Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 438 (es) To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and for other purposes. [Engrossed in Senate] ...

S. 438 (es) To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and for other purposes. [Engrossed in Senate] ...


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        S.438

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE FIRST SESSION

         Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,
   the sixth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine


                                 An Act


 
To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Chippewa 
   Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and for other purposes.

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

SECTION. 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Chippewa Cree Tribe of The Rocky 
Boy's Reservation Indian Reserved Water Rights Settlement and Water 
Supply Enhancement Act of 1999''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
        (1) in fulfillment of its trust responsibility to Indian tribes 
    and to promote tribal sovereignty and economic self-sufficiency, it 
    is the policy of the United States to settle the water rights 
    claims of the tribes without lengthy and costly litigation;
        (2) the Rocky Boy's Reservation was established as a homeland 
    for the Chippewa Cree Tribe;
        (3) adequate water for the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky 
    Boy's Reservation is important to a permanent, sustainable, and 
    sovereign homeland for the Tribe and its members;
        (4) the sovereignty of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and the economy 
    of the Reservation depend on the development of the water resources 
    of the Reservation;
        (5) the planning, design, and construction of the facilities 
    needed to utilize water supplies effectively are necessary to the 
    development of a viable Reservation economy and to implementation 
    of the Chippewa Cree-Montana Water Rights Compact;
        (6) the Rocky Boy's Reservation is located in a water-short 
    area of Montana and it is appropriate that the Act provide funding 
    for the development of additional water supplies, including 
    domestic water, to meet the needs of the Chippewa Cree Tribe;
        (7) proceedings to determine the full extent of the water 
    rights of the Chippewa Cree Tribe are currently pending before the 
    Montana Water Court as a part of In the Matter of the Adjudication 
    of All Rights to the Use of Water, Both Surface and Underground, 
    within the State of Montana;
        (8) recognizing that final resolution of the general stream 
    adjudication will take many years and entail great expense to all 
    parties, prolong uncertainty as to the availability of water 
    supplies, and seriously impair the long-term economic planning and 
    development of all parties, the Chippewa Cree Tribe and the State 
    of Montana entered into the Compact on April 14, 1997; and
        (9) the allocation of water resources from the Tiber Reservoir 
    to the Chippewa Cree Tribe under this Act is uniquely suited to the 
    geographic, social, and economic characteristics of the area and 
    situation involved.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are as follows:
        (1) To achieve a fair, equitable, and final settlement of all 
    claims to water rights in the State of Montana for--
            (A) the Chippewa Cree Tribe; and
            (B) the United States for the benefit of the Chippewa Cree 
        Tribe.
        (2) To approve, ratify, and confirm, as modified in this Act, 
    the Chippewa Cree-Montana Water Rights Compact entered into by the 
    Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation and the State of 
    Montana on April 14, 1997, and to provide funding and other 
    authorization necessary for the implementation of the Compact.
        (3) To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to execute and 
    implement the Compact referred to in paragraph (2) and to take such 
    other actions as are necessary to implement the Compact in a manner 
    consistent with this Act.
        (4) To authorize Federal feasibility studies designed to 
    identify and analyze potential mechanisms to enhance, through 
    conservation or otherwise, water supplies in North Central Montana, 
    including mechanisms to import domestic water supplies for the 
    future growth of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.
        (5) To authorize certain projects on the Rocky Boy's Indian 
    Reservation, Montana, in order to implement the Compact.
        (6) To authorize certain modifications to the purposes and 
    operation of the Bureau of Reclamation's Tiber Dam and Lake Elwell 
    on the Marias River in Montana in order to provide the Tribe with 
    an allocation of water from Tiber Reservoir.
        (7) To authorize the appropriation of funds necessary for the 
    implementation of the Compact.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
        (1) Act.--The term ``Act'' means the ``Chippewa Cree Tribe of 
    The Rocky Boy's Reservation Indian Reserved Water Rights Settlement 
    and Water Supply Enhancement Act of 1999''.
        (2) Compact.--The term ``Compact'' means the water rights 
    compact between the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's 
    Reservation and the State of Montana contained in section 85-20-601 
    of the Montana Code Annotated (1997).
        (3) Final.--The term ``final'' with reference to approval of 
    the decree in section 101(b) means completion of any direct appeal 
    to the Montana Supreme Court of a final decree by the Water Court 
    pursuant to section 85-2-235 of the Montana Code Annotated (1997), 
    or to the Federal Court of Appeals, including the expiration of the 
    time in which a petition for certiorari may be filed in the United 
    States Supreme Court, denial of such a petition, or the issuance of 
    the Supreme Court's mandate, whichever occurs last.
        (4) Fund.--The term ``Fund'' means the Chippewa Cree Indian 
    Reserved Water Rights Settlement Fund established under section 
    104.
        (5) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning 
    given that term in section 101(2) of the Federally Recognized 
    Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a(2)).
        (6) MR&I feasibility study.--The term ``MR&I feasibility 
    study'' means a municipal, rural, and industrial, domestic, and 
    incidental drought relief feasibility study described in section 
    202.
        (7) Missouri river system.--The term ``Missouri River System'' 
    means the mainstem of the Missouri River and its tributaries, 
    including the Marias River.
        (8) Reclamation law.--The term ``Reclamation Law'' has the 
    meaning given the term ``reclamation law'' in section 4 of the Act 
    of December 5, 1924 (43 Stat. 701, chapter 4; 43 U.S.C. 371).
        (9) Rocky boy's reservation; reservation.--The term ``Rocky 
    Boy's Reservation'' or ``Reservation'' means the Rocky Boy's 
    Reservation of the Chippewa Cree Tribe in Montana.
        (10) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
    the Interior, or his or her duly authorized representative.
        (11) Towe ponds.--The term ``Towe Ponds'' means the reservoir 
    or reservoirs referred to as ``Stoneman Reservoir'' in the Compact.
        (12) Tribal compact administration.--The term ``Tribal Compact 
    Administration'' means the activities assumed by the Tribe for 
    implementation of the Compact as set forth in Article IV of the 
    Compact.
        (13) Tribal water code.--The term ``tribal water code'' means a 
    water code adopted by the Tribe, as provided in the Compact.
        (14) Tribal water right.--
            (A) In general.--The term ``Tribal Water Right'' means the 
        water right set forth in section 85-20-601 of the Montana Code 
        Annotated (1997) and includes the water allocation set forth in 
        title II of this Act.
            (B) Rule of construction.--The definition of the term 
        ``Tribal Water Right'' under this paragraph and the treatment 
        of that right under this Act shall not be construed or 
        interpreted as a precedent for the litigation of reserved water 
        rights or the interpretation or administration of future 
        compacts between the United States and the State of Montana or 
        any other State.
        (15) Tribe.--The term ``Tribe'' means the Chippewa Cree Tribe 
    of the Rocky Boy's Reservation and all officers, agents, and 
    departments thereof.
        (16) Water development.--The term ``water development'' 
    includes all activities that involve the use of water or 
    modification of water courses or water bodies in any way.

