S. 1169: Limestone Hills Training Area Withdrawal Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Jun 13, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

II

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1169

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 13, 2013

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

A BILL

To withdraw and reserve certain public land in the State of Montana for the Limestone Hills Training Area, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Limestone Hills Training Area Withdrawal Act of 2013 .

2.

Withdrawal and reservation of public lands for Limestone Hills Training Area, Montana

(a)

Withdrawal

Subject to valid existing rights and except as provided in this Act, the public lands and interests in lands described in subsection (c), and all other areas within the boundaries of such lands as depicted on the map provided for by subsection (d) that may become subject to the operation of the public land laws, are hereby withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining laws and the mineral leasing and geothermal leasing laws.

(b)

Reservation; purpose

Subject to the limitations and restrictions contained in section 4, the public lands withdrawn by subsection (a) are reserved for use by the Secretary of the Army for the following purposes:

(1)

The conduct of training for active and reserve components of the Armed Forces.

(2)

The construction, operation, and maintenance of organizational support and maintenance facilities for component units conducting training.

(3)

The conduct of training by the Montana Department of Military Affairs, except that any such use may not interfere with purposes specified in paragraphs (1) and (2).

(4)

The conduct of training by State and local law enforcement agencies, civil defense organizations, and public education institutions, except that any such use may not interfere with military training activities.

(5)

Other defense-related purposes consistent with the purposes specified in the preceding paragraphs.

(c)

Land Description

The public lands and interests in lands withdrawn and reserved by this section comprise approximately 18,644 acres in Broadwater County, Montana, as generally depicted as Proposed Land Withdrawal on the map titled Limestone Hills Training Area Land Withdrawal, dated April 10, 2013.

(d)

Legal description and map

(1)

In general

As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register a legal description of the public land withdrawn under subsection (a) and a copy of a map depicting the legal description of the withdrawn land.

(2)

Force of law

The legal description and map published under paragraph (1) shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary of the Interior may correct errors in the legal description.

(3)

Reimbursement of costs

The Secretary of the Army shall reimburse the Secretary of the Interior for any costs incurred by the Secretary of the Interior in implementing this subsection.

(e)

Indian tribes

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as altering any rights reserved for an Indian tribe for tribal use of lands within the military land withdrawal by treaty or Federal law. The Secretary of the Army shall consult with any Indian tribes in the vicinity of the military land withdrawal before taking action within the military land withdrawal affecting tribal rights or cultural resources protected by treaty or Federal law.

3.

Management of withdrawn and reserved lands

During the period of the withdrawal and reservation specified in section 6, the Secretary of the Army shall manage the public lands withdrawn by section 2 for the purposes specified in subsection (b) of such section, subject to the limitations and restrictions contained in section 4.

4.

Special rules governing minerals management

(a)

Indian Creek Mine

(1)

In general

Of the lands withdrawn by section 2, locatable mineral activities in the approved Indian Creek Mine plan of operations, MTM–78300, shall be regulated pursuant to subparts 3715 and 3809 of title 43, Code of Federal Regulations.

(2)

Restrictions on Secretary of the Army

The Secretary of the Army shall make no determination that the disposition of or exploration for minerals as provided for in the approved plan of operations is inconsistent with the defense-related uses of the lands covered by the military land withdrawal. The coordination of such disposition of and exploration for minerals with defense-related uses of such lands shall be determined pursuant to procedures in an agreement provided for under subsection (c).

(3)

Opportunity to cure

Notwithstanding the Act of May 10, 1872 (commonly known as the General Mining Act of 1872 ) ( 20 U.S.C. 22 et seq. ) and only until the Secretary of the Interior publishes an opening order under section 13, the Secretary of the Interior shall offer a notice and 60-day opportunity to cure discrepancies in the original location or the failure to maintain mining claims within the land area subject to the approved plan of operations.

(b)

Removal of unexploded ordnance on lands To be mined

(1)

Removal activities

Subject to the availability of funds appropriated for such purpose, the Secretary of the Army shall remove unexploded ordnance on lands withdrawn by section 2 that are subject to mining under subsection (a), consistent with applicable Federal and State law. The Secretary of the Army may engage in such removal of unexploded ordnance in phases to accommodate the development of the Indian Creek Mine pursuant to subsection (a).

