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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                     104-73
_______________________________________________________________________


 
             ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT AMENDMENTS

                                _______


 March 9, 1995.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 402]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 402) to amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 402 is to make a number of technical 
changes to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 
(ANCSA, Public Law 92-203) and the Alaska National Interest 
Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA, Public Law 96-487) to resolve 
issues not envisioned at the time of passage of these acts and 
to provide for the conveyance of certain lands within the State 
of Alaska.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) 
helped settle aboriginal land claims of Alaska Natives. The 
goals of ANCSA were two-fold: (1) to establish property rights 
of Alaska Natives to their aboriginal lands; and (2) to secure 
an economic base for their long-term survival as a people. 
ANCSA created 13 regional corporations and 200 village 
corporations, and granted these entities 44 million acres of 
land and $926.5 million to implement the goals of the Act. This 
bill is the result of the cooperative efforts of the Alaska 
Federation of Natives, the State of Alaska, the Ad-P
ministration and other interested parties to address some 
technical problems which have arisen since the passage of ANCSA 
and ANILCA.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 402 was introduced by Chairman Don Young of Alaska on 
January 4, 1995, and referred to the Committee on Resources. 
All the provisions contained in H.R. 402 (except for section 8) 
were also included in H.R. 3612 introduced by Congressman Young 
in the 103rd Congress. H.R. 3612 passed the House of 
Representatives but was not acted on by the Senate.
    On February 8, 1995, the full Committee on Resources met to 
mark up H.R. 402. The bill was ordered reported (with no 
amendments) on that day in the presence of a quorum by voice 
vote.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

  section 1. ratification of certain caswell and montana creek native 
                        association conveyances

    Section 1 adopts and ratifies as a matter of Federal law an 
agreement between Cook Inlet Region, Inc., Caswell Native 
Association, Inc., and Montana Creek Native Association, Inc. 
This agreement conveys 11,520 acres to each Native association 
in fulfillment of their ANCSA land selections.
    Under section 14(h)(2) of ANCSA, Native groups that did not 
qualify as Native villages, such as Montana Creek and Caswell, 
were entitled to receive ``not more than 23,040 acres [of land] 
surrounding the Native group's locality''. In 1974, the Alaska 
Native Claims Appeal Board, Office of Hearings and Appeals 
certified Caswell and Montana Creek as Native groups, thus 
settling their village eligibility disputes. In addition, the 
Appeals Board held that Caswell and Montana Creek each were 
entitled to receive 11,520 acres of land under section 
14(h)(2). In February 1976, Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) 
entered into an agreement with the two Native associations to 
convey 11,520 acres to each association.
    Ratification of this agreement will make the lands eligible 
for fire protection under section 22(e) of ANSCA and offer 
additional protection to underdeveloped lands under section 907 
of ANILCA. The ratification of this agreement will not 
adversely impact the section 14(h) entitlements of other ANCSA 
corporations, nor will it be the basis for any claim by the 
Caswell or Montana Creek Native associations or any other ANCSA 
corporation, including CIRI, against the State of Alaska, the 
United States or CIRI.

   section 2. mining claims after lands conveyed to alaska regional 
                              corporation

    This section amends ANCSA to clarify mining regulatory 
authority and administration of mining claims on lands conveyed 
to a regional corporation. This section directs the Secretary 
of Interior, acting through the Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM), to transfer the administration of certain mining claims 
entirely within lands conveyed to a regional corporation to the 
regional corporation.
    When lands were transferred to regional corporations under 
ANCSA sections 11(a)(1), 11(a)(2) and 16, they were conveyed 
sub-P
ject to valid existing rights, including rights to mineral 
entry. According to the Department of the Interior, miners who 
failed to meet deadlines in ANCSA to patent their mining claims 
also lost the right to obtain a patent from the Federal 
Government under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
(FLPMA). Following a 1981 court case, the BLM took the position 
that it no longer had jurisdiction to administer Federal mining 
claims on conveyed land under ANCSA. At the same the, ANCSA 
does not clearly authorize a regional corporation to take over 
the administration of mining claims on these lands. This 
inefficiency in Federal law resulted in confusion for BLM, the 
regional corporations as well as mining claimants.
    This section would address this void in Federal law by 
expressly transferring administration of mining claims from BLM 
to a regional corporation on lands withdrawn under sections 
11(a)(1), 11(a)(2) and 16 of ANCSA. The regional Native 
corporation would administer the mining claims pursuant to 
applicable Federal law, including the requirements of the 
general mining laws and section 314 of FLPMA.
    The regional corporation would receive revenues from the 
mining claims otherwise due the United States. For mining 
claims not totally within the boundaries of lands conveyed to a 
regional corporation, the regional corporation is entitled only 
to that portion of revenues, other than administrative fees, 
reasonably allocated to that portion of the mining claim.

   section 3. settlement of claims arising from hazardous substance 
                   contamination of transferred lands