SEC. 5. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

    (a) Nonexercise of Tribe's Rights.--Pursuant to Tribal Resolution 
No. 40-98, and in exchange for benefits under this Act, the Tribe shall 
not exercise the rights set forth in Article VII.A.3 of the Compact, 
except that in the event that the approval, ratification, and 
confirmation of the Compact by the United States becomes null and void 
under section 101(b), the Tribe shall have the right to exercise the 
rights set forth in Article VII.A.3 of the Compact.
    (b) Waiver of Sovereign Immunity.--Except to the extent provided in 
subsections (a), (b), and (c) of section 208 of the Department of 
Justice Appropriation Act, 1953 (43 U.S.C. 666), nothing in this Act 
may be construed to waive the sovereign immunity of the United States.
    (c) Tribal Release of Claims Against the United States.--
        (1) In General.--Pursuant to Tribal Resolution No. 40-98, and 
    in exchange for benefits under this Act, the Tribe shall, on the 
    date of enactment of this Act, execute a waiver and release of the 
    claims described in paragraph (2) against the United States, the 
    validity of which are not recognized by the United States, except 
    that--
            (A) the waiver and release of claims shall not become 
        effective until the appropriation of the funds authorized in 
        section 105, the water allocation in section 201, and the 
        appropriation of funds for the MR&I feasibility study 
        authorized in section 204 have been completed and the decree 
        has become final in accordance with the requirements of section 
        101(b); and
            (B) in the event that the approval, ratification, and 
        confirmation of the Compact by the United States becomes null 
        and void under section 101(b), the waiver and release of claims 
        shall become null and void.
        (2) Claims described.--The claims referred to in paragraph (1) 
    are as follows:
            (A) Any and all claims to water rights (including water 
        rights in surface water, ground water, and effluent), claims 
        for injuries to water rights, claims for loss or deprivation of 
        use of water rights, and claims for failure to acquire or 
        develop water rights for lands of the Tribe from time 
        immemorial to the date of ratification of the Compact by 
        Congress.
            (B) Any and all claims arising out of the negotiation of 
        the Compact and the settlement authorized by this Act.
        (3) Setoffs.--In the event the waiver and release do not become 
    effective as set forth in paragraph (1)--
            (A) the United States shall be entitled to setoff against 
        any claim for damages asserted by the Tribe against the United 
        States, any funds transferred to the Tribe pursuant to section 
        104, and any interest accrued thereon up to the date of setoff; 
        and
            (B) the United States shall retain any other claims or 
        defenses not waived in this Act or in the Compact as modified 
        by this Act.
    (d) Other Tribes Not Adversely Affected.--Nothing in this Act shall 
be construed to quantify or otherwise adversely affect the land and 
water rights, or claims or entitlements to land or water of an Indian 
tribe other than the Chippewa Cree Tribe.
    (e) Environmental Compliance.--In implementing the Compact, the 
Secretary shall comply with all aspects of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and all other applicable 
environmental Acts and regulations.
    (f) Execution of Compact.--The execution of the Compact by the 
Secretary as provided for in this Act shall not constitute a major 
Federal action under the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.). The Secretary is directed to carry out all necessary 
environmental compliance required by Federal law in implementing the 
Compact.
    (g) Congressional Intent.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed 
to prohibit the Tribe from seeking additional authorization or 
appropriation of funds for tribal programs or purposes.
    (h) Act not Precedential.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed 
or interpreted as a precedent for the litigation of reserved water 
rights or the interpretation or administration of future water 
settlement Acts.

