Hoeven: Bill Includes Hoeven Provisions to Enable Lake Tschida Trailers to Remain, Limits Fees for Rentals on Reservoirs

Senator’s Measure Also Allows Coal Ash Recycling for Roads and Buildings

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Senate has passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The legislation includes Hoeven provisions that will benefit North Dakota and the nation.

Hoeven Amendment Enables Trailer Home Owners to Remain on Lake Tschida

The Hoeven amendment enables trailer home owners around Lake Tschida to stay on their lots. The agency has issued permits for trailer houses to be located around the lake for decades, but the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) notified owners that they will have to remove their trailer homes after 2021. The Hoeven legislation, however, allows the trailer homes to remain on the land as long as they are sufficiently anchored to the ground for safety.

The dam and reservoir are managed by the BOR and the recreation areas around the lake, which offer fishing, boating, camping, and swimming, are managed by the local Tri-Cities Joint Job Development Authority.

“Many trailer owners around the lake have invested thousands of dollars on their property over the decades,” Hoeven said. “We worked very hard to ensure that they can continue to use their trailers and enjoy the lake as they have for years.”

Hoeven Amendment Limits Fee Increases for Renters on Lake Tschida, Patterson Lake and the Jamestown Reservoir

The BOR had proposed increasing fees up to twice the cost of current fees for leases on the three reservoirs; the Hoeven amendment caps the fees.

“North Dakotans have enjoyed swimming, boating and fishing on these reservoirs for generations,” Hoeven said. “They can now continue to enjoy them because they will remain affordable and accessible for decades to come.”

Hoeven expressed appreciation to Senator Heidi Heitkamp for joining him on the legislation.

“Working with Senator Hoeven, I’m glad we were able to come up with this compromise for folks on Lake Patterson, Lake Tschida, and Jamestown Reservoir,” said Heitkamp. “Our amendment provides immediate relief to protect these homeowners from significant spikes in their permit fees. This will provide us time to work toward a long-term solution at Lake Patterson while protecting homeowners in the interim. This amendment also gives certainty to folks who have trailers around Lake Tschida, allowing them to continue using them into the future.”

Hoeven Coal Ash Recycling Legislation a Win for Consumers, a Win for Good Environmental Stewardship

WRDA includes legislation based on Hoeven’s Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2016 that he introduced with Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). After a March hearing on the Hoeven-Manchin bill before the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, the senator worked with EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to add a bipartisan amendment to the WRDA legislation. This coal ash measure prevents costly litigation and, for the first time, creates an enforceable state permit program for the disposal of coal ash.

“This is a double win in terms of reduced energy costs for consumers and improved environmental stewardship,” Hoeven said. “Coal ash has a wide range of safe and cost-effective applications, including in the construction of buildings, roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Our bill is a bipartisan compromise that enforces standards through state-led permit programs, rather than through costly lawsuits.”

Other Important Provisions in WRDA That Benefit North Dakota include measures that help with flood control and expedite requests for surplus Missouri River water:

• In 2009, the Missouri River was jammed with ice floes, which caused damaging floods in south Bismarck. Then Governor Hoeven contracted with a demolition company to dislodge the ice jams using explosives. WRDA authorizes $30 million over 10 years to carry out pilot projects to address ice jam prevention and mitigation, with a priority for the Upper Missouri River Basin..
• As North Dakota’s economy has grown, there has been greater demand for Missouri River water to support industry. WRDA limits the amount of time the Corps has to respond to requests for contracts for surplus water from Missouri River reservoirs.