    This section adds a new section 40 to ANCSA. Under this new 
section, the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with 
the Secretary of Agriculture, the State of Alaska and 
appropriate Alaska Native corporations and organizations, shall 
submit a report to Congress addressing issues presented by the 
presence of hazardous substances on lands conveyed or 
prioritized for conveyance to ANCSA corporations. The report is 
due 18 months after the date of enactment of H.R. 402.
    The report shall: (1) provide existing information 
concerning the nature and types of contaminants present on such 
lands prior to conveyance to Alaska Native corporations; (2) 
provide existing information identifying the existence and 
availability of potentially responsible parties for the removal 
or amelioration of the effects of such contaminants; (3) 
identify existing remedies; and (4) make recommendations for 
any additional legislation necessary to remedy the problem of 
contaminants on such lands.
    This report will provide Congress with additional 
background information to consider further corrective measures, 
if any, for Alaska Native corporations which contend they have 
selected or received title to contaminants on such lands.
    This report will provide Congress with additional 
background information to consider further corrective measures, 
if any, for Alaska Native corporations which contend they 
selected or received title to contaminated lands in fulfillment 
of their ANCSA land entitlement.

    section 4. authorization of appropriations for the purposes of 
                  implementing required reconveyances

    Section 4 of the bill amends ANCSA to authorize 
appropriations to provide technical assistance to village 
corporations so they may implement required reconveyances under 
section 14(c) of the Act. This section authorizes the Secretary 
of Interior to provide funds for technical assistance through a 
grant program to any ANCSA corporation or non-profit 
corporations, provided they maintain in-house land planning and 
management capabilities.
    ANCSA mandated that village corporations who are eligible 
to select lands under section 14(c) must reconvey various 
surface estates to third parties who have prior existing rights 
to those lands. There are 209 village who are eligible to 
select ANCSA lands, but to date none of these villages have 
received their full land entitlements. Of those village which 
have received partial transfers of land, between seven and 15 
have completed the required reconveyances. The cost of ANCSA 
reconveyances will vary from village to village based on the 
complexities of land ownership patterns. However, the 
Evansville village corporation expended approximately $10,000 
to fully implement its ANCSA section 14(c) obligations. While 
Evansville is one of the smaller villages, other estimated 
total costs range from $35,000 to $60,000 per village to 
complete all necessary reconveyances. Based on its experiences 
with land reconveyances in the past, the Alaska Federation of 
Natives estimates the implementation cost of section 14(c) to 
be approximately $400,000 to $450,000 per year.

                      section 5. native allotments

    Section 5 amends ANILCA to allow the Arctic Slope Regional 
Corporation (ASRC) to select the subsurface estate beneath 
Native allotments that are completely surrounded by Kuukpik 
Corporation selected lands within the National Petroleum 
Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
    Two Native allotments in the NPR-A are surrounded by lands 
conveyed to the village corporation of Nuiqsut, the Kuukpik 
Corporation. The subsurface estate under the Nuiqsut lands has 
been conveyed to ASRC under ANILCA, while the subsurface estate 
(including rights to oil and gas) in the two Native allotments 
remains in control of the Untied States. Section 5 of H.R. 402 
permits ASRC, at its option, to relinquish to the United States 
a portion of its entitlement under section 12(a)(1) of ANCSA in 
exchange for the reserved oil and gas interests of the United 
States beneath the two Native allotments in the NPR-A.
    Any selections which would include oil and gas rights and 
all rights and privileges reserved to the U.S. would reduce 
ASRC's ANCSA section 12(a)(1) entitlement on an acre-for-acre 
basis. These two native allotments in the NPR-A total less than 
240 acres and the exercise of this option by ASRC would 
consolidate ownership of the subsurface estate and eliminate 
isolated tracts of Federal oil and gas interests.

 Section 6. Report Concerning Open Season for Certain Alaskan Veterans 
                             for Allotments

    This section directs the Secretary of Interior to submit to 
Congress within six months of the date of enactment of H.R. 402 
a report on the number of Vietnam-era veterans who were 
eligible but did not receive an allotment of up to 160 acres of 
land under the Native Allotment Act of 1906. In addition, the 
report is to include recommendations for any additional 
necessary legislation. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is to 
cooperate fully with the Secretary of the Interior by releasing 
any relevant information necessary to prepare the required 
report.
    Under the Native Allotment Act of 1906, only 200 allotment 
applications were received by the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
(BIA) in Alaska before 1970. Late in 1969, the Rural Alaska 
Community Action Program and Alaska Legal Services along with 
others made a conscious effort to educate Alaska Natives on the 
program and assisted qualified Alaska Natives in filing 
applications. Over 8,000 additional applications were filed 
before the Act was repealed by ANCSA on December 18, 1971.
    Many Alaska Natives were serving in the Armed Services 
during the late 60's and early 70's when the BIA opened the 
application process to Alaska Natives. Consequently, many of 
those Alaska Native veterans on active duty in Vietnam were 
unreachable, and missed their opportunity to apply for their 
Native allotments. This section would start the process to 
rectify this inequity.

