Text: S.538 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 105-351 (11/03/1998)

[105th Congress Public Law 351]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ351.105]

[[Page 112 STAT. 3219]]

Public Law 105-351
105th Congress

                                 An Act

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,


    (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.

    (b) Conveyance.--
            (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.
    (e) Savings.--
            (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.


SENATE REPORTS: No. 105-131 (Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources).
            June 25, considered and passed Senate.
            Oct. 12, considered and passed House.