Summary: H.R.4404 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (08/10/1992)

Fort Carson-Pinon Canyon Military Lands Withdrawal Act - Withdraws from appropriation under public land, mining, mineral, and geothermal leasing laws, and reserves for military use by the Army, specified lands at the Fort Carson Military Reservation and Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (both in Colorado).

Provides that the Secretary of the Army (Secretary), during the period of withdrawal, shall manage such lands for military purposes and may authorize their use by other U.S. military departments and agencies.

Directs the Secretary, with the concurrence of the Secretary of the Interior, to develop a management plan for such lands. Requires the Secretaries to enter into a memorandum of understanding to implement such plan. Requires that such plan identify such withdrawn lands and acquired lands to be open to mining or mineral and geothermal leasing, including mineral materials disposal. Directs the Secretaries to determine which such lands are suitable for opening every five years.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Army to use mineral resources for construction needs of the Fort Carson Reservation or Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior to manage all withdrawn and acquired mineral resources contained within the boundaries of such areas. Provides that land identified as suitable for operation of mining, mineral, geothermal leasing, and the mineral material disposal laws shall be open automatically, without further action by either the Secretary of the Interior or the Congress, on a day specified by such Secretary in the Federal Register.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior, at the request of the Secretary of the Army, to close such lands in the event of a national emergency or for national defense or security purposes.

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.

Terminates such land withdrawal and reservation 15 years after enactment of this Act.

Requires the Secretary of the Army to notify the Secretary of the Interior, at least three years before termination of the withdrawal and reservation, whether an extension is going to be requested due to a continuing military need and, if not, to what extent such lands are contaminated with hazardous materials. Directs the Secretary of the Army, before filing an application for such an extension, to: (1) evaluate the environmental effects of renewal of such withdrawal and reservation; and (2) hold at least one public hearing in Colorado concerning such evaluation. Requires the Secretary of the Interior to notify the Congress concerning such filing. Authorizes the Secretary to take necessary steps to prevent uses inconsistent with such extension for a maximum two-year period after the termination of the withdrawal and reservation.

Requires the Secretary of the Army to decontaminate lands to be relinquished if decontamination is practicable or feasible. Provides that the Secretary of the Interior shall not be required to accept them otherwise. Requires the Secretary of the Army 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) make a status report to the Secretary of the Interior and to the Congress. Directs the Secretary of the Army to maintain a program of decontamination of the lands withdrawn by this Act at least at the level of effort carried out during FY 1992.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to revoke withdrawal and reservation of lands proposed for relinquishment and to accept jurisdiction over them if it is in the public interest. Requires notice of such decision to be published in the Federal Register.

Authorizes appropriations.