               section 7. transfer of wrangell institute

    Section 7 authorizes Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) to 
transfer to the General Services Administration the Wrangell 
Institute in Wrangell, Alaska, which CIRI originally received 
in fulfillment of its ANCSA land entitlement in exchange for 
property bidding credits.
    In return, CIRI will receive $382,305 in bidding credits 
that will be restored to the Cook Inlet Region, Inc. property 
account in the Treasury Department established under section 
12(b) of the Act of January 2, 1976 (Public Law 94-204). These 
property bidding credits shall be used in the same fiscal year 
as received by CIRI.
    The United States shall defend and hold CIRI and its 
subsidiaries harmless in all claims arising from ownership of 
the land and structures prior to their return to the United 
States. This provision is intended to prohibit the United 
States from seeking to recover from CIRI the costs of cleaning 
up or reclaiming the land and structures on the 10-acre 
Wrangell Institute site which existed prior to the transfer to 
CIRI.

                section 8. shishmaref airport amendment

    This section directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
reacquire the interests originally conveyed pursuant to a 
patent of airport land in Shishmaref, Alaska, from the State of 
Alaska, and then transfer all right, title and interest in this 
airport to the Shishmaref Native Corporation. This transfer 
does not relieve the United States, the State of Alaska or any 
other potentially responsible party from liability under 
existing law for clean up of hazardous or solid wastes. In 
addition, neither the United States nor the Shishmaref Native 
Corporation is liable for any clean up of the site merely by 
virtue of acquiring title from the State or the United States 
under this section.
    This conveyance of approximately 30 acres will allow for 
expansion of the village. The Committee intends that this 
transfer should not be charged to the entitlement of Shishmaref 
Native Corporation under any provision of ANCSA.
    The transfer of all right, title and interest of the United 
States in the subject lands includes both the surface and 
subsurface estate.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(3) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives and clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee's 
oversight findings and recommendations are reflected in the 
body of this report.

                     Inflationary Impact Statement

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that the 
enactment of H.R. 402 will have no significant inflationary 
impact on prices and costs in the operation of the national 
economy.

                        Cost of the Legislation

    Clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 402. However, clause 7(d) of that Rule provides that this 
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in 
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 403 of the Congressional Act of 1974.

                     Compliance With House Rule XI

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H.R. 
402 does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 402.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 402 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, March 8, 1995.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 402, a bill to 
amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and for other 
purposes.
    Enactment of H.R. 402 would affect direct spending. 
Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply to the bill.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

    1. Bill number: H.R. 402.
    2. Bill title: A bill to amend the Alaska Native Claims 
Settlement Act, and for other purposes.
    3. Bill status: As ordered reported by the House Committee 
on Resources on February 15, 1995.
    4. Bill purpose: H.R. 402 would amend several sections of 
the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to allow the 
reconveyance of land among Alaska Native corporations and to 
require the transfer of mining claims from the federal 
government to Native corporations. The bill would authorize 
Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI), to transfer to the United 
States certain lands in exchange for property bidding credits 
and would relieve the corporation from any liability associated 
with the property. The bill also would require the Department 
of the Interior (DOI) to conduct a number of studies, and would 
authorize the appropriation of such sums as may be necessary 
for DOI to provide technical assistance to village 
corporations.
    5. Estimated cost to the Federal Government: Enactment of 
H.R. 402 would increase discretionary spending, subject to 
appropriations of the necessary funds, and would result in a 
loss of offsetting receipts (thereby increasing direct 
spending) as shown in the following table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      1996       1997       1998       1999       2000  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorizations:                                                         
    Estimated                                                           
     authorizatio                                                       
     n level.....        1.2        0.4        0.4        0.4        0.4
    Estimated                                                           
     outlays.....        0.9        0.5        0.4        0.4        0.4
Direct spending:                                                        
    Estimated                                                           
     budget                                                             
     authority...        0.4          0          0          0          0
    Estimated                                                           
     outlays.....        0.4          0          0          0          0
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The costs of this bill fall within budget function 300.
    CBO assumes that H.R. 402 would be enacted by the end of 
fiscal year 1995 and that funds would be appropriated as 
estimated to carry out the required activities.
    Section 2 of H.R. 402 would amend the Alaska Native Claims 
Settlement Act (ANCSA) to clarify that Native corporations have 
the authority to regulate activities on mining claims located 
on lands conveyed to them by the federal government. DOI 
estimates that in the process of transferring authority to 
regulate the claims to the corporations, the agency would incur 
a cost of about $100,000 in 1996. Final conveyance of the 
claims to the corporations would also mean that the federal 
government would no longer collect any fees associated with 
these claims. Because DOI is currently collecting little, if 
anything, in fees from the claims affected by this section, we 
do not expect such losses to be significant.
    Section 3 would require DOI to submit a report to the 
Congress on the presence of hazardous substances on lands 
conveyed to Native corporations under ANCSA. Based on 
information provided by DOI, we estimate that this report would 
cost about $750,000 and would be completed over an 18-month 
period beginning in 1996.
    Section 4 would authorize the appropriation of such sums as 
may be necessary for DOI to provide technical assistance to 
village corporations as they reconvey land as required under 
ANCSA. Based on information provided by DOI and the Alaska 
Federation of Natives, we estimate that technical assistance 
would cost about $400,000 annually.
    Section 7 would allow Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated 
(CIRI), a native corporation, to give back to the federal 
government certain land and structures conveyed to CIRI in 1977 
as part of its entitlement under ANCSA. In exchange, the 
General Services Administration (GSA) would issue monetary 
credits equal to $382,305--the property's estimated value at 
the time of the original conveyance. CIRI would be authorized 
to use the monetary credits to acquire any federal property. 
Section 7 also would absolve CIRI from any liability for damage 
claims that might result from hazardous substances found on 
this property.
    The value of these credits would count as direct spending 
in the year they were issued. Correspondingly, their use by 
CIRI to acquire federal properties would count as offsetting 
receipts in the year they were used. However, because the use 
of these credits would likely displace cash sales of federal 
properties, their use by CIRI would result in a net loss of 
offsetting receipts of $382,305.
    By relieving CIRI from sharing liability for damage claims 
that might arise from contamination on the returned property, 
enactment of this provision could increase federal exposure to 
liability suits. Because we have no way to predict whether such 
suits will in fact arise, or whether claimants would prevail in 
court, CBO cannot estimate either the likelihood or magnitude 
of such potential costs.
    We do not expect enactment of the other sections of H.R. 
402 to result in significant additional costs to the federal 
government.
    6. Comparison with spending under current law: The 
requirements set forth in this bill are new and would increase 
DOI's costs by the amounts shown in the previous table.
    7. Pay-as-you-go considerations: Section 252 of the 
Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 sets 
up pay-as-you-go procedures for legislation affecting direct 
spending or receipts through 1998. CBO estimates that enactment 
of H.R. 402 would increase direct spending by $382,305 in 
fiscal year 1996. Enactment of section 2 could result in a loss 
of offsetting receipts from mining claim fees but such losses 
would be negligible.
    The following table shows the estimated pay-as-you-go 
impact of this bill (The estimated outlay increase in 1996 is 
less than $500,000; hence, it rounds to zero.)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       1996         1997         1998   
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Change in outlays................            0            0            0
Change in receipts...............      ( \1\ )      ( \1\ )      ( \1\ )
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Not applicable.                                                     

