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S. 2587 (107th): Joint Federal and State Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 5, 2002 (Introduced).


S 2587 IS

107th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2587

To establish the Joint Federal and State Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 5, 2002

Mr. MURKOWSKI (for himself and Mr. STEVENS) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To establish the Joint Federal and State Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds the following:

      (1) The efficient and orderly development of the State of Alaska will be better achieved if the Federal Government joins the State of Alaska in a carefully coordinated approach to identify ownership and jurisdictional interests in land and waters.

      (2) Alaska has abundant water resources that are invaluable to State residents and all citizens of the United States.

      (3) Because of the massive number of navigable waterways and other bodies of water in the State of Alaska, the task of resolving submerged land ownership and navigable water determinations has been very slow, counter-productive from an orderly resource management standpoint, and costly as the State, private landowners, and the Federal Government attempt to initiate long-range planning processes.

    (b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are:

      (1) To expedite the process of quieting legitimate title to the submerged lands in the State of Alaska;

      (2) To facilitate determinations for purposes of the Submerged Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.), to the extent possible, which bodies of water in Alaska are navigable waters and which such bodies of water are not navigable waters; and

      (3) To recommend to the State of Alaska and the Federal Government--

        (A) ways to improve the process of making water use and navigability decisions; and

        (B) ways to fairly and expeditiously quiet title to the State’s submerged lands.

SEC. 2. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Joint Federal and State Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska Act’.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT.

    There is established a commission to be known as the ‘Joint Federal and State Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska’ (referred to in this Act as the ‘Commission’).

SEC. 4. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.

    The Commission shall--

      (1) make recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior and the State of Alaska regarding determinations of bodies of water in the State that are navigable waters for purposes of the Submerged Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.);

      (2) establish a process for employing established standards to facilitate making such recommendations and determinations;

      (3) develop procedures for involving private landowners, including Alaska Native corporations and the general public, in that process;

      (4) for purposes of making such recommendations, undertake a process to identify navigable waters in Alaska pursuant to established standards and criteria; and

      (5) make recommendations to improve coordination and consultation between the government of the State of Alaska and the Federal Government regarding navigability determinations and decisions concerning title to submerged lands.

SEC. 5. MEMBERSHIP.

    (a) NUMBER AND APPOINTMENT-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall be composed of 14 members, of which 7 shall be Federal members appointed under subsection (b) and 7 shall be State members appointed under subsection (c).

      (2) APPOINTMENT DEADLINE- Initial appointments under this section shall be made not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

    (b) FEDERAL MEMBERS- The 7 Federal members shall consist of--

      (1) 2 members appointed by the President of the United States, one of which shall be designated as the President’s appointee for the position of Federal co-chair under subsection (e);

      (2) 1 member appointed by each of the three members of the Congress who represent the State of Alaska;

      (3) 1 member appointed by the Secretary of the Interior; and

      (4) 1 member appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.

    (c) STATE MEMBERS- The 7 State members shall consist of--

      (1) the Governor of the State of Alaska or the Governor’s designee;

      (2) 2 members appointed by the Governor of the State of Alaska, of whom 1 shall be an Alaska Native (as that term is defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.));

      (3) 2 members appointed by the President of the Alaska Senate; and

      (4) 2 members appointed by the Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives.

    Each of the State members shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority for that member.

    (d) INELIGIBILITY FOR APPOINTMENT- Members of Congress shall not be eligible for appointment to the Commission.

    (e) CO-CHAIRS- One of the members appointed by the President of the United States and the Governor or Governor’s designee shall serve as co-chairs of the Commission.

    (f) INITIAL MEETING- The initial meeting of the Commission shall be called by the co-chairs.

    (g) TERM OF APPOINTMENT-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), members of the Commission shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.

      (2) Early termination of appointment-

        (A) Membership of a member of the Commission shall terminate if the member is an individual who is an officer or employee of a government body and who ceases to serve as such an officer or employee, or if the member is an individual who is not an officer or employee of a government and who becomes an officer or employee of a government.

        (B) Termination of an individual’s membership pursuant to paragraph (A) shall take effect on the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the date such member ceases to be such an officer or employee of such government, or becomes an officer or employee of a government, respectively.

    (h) QUORUM- 4 Federal members and 4 State members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may conduct meetings. All decisions of the Commission shall require concurrence by at least 4 State members and 4 Federal members of the Commission.

    (i) VACANCY- A vacancy in the membership of the Commission--

      (1) shall not affect the powers of the Commission to meet or conduct business, subject to subsection (h); and

      (2) shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made, by the same appointing authority.

SEC. 6. COMPENSATION OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Pay for Federal Members of the Commission-

      (1) NON-GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES- Each Federal member of the Commission who is not otherwise an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall be entitled to receive the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay payable for Level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, as in effect from time to time, for each day (including travel time) during which such member is engaged in the actual performance of duties of the Commission.

      (2) GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES- A member of the Commission who is an officer or employee of either the government of the State of Alaska or the Federal Government shall serve without additional pay or benefits for service as a member of the Commission.

    (b) TRAVEL EXPENSES- Federal members of the Commission shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code. State members of the Commission are entitled to per diem and travel expenses as authorized under pertinent laws of the State of Alaska.

SEC. 7. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) HEARINGS AND MEETINGS- The Commission or, on the authorization of the Commission, any subcommittee or member of the Commission may, for the purposes of carrying out its duties, hold hearings, take testimony, receive evidence, print or otherwise reproduce and distribute all or part of commission proceedings and reports, and sit and act at those times and places as the Commission, subcommittee, or members consider desirable.

    (b) INFORMATION FOR THE COMMISSION- The Commission may obtain directly from any executive agency (as defined in section 105 of title 5 of the United States Code) or court, information necessary to enable it to carry out its duties under this Act. On this request of either co-chair of the Commission, and consistent with applicable law, the head of an executive agency or of a Federal court shall provide such information to the Commission.

    (c) POWERS OF MEMBERS AND AGENTS- Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this section.

    (d) VOLUNTEER SERVICES- The Commission may accept volunteer services for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Commission.

    (e) MAILS- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.

    (f) ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES- Upon the request of the Commission, the Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

    (g) CONTRACT AUTHORITY- To the extent or in the amounts provided in advance in appropriation Acts, the Commission may contract with and compensate government and private agencies or persons for property or services, without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5).

SEC. 8. STAFF OF COMMISSION; EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS.

    (a) STAFF- Subject to rules prescribed by the Commission, the co-chairs may appoint and fix the pay of personnel as they consider appropriate.

    (b) APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN CIVIL SERVICE LAWS- The staff of the Commission may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of that title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that an individual so appointed may not receive pay in excess of the annual rate of basic pay for GS-15 of the General Schedule.

    (c) EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS- Subject to rules prescribed by the Commission, the co-chairs may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the daily equivalent of the maximum annual rate of basic pay for GS-15 of the General Schedule.

    (d) STAFF OF FEDERAL AGENCIES- Upon request of the co-chairs, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to assist it in carrying out its duties under this Act.

SEC. 9. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAW.

    The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C.) shall not apply to the Commission.

SEC. 10. REPORTS.

    (a) ANNUAL REPORT- Not later than January 31 of each year, the Commission shall submit to the President of the United States, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate, the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives, the Governor of the State of Alaska, and the legislature of the State of Alaska a written report describing its activities during the preceding year.

    (b) FINAL REPORT- The Commission shall submit a final comprehensive report to the officials and entities referred to in subsection (a) at least 10 days before the date the Commission terminates.

SEC. 11. TERMINATION OF THE COMMISSION.

    The Commission is terminated 2 years after the date of completion of appointment of all members of the Commission.