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Calendar No. 633
106th Congress Report
2d Session 106-315
CONVEYANCE OF CERTAIN LAND TO PARK COUNTY, WYOMING
June 27, 2000.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 1894]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 1894) to provide for the conveyance of
certain land to Park County, Wyoming, having considered the
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and
recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu
thereof the following:
SECTION 1. CONVEYANCE OF LAND TO PARK COUNTY, WYOMING.
(a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
(1) Over eighty-two percent of the land in Park County,
Wyoming, is owned by the federal government;
(2) the parcel of land described in subsection (d) located in
Park County has been withdrawn from the public domain for
reclamation purposes and is managed by the Bureau of
(3) the land has been subject to a withdrawal review, a level
I contaminant survey, and historical, cultural, and
archaeological resources surveys by the Bureau of Reclamation;
(4) the Bureau of Land Management has conducted a cadastral
survey of the land and has determined that the land is no
longer suitable for return to the public domain;
(5) the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Land
Management concur in the recommendation of disposal of the land
as described in the documents referred to in paragraphs (3) and
(6) the County has evinced an interest in using the land for
the purposes of local economic development.
(b) Definitions.--In this Act:
(1) County.--The term ``County'' means Park County, Wyoming.
(2) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the
Administrator of the General Services Administration.
(c) Conveyance.--In consideration of payment of $240,000 to the
Administrator by the County, the Administrator shall convey to the
County all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to
the parcel of land described in subsection (d).
(d) Description of Property.--The parcel of land described in this
subsection is the parcel located in the County comprising 190.12 acres,
the legal description of which is as follows:
Sixth Principal Meridian, Park County, Wyoming
T. 53 N., R. 101 W. Acreage
Section 20, S\1/2\SE\1/4\SW\1/4\SE\1/4\............ 5.00
Section 29, Lot 7.................................. 9.91
Lot 9..................................... 38.24
Lot 10.................................... 31.29
Lot 12.................................... 5.78
Lot 13.................................... 8.64
Lot 14.................................... 0.04
Lot 15.................................... 9.73
Tract 101................................. 13.24
Section 30, Lot 31................................. 16.95
Lot 32.................................... 16.30
(e) Reservation of Rights.--The instrument of conveyance under
subsection (c) shall reserve all rights to locatable, salable, leasable
coal, oil or gas resources.
(f) Leases, Easements, Rights-of-Way, and Other Rights.--The
conveyance under subsection (c) shall be subject to any land-use
leases, easements, rights-of-way, or valid existing rights in existence
as of the date of the conveyance.
(g) Environmental Liability.--As a condition of the conveyance
under subsection (c), the United States shall comply with the
provisions of section 9620(h) of title 42, United States Code.
(h) Additional Terms and Conditions.--The Administrator may require
such additional terms and conditions in connection with the conveyance
under subsection (c) as the Administrator considers appropriate to
protect the interests of the United States.
(i) Treatment of Amounts Received.--The net proceeds received by
the United States as payment under subsection (c) shall be deposited
into the fund established in section 490(f) of title 40 of the United
States Code, and may be expended by the Administrator for real property
management and related activities not otherwise provided for, without
purpose of the measure
The purpose of S. 1894 is to provide for the conveyance of
approximately 190 acres of lands administered by the Bureau of
Reclamation (BOR) to Park County, Wyoming.
background and need
S. 1894 provides for the conveyance of 190 acres to Park
County, Wyoming. Park County will pay the appraised value of
$240,000 for the parcel. The lands to be conveyed were
withdrawn in 1916 for BOR's use in the Shoshone Reclamation
Project. Over time, leases were issued for five industrial
users who have built structures such as office buildings,
repair shops, a railroad spur, and warehouses on the land. The
area is known as the Cody Industrial Area within the Shoshone
Reclamation Project. In 1996, BOR determined that the 190 acres
to be conveyed (the land) were no longer needed for BOR
S. 1894 was introduced on November 9, 1999 by Senators
Thomas and Enzi. The Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land
Management held a hearing on S. 1894 on March 29, 2000. At the
business meeting on June 7, 2000, the Committee on Energy and
Natural Resources ordered S. 1894 reported favorably with an
amendment in the nature of a substitute.
committee recommendation and tabulation of votes
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in
open business session on June 7, 2000, by a voice vote of a
quorum present recommends that the Senate pass S. 1894 if
amended as described herein.
During the consideration of S. 1894, the Committee adopted
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The amendment
responds to suggestions made by the administration: to clarify
that the sale is to be managed by the General Services
Administration (GSA); to clarify the environmental liabilities
that may exist on the parcel; and to allow the use of the
proceeds by GSA for real property management activities.
Section 1(a) describes the findings of the Congress.
Subsection (b) defines terms used in the Act.