    8. Estimated cost to State and local governments: None.
    9. Estimate comparison: None.
    10. Previous CBO estimate: None.
    11. Estimate prepared by: Theresa Gullo.
    12. Estimate approved by: Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                          Departmental Reports

    The Committee has a departmental report on H.R. 402 from 
the Department of the Interior dated February 8, 1995. The 
Committee has received no other departmental reports.

                        Department of the Interior,
                                   Office of the Secretary,
                                  Washington, DC, February 8, 1995.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: This is to provide views of this 
Department concerning two bills which are expected to be marked 
up in the near future by your Committee. They are H.R. 402, 
``To amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and for 
other purposes,'' and H.R. 421, ``To amend the Alaska Native 
Claims Settlement Act to provide for the purchase of common 
stock of Cook Inlet Region, Inc., and for other purposes.''
    These bills were considered in the 103rd Congress but were 
not passed. The bills represent areas where a great deal has 
already been accomplished through informal discussion and 
cooperative efforts among the Congress, the affected Native 
groups, the State, and the Department, and we appreciate the 
efforts of the Committee and the progress that has been shown 
in this legislation to date. While we do have some concerns 
with the bills, a substantial amount of agreement has been 
achieved on them through the cooperative efforts.

                                h.r. 402

    We will consider first H.R. 402. The bill would amend 
various provisions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 
(``ANCSA'') (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1601 et seq.) and would otherwise 
provide for certain conveyances of land or interests therein. 
We reported on the predecessor bill in the 103rd Congress, H.R. 
3612. Several of the provisions of that bill have been removed 
and are not included in H.R. 402 because agreement has been 
reached and/or because the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) 
has withdrawn them. Most of the provisions in H.R. 402 reflect 
suggestions this Department made to H.R. 3612.
    Comments are as follows:

Section 1. Ratification of certain Caswell Creek and Montana Creek 
        conveyances

