison Dam on the Missouri River
in North Dakota
– USBR had determined that it was uneconomical
– Dam would inundate Fort Berthold Indian Reservation
land
– COE redid cost-benefit analysis and lobbied Congress
to approve project
– Approved in 1944 for construction by COE
U.S. Army COE: Wetlands
• Early federal laws encouraged draining of
swamps for navigation and disease control
– Swamp Lands Act of 1850 and 1860
• Clean Water Act Amendments 1972
provided protection of wetlands (swamps)
– Section 404 required COE approval of any
development that would alter or destroy a
wetland
Chapter Headings
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Natural Resources Conservation Service
U.S. Forest Service
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
National Marine Fisheries Service
Federal Emergency Management Agency
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
• John Wesley Powell (1834-1902)
– Promoted federal role in irrigation projects
• Founded by Reclamation Act of 1902
– Purpose to provide water to promote settlement of arid western
states
– Irrigation water initially limited to farms < 160 acres
– Construction costs to be repaid by farmers
– Local irrigation districts set up to control finances
• Early success in making small projects pay
• Later large projects catered to corporate farms and
special interests
– Acre limits were ignored and local districts did not collect finances
– Hoover Dam in 1935 and Grand Coulee Dam in 1941
US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR)
• First to explore the
Grand Canyon
• Cautioned that allowing
inter-basin transfers of
water would leave some
basins without water
• Thought state lines
should be drawn along
watershed divides to
avoid water disputes
USBR
• 1960’s to 1970’s heyday of dam building
– USBR (and COE) allied with strong
Congressional committee leaders and
agricultural/corporate special interest groups
– Obtained federal funding for western irrigation
projects with questionable cost-benefit
analysis
– Often in direct conflict with Presidents’ wishes
USBR
• Anti-dam era began in 1970’s
– Ralph Nader’s Damming the West critical of USBR
– Teton Dam failure in eastern Idaho in 1976
• President Jimmy Carter recommend eliminating
funding for 18 USBR dam projects
• Endangered Species Act passed in 1973
– Snail darter vs. Tellico dam in 1978-79
• New mission to manage existing water projects
and promote conservation
Chapter Headings
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Natural Resources Conservation Service
U.S. Forest Service
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
National Marine Fisheries Service
Federal Emergency Management Agency
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
• Conserve, protect, and enhance fish,
wildlife, plants, and their habitats
• Administers the 1973 Endangered Species
Act (ESA)
– Protects endangered species and their habitat
• Oversees National Wildlife Refuges for
migratory birds
• Operates 70 fish hatcheries for game and
endangered species of fish
Chapter Headings
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Natural Resources Conservation Service
U.S. Forest Service
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
National Marine Fisheries Service
Federal Emergency Management Agency
U.S. EPA
• Water Quality Act of 1965
– Created first water quality standards
– Limited success
• U.S. EPA created in 1970
– Legislative authority to impose fines and jail
sentences for violation of environmental laws
• Filed suit against Detroit, Cleveland, and
Atlanta shortly after being created
U.S. EPA
• Clean Water Act Amendments of 1972
– Goal of making all waters “fishable and
swimable” by 1983
– Strengthened federal water quality standards
– Established permit system for point sources
(National Pollutant Discharge Elimination
System, NPDES)
– Over $20 billion spent on municipal sewage
plants 1972-1992
– Section 404 protected wetlands
– TMDL program
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
Conflict described in Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Dessert
and Chapter 12 of textbook
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• Jimmy Carter’s first experience with dams was
as Governor in Georgia
– Carter had a degree in engineering from U.S. Naval
Academy
• Dam was proposed on Flint River at Sprewell
Bluff by COE
– Now a state park
• Carter read COE plan
– Wrote blistering 18-page letter to COE accusing it of
“computational manipulation”
• Vetoed plans for the dam
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• Shortly after election as President in 1976
Carter reviewed federal program to
manage water resources
– 19 new water projects were proposed by
USBR and COE
• Concluded “There is no coherent water
resources management policy”
• Later Carter vetoed a bill to fund the
projects
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• Tennessee Valley Authority
• Created during the Great Depression by
President Franklin Roosevelt
– “A corporation clothed with the power of government
but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a
private enterprise”
• First attempt at “watershed approach” to
planning
• Goal was to aid development in poor rural areas
by providing cheap electricity, fertilizers, etc.
• Did this by developing hydroelectric dams
• www.tva.gov/sites/sites_ie2.htm
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• TVA started out with a good approach but
then outgrew it’s mission
– in Reisner’s view
• By 1970’s much of the electric power was
being generated by coal-powered plants
– Strip mining coal was destroying the land
– Much of the area was still poverty-stricken
– Coal-powered plants were contributing to acid
rain problems in the northeast
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• Tellico Dam had been proposed by TVA in
1960s
• Dam would not produce hydropower
– Would raise the level in the Little Tennessee River so
that extra water could be run through a canal to an
existing hydroelectric dam
– Would produce relatively insignificant additional
power
– No flood control benefit
– Little recreational benefit (many other reservoirs in
surrounding area)
• Approved for construction in 1969
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• Endangered Species Act passed in 1973
• In 1973, professor of zoology from
University of Tennessee discovered snail
darter in Little Tennessee River
• 1975 USFW classified snail darter as an
endangered species
• Court ordered dam construction halted
• Decision upheld by Supreme Court in
1978
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• Congress began considering amendments
to ESA that would allow construction of
Tellico Dam
– Passed a law that set up a Cabinet-level
committee that would resolve any case where
ESA stopped construction of a dam
– Composed of Secretaries of Interior,
Agriculture, Army, EPA and others
– Called the “God Squad”
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• In 1978 God Squad reviewed case
• Unanimously decided against dam
construction
– Based decision on economics, not
environmental impact
– Cost-benefit analysis was faulty and did not
justify construction
Snail Darter vs. Tellico Dam
• June 1979 Congress approved a little-noticed
amendment to House appropriations bill
– Exempted Tellico Dam from ESA
• Congress approved appropriations bill
• Carter could veto bill
– Needed Congressional support for treaty that would
return Panama Canal to Panama
– Couldn’t afford to alienate key congressmen
• Tellico Dam was completed in 1980
• 1984 USFW downgraded snail darter from
endangered to threatened
Chapter Summary
• Principal federal agencies dealing with water
resources are
– Army Corps of Engineers
– Bureau of Reclamation
– Environmental Protection Agency
• Historical trend has been toward greater federal
involvement
• Water resources development in the west has
tended to benefit special interest groups
• Recent focus is on environment and
conservation

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