(2)

Report on removal activities

The Secretary of the Army shall annually submit to the Secretary of the Interior a report regarding the unexploded ordnance removal activities for the previous fiscal year performed pursuant to this subsection. The report shall include—

(A)

the amounts of funding expended for unexploded ordnance removal on the lands withdrawn by section 2; and

(B)

the identification of the lands cleared of unexploded ordnance and approved for mining activities by the Secretary of the Interior.

(c)

Implementation agreement for mining activities

The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of the Army shall enter into an agreement to implement this section with regard to coordination of defense-related uses and mining and the ongoing removal of unexploded ordnance. The duration of the agreement shall be the same as the period of the withdrawal under section 2, but may be amended from time to time. The agreement shall provide the following:

(1)

That Graymont Western US, Inc., or any successor or assign of the approved Indian Creek Mine mining plan of operations, MTM–78300, is invited to be a party to the agreement.

(2)

Provisions regarding the day-to-day joint-use of the Limestone Hills Training Area.

(3)

Provisions addressing when military and other authorized uses of the withdrawn lands will occur.

(4)

Provisions regarding when and where military use or training with explosive material will occur.

(5)

Provisions regarding the scheduling of training activities conducted within the withdrawn area that restrict mining activities and procedures for deconfliction with mining operations, including parameters for notification and resolution of anticipated changes to the schedule.

(6)

Provisions regarding liability and compensation for damages or injury caused by mining or military training activities.

(7)

Provisions for periodic review of the agreement for its adequacy, effectiveness, and need for revision.

(8)

Procedures for access through mining operations covered by this section to training areas within the boundaries of the Limestone Hills Training Area.

(9)

Procedures for scheduling of the removal of unexploded ordnance.

(d)

Existing memorandum of agreement

Until such time as the agreement required under subsection (c) becomes effective, the compatible joint use of the lands withdrawn and reserved by section 2 shall be governed, to the extent compatible, by the terms of the 2005 Memorandum of Agreement among the Montana Army National Guard, Graymont Western US, Inc., and the Bureau of Land Management.

5.

Grazing

(a)

Issuance and administration of permits and leases

The issuance and administration of grazing permits and leases, including their renewal, on the public lands withdrawn by section 2 shall be managed by the Secretary of the Interior consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies of the Secretary of the Interior relating to such permits and leases.

(b)

Safety requirements

With respect to any grazing permit or lease issued after the date of the enactment of this Act for lands withdrawn by section 2, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of the Army shall jointly establish procedures that are consistent with Department of the Army explosive and range safety standards and that provide for the safe use of any such lands.

(c)

Assignment

The Secretary of the Interior may, with the agreement of the Secretary of the Army, assign the authority to issue and to administer grazing permits and leases to the Secretary of the Army, except that such an assignment may not include the authority to discontinue grazing on the lands withdrawn by section 2.

6.

Duration of withdrawal and reservation

The military land withdrawal made by section 2 shall terminate on March 31, 2039.

7.

Payments in lieu of taxes

The lands withdrawn by section 2 shall remain eligible as entitlement land under section 6901 of title 31, United States Code.

8.

Hunting, fishing and trapping

All hunting, fishing and trapping on the lands withdrawn by section 2 shall be conducted in accordance with section 2671 of title 10, United States Code.

9.

Water rights

(a)

Water rights

Nothing in this Act shall be construed—

(1)

to establish a reservation in favor of the United States with respect to any water or water right on lands withdrawn by section 2; or

(2)

to authorize the appropriation of water on lands withdrawn by section 2, except in accordance with applicable State law.

(b)

Effect on previously acquired or reserved water rights

This section shall not be construed to affect any water rights acquired or reserved by the United States before the date of the enactment of this Act.

10.

Brush and range fire prevention and suppression

(a)

Required activities

The Secretary of the Army shall, consistent with any applicable land management plan, take necessary precautions to prevent, and actions to suppress, brush and range fires occurring as a result of military activities on the lands withdrawn and reserved by section 2, including fires outside those lands that spread from the withdrawn land and which occurred as a result of such activities.

(b)

Cooperation of secretary of the interior

At the request of the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Interior shall provide assistance in the suppression of such fires and shall be reimbursed for such assistance by the Secretary of the Army. Notwithstanding section 2215 of title 10, United States Code, the Secretary of the Army may transfer to the Secretary of the Interior, in advance, funds to reimburse the costs of the Department of the Interior in providing such assistance.

11.

