Text: S.538 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 105-351 (11/03/1998)
[105th Congress Public Law 351]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 112 STAT. 3219]]
Public Law 105-351
To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain facilities
of the Minidoka project to the Burley Irrigation District, and for
other <<NOTE: Nov. 3, 1998 - [S. 538]>> purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Idaho.>> assembled,
SECTION 1. CONVEYANCE OF FACILITIES.
(a) Definitions.--In this section:
(1) Burley.--The term ``Burley'' means the Burley Irrigation
District, an irrigation district organized under the law of the
State of Idaho.
(2) Division.--The term ``Division'' means the Southside
Pumping Division of the Minidoka project, Idaho.
(3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary
of the Interior.
(1) In general.--The Secretary shall, without consideration
or compensation except as provided in this section, convey to
Burley, by quitclaim deed or patent, all right, title, and
interest of the United States in and to acquired lands,
easements, and rights-of-way of or in connection with the
Division, together with the pumping plants, canals, drains,
laterals, roads, pumps, checks, headgates, transformers, pumping
plant substations, buildings, transmission lines, and other
improvements or appurtenances to the land or used for the
delivery of water from the headworks (but not the headworks
themselves) of the Southside Canal at the Minidoka Dam and
reservoir to land in Burley, including all facilities used in
conjunction with the Division (including the electric
transmission lines used to transmit electric power for the
operation of the pumping facilities of the Division and related
purposes for which the allocable construction costs have been
fully repaid by Burley).
(2) Costs.--The first $80,000 in administrative costs of
transfer of title and related activities shall be paid in equal
shares by the United States and Burley, and any additional
amount of administrative costs shall be paid by the United
(c) Water Rights.--
(1) Transfer.--(A) Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), the
Secretary shall transfer to Burley, through an agreement among
Burley, the Minidoka Irrigation district, and the Secretary, in
accordance with and subject to the law of the State of Idaho,
all natural flow, waste, seepage, return flow, and groundwater
rights held in the name of the United States--
[[Page 112 STAT. 3220]]
(i) for the benefit of the Minidoka Project or
specifically for the Burley Irrigation District;
(ii) that are for use on lands within the Burley
Irrigation District; and
(iii) which are set forth in contracts between the
United States and Burley or in the decree of June 20,
1913 of the District Court of the Fourth Judicial
District of the State of Idaho, in and for the County of
Twin Falls, in the case of Twin Falls Canal Company v.
Charles N. Foster, et al., and commonly referred to as
the ``Foster decree''.
(B) Any rights that are presently held for the benefit of
lands within both the Minidoka Irrigation District and the
Burley Irrigation District shall be allotted in such manner so
as to neither enlarge nor diminish the respective rights of
either district in such water rights as described in contracts
between Burley and the United States.
(C) The transfer of water rights in accordance with this
paragraph shall not impair the integrated operation of the
Minidoka Project, affect any other adjudicated rights, or result
in any adverse impact on any other project water user.
(2) Allocation of storage space.--The Secretary shall
provide an allocation to Burley of storage space in Minidoka
Reservoir, American Falls Reservoir, and Palisades Reservoir, as
described in Burley Contract Nos. 14-06-100-2455 and 14-06-W-48,
subject to the obligation of Burley to continue to assume and
satisfy its allocable costs of operation and maintenance
associated with the storage facilities operated by the Bureau of
(d) Project Reserved Power.--The Secretary shall continue to provide
Burley with project reserved power from the Minidoka Reclamation Power
Plant, Palisades Reclamation Power Plant, Black Canyon Reclamation Power
Plant, and Anderson Ranch Reclamation Power Plant in accordance with the
terms of the existing contracts, including any renewals thereof as
provided in such contracts.
(1) Nothing in this Act or any transfer pursuant thereto
shall affect the right of Minidoka Irrigation District to the
joint use of the gravity portion of the Southside Canal, subject
to compliance by the Minidoka Irrigation District with the terms
and conditions of a contract between Burley and Minidoka
Irrigation District, and any amendments or changes made by
agreement of the irrigation districts.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall affect the rights of any
person or entity except as may be specifically provided herein.
(f) Liability.--Effective on the date of conveyance of the project
facilities, described in section (1)(b)(1), the United States shall not
be held liable by any court for damages of any kind arising out of any
act, omission, or occurrence relating to the conveyed facilities, except
for damages caused by acts of negligence committed by the United States
or by its employees, agents, or contractors prior to the date of
conveyance. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to increase the
liability of the United States beyond that currently provided in the
Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 2671 et seq.).
(g) Completion of Conveyance.--
[[Page 112 STAT. 3221]]
(1) In general.--The Secretary shall complete the conveyance
under subsection (b) (including such action as may be required
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C.
4321 et seq.)) not later than 2 years after the date of
enactment of this Act.
(2) Report.--The <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Secretary shall provide
a report to the Committee on Resources of the United States
House of Representatives and to the Committee on Energy and
Natural Resources of the United States Senate within eighteen
months from the date of enactment of this Act on the status of
the transfer, any obstacles to completion of the transfer as
provided in this section, and the anticipated date for such
Approved November 3, 1998.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 538:
SENATE REPORTS: No. 105-131 (Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 144 (1998):
June 25, considered and passed Senate.
Oct. 12, considered and passed House.