    In 1974, Montana Creek Native Association, Inc. (MCNA) and 
Caswell Native Association, Inc. (CNA) withdrew their 
applications for village status then pending before the 
Department. Instead of applying for a withdrawal and selecting 
lands, the two groups and Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) 
entered into an agreement. CIRI conveyed 11,520 acres to each 
group. Under the Department's regulations, each group would 
have been eligible for a maximum of 7,680 acres. CIRI has 
requested that the conveyances from it to the groups be 
ratified by Congress and that the groups' lands be treated as 
lands conveyed pursuant to ANCSA. This amendment would make the 
lands eligible for fire protection under section 22(e) of 
ANCSA, 43 U.S.C. Sec. 1621(e), and eligible for a land bank 
status under section 907 of the Alaska National Interest Lands 
Conservation Act (ANILCA)(43 U.S.C. Sec. 1636, as amended). The 
Department supports the ratification of CIRI's transfer. We 
note that two changes were made to the bill last year based on 
Interior's comments, and those changes have been retained in 
H.R. 402. They are included at page 2, lines 8-17.
    We do have an additional amendment which we believe is 
necessary in connection with the earlier changes. In the second 
sentence, page 2, the reference to section 14(h)(2) of ANCSA 
(43 U.S.C. Sec. 1613(h)(2)) should be deleted, and the 
reference to Sec. 1613(h)(2) in line 4 should be changed to 
simply Sec. 1601 et seq. The lands should be deemed as ANCSA 
conveyances in order to have all the protection of Sec. 21 of 
ANCSA (43 U.S.C. Sec. 1620) and Sec. 907 of ANLICA. Without the 
deletion, it could be argued that 23,000 acres must be deleted 
from lands available to other regions under Sec. 14(H)(8) of 
ANCSA (43 U.S.C. Sec. 1613(h)(8)), which would be inconsistent 
with the agreed goal of making these lands available to the 
other regions.

Sec. 2. Mining claims after lands conveyed to Alaska Regional 
        Corporation

    When lands were patented to the regional corporations under 
the provisions of ANCSA sections 11(a)(1), 11(a)(2) and 16, 
they were conveyed ``subject to valid existing rights.'' This 
included valid mining claims. Under the holding in Alaska 
Miners v. Andrus, 662 F.2d 577 (9th Cir. 1981), miners were not 
compelled to file for patent on such claims, but by failing to 
apply for a patent in the time permitted by ANCSA, mining 
claimants lost the right to obtain a patent to their mining 
claims for the federal government. Accordingly, BLM has taken 
the position that after the transfer of title it cannot accept 
FLPMA filings on such mining claims, nor has BLM been wiling to 
accept annual rental payments. This has created confusion about 
mining regulatory authority over these mining claims.
    The purpose of this amendment is to clarify who has mining 
regulatory authority over these claims. Under the amendment, 
the regional corporations are explicitly given the authority to 
regulate the mining claims under the mining laws of the United 
States, as such laws are amended. Adoption of this legislation 
would have the desired effect of bringing clarity to the 
relationship between the miner/inholder and the Regional 
Corporation.
    The Department supports an amendment to ANILCA on this 
subject. We proposed substitute language last year to that 
which was proposed in H.R. 3612. That proposed substitute 
language, which more clearly gives management authority to the 
Regional Corporations, has not been adopted in H.R. 402. We 
endorse this section with the new language.

Sec. 3. Settlement of claims arising from hazardous substance 
        contamination of transferred lands

    Native corporations have selected and the United States has 
conveyed lands which contain contaminants. The nature of the 
contamination may come in various forms including residue from 
abandoned upstream mining operations, and in many cases 
substances now considered contaminants were not so considered 
at the time of the transfer. AFN contends that it is unfair for 
the regional corporations to shoulder the entire burden of 
cleaning up contaminated sites where the contamination is not 
the fault of the Native corporations. However, we have 
insufficient information at this time to address this issue. We 
support the provision for a study to develop recommendations on 
how to deal with the problem. We appreciate that the current 
provision represents a substantial change from settlement 
provisions in earlier versions of the bill which we strongly 
opposed.
    While we support the basic terms of the section, we 
recommend refinements which we believe are important to the 
effectiveness of the provision. We believe the section should 
be consistent with terms in the Comprehensive Environmental 
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. 
Sec. 9601, et seq.). Two different terms are used in the 
operable portion of the study, ``contaminants'', which is 
defined in the proposed revision to ANCSA subsection 40(a)(1), 
and ``hazardous substances'', which is not defined. Since both 
terms are already defined and understood in environmental law, 
it makes sense to adopt those definitions for both terms. 
Subsection (a)(1) should read:

          ``(1) The term ``contaminant'' means hazardous 
        substance(s), pollutants, or contaminants as defined in 
        Public Law 96-510, Title I, Sec. 101, Dec. 11, 1980, 94 
        Stat. 2767, as amended, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601(14) and 
        (33).''

    Subsection (b) should be amended, for consistency and 
because the required report must address contaminants and not 
just hazardous substances, to replace the term ``hazardous 
substances'' on pages 5, line 4, with the term 
``contaminants.''
    We recommend the definition of term ``lands'' be deleted in 
section 40(a) on page 4. We believe it is unnecessary and 
potentially confusing because the word ``lands'' is fully 
described in subsection 40(b), and subsections 40(b)(1)-(4) 
refer back to that description through the use of the term 
``such lands''.
    Section (b)(2) should be amended by adding the word ``on'' 
after ``existing information''. This small but important word 
makes a big difference in terms of personnel time and money. 
With the word, the report is required to state where the 
information is located. Without the word, the statutory 
directive will be to list all available information in the 
report, wherever it may exist.
    Subsection (b)(2), page 5, line 12, should be amended by 
changing the term ``amelioration'' to ``remediation'', since 
``remediation'', like ``removal'', is a term used in CERCLA, 
while ``amelioration'' is not.