On-going decontamination

During the withdrawal and reservation authorized by section 2, the Secretary of the Army shall maintain, to the extent funds are available for such purpose, a program of decontamination of contamination caused by defense-related uses on such lands consistent with applicable Federal and State law. The Secretary of Defense shall include a description of such decontamination activities in the annual report required by section 2711 of title 10, United States Code.

12.

Application for renewal of a withdrawal and reservation

(a)

Notice

To the extent practicable, no later than five years before the termination of the withdrawal and reservation made by section 2, the Secretary of the Army shall notify the Secretary of the Interior whether the Secretary of the Army will have a continuing defense-related need for any of the lands withdrawn and reserved by section 2 after the termination date of such withdrawal and reservation. The Secretary of the Army shall provide a copy of the notice to the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives.

(b)

Filing for extension

If the Secretary of the Army concludes that there will be a continuing defense-related need for any of the withdrawn and reserved lands after the termination date, the Secretary of the Army shall file an application for extension of the withdrawal and reservation of such needed lands in accordance with the regulations and procedures of the Department of the Interior applicable to the extension of withdrawals and reservations.

13.

Limitation on subsequent availability of lands for appropriation

At the time of termination of a withdrawal and reservation made by section 2, the previously withdrawn lands shall not be open to any form of appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining laws and the mineral leasing and geothermal leasing laws, until the Secretary of the Interior publishes in the Federal Register an appropriate order specifying the date upon which such lands shall be restored to the public domain and opened for such purposes.

14.

Relinquishment

(a)

Notice of intention To relinquish

If, during the period of withdrawal and reservation under section 2, the Secretary of the Army decides to relinquish any or all of the lands withdrawn and reserved, the Secretary of the Army shall file a notice of intention to relinquish with the Secretary of the Interior.

(b)

Determination of contamination

As a part of the notice under subsection (a), the Secretary of the Army shall include a written determination concerning whether and to what extent the lands that are to be relinquished are contaminated with explosive materials or toxic or hazardous substances.

(c)

Public notice

The Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register the notice of intention to relinquish, including the determination concerning the contaminated state of the lands.

(d)

Decontamination of lands To be relinquished

(1)

Conditions requiring decontamination

If land subject of a notice of intention to relinquish pursuant to subsection (a) is contaminated, and the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of the Army, determines that decontamination is practicable and economically feasible (taking into consideration the potential future use and value of the land) and that, upon decontamination, the land could be opened to operation of some or all of the public land laws, including the mining laws and the mineral leasing and geothermal leasing laws, the Secretary of the Army shall decontaminate the land to the extent that funds are appropriated for such purpose.

(2)

Discretion if conditions not met

If the Secretary of the Interior, after consultation with the Secretary of the Army, concludes that decontamination of land subject of a notice of intention to relinquish pursuant to subsection (a) is not practicable or economically feasible, or that the land cannot be decontaminated sufficiently to be opened to operation of some or all of the public land laws, or if Congress does not appropriate sufficient funds for the decontamination of such land, the Secretary of the Interior shall not be required to accept the land proposed for relinquishment.

(3)

Response

If the Secretary of the Interior declines to accept the lands that have been proposed for relinquishment because of their contaminated state, or if at the expiration of the withdrawal and reservation made by section 2 the Secretary of the Interior determines that some of the lands withdrawn and reserved are contaminated to an extent which prevents opening such contaminated lands to operation of the public land laws—

(A)

the Secretary of the Army shall take appropriate steps to warn the public of the contaminated state of such lands and any risks associated with entry onto such lands;

(B)

after the expiration of the withdrawal and reservation, the Secretary of the Army shall undertake no activities on such lands except in connection with decontamination of such lands; and

(C)

the Secretary of the Army shall report to the Secretary of the Interior and to the Congress concerning the status of such lands and all actions taken in furtherance of this paragraph.

(e)

Revocation authority

Upon deciding that it is in the public interest to accept the lands proposed for relinquishment pursuant to subsection (a), the Secretary of the Interior may order the revocation of the withdrawal and reservation made by section 2 as it applies to such lands. The Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register the revocation order, which shall—

(1)

terminate the withdrawal and reservation;

(2)

constitute official acceptance of the lands by the Secretary of the Interior; and

(3)

state the date upon which the lands will be opened to the operation of some or all of the public land laws, including the mining laws.

(f)

Acceptance by secretary of the interior

Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the Secretary of the Interior to accept the lands proposed for relinquishment if the Secretary determines that such lands are not suitable for return to the public domain. If the Secretary makes such a determination, the Secretary shall provide notice of the determination to Congress.