| 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] ...
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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