Sec. 4. Authorization of appropriations for the purpose of implementing 
        required reconveyances

    ANCSA section 14(c) requires village corporations to 
reconvey certain land within their patented selections. The 
problems associated with the reconveyance of lands to 
individuals and municipalities within the village patents are 
complex and technically difficult.
    This proposed amendment would constitute an authorization 
for appropriations to provide technical assistance to villages 
14(c) reconveyances.
    The Department notes that the provision has been amended 
substantially as suggested by the Department in its report of 
last year. It is our understanding that AFN concurs with these 
changes.

Sec. 5. Native allotments

    Two native allotments in the National Petroleum Reserve--
Alaska (NPR-A), totalling less than 240 acres, are surrounded 
by lands conveyed to the village corporation of Nuiqsut. The 
subsurface estate under Nuiqsut village lands have been 
conveyed to Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) pursuant 
to Section 1431(o) of Alaska National Interest Lands 
Conservation Act. In the absence of this amendment, the United 
States is expected to own the oil and gas estate under the two 
allotments.
    This amendment would permit conveyance to ASRC of the 
federally owned oil and gas estate under the Native allotments 
for the purpose of consolidating subsurface interests in the 
area and eliminating isolated tracts of public land. Any oil 
and gas recoverable from the Native allotment subsurface would, 
in all likelihood, have only a limited market in Nuiqsut. The 
lands have not been deemed valuable for coal. The State of 
Alaska has consented to the transfer of the reserved minerals 
to the Corporation. Furthermore, this amendment would not 
result in a net loss of subsurface estate to the United States. 
We support this technical amendment. As we suggested in our 
report of last year, the bill has been amended to delete the 
words ``a Village'' and substitute the world ``Kuukpik'' (the 
name of the ANCSA corporation at Nuiqsut) in the first sentence 
of proposed Section 1431(o)(5).

Sec. 6. Report concerning open season for certain Native Alaskan 
        veterans for allotments

    The Alaska Native Allotment Act of 1906 was repealed by 
ANCSA on December 18, 1971. During 1970 and 1971, a concerted 
effort was made by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Ruralcap and 
Alaska Legal Services to notify as many Alaskan Natives as 
possible of the upcoming repeal and the need to apply for an 
allotment. Individuals who were otherwise entitled to apply for 
an allotment but who were on active military duty during 1970 
and 1971 may have been deprived of an opportunity to apply for 
such allotments.
    We note that the bill has been amended from last year's 
bill to reduce the eligible parties and to provide for a report 
on the problem and suggested solutions. We believe this is far 
preferable to the original provision in earlier bills, and we 
support the provision. However we strongly recommend that the 
time for the report be extended to 12 months. We do not think 
it can be done in 6 months.

Sec. 7. Transfer of Wrangell Institute

    The Wrangell Institute was originally withdrawn in 1956 for 
the administration of Native Affairs. That use terminated with 
the passage of ANCSA. The property was excessed by BIA to GSA 
in 1975 and subsequently 31 acres were transferred to the city 
of Wrangell. In 1977 CIRI requested that the remaining 140 
acres be made available for selection. CIRI was issued a 
revocable license on May 11, 1977. In August 1978, this land 
and the buildings thereon were the subject of an interim 
conveyance to CIRI.
    This amendment would cause ten acres of that conveyance 
together with the structures to be returned to the United 
States. The section would also hold CIRI harmless for any and 
all claims arising from either federal or CIRI ownership of the 
land prior to its return to the United States. CIRI is seeking 
a credit to its property account in the amount of $382,305, the 
estimated worth of the property. In addition to the costs of 
supplementing the CIRI property account, the U.S. would have to 
assume the liability for the clean up of the property which 
could include the destruction and removal of all buildings on 
the property which have deteriorated since the cessation of 
maintenance by CIRI.
    Asbestos products were properly used in construction of the 
buildings and were properly maintained at the time of 
conveyance; and this fact is not unique to CIRI. It is 
specifically the Department's position that the asbestos was 
not considered a pollutant at the time of transfer, and it was 
not friable. CIRI had the option of containing the asbestos as 
opposed to abandoning the building, but did not do so. It is 
our understanding that the asbestos became friable after the 
building was abandoned.
    Furthermore, CIRI had specifically requested that the 
property be made available for selection and had the fullest 
opportunity to evaluate the Wrangell property prior to 
selecting it, having held a revocable license to the property 
for over one year prior to conveyance, for this purpose.
    The Department cannot support the relief sought for CIRI. 
Under the facts we do not believe CIRI is entitled to the 
relief sought, and to do so would require relief for others 
similarly situated. We are not in a position to assume that 
very extensive liability at this time. It is the Department's 
understanding, for example, that there are over 200 other 
conveyed buildings which contained non-friable asbestos. We do 
not believe that as a matter of law the United States must 
reimburse CIRI for its investment or hold them harmless for the 
time of their ownership. Moreover, it is not feasible to 
reimburse all entities to whom the United States has conveyed 
buildings that contained non-friable asbestos or who may not be 
satisfied with their land. We do not support this amendment. It 
is our understanding that GSA also opposes this amendment for 
similar reasons.
    We have serious concerns with this section, both on the 
facts of the particular case, and because of the precedent it 
would set.
    Although we do not support section 7, the Department does 
support reviewing the Wrangell Institute situation in the 
context of the section 3 contamination study discussed earlier 
in these comments. The section 3 study will provide a 
comprehensive review of the problem of the presence of 
contaminants on conveyed lands. We believe that this is the 
more appropriate course of action under the circumstances, and 
it would place CIRI in the same position as other Alaska Native 
corporations with respect to consideration of the circumstances 
involving the presence of any contaminants, and identification 
of possible remedies.

