Summary: H.R.2272 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2272. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (05/09/1989)

California Military Lands Withdrawal Act of 1989 - Withdraws from appropriation under public land laws, but not the mineral and geothermal leasing laws, and reserves for military use by the Department of the Navy specified lands in California known as the China Lake Naval Weapons Center in Inyo, Kern, and San Bernardino Counties and Chocolate Mountain in Imperial County.

Requires the Secretary of the Interior, every five years, to determine which such lands are suitable for opening to the operation of mining and mineral leasing laws. Opens such lands to such operation. Requires the Secretary to close such lands for purposes of national security. Provides that patents issued for locatable minerals shall convey title to such minerals only and shall reserve to the United States the surface of all patented lands and all nonlocatable minerals.

Requires the Secretary to manage nonmilitary uses of, and to be responsible for, all easements, leases, permits, and rights-of-way over, the lands withdrawn and reserved under this Act. Authorizes the Secretary and the Secretary of the Navy to continue cooperative management practices over such lands. Requires the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of the Navy, to develop a land use plan and management program for Chocolate Mountain and China Lake within three years after this Act's enactment. Requires the Secretary of the Navy to report annually on the natural resource status of China Lake's lands to the Secretary of the Interior.

Provides that the Secretary of the Navy shall have the authority to control the military use of the lands withdrawn and reserved under this Act. Authorizes the Secretary to close roads and trails for military operations or safety or security purposes. Requires the Secretary to prevent and suppress brush and range fires with reimbursable assistance from the Bureau of Land Management. Makes the Secretary responsible for the management of wild horses and burros on China Lake and allows the Secretary to utilize mineral resources for construction needs.

Requires the Secretaries to enter into a memorandum of understanding to implement the plan and program developed for Chocolate Mountain.

Declares that land withdrawals are not intended to: (1) withdraw any water for specified defense related uses; (2) affect future appropriation of water on such lands; and (3) affect water rights acquired by the Department of Defense prior to the enactment of this Act for use in military operations at China Lake and Chocolate Mountain.

Terminates land withdrawals under this Act 15 years after this Act's enactment. Requires the Secretary of the Navy to publish a draft environmental impact statement on the continued or renewed withdrawal of lands under this Act. Requires the Secretary to hold a public hearing in California before the withdrawal's termination.

Requires the Secretary of the Navy to maintain a decontamination program for such lands during their withdrawal. Requires the Secretary to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees on such decontamination efforts.

Requires the Secretary of the Navy to notify the Secretary of the Interior, at least three years before the termination of the withdrawal, whether an extension is going to be requested and, if not, to what extent such lands are contaminated with hazardous materials. Requires the Secretary of the Navy to decontaminate relinquished lands, but if such decontamination is not practicable or economically feasible, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to refuse to accept such lands. Requires the Secretary of the Navy to then: (1) warn the public of risks of entry; (2) conduct only decontamination activities on such lands after the expiration of the withdrawal; and (3) report to the Secretary of the Interior and the Congress on the status of such lands. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to publish the acceptance of withdrawn lands, indicating when such lands will be open and under what conditions.

Exempts the United States from liability for injuries or damages resulting from nonmilitary activity on withdrawn lands.

Authorizes an extension of the Navy's use of the El Centro Ranges in Imperial County, California, through 1989, subject to resource protection requirements.