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113th Congress                                            Rept. 113-248
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

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



 
        ALASKA NATIVE TRIBAL HEALTH CONSORTIUM LAND TRANSFER ACT

                                _______
                                

October 22, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 623]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 623) to provide for the conveyance of certain 
property located in Anchorage, Alaska, from the United States 
to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, 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 ``Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium 
Land Transfer Act''.

SEC. 2. CONVEYANCE OF PROPERTY.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) ANTHC.--The term ``ANTHC'' means the Alaska Native Tribal 
        Health Consortium.
          (2) Property.--The term ``property'' means the property 
        described in subsection (d).
          (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Health and Human Services.
  (b) Conveyance.--As soon as practicable after the date of enactment 
of this Act, but not later than 90 days after that date, the Secretary 
shall convey to ANTHC all right, title, and interest of the United 
States in and to the property for use in connection with health and 
related programs. The Secretary's conveyance of title by warranty deed 
under this section shall, on its effective date, supersede and render 
of no future effect any quitclaim deed to the property described in 
subsection (d) executed by the Secretary and ANTHC.
  (c) Conditions.--The conveyance of the property under this Act--
          (1) shall be made by warranty deed;
          (2) shall not require any consideration from ANTHC for the 
        property;
          (3) shall not impose any obligation, term, or condition on 
        ANTHC; and
          (4) shall not allow for any reversionary interest of the 
        United States in the property.
  (d) Description of Property.--The property (including all 
improvements thereon and appurtenances thereto) to be conveyed under 
this Act is described as follows: Tract A-3A, Tudor Centre, according 
to plat no. 2013-43, recorded on June 20, 2013 in Anchorage recording 
district, Alaska.
  (e) Environmental Liability.--
          (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
        Federal law, ANTHC shall not be liable for any soil, surface 
        water, groundwater, or other contamination resulting from the 
        disposal, release, or presence of any environmental 
        contamination, including any oil or petroleum product, any 
        hazardous substance, hazardous material, hazardous waste, 
        pollutant, toxic substance, solid waste, or any other 
        environmental contamination or hazard as defined in any Federal 
        or State law, on the property on or before the date on which 
        the property was conveyed by quitclaim deed.
          (2) Easement.--The Secretary shall be accorded any easement 
        or access to the property as may be reasonably necessary to 
        satisfy any retained obligation or liability of the Secretary.
          (3) Notice of hazardous substance activity and warranty.--In 
        carrying out this Act, the Secretary shall comply with 
        subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 120(h)(3) of the 
        Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
        Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9620(h)(3)).

