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H.R. 337 - Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act

Introduced: 2017-02-07
Bill Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
 

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act

(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to: (1) complete environmental, cultural resource, and other due diligence activities on certain public land to confirm its suitability for inclusion in the Black Hills National Cemetery, South Dakota; and (2) notify the Department of the Interior of such activities.

After completion of such activities and upon receipt by Interior of written confirmation of suitability from the VA, the land shall: (1) be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining laws, the mineral leasing laws, and the geothermal leasing laws, for as long as it remains under VA administrative jurisdiction; (2) be deemed property; and (3) be transferred to the VA for use as national cemeteries.

(Sec. 3) Interior shall publish a notice containing the legal descriptions of such transferred land.

The VA shall reimburse Interior for reasonable transfer costs, including survey costs.

(Sec. 4) Upon a determination by the VA that all or a portion of such transferred land shall not be used for cemetery purposes, the VA shall: (1) notify Interior and transfer jurisdiction of the land back to Interior, and (2) be responsible for any decontamination costs necessary for restoration of the lands to the public lands.

Full Text


115th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 337


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 7 (legislative day, February 6), 2017

    Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


AN ACT

    To transfer administrative jurisdiction over certain Bureau of Land Management land from the Secretary of the Interior to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for inclusion in the Black Hills National Cemetery, 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.

The Act may be cited as the “Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act”.

SEC. 2. Withdrawal and transfer of public land for cemetery use.

(a) Due Diligence.—Prior to the withdrawal and transfer in subsection (b), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs will complete appropriate environmental, cultural resource and other due diligence activities on the public lands identified in subsection (c), so that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may confirm that the land is suitable for cemetery purposes. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall notify the Secretary of the Interior of such due diligence activities prior to initiating and shall coordinate as needed during the performance of such activities.

(b) Withdrawal and transfer.—After completion of the due diligence activities in subsection (a) and upon receipt by the Secretary of the Interior of written confirmation from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that the land is suitable for cemetery purposes, and subject to valid existing rights, the public lands described in subsection (c) shall be—

(1) withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining laws, the mineral leasing laws, and the geothermal leasing laws, for as long as the lands remain under the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;

(2) deemed property as defined in section 102(9) of title 40, United States Code, for as long as the lands remain under the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; and

(3) transferred to the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for use as national cemeteries under chapter 24 of title 38, United States Code.

(c) Land description.—The public lands withdrawn, deemed property, and transferred under subsection (b) shall be the approximately 200 acres of land adjacent to Black Hills National Cemetery, South Dakota, generally depicted as “Proposed National Cemetery Expansion” on the map entitled “Proposed Expansion of Black Hills National Cemetery—South Dakota” and dated June 16, 2016, except the land located within 100 feet of the centerline of the Centennial Trail (which runs along the northern boundary of the “Proposed National Cemetery Expansion”) and that is located south of the Trail.

(d) Boundary modification.—Immediately after the public lands are withdrawn, deemed property, and transferred under subsection (b), the boundary of the Black Hills National Cemetery shall be modified to include the public lands identified in subsection (c).

(e) Modification of public land order.—Immediately after the public lands under subsection (b) are withdrawn, deemed property, and transferred under subsection (b), Public Land Order 2112, dated June 6, 1960 (25 Fed. Reg. 5243), shall be modified to exclude the lands identified in subsection (c).

SEC. 3. Legal descriptions.

(a) Preparation of legal descriptions.—As soon as practicable following receipt of written confirmation from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that the land is suitable for cemetery purposes, the Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register a notice containing the legal descriptions of the public lands withdrawn, deemed property, and transferred under section 2(b).

(b) Legal effect.—The legal descriptions prepared under subsection (a) shall have the same force and effect as if the legal descriptions were included in this Act, except that the Secretary of the Interior may correct any clerical and typographical errors in the legal descriptions.

(c) Availability.—Copies of the map referred to in section 2(c) and the legal descriptions prepared under subsection (a) shall be available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of—

(1) the Bureau of Land Management; and

(2) the National Cemetery Administration.

(d) Costs.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall reimburse the Secretary of the Interior for reasonable costs incurred by the Secretary of the Interior in implementing this section, including the costs of any surveys.

SEC. 4. Restoration to public lands for non-cemetery use.

(a) Notice and effect.—Upon a determination by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that all or a portion of the lands withdrawn, deemed property, and transferred under section 2 shall not be used for cemetery purposes, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall notify the Secretary of the Interior of such determination. Subject to subsections (b) and (c), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall transfer administrative jurisdiction of the lands subject to such notice to the Secretary of the Interior.

(b) Decontamination.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall be responsible for costs of any decontamination of the lands resulting from contamination on the lands withdrawn, deemed property, and transferred under section 2(b) while the Secretary of Veterans Affairs exercised jurisdiction over those lands subject to a notice under subsection (a) determined by the Secretary of the Interior to be necessary for the lands to be restored to the public lands.

(c) Restoration to the public lands.—The lands subject to a notice under subsection (a) shall only be restored to the public lands upon acceptance by the Secretary of the Interior and a determination by the Secretary of the Interior that such lands are suitable for restoration to the public lands and operation of one or more of the public land laws.

(d) Opening order.—If the Secretary of the Interior accepts the lands subject to such a notice and determines that the lands are suitable for restoration, in whole or in part, the Secretary of the Interior may open the lands to operation of one or more of the public land laws and may issue an order to that effect.

Passed the House of Representatives February 6, 2017.

    Attest:karen l. haas,   
    Clerk

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