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Gianforte, Daines Celebrate Repairs to Milk River Project

October 15, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) and U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) today celebrated the successful structure completion of Drop 2 and Drop 5 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the junction of the St. Mary’s diversion and the Milk River.

“This is really fabulous that water is flowing through the Milk River project, flowing life back to the Hi-Line. This project is so important because over 100,000 acres irrigated out of the Milk River, five communities, and two Tribal governments rely on it for their domestic water,” Gianforte said. “When it failed in May, people weren't sure their faucets were going to work anymore. It got fixed because of collaboration, and we're here to celebrate that.”

Release

 

“We’ve officially got water running again through the Saint Mary’s Canal! I’m glad to have helped speed this project along to support our Montana farmers, ranchers, Tribes and Hi-Line communities,” Daines said. “Today was a great day and the culmination of hard work to quickly rebuild the Drop two and five structures will ensure Montanans on the Hi-Line have reliable access to water once again.”

Background:

On July 30, 2020, Gianforte secured funding for the critical repairs needed on the St. Mary Canal.

In July 2020, Gianforte wrote to the Department of Interior, readdressing the need to rapidly respond to the St. Mary’s River Project’s Drop 5 failure.

On May 18, 2020, Gianforte urged President Trump to act quickly to fix the Drop 5 failure of the St. Mary Canal.

On May 12, 2020, Gianforte urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to address the nation’s critical water needs in any infrastructure package.

In March 2020, the St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Working Group and the Milk River Joint Board thanked Gianforte for his support and his efforts to have the St. Mary Diversion Dam rehabilitated.

In February 2020, Gianforte testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee about including the St. Mary Diversion Dam in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020.

In May 2019, Gianforte introduced the bipartisan St. Mary’s Reinvestment Act to ensure that the federal government picks up 75 percent of the costs for upgrades to the Milk River Project.

In April 2018, Gianforte wrote to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation in support of the Milk River Project Joint Board of Control’s grant proposal to replace Drop 2.

At an April 2018 congressional hearing, Gianforte secured a commitment from Dr. Timothy Petty, Assistant Interior Secretary, that he will work to ensure a cost share agreement with Montana is reached to rehabilitate the St. Mary Diversion Dam and Conveyance Works.

In March 2018, Gianforte asked House appropriations leaders to fund work on the St. Mary system.