Sec. 8. Shishmaref airport amendment

    This section of the bill would allow the Department to 
reacquire Shishmaref Airport, originally conveyed to the State 
of Alaska, and to immediately transfer it to the Shishmaref 
Native Corporation. The bill attempts to apportion fairly and 
potential liability for cleanup of hazardous or solid wastes on 
the property.
    We recommend the following amendment to section 8, 
beginning at line 13: delete all after ``airport.'' on line 13, 
through ``and,'' on line 15, and revise to read as follows: 
[new matter in italic] ``* * * airport. The Administrator of 
the Federal Aviation Administration is hereby directed to 
exercise said reverter in Patent No. 1240529 in favor of the 
United States within 12 months of the date of enactment of this 
section. Upon revesting of title, notwithstanding any other 
provision of law, the Secretary shall.* * *''
    This is a preferable means of executing the transfer, and 
the Secretary is not called upon to reacquire the land.
    With this amendment, the Department supports the section.
    With the amendments proposed above, including the deletion 
of section 7 as written, the Department supports the enactment 
of H.R. 402

                                H.R. 421

    H.R. 421 would amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement 
Act to provide for the purchase of common stock of the Cook 
Inlet Corporation.
    In 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) 
was enacted to settle and resolve the claims of Alaska Natives 
to most of the State of Alaska. The settlement recognized title 
to 44 million acres of land to be held for Native Corporations 
and approximately $1 billion in monetary compensation for the 
loss of the remaining lands. Under ANCSA, 12 geographic regions 
were created with five incorporators authorized under each 
region. Each regional corporation was formed under the laws of 
Alaska to conduct business for profit and was managed by a 
board of directors. Alaska Natives, living on the date of 
enactment, were issued stock in the corporations and the right 
to vote in elections for the board of director and on other 
issues of importance to the stockholders.
    ANCSA provided that for a period of 20 years Native 
corporation stock could not be sold, transferred, pledged, 
subjected to a lien or judgement execution, assigned in present 
or future or otherwise alienated; and could only be transferred 
through inheritance or in limited cases of court decree. In 
1987, Congress amended the restrictions on stock sale, instead 
of expiring at the end of 20 years (1991), the stock 
restrictions on alienability would continue automatically until 
the shareholders of a Native corporations voted to remove them.
    H.R. 421 amends ANSCA, authorizing the Cook Inlet Regional 
Corporation, with approval of the shareholders, to offer 
shareholders a repurchase of corporation stock from those who 
want to sell their stock to the corporation.
    Our understanding is that the Cook Inlet Regional 
Corporation has conducted a poll of its shareholders and found 
them to be in favor of this action. Once legislation is passed, 
the bill provides that the issue will be put to a formal vote 
of the shareholders for their approval. In light of this, we 
have no objection to the passage of H.R. 421. We do have two 
recommendations, however.
    Paragraph (J)(ii) on page 6 would hold harmless any 
director of Cook Inlet Regional Corporation and any firm or 
member of a firm of investment bankers or valuation experts who 
assist in the determination of the terms of an offer to 
purchase, from damages for terms made in an offer. We are 
opposed to this provision. As to directors we do not believe 
that we should change through a federal act the terms of state 
law as to the standards of responsibility for directors of 
corporations, particularly as to Native corporations in which 
shareholders cannot as easily shed their interests as 
shareholders in most corporations can do. We should not weaken 
the protections afforded shareholders. Moreover, we fail to see 
the rationale for absolving bankers and valuation experts from 
responsibility for doing precisely what they are hired and well 
paid to do, and we believe this holds unnecessary risks to the 
shareholders.
    Paragraph (L) on page 7 provides that proceeds from sale of 
stock shall not be excluded from eligibility determinations for 
needs-based government programs. We approve of the provision, 
but would defer to the views of other agencies more directly 
affected. We recommend, however, the inclusion in line 13, 
after the word ``Proceeds'', the following, ``* * * in excess 
of $2,000 received by any individual stockholder * * *'' This 
would exclude from eligibility determinations the first $2,000 
received by a shareholder. The purpose of this provision is 
simply to clarify that the bill is consistent with the 
provision and policy enacted by the Congress in section 15 of 
the 1991 Amendments to section 29 of ANCSA (43 U.S.C. 1607(c)).
    This concludes our comments.
    The Office of Management and Budget advises that it has no 
objection to the presentation of this report from the 
standpoint of the Administration's program.
            Sincerely,
                           George T. Frampton, Jr.,
                                       Assistant Secretary,
                                       Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

