Text: H.R.640 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/06/1997)

 
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 640 Introduced in House (IH)]







105th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 640

 To amend the wetland conservation provisions of the Food Security Act 
   of 1985 and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to permit the 
 unimpeded use of privately owned crop, range, and pasture lands that 
have been used for the planting of crops or the grazing of livestock in 
                 at least five of preceding ten years.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            February 6, 1997

Mr. Hostettler (for himself, Mr. Combest, Mr. Barrett of Nebraska, Mr. 
 Goodlatte, Mr. Souder, Mr. McIntosh, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Smith 
of Michigan, Mr. Lewis of Kentucky, Mr. Baker, Mr. McCrery, Mr. McHugh, 
Mr. Herger, Mr. Royce, Mr. Bonilla, Mr. Riggs, Mr. Latham, Mr. Barr of 
 Georgia, Mr. Christensen, and Mr. Doolittle) introduced the following 
    bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a 
 period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend the wetland conservation provisions of the Food Security Act 
   of 1985 and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to permit the 
 unimpeded use of privately owned crop, range, and pasture lands that 
have been used for the planting of crops or the grazing of livestock in 
                 at least five of preceding ten years.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND FINDINGS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Agricultural Lands 
Protection Act of 1997''.
    (b) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution 
        provides that no person may be deprived of their property 
        without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken 
        for public use without just compensation.
            (2) Accordingly, great care must be taken in making 
        wetlands declarations lest private property owners be deprived 
        of the legitimate use of their property.
            (3) The history of wetlands declarations under Federal law, 
        and the restrictions upon land declared to be wetlands, have 
        resulted in an environment where uncompensated takings by the 
        Federal Government of the land of America's farmers are 
        possible.
            (4) Such uncompensated takings of agricultural land must be 
        curtailed.

SEC. 2. EXCLUSION OF HEAVILY USED AGRICULTURAL LANDS FROM DEFINITIONS 
              OF WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES AND NAVIGABLE WATERS UNDER 
              THE FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT.

    Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 
1344) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(u) In addition to the exceptions provided in subsection (f), the 
terms ``waters of the United States'' and ``navigable waters'', as used 
in this Act, shall not include any privately owned crop, range, or 
pasture lands that have been used for the production of crops or the 
grazing of livestock in not less than five of the immediately preceding 
ten calendar years.''.

SEC. 3. EXCLUSION OF HEAVILY USED AGRICULTURAL LANDS FROM SWAMPBUSTER 
              REQUIREMENTS.

    Section 1222(b) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 3822(b)) 
is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by adding at the end the following 
        new subparagraph:
                    ``(I) Any privately owned crop, range, or pasture 
                land that has been used for the production of an 
                agricultural commodity or the grazing of livestock in 
                not less than five of the immediately preceding ten 
                calendar years.''; and
            (2) in paragraph (2), by adding at the end the following 
        new subparagraph:
                    ``(F) Any privately owned crop, range, or pasture 
                land that has been used for the production of an 
                agricultural commodity or the grazing of livestock in 
                not less than five of the immediately preceding ten 
                calendar years.''.
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