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                                                       Calendar No. 536
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-246

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



 
TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS TO THE NAVAJO WATER RIGHTS SETTLEMENT IN 
            THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

                August 26, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

      Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate August 25
                   (legislative day, August 21), 2014

                                _______
                                

           Mr. Tester, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1447]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 1447) to make technical corrections to certain Native 
American water rights settlements in the State of New Mexico, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment and an amendment to the 
title and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 1447 is to make technical corrections to 
the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, as established by the 
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Public Law 111-11, 
43 U.S.C. 407 note.

                               BACKGROUND

    S. 1447 would make technical amendments to the Navajo-
Gallup Water Supply Project, which was authorized in the 
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. The Act directed 
the Secretary of the Interior to design, construct, operate and 
maintain a water supply project that would provide water to the 
Navajo Nation, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the City of 
Gallup, New Mexico. The Act provided that the Navajo Nation 
would pay for any costs of operations and maintenance of the 
Project facilities that are allocable to the Navajo Nation 
after a 10-year grace period that is triggered by the first 
delivery of project water. The original Act also allowed, in 
error, 2 percent and 4 percent of authorized funding to be used 
for cultural protection and fish and wildlife facilities, 
respectively. This original allocation was a reversal of the 
parties' original intent.
    The Act also approved the water rights Settlement Agreement 
between the Navajo Nation, the United States, and the State of 
New Mexico. A separate Contract between the Navajo Nation and 
the United States was also incorporated as part of the 
Settlement Agreement. The Act also set forth certain deadlines 
that must be met regarding implementation of the Settlement 
Agreement and Contract, and, if those deadlines were not met, 
provided the stream adjudication court the authority to nullify 
the Settlement Agreement. The current statutory language also 
implies that the state stream adjudication court would have 
jurisdiction to nullify the Contract between the Navajo Nation 
and the United States, which was not the intent of the parties.
    Finally, the Act limited certain authorized funding to 
include only the construction or rehabilitation of certain 
wells. The Act did not include the necessary authorization for 
the planning or design of those projects.

                          NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Clarifying ambiguities in the Omnibus Public Land 
Management Act of 2009 and aligning statutory provisions with 
the original intent of the stakeholders can only be 
accomplished by Congressional action.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 1447 was introduced on August 1, 2013, by Senator Tom 
Udall and Senator Martin Heinrich. The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs. On September 10, 2013, the 
Committee held a hearing on the bill. On June 11, 2014, the 
Committee met at a business meeting to consider the bill. Two 
amendments were offered, and the bill, as amended, was ordered 
to be reported favorably to the Senate.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``Navajo Water Settlement 
Technical Corrections Act.''

Section 2. Navajo water settlement

    Sections 2(a) and 2(b) correct several misspellings and 
incorrect internal references within the Omnibus Public Land 
Management Act of 2009. Section 2(c) clarifies that the Nation 
can take delivery of non-project water but it is responsible 
for the associated operation and maintenance costs. Section 
2(d) expands the current funding authorization for 
``construction and rehabilitation'' to also expressly include 
the planning and design phases of construction and 
rehabilitation. Section 2(d) also fixes an error in the Act 
which prescribed, in error, 2 percent and 4 percent funding for 
cultural resource protection and fish and wildlife facilities, 
respectively. Section 2(d) switches the percentage allocations 
to properly address the original intent of the parties. 
Finally, Section 2(e) clarifies that the Court presiding over 
the stream adjudication has jurisdiction to nullify the Water 
Rights Settlement Agreement, but not the contract supplying 
water to the parties.

                       SUMMARY OF THE AMENDMENTS

    Senator Udall of New Mexico filed two amendments to S. 
1447. One amendment removed the provisions of the bill, as 
introduced, that would have made technical amendments to the 
Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement Act and the Aamodt 
Litigation Settlement Act. This left S. 1447 as amending only 
portions of the existing Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project. 
The second amendment renamed the title of the bill to reflect 
this change.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following cost estimate, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office, dated July 18, 2014, was prepared 
for S. 1447:

                                                     July 18, 2014.
Hon. Jon Tester,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1447, the New Mexico 
Navajo Water Settlements Technical Corrections Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Aurora 
Swanson.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 1447--New Mexico Navajo Water Settlement Technical Corrections Act

    S. 1447 would amend the Navajo Settlement Act to authorize 
the Bureau of Reclamation to participate in planning of 
groundwater well projects for the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. 
The bill also would clarify the intent of certain provisions of 
that act and shift some authorized spending among authorized 
activities. Based on information from the Bureau of 
Reclamation, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation 
would not affect the federal budget. Because enacting S. 1447 
would not affect revenues or direct spending, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    Under current law, the bureau is authorized to construct 
and rehabilitate groundwater wells and related pipeline 
facilities to distribute groundwater for municipal use by the 
Navajo Nation. S. 1447 would authorize the bureau to 
participate in the planning and design of those projects. Based 
on information from the bureau, those activities would be 
accommodated under the existing authorization ceiling for this 
project.
    The bill would clarify that the Navajo Nation can take 
delivery of non-project water but is responsible for the 
associated operation and maintenance costs. S. 1447 also would 
reallocate a portion of spending for fish and wildlife 
facilities to the preservation of archaeological resources near 
the project. Those changes would not affect federal spending.
    S. 1447 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Aurora Swanson. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

               REGULATORY AND PAPERWORK IMPACT STATEMENT

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires each report accompanying a bill to evaluate the 
regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that S. 1447 will 
have a minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no communications from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 1447.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    On June 11, 2014, the Committee on Indian Affairs 
unanimously approved a motion by Chairman Tester to waive the 
Cordon rule. Thus, in the opinion of the committee, it is 
necessary to dispense with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate in order to expedite the business 
of the Senate.