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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-870

======================================================================



 
                   NAMPA AND MERIDIAN CONVEYANCE ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 20, 2000.--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. 3067]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3067) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey certain facilities to Nampa and Meridian Irrigation 
District, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Nampa and Meridian Conveyance Act''.

SEC. 2. CONVEYANCE OF FACILITIES.

  The Secretary of the Interior (in this Act referred to as the 
``Secretary'') shall, as soon as practicable after the date of 
enactment of this Act, convey facilities to the Nampa and Meridian 
Irrigation District (in this Act referred to as the ``District'') in 
accordance with all applicable laws and pursuant to the terms of the 
Memorandum of Agreement (contract No. 1425-99MA102500, dated 7 July 
1999) between the Secretary and the District. The conveyance of 
facilities shall include all right, title, and interest of the United 
States in and to any portion of the canals, laterals, drains, and any 
other portion of the water distribution and drainage system that is 
operated or maintained by the District for delivery of water to and 
drainage of water from lands within the boundaries of the District.

SEC. 3. LIABILITY.

  Except as otherwise provided by law, effective on the date of 
conveyance of facilities under this Act, the United States shall not be 
liable for damages of any kind arising out of any act, omission, or 
occurrence based on its prior ownership or operation of the conveyed 
property.

SEC. 4. EXISTING RIGHTS NOT AFFECTED.

  Nothing in this Act affects the rights of any person except as 
provided in this Act. No water rights shall be transferred, modified, 
or otherwise affected by the conveyance of facilities and interests to 
the Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District under this Act. Such 
conveyance shall not affect or abrogate any provision of any contract 
executed by the United States or State law regarding any irrigation 
district's right to use water developed in the facilities conveyed.

                          purpose of the bill

    The purpose of the bill is to authorize the Secretary of 
the Interior to convey certain facilities to Nampa and Meridian 
Irrigation District.

                  background and need for legislation

    The Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District is comprised of 
approximately 64,000 irrigable acres in Canyon and Ada 
Counties, located in Southwest Idaho, and includes the cities 
of Nampa, Boise and Meridian. Its water source is the Boise 
River.
    There are several hundred miles of canals, laterals and 
drains in the District's jurisdiction which are used for water 
distribution and drainage. According to the District, the 
facilities that are being considered for title transfer from 
the United States to the District involves approximately 5 
percent of the system, according to the most recent analysis. 
The majority of the 5 percent claimed by the Bureau of 
Reclamation (BOR) is claimed under the 1890 Canal Act, with the 
balance as fee title or an easement. The BOR makes no claim of 
interest to the remaining 95 percent of the facilities.
    The legislation transfers certain of these facilities to 
the Nampa-Meridian Irrigation District. The Committee intends 
that the local public should have the opportunity to comment 
and provide input on the process of transfer, including 
recreational access. The Nampa-Meridian Irrigation District has 
indicated that it will continue to work these issues out with 
the city and county governments, as well as private property 
owners.
    No water rights will be transferred, modified, or otherwise 
affected by the transfer to the Nampa and Meridian Irrigation 
District. Also, the transfer will not affect any provision of 
any contract executed by the United States or State law 
regarding any irrigation district's right to use water 
developed in the facilities conveyed.

                            committee action

    H.R. 3067 was introduced on October 13, 1999, by 
Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage (R-ID). H.R. 3067 was 
referred to the Committee on Resources and within the Committee 
to the Subcommittee on Water and Power. On October 21, 1999, 
the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On September 13, 
2000, the Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee on Water and Power was discharged from further 
consideration of the measure by unanimous consent. 
Congresswoman Chenoweth-Hage offered an amendment in the nature 
of a substitute. The amendment passed by voice vote. H.R. 3067, 
as amended, was then ordered favorably reported by voice vote 
to the House of Representatives.

                      section-by-section analysis

Section 1. Short title

    This act may be cited as the ``Nampa and Meridian 
Conveyance Act''.

Section 2. Conveyance of facilities

    This section requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
transfer the facilities in accordance with all applicable laws 
and pursuant to the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement 
(Contract Number 1425 99MA102500, dated 7 July 1999) as soon as 
practicable after the date of enactment.

Section 3. Liability

    This section outlines the liability assumed by the Nampa-
Meridian Irrigation District.

Section 4. Existing rights not affected

    This section clarifies that the bill does not affect the 
contractual rights of any irrigation district's right to use 
water developed in the facilities transferred.

            committee oversight findings and recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   constitutional authority statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    compliance with house rule xiii

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) 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 this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
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 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. Government Reform Oversight Findings. Under clause 
3(c)(4) of rule XIII 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 on this bill.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII 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 this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 19, 2000.
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. 3067, the Nampa 
and Meridian Conveyance Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Rachel 
Applebaum.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3067--Nampa and Meridian Conveyance Act

    H.R. 3067 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey the water distribution and drainage system within the 
Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District in Idaho to the 
district. Based on information from the Bureau of Reclamation, 
CBO estimates that this bill would not have a significant 
effect on the federal budget. The district paid the last of its 
repayment obligations to the government in 1987, and the 
district pays the full cost of operating and maintaining these 
systems. Because H.R. 3067 would not affect direct spending or 
receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 3067 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would have no significant impact on the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact is Rachel Applebaum. This estimate 
was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                    compliance with public law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                preemption of state, local or tribal law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        changes in existing law

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.