Summary: H.R.721 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.721. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/27/1995)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: General Provisions

Title II: Revenue from Mining Claims

Title III: Helium

Title IV: Use of Disposal of Federal Natural Resources

Title V: National Park Concessions

Public Resources Deficit Reduction Act of 1995 - Title I: General Provisions - Prohibits any timber, minerals, forage, or other natural resources owned by the United States, any federally owned water, or hydroelectric energy of a Federal facility from being sold, leased, or otherwise disposed of by any Federal entity for less than fair market value.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to establish and collect user fees as necessary to reimburse the United States for expenses incurred in administering programs.

(Sec. 103) Requires the revenues from the sale, lease, and transfer of Federal assets to be included in the President's budget submission to Congress.

Title II: Revenue from Mining Claims - Requires the holders of mining claims to pay an annual claim maintenance fee of $100 per claim per calendar year. Allows the waiver of such fee for holders of more than ten claims.

(Sec. 203) Requires claimholders to pay a royalty of eight percent of gross income for production of locatable minerals on Federal lands.

(Sec. 204) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose an excise tax on gross income resulting from the severance of any locatable mineral, or mineral concentrates or products, from a mine or other natural deposit. Makes such tax inapplicable to gross income to which a royalty is imposed.

(Sec. 205) Establishes the Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund for the reclamation and restoration of land and water resources adversely affected by past mineral activities on Federal lands. Credits the royalties and excise tax under this title to such Fund.

(Sec. 206) Prohibits the issuance of a patent for any mining claim unless the Secretary of the Interior determines that, for the claim concerned: (1) a patent application was filed before January 27, 1995; and (2) all requirements are met under the Revised Statutes for vein or lode claims and for placer claims.

(Sec. 207) Requires the Secretary to adjust all dollar amounts under this title for changes in purchasing power every ten years, employing the Consumer Price Index as the basis for adjustment.

Title III: Helium - Amends the Helium Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to: (1) enter into agreements with private parties for the recovery and disposal of helium on Federal lands; (2) grant leasehold rights to such helium; (3) store and transport crude helium; and (4) maintain and operate existing crude helium storage at the Bureau of Mines Cliffside Field.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) cease producing, refining, and marketing refined helium; and (2) dispose of all facilities, equipment, and Federal property interests relating to refined helium activities.

Requires the Secretary to impose fees for helium storage, withdrawal, or transportation services.

Prescribes guidelines for: (1) the purchase of helium by Federal agencies from certain private persons; and (2) the sale of crude helium by the Secretary. Prohibits the Secretary from making crude helium sales in amounts that will disrupt the crude helium market price. Mandates that proceeds from helium sales be paid to the Treasury.

Instructs the Secretary to eliminate helium stockpiles by a prescribed deadline. Repeals the Secretary's authority to borrow under the Helium Act.

Title IV: Use or Disposal of Federal Natural Resources - Amends the Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to National Forest lands in the 16 contiguous Western States, and the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to public domain lands, where domestic livestock grazing is permitted under applicable law, to establish and implement an annual domestic livestock grazing fee equal to fair market value, based on a specified formula.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) abolition of grazing advisory boards; and (2) the U.S. share of receipts.

(Sec. 402) Amends the National Forest Management Act of 1976 to prohibit below-cost timber sales from National Forest System Lands.

(Sec. 403) Amends the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 to require the Secretary of Agriculture in revising land management plans to take into account the economic suitability of lands for timber production.

(Sec. 404) Amends the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 to require that irrigation water from the Bureau of Reclamation used to grow surplus crops be paid for at the full cost for delivery.

(Sec. 405) Amends the Food Security Act of 1995 and the Federal Crop Insurance Act to provide for the reduction of payment limitations for persons who receive Federal irrigation water for agricultural purposes.

(Sec. 408) Amends the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 to repeal the livestock feed assistance program.

(Sec. 409) Requires that permits for the use of communications sites on public lands be established at fair market value.

(Sec. 410) Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to require that oil and gas rental prices for leases on public lands be established at fair market value.

Title V: National Park Concessions - Repeals the Concessions Policy Act of 1965.

(Sec. 504) Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to award concession contracts that authorize private persons, corporations, or other entities to provide services to park visitors and to utilize facilities if it is determined that such award is appropriate.

(Sec. 505) Requires a concession contract to be awarded to the person submitting the best proposal through a competitive selection process to be established by the Secretary. Allows waiver of such procedures and award of a temporary contract to avoid interruption of services.

Requires the Secretary to publish a notice of availability for a prospectus soliciting proposals for contracts for concessions at a Park specifying minimum contract requirements and contract terms and conditions. Requires congressional notification of any proposed contract with anticipated gross receipts exceeding $1 million or of a duration of ten or more years.

Prohibits the Secretary from granting a preferential right to a concessioner to renew concession contracts under this Act, with exceptions. Allows such preferential rights to be granted for certain outfitting and guide contracts and certain contracts with annual gross receipts of under $500,000.

(Sec. 506) Sets forth criteria for determining franchise fees, including fees for multiple franchise contracts within a park.

(Sec. 507) Requires all fees to be: (1) covered into a special Treasury account established for reallocation to NPS units for resource management and protection, maintenance activities, interpretation, and research; or (2) deposited into a Park Improvement Fund established by the concessioner (as directed by the Secretary) from which expenditures shall be made for park activities and projects. Requires: (1) an annual statement from the concessioner to the Secretary reflecting total activity in the Fund for the preceding fiscal year; and (2) an annual report from the Secretary to specified congressional committees concerning Fund expenditures.

(Sec. 508) Establishes a maximum: (1) ten-year duration for a concessions contract, provided that the Secretary may award a contract for up to 20 years if determined necessary; and (2) two-year duration for a temporary contract.

(Sec. 509) Requires the approval of the Secretary and congressional notification before a concession contract can be transferred, assigned, sold, or conveyed and sets forth conditions that preclude such conveyance.

(Sec. 510) Grants possessory interest to: (1) concessioners who have commenced acquisition or construction of any structure on Federal land within a park before the enactment of this Act; and (2) concessioners who construct or acquire an improvement on U.S. land within a Park after enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 511) Places limitations on a concessioner's rates and charges to the public.

(Sec. 512) Directs the Secretary to: (1) periodically evaluate the performance of each concessioner under contract; (2) terminate a contract if a concessioner fails, within the prescribed time, to meet minimum requirements identified in a notice of unsatisfactory performance; and (3) notify specified congressional committees of each unsatisfactory rating and each contract terminated.

(Sec. 513) Provides that the Comptroller General of the United States shall, until the expiration of five calendar years after the close of the business year for each concessioner, have access to and the right to examine any pertinent books, documents, papers, and records of the concessioner related to the contracts.

(Sec. 514) Exempts contracts awarded by the Secretary under this Act from certain provisions of Federal law with respect to the leasing of U.S. buildings and properties.

(Sec. 516) Requires the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior to submit biannual reports to specified congressional committees on the implementation of this Act and its effect on facilities operated pursuant to concession contracts and on visitor services.

(Sec. 517) Authorizes appropriations.