Subsection (c) authorizes the Administrator of the General
Services Administration (GSA) to convey the parcel described in
subsection (d) for $240,000.
Subsection (d) describes the parcel of land to be conveyed.
Subsection (e) reserves mineral rights.
Subsection (f) subjects the conveyance to existing leases,
easements and rights-of-ways.
Subsection (g) requires the United States to comply with
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability (CERCLA), Title 42, section 9620(h) of the United
States Code, as a condition of the conveyance.
Subsection (h) allows the GSA Administrator to require
additional terms that may be necessary.
Subsection (i) authorizes the receipts for the parcel's
purchase to be expended by the GSA Administrator in the Federal
cost and budgetary considerations
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of the costs
of this measure follows:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, June 15, 2000.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate,
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1894, a bill to
provide for the conveyance of certain lands to Park County,
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan
Barry B. Anderson
(For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
S. 1894--A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain lands to Park
CBO estimates that enacting S. 1894 would not significantly
affect the federal budget. Because S. 1894 would affect
offsetting receipts and direct spending, pay-as-you-go
procedures would apply, but CBO estimates that any such changes
would be insignificant. S. 1894 contains no intergovernmental
or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates
Reform Act. State and local governments might incur some costs
as a result of the bill's enactment, but those costs would be
S. 1894 would direct the General Services Administration
(GSA) to convey to Park County, Wyoming, in exchange for a
payment of $240,000, about 190 acres of federal lands currently
managed by the Department of the Interior (DOI). The
administrator of GSA could require additional terms and
conditions connected to the conveyance, and would be allowed to
spend these receipts. According to DOI, the lands to be
conveyed currently do not generate significant receipts, and
they are not expected to generate significant receipts over the
next 10 years. Based on information from DOI, however, GSA
would sell this land under current law for $200,000 to
$300,000. Thus, enacting this legislation could result in
forgone sale receipts of an equivalent amount.
The CBO staff contact is Megan Carroll. This estimate was
approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for
regulatory impact evaluation
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out S. 1894.
The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of
imposing government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 1894, as ordered reported.
On June 7, 2000 the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources requested legislative reports from the General
Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget
setting forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 1894.
These reports had not been received at the time the report on
S. 1894 was filed. When the reports become available, the
Chairman will request that they be printed in the Congressional
Record for the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by
the Bureau of Reclamation at the Subcommittee hearing follows:
Statement of Eluid L. Martinez, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation,
Department of the Interior
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on S. 1894,
concerning the conveyance of approximately 190 acres of land to
Park County, Wyoming. I am Eluid Martinez, Commissioner of the
Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation).
While the Department supports the conveyance of this land
to Park County, we must strongly oppose S. 1894 as currently
written. The Department, however, would support legislation
that (1) provided for conveyance of the land for fair market
value and (2) did not include the provisions of this bill that
would shield the current tenants from liability for
environmental contamination resulting from the current tenants'
actions prior to the date of conveyance. The Department of the
Interior and the General Services Administration stand ready to
assist the Committee in drafting legislation that would be
acceptable to all parties.
The lands to be conveyed were withdrawn in 1916 for
Reclamation's use in the Shoshone Reclamation Project. Over
time, leases were issued for five industrial users who have
built structures such as office buildings, repair shops, a
railroad spur, and warehouses on the land. The area is known as
the Cody Industrial Area within the Shoshone Reclamation
Project. In 1996, Reclamation determined that the 190 acres to
be conveyed (the land) were no longer needed for Reclamation
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) subsequently determined
that the 190 acres in the Cody Industrial Area had ``* * *
substantially changed in character by improvements or otherwise
* * *'', and were, therefore, unsuitable for return to the
public domain. Reclamation, as the holding agency of the
withdrawal, sent a Report of Excess to the General Services
Administration (GSA) on August 26, 1997. Upon accepting
Reclamation's Report of Excess, the GSA became responsible for
disposing of the lands under the Federal Property and
Administrative Services Act. The GSA is required by Acts of
Congress to secure fair market value for the American public
when public lands are sold.
While we support transfer of these 190 acres to Park
County, we cannot support the bill as drafted for two reasons.
First, this legislation would require the Secretary of the
Interior to convey the land to Park County for $240,000,
significantly less than what the GSA believes to be fair market
value. GSA appraised the fair market value of the land at
Secondly, we must specifically oppose this bill because
subsection 1(g)(2) would shield current tenants (on the date of
the conveyance) from liability for environmental contamination
resulting from the current tenants' actions prior to the date
of conveyance. This could subject United States' taxpayers to
enormous potential liability for environmental contamination
resulting from ongoing industrial enterprises.
This concludes my statement. I will be glad to answer any
changes in existing law
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by S. 1894, as ordered