H.R. 5651 (106th): To convey certain Federal lands to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.

106th Congress, 1999–2000. Text as of Dec 08, 2000 (Introduced).

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HR 5651 IH

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5651

To convey certain Federal lands to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 8, 2000

Mr. ROMERO-BARCELO introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To convey certain Federal lands to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, 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. CONVEYANCE OF FEDERAL LANDS.

    All right, title and interest of the United States in and to those lands designated for transfer, or transferred, to the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to section 1508 of title XV of Public Law 106-398 shall be conveyed, without consideration, to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

SEC. 2. MANAGEMENT OF CONVEYED LANDS.

    (a) COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT-

      (1) Those areas conveyed to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico pursuant to section 1 shall be managed for conservation purposes subject to a cooperative agreement between the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Secretary of the Interior.

      (2) Areas adjacent to the areas conveyed to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico pursuant to section 1 shall be considered for inclusion under the cooperative agreement. Adjacent areas to be included under the cooperative agreement shall be mutually agreed to by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Secretary of the Interior. This determination of inclusion of lands shall be incorporated into the cooperative agreement process as set forth in paragraph (1).

      (3) The cooperative agreement referenced in this subsection shall be implemented in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust and other interested parties.

    (b) COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT-

      (1) PURPOSES- All lands subject to the cooperative agreement required by subsection (a) shall be managed to protect and preserve the natural resources of these lands in perpetuity. Consistent with the provisions of this subsection, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Secretary of the Interior shall comply with all applicable Federal environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

      (2) TIMING- The cooperative agreement shall be completed not later than 120 days after the enactment of this Act. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall implement the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement, which can only be amended by agreement of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Secretary of the Interior.

    (c) ROLE OF NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION- Contingent on funds being available specifically for the preservation and protection of natural resources on the lands referred to in section 1, amounts necessary to carry out the cooperative agreement may be made available to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to establish and manage an endowment for the management of lands conveyed to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and subject to the cooperative agreement. The proceeds from investment of the endowment shall be available on an annual basis. The Foundation shall strive to leverage annual proceeds with non-Federal funds to the fullest extent possible.

SEC. 3. CONTINUED DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RESPONSIBILITY.

    Federal responsibility to fund and implement any necessary response actions (including operation and maintenance) to address environmental contamination resulting from the acts, omissions or presence of the Department of Defense or which is present at the time of any conveyance by the Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to title XV of Public Law 106-398 (including contamination subsequently discovered) or which is present at the time of conveyance by the Secretary of the Navy to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico pursuant to this Act (including contamination subsequently discovered), shall be the exclusive responsibility of the Secretary of Defense, and not the responsibility of the Secretary of the Interior or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, unless such contamination was caused or contributed to by the Department of the Interior or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. With respect to the conveyance implemented pursuant to section 1, the Secretary of Defense shall have the responsibility, on behalf of the United States, to comply with the requirements of section 120(h) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, as amended. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Department of the Interior shall provide the Department of Defense with access to the property as may be required to carry out its obligations or to satisfy the liability of the United States. Any response actions carried out by the Secretary of Defense shall be conducted subject to and in compliance with environmental laws, including but not limited to CERCLA (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.), and undertaken in a manner consistent with the conservation and natural resources uses and mission for the property.