Text: H.R.205 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 112-151 (07/30/2012)

 
[112th Congress Public Law 151]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page 1149]]

 HELPING EXPEDITE AND ADVANCE RESPONSIBLE TRIBAL HOME OWNERSHIP ACT OF 
                                  2012

[[Page 126 STAT. 1150]]

Public Law 112-151
112th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To amend the Act titled ``An Act to authorize the leasing of restricted 
     Indian lands for public, religious, educational, recreational, 
 residential, business, and other purposes requiring the grant of long-
term leases'', approved August 9, 1955, to provide for Indian tribes to 
   enter into certain leases without prior express approval from the 
  Secretary of the Interior, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: July 30, 
                          2012 -  [H.R. 205]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Helping Expedite 
and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership Act of 2012.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 25 USC 415 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Helping Expedite and Advance 
Responsible Tribal Home Ownership Act of 2012'' or the ``HEARTH Act of 
2012''.
SEC. 2. APPROVAL OF, AND REGULATIONS RELATED TO, TRIBAL LEASES.

    The first section of the Act titled ``An Act to authorize the 
leasing of restricted Indian lands for public, religious, educational, 
recreational, residential, business, and other purposes requiring the 
grant of long-term leases'', approved August 9, 1955 (25 U.S.C. 415), is 
amended as follows:
            (1) In subsection (d)--
                    (A) in paragraph (4), by striking ``the Navajo 
                Nation'' and inserting ``an applicable Indian tribe'';
                    (B) in paragraph (6), by striking ``the Navajo 
                Nation'' and inserting ``an Indian tribe'';
                    (C) in paragraph (7), by striking ``and'' after the 
                semicolon at the end;
                    (D) in paragraph (8)--
                          (i) by striking ``the Navajo Nation'';
                          (ii) by striking ``with Navajo Nation law'' 
                      and inserting ``with applicable tribal law''; and
                          (iii) by striking the period at the end and 
                      inserting a semicolon; and
                    (E) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(9) the term `Indian tribe' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 102 of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe 
        List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a); and
            ``(10) the term `individually owned allotted land' means a 
        parcel of land that--
                    ``(A)(i) is located within the jurisdiction of an 
                Indian tribe; or
                    ``(ii) is held in trust or restricted status by the 
                United States for the benefit of an Indian tribe or a 
                member of an Indian tribe; and

[[Page 126 STAT. 1151]]

                    ``(B) is allotted to a member of an Indian tribe.''.
            (2) By adding at the end the following:

    ``(h) Tribal Approval of Leases.--
            ``(1) In general.--At the discretion of any Indian tribe, 
        any lease by the Indian tribe for the purposes authorized under 
        subsection (a) (including any amendments to subsection (a)), 
        except a lease for the exploration, development, or extraction 
        of any mineral resources, shall not require the approval of the 
        Secretary, if the lease is executed under the tribal regulations 
        approved by the Secretary under this subsection and the term of 
        the lease does not exceed--
                    ``(A) in the case of a business or agricultural 
                lease, 25 years, except that any such lease may include 
                an option to renew for up to 2 additional terms, each of 
                which may not exceed 25 years; and
                    ``(B) in the case of a lease for public, religious, 
                educational, recreational, or residential purposes, 75 
                years, if such a term is provided for by the regulations 
                issued by the Indian tribe.
            ``(2) Allotted land.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any 
        lease of individually owned Indian allotted land.
            ``(3) Authority of secretary over tribal regulations.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall have the 
                authority to approve or disapprove any tribal 
                regulations issued in accordance with paragraph (1).
                    ``(B) Considerations for approval.--The Secretary 
                shall approve any tribal regulation issued in accordance 
                with paragraph (1), if the tribal regulations--
                          ``(i) are consistent with any regulations 
                      issued by the Secretary under subsection (a) 
                      (including any amendments to the subsection or 
                      regulations); and
                          ``(ii) provide for an environmental review 
                      process that includes--
                                    ``(I) the identification and 
                                evaluation of any significant effects of 
                                the proposed action on the environment; 
                                and
                                    ``(II) a process for ensuring that--
                                            ``(aa) the public is 
                                        informed of, and has a 
                                        reasonable opportunity to 
                                        comment on, any significant 
                                        environmental impacts of the 
                                        proposed action identified by 
                                        the Indian tribe; and
                                            ``(bb) the Indian tribe 
                                        provides responses to relevant 
                                        and substantive public comments 
                                        on any such impacts before the 
                                        Indian tribe approves the lease.
                    ``(C) Technical assistance.--The Secretary may 
                provide technical assistance, upon request of the Indian 
                tribe, for development of a regulatory environmental 
                review process under subparagraph (B)(ii).
                    ``(D) Indian self-determination act.--The technical 
                assistance to be provided by the Secretary pursuant to 
                subparagraph (C) may be made available through 
                contracts, grants, or agreements entered into in 
                accordance with, and made available to entities eligible 
                for, such contracts, grants, or agreements under the 
                Indian Self-Determination Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.).

