Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 633
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 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        Park County has been withdrawn from the public domain for 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 
        Reclamation;
          (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 
        (4); 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
                 S\1/2\NE\1/4\NE\1/4\NW\1/4\...............        5.00
                 SW\1/4\NE\1/4\NW\1/4\.....................       10.00
                 SE\1/4\NW\1/4\NW\1/4\.....................       10.00
                 NW\1/4\SW\1/4\NW\1/4\.....................       10.00
                 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 
further authorization.

                         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 
purposes.

                          legislative history

    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.

                          committee amendment

    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-by-section analysis

    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 
Buildings Fund.

                   cost and budgetary considerations

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of the costs 
of this measure follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 15, 2000.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate, 
        Washington, DC.
    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, 
Wyoming.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 1894--A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain lands to Park 
        County, Wyoming

    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 
voluntary.
    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 
Budget Analysis.

                      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 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 1894, as ordered reported.

                        executive communications

    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 
purposes.
    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 
around $315,000.
    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 
questions.

                        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 
reported.