Senate Passes Romney, Stewart, Owens, Curtis Bill to Save Utah’s Great Salt Lake

Legislation builds on Utah’s efforts as the Great Salt Lake hit historically low water levels earlier this month

WASHINGTON—The Senate today passed the Great Salt Lake Recovery Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) to study historic drought conditions and protect the long-term health of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Earlier this month, the Great Salt Lake dropped to its lowest level on record for the second time in a year, posing a threat to Utah’s environment and economy. Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT), Burgess Owens (R-UT), and John Curtis (R-UT) lead the companion legislation in the House.

Following Senate passage of the Great Salt Lake Recovery Act, Senator Romney and Representatives Stewart, Owens, and Curtis released this joint statement:

“The rest of the country is now understanding the widespread repercussions of a diminished Great Salt Lake. We must to be willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure we preserve this iconic body of water. Today’s passage of our Great Salt Lake Recovery Act highlights the sense of urgency that is needed if we are going to preserve and protect this critical body of water for many generations to come. We are proud that our legislation complements and elevates the work already being done by Speaker Brad Wilson and the State of Utah to develop a permanent solution to save our Great Salt Lake, and we urge the House to take up it up so we can get it to the President’s desk and signed into law without delay.”

The Great Salt Lake Recovery Act builds on Utah’s efforts to address the historic drought conditions of the Great Salt Lake and other saline lakes in the Great Basin by:      

  • Authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out a program to monitor and assess the water availability and conditions of saline lakes in the Great Basin, including the Great Salt Lake, in order to help inform management and conservation activities for these ecosystems. The Corps will coordinate with relevant federal and state agencies, tribes, local governments, and nonprofits to implement the program. The bill authorizes $10,000,000 for this program.
  • Authorizing a feasibility study on addressing drought conditions in the Great Salt Lake, which may include an identification of any potential technologies—including pipelines, coastal desalination plants, and canal reinforcement—capable of redirecting water sources and necessary permitting to redirect water sources across state borders.