[[Page 126 STAT. 1152]]

            ``(4) Review process.--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  In general.--Not later 
                than 120 days after the date on which the tribal 
                regulations described in paragraph (1) are submitted to 
                the Secretary, the Secretary shall review and approve or 
                disapprove the regulations.
                    ``(B) Written documentation.--If the Secretary 
                disapproves the tribal regulations described in 
                paragraph (1), the Secretary shall include written 
                documentation with the disapproval notification that 
                describes the basis for the disapproval.
                    ``(C) Extension.--The deadline described in 
                subparagraph (A) may be extended by the Secretary, after 
                consultation with the Indian tribe.
            ``(5) Federal environmental review.--Notwithstanding 
        paragraphs (3) and (4), if an Indian tribe carries out a project 
        or activity funded by a Federal agency, the Indian tribe shall 
        have the authority to rely on the environmental review process 
        of the applicable Federal agency rather than any tribal 
        environmental review process under this subsection.
            ``(6) Documentation.--If an Indian tribe executes a lease 
        pursuant to tribal regulations under paragraph (1), the Indian 
        tribe shall provide the Secretary with--
                    ``(A) a copy of the lease, including any amendments 
                or renewals to the lease; and
                    ``(B) in the case of tribal regulations or a lease 
                that allows for lease payments to be made directly to 
                the Indian tribe, documentation of the lease payments 
                that are sufficient to enable the Secretary to discharge 
                the trust responsibility of the United States under 
                paragraph (7).
            ``(7) Trust responsibility.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The United States shall not be 
                liable for losses sustained by any party to a lease 
                executed pursuant to tribal regulations under paragraph 
                (1).
                    ``(B) Authority of secretary.--Pursuant to the 
                authority of the Secretary to fulfill the trust 
                obligation of the United States to the applicable Indian 
                tribe under Federal law (including regulations), the 
                Secretary may, upon reasonable notice from the 
                applicable Indian tribe and at the discretion of the 
                Secretary, enforce the provisions of, or cancel, any 
                lease executed by the Indian tribe under paragraph (1).
            ``(8) <<NOTE: Determinations.>>  Compliance.--
                    ``(A) In general.--An interested party, after 
                exhausting of any applicable tribal remedies, may submit 
                a petition to the Secretary, at such time and in such 
                form as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, to 
                review the compliance of the applicable Indian tribe 
                with any tribal regulations approved by the Secretary 
                under this subsection.
                    ``(B) Violations.--If, after carrying out a review 
                under subparagraph (A), the Secretary determines that 
                the tribal regulations were violated, the Secretary may 
                take any action the Secretary determines to be necessary 
                to remedy the violation, including rescinding the 
                approval of the tribal regulations and reassuming 
                responsibility for the approval of leases of tribal 
                trust lands.

[[Page 126 STAT. 1153]]

                    ``(C) Documentation.--If the Secretary determines 
                that a violation of the tribal regulations has occurred 
                and a remedy is necessary, the Secretary shall--
                          ``(i) make a written determination with 
                      respect to the regulations that have been 
                      violated;
                          ``(ii) provide the applicable Indian tribe 
                      with a written notice of the alleged violation 
                      together with such written determination; and
                          ``(iii) prior to the exercise of any remedy, 
                      the rescission of the approval of the regulation 
                      involved, or the reassumption of lease approval 
                      responsibilities, provide the applicable Indian 
                      tribe with--
                                    ``(I) a hearing that is on the 
                                record; and
                                    ``(II) a reasonable opportunity to 
                                cure the alleged violation.
            ``(9) Savings clause.--Nothing in this subsection shall 
        affect subsection (e) or any tribal regulations issued under 
        that subsection.''.
SEC. 3. LAND TITLE REPORTS.

    (a) In General.--The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall prepare and 
submit to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate a 
report regarding the history and experience of Indian tribes that have 
chosen to assume responsibility for operating the Indian Land Title and 
Records Office (referred to in this section as the ``LTRO'') functions 
from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
    (b) Consultation.--In conducting the review under subsection (a), 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs shall consult with the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development Office of Native American Programs and the 
Indian tribes that are managing LTRO functions (referred to in this 
section as the ``managing Indian tribes'').
    (c) Contents.--The review under subsection (a) shall include an 
analysis of the following factors:
            (1) Whether and how tribal management of the LTRO functions 
        has expedited the processing and issuance of Indian land title 
        certifications as compared to the period during which the Bureau 
        of Indian Affairs managed the programs.
            (2) Whether and how tribal management of the LTRO functions 
        has increased home ownership among the population of the 
        managing Indian tribe.
            (3) What internal preparations and processes were required 
        of the managing Indian tribes prior to assuming management of 
        the LTRO functions.
            (4) Whether tribal management of the LTRO functions resulted 
        in a transfer of financial resources and manpower from the 
        Bureau of Indian Affairs to the managing Indian tribes and, if 
        so, what transfers were undertaken.
            (5) Whether, in appropriate circumstances and with the 
        approval of geographically proximate Indian tribes, the LTRO

[[Page 126 STAT. 1154]]

        functions may be performed by a single Indian tribe or a tribal 
        consortium in a cost effective manner.

    Approved July 30, 2012.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 205:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 112-427 (Comm. on Natural Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 158 (2012):
            May 15, considered and passed House.
            July 17, considered and passed Senate.

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