                  ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT

          * * * * * * *

                          conveyance of lands

  Sec. 14. (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (c) Each patent issued pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) 
shall be subject to the requirements of this subsection. Upon 
receipt of a patent or patents:
          (1) * * *
          * * * * * * *
There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be 
necessary for the purpose of providing technical assistance to 
Village Corporations established pursuant to this Act in order 
that they may fulfill the reconveyance requirements of section 
14(c) of this Act. The Secretary may make funds available as 
grants to ANCSA or nonprofit corporations that maintain in-
house land planning and management capabilities.
          * * * * * * *

                             miscellaneous

  Sec. 22. (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (c)(1) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (3) This section shall apply to lands conveyed by interim 
conveyance or patent to a regional corporation pursuant to this 
Act which are made subject to a mining claim or claims located 
under the general mining laws, including lands conveyed prior 
to enactment of this paragraph. Effective upon the date of the 
enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary, acting through the 
Bureau of Land Management and in a manner consistent with 
section 14(g) of this Act, shall transfer to the regional 
corporation administration of all mining claims determined to 
be entirely within lands conveyed to that corporation. Any 
person holding such mining claim or claims shall meet such 
requirements of the general mining laws and section 314 of the 
Federal Land Management and Policy Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 
1744), except that any filings which would have been made with 
the Bureau of Land Management if the lands were within Federal 
ownership shall be timely made to the appropriate regional 
corporation. The validity of any such mining claim or claims 
may be contested by the regional corporation, in the place of 
the United States. All contest proceedings and appeals by the 
mining claimants of adverse decisions made by the regional 
corporation shall be brought in Federal District Court for the 
District of Alaska. Neither the United States nor any Federal 
agency or official shall be named or joined as a party in such 
proceedings or appeals. All revenues from such mining claims 
received after passage of this paragraph shall be remitted to 
the regional corporation subject to distribution pursuant to 
section 7(i) of this Act, except that in the event that the 
mining claim or claims are not totally within the lands 
conveyed to the regional corporation, the regional corporation 
shall be entitled only to that proportion of revenues, other 
than administrative fees, reasonably allocated to the portion 
of the mining claim or claims so conveyed.
          * * * * * * *


         claims arising from contamination of transferred lands


  Sec. 40. (a) As used in this section:
          (1) The term ``contaminant'' means hazardous 
        substances harmful to public health or the environment, 
        including asbestos.
          (2) The term ``lands'' means real property 
        transferred to an Alaska Native Corporation pursuant to 
        this Act.
  (b) Within 18 months of enactment of this section, and after 
consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, State of 
Alaska, and appropriate Alaska Native corporations and 
organizations, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on 
Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, a report addressing 
issues presented by the presence of hazardous substances on 
lands conveyed or prioritized for conveyance to such 
corporations pursuant to this Act. Such report shall consist 
of--
          (1) existing information concerning the nature and 
        types of contaminants present on such lands prior to 
        conveyance to Alaska Native corporations;
          (2) existing information identifying the existence 
        and availability of potentially responsible parties for 
        the removal or amelioration of the effects of such 
        contaminants;
          (3) identification of existing remedies; and
          (4) recommendations for any additional legislation 
        that the Secretary concludes is necessary to remedy the 
        problem of contaminants on such lands.
                              ----------                              


  SECTION 1431 OF THE ALASKA NATIONAL INTEREST LANDS CONSERVATION ACT

                arctic slope regional corporation lands

  Sec. 1431. (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (o) Future Option To Exchange, Etc.--(1) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (5) Following the exercise by Arctic Slope Regional 
Corporation of its option under paragraph (1) to acquire the 
subsurface estate beneath lands within the National Petroleum 
Reserve--Alaska selected by Kuukpik Corporation, where such 
subsurface estate entirely surrounds lands subject to a Native 
allotment application approved under section 905 of this Act, 
and the oil and gas in such lands have been reserved to the 
United States, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, at its 
further option, shall be entitled to receive a conveyance of 
the reserved oil and gas, including all rights and privileges 
therein reserved to the United States, in such lands. Upon the 
receipt of a conveyance of such oil and gas interests, the 
entitlement of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation to in-lieu 
subsurface lands under section 12(a)(1) of the Alaska Native 
Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1611(a)(1)) shall be reduced 
by the amount of acreage determined by the Secretary to be 
conveyed to Arctic Slope Regional Corporation pursuant to this 
paragraph.
          * * * * * * *