HR 4521 EH
H. R. 4521
To direct the Secretary of the Interior to authorize and provide funding for rehabilitation of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, to authorize funds for maintenance of utilities related to the Park, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The historic significance of the 52-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road is recognized by its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, designation as a National Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1985, and designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1997.
(2) A contracted engineering study and Federal Highway Administration recommendations in 1997 of the Going-to-the-Sun Road verified significant structural damage to the road that has occurred since it opened in 1932.
(3) Infrastructure at most of the developed areas is inadequate for cold-season (fall, winter, and spring) operation, and maintenance backlog needs exist for normal summer operation.
(4) The Many Glacier Hotel and Lake McDonald Lodge are on the National Register of Historic Places and are National Historic Landmarks. Other accommodations operated by the concessioner with possessory interest and listed on the National Register of Historic Places are the Rising Sun Motor Inn and Swiftcurrent Motel.
(5) The historic hotels in Glacier National Park, operated under concession agreements with the National Park Service, are essential for public use and enjoyment of the Park.
(6) Public consumers deserve safe hotels in Glacier National Park that can meet their basic needs and expectations.
(7) The historic hotels in Glacier National Park are significantly deteriorated and need substantial repair.
(8) Repairs of the hotels in Glacier National Park have been deferred for so long that, absent any changes to Federal law and the availability of historic tax credits, the remodeling costs for the hotels may exceed the capacity of an investor to finance them solely out of hotel revenues.
(9) The current season of operation for hotels is approximately 4 months because the developed areas lack water, sewer, and fire protection systems that can operate in freezing conditions, lack building insulation, and lack heating systems.
(10) The National Park Service Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998 is based upon sound principles and is achieving its basic purposes, but there appear to be selected instances where the National Park Service may need additional authority to conduct demonstration projects.
(11) A demonstration project is needed for the repair of the historic hotels in Glacier National Park.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) ADVISORY COMMITTEE- The term ‘Advisory Committee’ means the Going-to-the-Sun Road Citizens Advisory Committee.
(2) PARK- The term ‘Park’ means Glacier National Park.
(3) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of the Interior.
SEC. 3. GOING-TO-THE-SUN ROAD STUDY.
(a) FEASIBILITY STUDY- Not later than December 31, 2001, the Secretary, in consultation with Advisory Committee, shall complete a feasibility study for rehabilitation of Going-to-the-Sun Road located in the Park. The study shall include--
(1) alternatives for rehabilitation of Going-to-the-Sun Road and a ranking of the feasibility of each alternative;
(2) an estimate of the length of time necessary to complete each alternative;
(3) a description of what mitigation efforts would be used to preserve resources and minimize adverse economic effects of each alternative;
(4) an analysis of the costs and benefits of each alternative;
(5) an estimate of the cost of each alternative;
(6) an analysis of the economic impact of each alternative;
(7) an analysis of long-term maintenance needs, standards, and schedules for the road, alternatives to accomplish the rehabilitation, maintenance staff needs, and associated cost estimates;
(8) a draft of the environmental impact statement required under section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)); and
(9) an analysis of improvements to any transportation system relating to the Park that are needed inside or outside the Park.
(b) CONTINUATION MAINTENANCE- Nothing in this section shall affect the duty of the Secretary to continue the program in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act to preserve, maintain, and address safety concerns related to Going-to-the-Sun Road.
(c) IMPLEMENTATION OF PLAN- As soon as practicable after completing the study required by subsection (a), the Secretary shall--
(1) consider the recommendations of the Advisory Committee;
(2) choose an alternative for rehabilitation of the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the alternatives included in the study based upon the final environmental impact statement required under section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)); and
(3) begin implementation of a plan based on that choice.
Implementation actions that are authorized include rehabilitation of Going-to-the-Sun Road and expenditure of funds inside or outside the Park for transportation system improvements related to the Park and impact mitigation if recommended by the study and the Advisory Committee. The Secretary shall also seek funding for the long-term maintenance needs that the study identifies.
(d) REPORT- Not later than 30 days after completion of the study required under subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit a copy of the study to--
(1) the Committee on Resources and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and
(2) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.
(e) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated $200,000,000 to the Secretary to carry out this section, including--
(1) implementation of the plan under subsection (c); and
(2) the cost of any necessary environmental or cultural documentation and monitoring, including the draft environmental impact statement required under subsection (a)(8).
SEC. 4. MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADE OF UTILITY SYSTEMS.
(a) IN GENERAL- As soon as practicable after funds are made available under this section, the Secretary shall begin the upgrade and continue the maintenance of utility systems which service the Park and facilities related to the Park.
(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section, $20,000,000.
SEC. 5. VISITOR FACILITIES PLAN.
(a) PLAN FOR VISITOR FACILITIES- Not later than December 31, 2001, the Secretary shall complete a comprehensive plan for visitor facilities in the Park. The comprehensive plan shall include the following:
(1) A completed commercial services plan, as called for in the Park General Management Plan.
(2) A plan for private financing of rehabilitation of lodging facilities and associated property that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or are part of a district listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which may include historic tax credits, hotel revenue, and other financing alternatives as deemed appropriate by the Secretary, and which may include options such as extending the Park’s visitor season, additional visitor facilities, and other options as deemed appropriate by the Secretary in order to recover the rehabilitation costs.
(3) A financial analysis of the plan under paragraph (2).
(4) A plan by the Secretary to provide necessary assistance to appropriate interested entities for the restoration or comparable replacement of tour buses for use in the Park.
(5) A plan for a new visitors center at the west side of the Park, including an appropriate location and design for the center and suitable housing and display facilities for museum objects of the Park as set forth in the Park General Management Plan, including any studies required to be carried out under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and other applicable laws.
(6) A parkwide natural and cultural resources assessment, in accordance with sections 203 and 204 of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-391; 112 Stat. 3497), including a comprehensive inventory of resources of the Park.
(7) A description of any additional authority requested by the Secretary to implement the comprehensive plan.
(b) SUBMISSION OF PLAN- The Secretary shall submit copies of the comprehensive plan to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.
(c) IMPLEMENTATION OF PLAN- As soon as practicable after completion of the comprehensive plan, the Secretary shall implement the comprehensive plan, including construct the visitors center pursuant to the plan required by subsection (a)(5).
(d) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $1,000,000 to complete the comprehensive plan.
Passed the House of Representatives October 17, 2000.