Home > 105th Congressional Bills > S. 736 (rs) To convey certain real property within the Carlsbad Project in New Mexico to the Carlsbad Irrigation District. ...

S. 736 (rs) To convey certain real property within the Carlsbad Project in New Mexico to the Carlsbad Irrigation District. ...


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105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                 S. 736


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 8, 1998

                 Referred to the Committee on Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
  To convey certain real property within the Carlsbad Project in New 
              Mexico to the Carlsbad Irrigation District.

    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 ``Carlsbad Irrigation Project Acquired 
Land Transfer Act''.

SEC. 2. CONVEYANCE.

    (a) Lands and Facilities.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), and 
        subject to subsection (c), the Secretary of the Interior (in 
        this Act referred to as the ``Secretary'') may convey to the 
        Carlsbad Irrigation District (a quasi-municipal corporation 
        formed under the laws of the State of New Mexico and in this 
        Act referred to as the ``District''), all right, title, and 
        interest of the United States in and to the lands described in 
        subsection (b) (in this Act referred to as the ``acquired 
        lands'') and all interests the United States holds in the 
        irrigation and drainage system of the Carlsbad Project and all 
        related lands including ditch rider houses, maintenance shop 
        and buildings, and Pecos River Flume.
            (2) Limitation.--
                    (A) Retained surface rights.--The Secretary shall 
                retain title to the surface estate (but not the mineral 
                estate) of such acquired lands which are located under 
                the footprint of Brantley and Avalon dams or any other 
                project dam or reservoir division structure.
                    (B) Storage and flow easement.--The Secretary shall 
                retain storage and flow easements for any tracts 
                located under the maximum spillway elevations of Avalon 
                and Brantley Reservoirs.
    (b) Acquired Lands Described.--The lands referred to in subsection 
(a) are those lands (including the surface and mineral estate) in Eddy 
County, New Mexico, described as the acquired lands and in section (7) 
of the ``Status of Lands and Title Report: Carlsbad Project'' as 
reported by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1978.
    (c) Terms and Conditions of Conveyance.--Any conveyance of the 
acquired lands under this Act shall be subject to the following terms 
and conditions:
            (1) Management and use, generally.--The conveyed lands 
        shall continue to be managed and used by the District for the 
        purposes for which the Carlsbad Project was authorized, based 
        on historic operations and consistent with the management of 
        other adjacent project lands.
            (2) Assumed rights and obligations.--Except as provided in 
        paragraph (3), the District shall assume all rights and 
        obligations of the United States under--
                    (A) the agreement dated July 28, 1994, between the 
                United States and the Director, New Mexico Department 
                of Game and Fish (Document No. 2-LM-40-00640), relating 
                to management of certain lands near Brantley Reservoir 
                for fish and wildlife purposes; and
                    (B) the agreement dated March 9, 1977, between the 
                United States and the New Mexico Department of Energy, 
                Minerals, and Natural Resources (Contract No. 7-07-57-
                X0888) for the management and operation of Brantley 
                Lake State Park.
            (3) Exceptions.--In relation to agreements referred to in 
        paragraph (2)--
                    (A) the District shall not be obligated for any 
                financial support agreed to by the Secretary, or the 
                Secretary's designee, in either agreement; and
                    (B) the District shall not be entitled to any 
                receipts for revenues generated as a result of either 
                agreement.
    (d) Completion of Conveyance.--If the Secretary does not complete 
the conveyance within 180 days from the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary shall submit a report to the Congress within 30 days 
after that period that includes a detailed explanation of problems that 
have been encountered in completing the conveyance, and specific steps 
that the Secretary has taken or will take to complete the conveyance.

SEC. 3. LEASE MANAGEMENT AND PAST REVENUES COLLECTED FROM THE ACQUIRED 
              LANDS.

    (a) Identification and Notification of Leaseholders.--Within 120 
days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the 
Interior shall--
            (1) provide to the District a written identification of all 
        mineral and grazing leases in effect on the acquired lands on 
        the date of enactment of this Act; and
            (2) notify all leaseholders of the conveyance authorized by 
        this Act.
    (b) Management of Mineral and Grazing Leases, Licenses, and 
Permits.--The District shall assume all rights and obligations of the 
United States for all mineral and grazing leases, licenses, and permits 
existing on the acquired lands conveyed under section 2, and shall be 
entitled to any receipts from such leases, licenses, and permits 
accruing after the date of conveyance. All such receipts shall be used 
for purposes for which the Project was authorized and for financing the 
portion of operations, maintenance, and replacement of the Summer Dam 
which, prior to conveyance, was the responsibility of the Bureau of 
Reclamation, with the exception of major maintenance programs in 
progress prior to conveyance which shall be funded through the cost 
share formulas in place at the time of conveyance. The District shall 
continue to adhere to the current Bureau of Reclamation mineral leasing 
stipulations for the Carlsbad Project.
    (c) Availability of Amounts Paid Into Reclamation Fund.--
            (1) Existing receipts.--Receipts in the reclamation fund on 
        the date of enactment of this Act which exist as construction 
        credits to the Carlsbad Project under the terms of the Mineral 
        Leasing Act for Acquired Lands (30 U.S.C. 351-359) shall be 
        deposited in the General Treasury and credited to deficit 
        reduction or retirement of the Federal debt.
            (2) Receipts after enactment.--Of the receipts from mineral 
        and grazing leases, licenses, and permits on acquired lands to 
        be conveyed under section 2, that are received by the United 
        States after the date of enactment and before the date of 
        conveyance--
                    (A) not to exceed $200,000 shall be available to 
                the Secretary for the actual costs of implementing this 
                Act with any additional costs shared equally between 
                the Secretary and the District; and
                    (B) the remainder shall be deposited into the 
                General Treasury of the United States and credited to 
                deficit reduction or retirement of the Federal debt.

SEC. 4. VOLUNTARY WATER CONSERVATION PRACTICES.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the ability of the 
District to voluntarily implement water conservation practices.

SEC. 5. LIABILITY.

    Effective on the date of conveyance of any lands and facilities 
authorized by this Act, the United States shall not be held liable by 
any court for damages of any kind arising out of any act, omission, or 
occurrence relating to the conveyed property, except for damages caused 
by acts of negligence committed by the United States or by its 
employees, agents, or contractors, prior to conveyance. Nothing in this 
section shall be considered to increase the liability of the United 
States beyond that provided under chapter 171 of title 28, United 
States Code, popularly known as the Federal Tort Claims Act.

SEC. 6. FUTURE BENEFITS.

    Effective upon transfer, the lands and facilities transferred 
pursuant to this Act shall not be entitled to receive any further 
Reclamation benefits pursuant to the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, 
and Acts supplementary thereof or amendatory thereto attributable to 
their status as part of a Reclamation Project.

            Passed the Senate October 7 (legislative day, October 2), 
      1998.

            Attest:

                                                    GARY SISCO,

                                                             Secretary.

Pages: 1

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