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S. 439 (eah) [Engrossed Amendment House] ...
106th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 438 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. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES February 22, 1999 Mr. Burns (for himself and Mr. Baucus) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources May 27, 1999 Committee discharged; referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs with instructions that at such time as the Committee on Indian Affairs reports the measure, it be referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for a period not to exceed 60 calendar days and that if the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has not reported the measure prior to the expiration of the 60 calendar day period, the Energy Committee be discharged from further consideration of the measure and that the measure be then placed on the calender July 22, 1999 Reported by Mr. Campbell, without amendment July 22, 1999 Referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for a period not to exceed 60 calendar days _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL 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 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 the Compact contemplates the development of additional water supplies, including importation of 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 implement the Compact. (7) To authorize the appropriation of funds necessary for the implementation of the Compact. SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) 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). (2) Final.--The term ``final'' with reference to approval of the decree in section 5(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. (3) Fund.--The term ``Fund'' means the Chippewa Cree Indian Reserved Water Rights Settlement Fund established under section 10. (4) 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)). (5) 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 7. (6) Missouri river system.--The term ``Missouri River System'' means the mainstem of the Missouri River and its tributaries, including the Marias River. (7) 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). (8) 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. (9) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior, or his or her duly authorized representative. (10) Towe ponds.--The term ``Towe Ponds'' means the reservoir or reservoirs referred to as ``Stoneman Reservoir'' in the Compact. (11) 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. (12) Tribal water code.--The term ``tribal water code'' means a water code adopted by the Tribe, as provided in the Compact. (13) 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). (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. (14) Tribe.--The term ``Tribe'' means the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation and all officers, agents, and departments thereof. (15) 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. 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 sections 11(g)(1) and 13(a) and (c)(3), this Act shall be of no further force and effect. SEC. 6. 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.--Notwithstanding any other provision of statutory or common law, the Tribe may, with the approval of the Secretary and subject to the limitations and conditions set forth in the Compact, including limitation on transfer of any portion of the Tribal Water Right to within the Missouri River Basin, enter into a service contract, lease, exchange, or other agreement providing for the temporary delivery, use, or transfer of the water rights confirmed to the Tribe in the Compact, except that no service contract, lease, exchange, or other agreement entered into under this subsection may permanently alienate any portion of the Tribal Water Right. SEC. 7. FEASIBILITY STUDIES AUTHORIZATION. (a) Municipal, Rural, and Industrial Feasibility Study.-- (1) In general.-- (A) Study.--The Secretary, through the Bureau of Reclamation, shall perform an MR&I feasibility study of water and related resources in North Central Montana to evaluate alternatives for a municipal, rural, and industrial supply for the Rocky Boy's Reservation. (B) Use of funds made available for fiscal year 1999.--The authority under subparagraph (A) shall be deemed to apply to MR&I feasibility study activities for which funds were made available by appropriations for fiscal year 1999. (2) Contents of study.--The MR&I feasibility study shall include the feasibility of releasing the Tribe's Tiber allocation as provided in section 8 into the Missouri River System for later diversion to a treatment and delivery system for the Rocky Boy's Reservation. (3) Utilization of existing studies.--The MR&I feasibility study shall include utilization of existing Federal and non- Federal studies and shall be planned and conducted in consultation with other Federal agencies, the State of Montana, and the Chippewa Cree Tribe. (b) Acceptance or Participation in Identified Off-Reservation System.--The United States, the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and the State of Montana shall not be obligated to accept
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