  TITLE I--CHIPPEWA CREE TRIBE OF THE ROCKY BOY'S RESERVATION INDIAN 
                    RESERVED WATER RIGHTS SETTLEMENT

SEC. 101. RATIFICATION OF COMPACT AND ENTRY OF DECREE.

    (a) Water Rights Compact Approved.--Except as modified by this Act, 
and to the extent the Compact does not conflict with this Act--
        (1) the Compact, entered into by the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the 
    Rocky Boy's Reservation and the State of Montana on April 14, 1997, 
    is hereby approved, ratified, and confirmed; and
        (2) the Secretary shall--
            (A) execute and implement the Compact together with any 
        amendments agreed to by the parties or necessary to bring the 
        Compact into conformity with this Act; and
            (B) take such other actions as are necessary to implement 
        the Compact.
    (b) Approval of Decree.--
        (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
    enactment of this Act, the United States, the Tribe, or the State 
    of Montana shall petition the Montana Water Court, individually or 
    jointly, to enter and approve the decree agreed to by the United 
    States, the Tribe, and the State of Montana attached as Appendix 1 
    to the Compact, or any amended version thereof agreed to by the 
    United States, the Tribe, and the State of Montana.
        (2) Resort to the federal district court.--Under the 
    circumstances set forth in Article VII.B.4 of the Compact, 1 or 
    more parties may file an appropriate motion (as provided in that 
    article) in the United States district court of appropriate 
    jurisdiction.
        (3) Effect of failure of approval to become final.--In the 
    event the approval by the appropriate court, including any direct 
    appeal, does not become final within 3 years after the filing of 
    the decree, or the decree is approved but is subsequently set aside 
    by the appropriate court--
            (A) the approval, ratification, and confirmation of the 
        Compact by the United States shall be null and void; and
            (B) except as provided in subsections (a) and (c)(3) of 
        section 5 and section 105(e)(1), this Act shall be of no 
        further force and effect.

SEC. 102. USE AND TRANSFER OF THE TRIBAL WATER RIGHT.

    (a) Administration and Enforcement.--As provided in the Compact, 
until the adoption and approval of a tribal water code by the Tribe, 
the Secretary shall administer and enforce the Tribal Water Right.
    (b) Tribal Member Entitlement.--
        (1) In general.--Any entitlement to Federal Indian reserved 
    water of any tribal member shall be satisfied solely from the water 
    secured to the Tribe by the Compact and shall be governed by the 
    terms and conditions of the Compact.
        (2) Administration.--An entitlement described in paragraph (1) 
    shall be administered by the Tribe pursuant to a tribal water code 
    developed and adopted pursuant to Article IV.A.2 of the Compact, or 
    by the Secretary pending the adoption and approval of the tribal 
    water code.
    (c) Temporary Transfer of Tribal Water Right.--The Tribe may, with 
the approval of the Secretary and the approval of the State of Montana 

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