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 623 is to provide for the conveyance of 
certain property located in Anchorage, Alaska, from the United 
States to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 623 transfers by warranty deed and without 
consideration a 2.79 acre parcel of federal land located in 
Anchorage, Alaska, from the Indian Health Service (IHS) to the 
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC or Consortium). 
On May 16, 2013, the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native 
Affairs held a hearing on H.R. 623. Following the hearing, the 
IHS administratively conveyed the land to ANTHC by quitclaim 
deed. It is nonetheless important to enact H.R. 623 because 
transferring the land by warranty deed provides ANTHC with 
cleaner title to the property than if it was transferred by 
quitclaim deed.
    The subject land has been used for parking to accommodate 
nearby facilities run by ANTHC and the IHS. The ANTHC plans to 
use the land to construct a patient housing facility, which 
would allow the consortium to greatly expand its capacity to 
offer health services to patients who live outside Anchorage.
    Established by an act of Congress, the ANTHC is a non-
profit corporation that is headquartered in Anchorage providing 
tribal healthcare services to thousands of patients in the 
south central Alaska region under contracts with the IHS. Many 
of its critical inpatient services are unavailable to Natives 
living in Alaska's bush areas (i.e., rural areas typically 
unconnected to Alaska's highway system). Pursuant to contracts 
with IHS, ANTHC operates the Alaska Native Medical Center, 
which is the main tertiary health care provider in the state 
for all Alaska Native people. When it was created, ANTHC 
obtained certain federal land to meet its operational needs 
while other parcels used by the Consortium remained under 
federal ownership.
    The federal land transfer authorized under H.R. 623 would 
allow the Consortium to adapt to the evolving needs of its 
patient base. Many patients from rural areas must travel long 
distances to reach the medical center and they are often unable 
to house themselves during their stay in Anchorage. Expanding 
patient housing on the lands transferred under the bill will 
allow ANTHC to maximize care by locating patients near the 
medical center's resources and reducing transportation costs. 
The land conveyance will also bolster ANTHC's ability to 
provide more regular and comprehensive treatment for 
individuals who lack healthcare options in their home 
communities.
    As H.R. 623 was being developed, ANTHC coordinated with IHS 
to transfer administrative control of the parcel and on June 
20, 2013, the agency transferred the 2.79 acre parcel by 
quitclaim deed. Transferring land by quitclaim deed, however, 
does not guarantee clear title that a warranty deed provides; 
according to ANTHC, relying on a quitclaim deed to complete the 
land transfer could create certain obstacles to ANTHC's future 
use of the property.
    A similar bill, H.R. 443 (Young of Alaska), to transfer IHS 
property by warranty deed to the Maniilaq Association, a Native 
non-profit serving Native patients in Northwest Alaska, became 
Public Law 112-263 on January 14, 2013.
    During Full Committee markup of H.R. 623, the Committee 
adopted an en bloc amendment offered by Indian and Alaska 
Native Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Don Young (R-AK). The en 
bloc amendment resolves several concerns the IHS raised in the 
Subcommittee hearing on H.R. 623. Specifically, the amendment 
gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services more time in 
which to convey the 2.79 acre property by warranty deed (90 
days as opposed to 30 days), it clarifies and corrects the 
legal description of the property, and it clarifies that ANTHC 
shall not be liable for any environmental contamination on or 
before the date the property was administratively transferred 
from the federal government by quitclaim deed (i.e., June 20, 
2013).

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 623 was introduced on February 12, 2013, by 
Congressman Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. In addition, 
the bill was also referred to the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce. On May 16, 2013, the Subcommittee held a hearing on 
the bill. On July 31, 2013, the full Natural Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Indian 
and Alaska Native Affairs was discharged by unanimous consent. 
Congressman Young offered an en bloc amendment to the bill; the 
amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. No further 
amendments were offered, and the bill, as amended, was then 
adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

            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 Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) 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)(2)(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. 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:

H.R. 623--Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act

    H.R. 623 would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services (HHS) to convey a specified 2.79 acre parcel of 
federal land in Anchorage, Alaska, from the United States to 
the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). The 
conveyance of the property would be made by a warranty deed, 
which is a type of deed that provides that the grantor (the 
United States) has a good title free and clear of all liens and 
encumbrances and that the grantor promises to defend the title 
to the property against all persons claiming the property. The 
ANTHC currently operates a 150-bed hospital on the property 
known as the Alaska Native Medical Center.
    The Indian Self-Determination and Education Act allows 
Indian tribal entities to assume responsibility for the 
provision of health care services funded by the Indian Health 
Service (IHS), the agency within HHS responsible for providing 
health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The ANTHC 
operates the Alaska Native Medical Center under the authority 
of that act. According to IHS, IHS already conveyed this 
specified land to the ANTHC through a quitclaim deed, a type of 
deed used to release one person's or entity's right, title, or 
interest to another without providing a guarantee or warranty 
of title. Though a warranty deed represents a more complete 
conveyance of property than a quitclaim deed, no additional 
cost is associated with a warranty deed compared to a quitclaim 
deed. Therefore, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 623 would 
have no significant impact on the federal budget and would not 
affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 623 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would benefit the ANTHC by changing the method of transferring 
the property to the consortium. Any costs to the consortium 
would be incurred voluntarily.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Robert Stewart 
(for federal costs) and Lisa Ramirez-Branum (for 
intergovernmental effects). The estimate was approved by Holly 
Harvey, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of 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. CBO estimates that 
enacting H.R. 623 would have no significant impact on the 
federal budget and would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to provide for the conveyance of 
certain property located in Anchorage, Alaska, from the United 
States to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                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.