IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 12, 2013
Mr. Udall of New Mexico(for himself andMr. Heinrich) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to theCommittee on Energy and Natural Resources
To transfer certain facilities, easements, and rights-of-way to Fort Sumner Irrigation District, New Mexico.
This Act may be cited as the
Fort Sumner Project Title Conveyance
In this Act:
The termDistrictmeans the Fort Sumner Irrigation District, located in De Baca County, New Mexico.
The termForbearance Agreementmeans 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).
The termProjectmeans the Fort Sumner reclamation project.
The termRepayment Contractmeans 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).
The termSecretarymeans the Secretary of the Interior.
Memorandum of agreement
The termMemorandum of Agreementmeans
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
Facilitiesand numbered 11–WC–40–406 (including any amendments to that
The termTransfer Agreementmeans 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 insection 3(d)are satisfied.
TheSecretaryis 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.
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.
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.
Compliance with environmental laws
Before carrying out the conveyance undersubsection (a), theSecretaryshall assure compliance with all applicable requirements under—
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);
the Endangered Species Act of 1973(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); and
any other law applicable to the property conveyed.
Nothing in this Act modifies or alters any obligation under—
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); or
the Endangered Species Act of 1973(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
Failure To convey
If theSecretaryfails to complete the conveyance under this section by the date that is 2 years after the date of completion of the requirements described insubsection (d), theSecretaryshall submit toCongressa report that—
explains the reasons why the conveyance has not been completed; and
states the date by which the conveyance will be completed.
Effective on the date of the conveyance undersection 3, the United States—
shall have no further interest in, and shall have no responsibility for operating or maintaining, the Project; and
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.
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
Termination of repayment contract
Effective beginning on the date of the conveyance undersection 3—
the Repayment Contract shall terminate; and
the United States and the District shall have no obligations under the Repayment Contract.
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Forbearance Agreement, effective beginning on the date of termination of the Repayment Contract undersection 5, the United States shall have no payment obligation under paragraph 4(a) of the Forbearance Agreement.
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 undersection 5.
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.
After conveyance of title under this Act—
the conveyed property shall not be considered to be a part of a Federal reclamation project; and
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.