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Text of the Scofield Land Transfer Act

This bill was introduced on February 1, 2012, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Feb 1, 2012 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

II

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2056

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 1, 2012

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

A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain interests in Federal land acquired for the Scofield Project in Carbon County, Utah.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Scofield Land Transfer Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Claimant

The term claimant means any person or entity that, according to the records in the office of the Recorder for Carbon County, Utah, as of the date of enactment of this Act, claims title to, or an interest in, the Federal land.

(2)

Federal land

The term Federal land means the land acquired by Price River Water Conservation District and transferred to the United States for use in the construction and operation of Scofield Dam and Reservoir located between the normal water surface elevation and the property boundary elevation in the Scofield Reservoir basin.

(3)

Flood surcharge elevation

The term flood surcharge elevation means the elevation of 7640.3 in the North American Vertical Datum of 1988, which corresponds to the elevation of the crest of Scofield Dam.

(4)

Fund

The term Fund means the Scofield Reservoir Fund established by section 3(b)(7)(A).

(5)

Life estate

The term life estate means an interest of the claimant in the Federal land that will revert to the United States on the date of the death of the claimant.

(6)

Normal water surface elevation

The term normal water surface elevation means the contour elevation of 7621.8 in the North American Vertical Datum of 1988, which corresponds to the elevation of the lip of the spillway of Scofield Dam.

(7)

Property boundary elevation

The term property boundary elevation means the contour elevation 7630, as surveyed by McGonagle and Ulrich, Land Surveyors, in 1926, which was transmuted to the current elevation of 7638.9 in the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 and which corresponds to 1.4 vertical feet below the crest of Scofield Dam.

(8)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

3.

Conveyance of Scofield project land

(a)

Survey; notification

As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall—

(1)

complete a full physical and title survey of the Federal land and any other related land in and around the Scofield Reservoir Basin; and

(2)

attempt to notify each of the claimants of the trespass or encroachment on the Federal land by the applicable claimant, including the existence of any trespassing or encroaching structures of the claimant.

(b)

Authorization To convey Federal land

(1)

In general

To resolve the issues of trespass and encroachment on the Federal land by the claimants, the Secretary may, on election by the claimant in accordance with paragraph (5)—

(A)

convey to a claimant fee interest in the claimed portion of the Federal land that is located above the normal water surface elevation, subject to paragraph (2); or

(B)

grant to a claimant a life estate permitting the continued occupation of the claimed portion of the Federal land above the normal water surface elevation, subject to paragraph (3).

(2)

Conveyance requirements

A conveyance under paragraph (1)(A) shall be subject to—

(A)

the claimant paying to the Secretary the fair market value of the fee interest in the claimed portion of the Federal land, exclusive of the value of any permanent structures;

(B)

the United States retaining a flood easement over the entire portion of Federal land conveyed; and

(C)

deed restrictions requiring that—

(i)

to prevent any structure on the portion of the Federal land conveyed from being displaced during a flood event, the claimant—

(I)

secure or tie down the structure;

(II)

rebuild the structure with the same footprint as the original structure; or

(III)

repair the structure; and

(ii)

all activities carried out by the claimant under clause (i) with respect to a structure be carried out in accordance with—

(I)

the International Building Code (as adopted by Utah Administrative Code R156–56); or

(II)

any other building code or engineering standard that is—

(aa)

similar to the International Building Code;

(bb)

widely used; and

(cc)

nationally recognized.

(3)

Life estate requirements

A life estate granted under paragraph (1)(B) shall be subject to—

(A)

the claimant paying to the Secretary the fair market value of the life estate on the claimed portion of the Federal land;

(B)

provisions under which the claimant agrees to hold the United States harmless for all claims arising from the design, construction, operation, or replacement of Scofield Dam and Reservoir; and

(C)

provisions requiring the claimant to secure or tie down all structures on the portion of Federal land conveyed to prevent the structures from being displaced during a flood event in accordance with a code described in clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (2)(C).

(4)

Compliance with environmental laws

(A)

In general

Before conveying the Federal land under paragraph (1)(A) or granting a life estate under paragraph (1)(B), the Secretary shall comply with all applicable requirements under—

(i)

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

(ii)

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

(iii)

any other applicable law.

(B)

Effect

Nothing in this Act modifies or alters any obligations under—

(i)

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

(ii)

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

(5)

Deadline for election

Not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, each of the claimants shall notify the Secretary in writing of whether the claimant opts to receive—

(A)

a fee interest in the claimed portion of the Federal land, in accordance with paragraph (1)(A); or

(B)

a life estate in the claimed portion of the Federal land, in accordance with paragraph (1)(B).

(6)

Failure to notify Secretary

(A)

In general

If a claimant fails to submit to the Secretary a notice of an election in accordance with paragraph (5), any future claim by the claimant with respect to the Federal land shall be extinguished.

(B)

Quiet title

On extinguishment of the claim under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall take such action as is necessary to quiet title to the applicable portion of the Federal land, including removal of persons, entities, structures, and materials encumbering the applicable portion of the Federal land.

(7)

Trust fund

(A)

Establishment

There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund to be known as the Scofield Reservoir Fund, to be administered by the Secretary and to be available, without fiscal year limitation, for providing enhanced recreation opportunities at Scofield Reservoir.

(B)

Transfers to fund

There shall be deposited in the Fund any amounts received as consideration for a conveyance under paragraph (2)(A) or a granting of a life estate under paragraph (3)(A).

4.

Report

Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that—

(1)

describes the status of any activities authorized under this Act;

(2)

describes any obstacles to completing any outstanding transfers of title or grants of life estates;

(3)

specifies an anticipated date for completion of any outstanding transfers of title or grants of life estates; and

(4)

describes efforts to quiet title to any portion of the Federal land to which a claimant did not submit an election under section 3(b)(5).