Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4171 (ih) To amend title 49, United States Code, relating to the transportation of hazardous materials. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 4171 (ih) To amend title 49, United States Code, relating to the transportation of hazardous materials. [Introduced in House] ...

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  2d Session
                                H. R. 4170

  To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to recruit volunteers to 
  assist with, or facilitate, the activities of various agencies and 
               offices of the Department of the Interior.



                             April 20, 2004

    Mr. Pombo (by request) introduced the following bill; which was 
                 referred to the Committee on Resources


                                 A BILL

  To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to recruit volunteers to 
  assist with, or facilitate, the activities of various agencies and 
               offices of the Department of the Interior.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Department of the Interior Volunteer 
Recruitment Act of 2004''.


    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) A commitment to serve our neighbors and our Nation is 
        an essential part of the character of the people of the United 
        States. We have always believed in an ethic of citizenship that 
        includes helping those in need and promoting the common good. 
        We know this makes the United States stronger and the world 
            (2) President George W. Bush has called on all Americans to 
        serve their country for the equivalent of two years, or 4,000 
        hours, over a lifetime. This is a profound individual 
        commitment and a worthy national goal.
            (3) The tragic events of September 11, 2001, reminded the 
        people of the United States that, as citizens, we bear 
        essential obligations to each other, to our country, and to 
            (4) The Department of the Interior has agencies with 
        vibrant volunteer programs, such as the National Park Service, 
        the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of 
        Land Management. However, there are a number of agencies and 
        offices that have no authority or incomplete authority to 
        recruit and use volunteers.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to authorize the Secretary 
of the Interior to recruit and use volunteers to assist with, or 
facilitate, the programs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Office of 
Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, the Minerals Management 
Service, the United States Geological Survey, the Bureau of 
Reclamation, the Office of the Solicitor, and the Office of the 


    (a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior may recruit, train, 
and accept, without regard to the civil service classification laws, 
rules, or regulations, the services of individuals, contributed without 
compensation as volunteers, for aiding in or facilitating the 
activities administered by the Secretary through the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the 
Minerals Management Service, the United States Geological Survey, the 
Bureau of Reclamation, the Office of the Solicitor, and the Office of 
the Secretary.
    (b) Restrictions on Activities of Volunteers.--
            (1) In general.--In accepting such services of individuals 
        as volunteers, the Secretary shall not permit the use of 
        volunteers in law enforcement work, in regulatory and 
        enforcement work, in policymaking processes, or to displace any 
            (2) Private property.--No volunteer services authorized by 
        this Act may be conducted on private property unless the 
        officer or employee charged with supervising the volunteer 
        obtains appropriate consent to enter the property from the 
        property owner.
            (3) Hazardous duty.--The Secretary may accept the services 
        of individuals in hazardous duty only upon a determination by 
        the Secretary that such individuals are skilled in performing 
        hazardous duty activities.
            (4) Supervision.--The Secretary shall ensure that an 
        appropriate officer or employee of the United States provides 
        adequate and appropriate supervision of each volunteer whose 
        services the Secretary accepts.
    (c) Provision of Services and Costs.--The Secretary may provide for 
services and costs incidental to the utilization of volunteers, 
including transportation, supplies, uniforms, lodging, subsistence 
(without regard to place of residence), recruiting, training, 
supervision, and awards and recognition (including nominal cash 
    (d) Federal Employment Status of Volunteers.--
            (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a 
        volunteer shall not be deemed a Federal employee and shall not 
        be subject to the provisions of law relating to Federal 
        employment, including those provisions relating to hours of 
        work, rates of compensation, leave, unemployment compensation, 
        and Federal employee benefits.
            (2) Volunteers shall be deemed employees of the United 
        States for the purposes of--
                    (A) the tort claims provisions of title 28, United 
                States Code;
                    (B) subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, United 
                States Code; and
                    (C) claims relating to damage to, or loss of, 
                personal property of a volunteer incident to volunteer 
                service, in which case the provisions of section 3721 
                of title 31, United States Code, shall apply.
            (3) Volunteers under this Act will be subject to chapter 11 
        of title 18, United States Code, unless the Secretary, with the 
        concurrence of the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, 
        determines in writing published in the Federal Register that 
        the provisions of that chapter, except section 201, will not 
        apply to the actions of a class or classes of volunteers who 
        carry out only those duties or functions specified in the 

Pages: 1

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