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Text of the Fort Sumner Project Title Conveyance Act

This bill was introduced on August 2, 2012, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Aug 2, 2012 (Introduced).

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Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6343

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 2, 2012

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To transfer certain facilities, easements, and rights-of-way to Fort Sumner Irrigation District, New Mexico.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fort Sumner Project Title Conveyance Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

District

The term District means the Fort Sumner Irrigation District, located in De Baca County, New Mexico.

(2)

Forbearance agreement

The term Forbearance Agreement means the contract between the United States and the District for the forbearance of exercising priority water rights numbered 08–WC–40–292 and dated August 21, 2009 (including any amendments to that contract).

(3)

Project

The term Project means the Fort Sumner reclamation project.

(4)

Repayment contract

The term Repayment Contract means the contract between the United States and the District numbered Ilr–1524 and dated November 5, 1948 (including any supplements and amendments to that contract).

(5)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

(6)

Memorandum of agreement

The term Memorandum of Agreement means the agreement entitled Memorandum of Agreement between the United States and the Fort Sumner Irrigation District Concerning Principles and Elements of Proposed Transfer of Title to Fort Sumner Irrigation District Facilities and numbered 11–WC–40–406 (including any amendments to that agreement).

(7)

Transfer agreement

The term Transfer Agreement means the agreement between the United States and the Fort Sumner Irrigation District that identifies the specific terms and conditions of the title transfer. This document will be completed after the requirements described in section 3(d) are satisfied.

3.

Conveyance

(a)

In general

The Secretary is authorized to convey to the District all right and title of the United States in and to all works, land, and facilities of the Project, in accordance with the terms and conditions established in the Transfer Agreement.

(b)

Valid existing rights

The conveyance under this section shall be subject to all valid existing leases, permits, rights-of-way, easements, and other rights appurtenant to the property conveyed.

(c)

Costs of conveyance

The costs of the conveyance under this section, including the costs of environmental compliance, may be shared between the United States and the District, in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement.

(d)

Compliance with environmental laws

(1)

In general

Before carrying out the conveyance under subsection (a), the Secretary shall assure compliance with all applicable requirements under—

(A)

the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);

(B)

the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); and

(C)

any other law applicable to the property conveyed.

(2)

Effect

Nothing in this Act modifies or alters any obligation under—

(A)

the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); or

(B)

the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

(e)

Failure To convey

If the Secretary fails to complete the conveyance under this section by the date that is 2 years after the date of completion of the requirements described in subsection (d) of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that—

(1)

explains the reasons why the conveyance has not been completed; and

(2)

states the date by which the conveyance will be completed.

4.

Liability

(a)

In general

Effective on the date of the conveyance under section 3, the United States—

(1)

shall have no further interest in, and shall have no responsibility for operating or maintaining, the Project; and

(2)

shall not be liable for damages of any kind arising out of any act, omission, or occurrence relating to the conveyed property, except for damages caused by acts committed by the United States or employees, agents, or contractors of the United States before the date of the conveyance.

(b)

Effect of section

Nothing in this section increases the liability of the United States beyond the liability provided under chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code (commonly known as the Federal Tort Claims Act).

5.

Termination of repayment contract

Effective beginning on the date of the conveyance under section 3—

(1)

the Repayment Contract shall terminate; and

(2)

the United States and the District shall have no obligations under the Repayment Contract.

6.

Forbearance agreement

(a)

Payment obligation

In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Forbearance Agreement, effective beginning on the date of termination of the Repayment Contract under section 5, the United States shall have no payment obligation under paragraph 4(a) of the Forbearance Agreement.

(b)

Other terms and conditions

All other terms and conditions of the Forbearance Agreement shall remain in full force and effect on termination of the Repayment Contract under section 5.

(c)

Term

The term of the Forbearance Agreement shall be not less than 10 years after the date of enactment of this Act, as set forth in the Memorandum of Agreement.

7.

Future benefits

After conveyance of title under this Act—

(1)

the conveyed property shall not be considered to be a part of a Federal reclamation project; and

(2)

the entity to which the property is conveyed shall not be eligible to receive any benefits, including Federal project power, with respect to the conveyed property, except for benefits that would be available to a similarly situated entity with respect to property that is not part of a Federal reclamation project.