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                                                       Calendar No. 770
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-394

======================================================================



 
            IVANPAH VALLEY AIRPORT PUBLIC LANDS TRANSFER ACT

                                _______
                                

                August 25, 2000.--Ordered to be printed

     Filed under authority of the order of the Senate July 26, 2000

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1695]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the Act (H.R. 1695) to provide for the conveyance of 
certain Federal public lands in the Ivanpah Valley, Nevada, to 
Clark County, Nevada, for the development of an airport 
facility, and for other purposes, having considered the same 
reports favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that 
the Act, as amended, do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    1. On page 2, line 24, strike ``assessment'' and insert 
``assessment, using the airspace management plan required by 
section 4(a),''
    2. On page 3, lines 15 through 22, amend paragraph (2) to 
read as follows:

    ``(2) Deposit in Special Account.--(A) The Secretary shall 
deposit the payments received under paragraph (1) into the 
special account described in section 4(e)(1)(C) of the Southern 
Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2345). 
Such funds may be expended only for the acquisition of private 
inholdings in the Mojave National Preserve and for the 
protection and management of the petroglyph resources in Clark 
County, Nevada. The second sentence of section 4(f) of such Act 
(112 Stat. 2346) shall not apply to interest earned on amounts 
deposited under this paragraph.
    ``(B) The Secretary may not expend funds pursuant to this 
section until--
          (i) the provisions of Section 5 of this Act have been 
        completed; and
          (ii) a final Record of Decision pursuant to the 
        National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
        4321 et seq.) has been issued which permits development 
        of an airport at the Ivanpah site.''.

    3. Strike page 3, line 23 and all that follows through page 
4, line 2 and insert the following:

    ``(d) Reversion and Reentry.--If following completion of 
compliance with section 5 of this Act and in accordance with 
the findings made by the actions taken in compliance with such 
section, the Federal Aviation Administration and the County 
determine that an airport should not be constructed on the 
conveyed lands--''.

    4. On page 4, line 23, strike ``Secretary,'' and insert 
``Secretary, prior to the conveyance of the land referred to in 
section 2(a),''
    5. On page 5, line 18, add the following sentence at the 
end of section 5: ``Any actions conducted in accordance with 
this section shall specifically address any impacts on the 
purposes for which the Mojave National Preserve was created.''.

                         purpose of the measure

    The purpose of H.R. 1695 is to provide for the sale of 
certain public lands in the Ivanpah Valley, Nevada, to Clark 
County, Nevada.

                          background and need

    H.R. 1695 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey certain lands in the Ivanpah Valley to Clark County, 
Nevada. The legislation provides for return of the land to the 
Department of the Interior, should airport development prove to 
be infeasible.
    The Las Vegas metropolitan area is the fastest growing 
metropolitan area in the country, growing 4.7 percent, or 
almost 60,000 in population, in 1998. McCarran airport 
passenger traffic has grown by 64 percent in the last 10 years. 
The Clark County Department of Aviation completed an extensive 
review of options available for meeting the growing needs for 
air traffic in southern Nevada. Because of restricted airspace 
north of Las Vegas due to military uses, and existing full 
precision instrumental landing requirements of McCarran 
airport, the review concluded that the Ivanpah site is the only 
option that can accommodate the growing air traffic needs of 
the region. Authorization of this conveyance will allow Clark 
County to proceed with NEPA analysis and the proposed 
development of a new airport to serve southern Nevada. The 
Federal Aviation Administration will undertake an airspace 
study to develop an airspace management plan that avoids, to 
the maximum extent possible, overflights of the nearby Mojave 
National Preserve in California.
    Clark County will pay fair market value for the land and 
the airport will be publicly owned and operated. The revenues 
collected by the Government for the sale will be available for 
use by the BLM for acquiring inholdings in the Mojave National 
Preserve and archaeological sites in Clark County.

                          legislative history

    H.R. 1695 was introduced by Representative Gibbons on May 
5, 1999. On March 9, 2000, the bill passed the House of 
Representatives by a vote of 420 to 1. The Senate companion 
measure, S. 930, was introduced on April 29, 1999, by Senators 
Reid and Bryan. The Subcommittee on Forest and Public Land 
Management held a hearing on S. 930 on July 27, 1999. At the 
business meeting on July 13, 2000, the Committee on Energy and 
Natural Resources ordered H.R. 1695 favorably reported, with an 
amendment.

                        committee recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on July 13, 2000, by a voice vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 1695, as 
amended herein.

                          committee amendments

    During the consideration of H.R. 1695, the Committee 
adopted amendments to clarify therequirements of the airspace 
management analysis, the timing of the purchase of the parcels in 
relation to the NEPA analysis of the airport facility, and the uses of 
the proceeds by the Department of the Interior.

                      section-by-section analysis

    Section 1 cites the short title as the ``Ivanpah Valley 
Airport Public Lands Transfer Act.''
    Section 2(a) directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey lands to Clark County, Nevada, for the purpose of 
developing an airport facility and related infrastructure.
    Subsection (b)(1) requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey the land only after Clarke County conducts an airspace 
assessment to identify any potential adverse effects.
    Paragraph (2) requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey the land only after the Administrator of the Federal 
Aviation Administration certifies that the assessment is 
thorough and alternatives have been developed to address each 
adverse effect identified in the assessment.
    Paragraph (3) requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey the land only after Clark County enters into an 
agreement with the Secretary to retain ownership of Jean 
Airport and to maintain and develop Jean Airport as a general 
aviation airport.
    Subsection (c)(1) requires Clark County to pay fair market 
value for each parcel conveyed.
    Paragraph (2) requires the proceeds of the sale to be 
deposited in the special account established under the Southern 
Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998, and can only be used 
for the purchase of inholdings in the Mojave National Preserve, 
and for the protection of petroglyphs in Clarke County.
    Subsection (d)(1) requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
refund all payments to Clark County if the NEPA analysis 
required in section 5 determines an airport cannot be 
constructed on the site.
    Paragraph (2) requires that upon the return of the payments 
to Clark County, that all right, title, and interests in the 
conveyed lands shall revert to the United States, and the 
Secretary of the Interior may reenter the lands.
    Section (3) directs that the parcels purchased are 
withdrawn from mineral entry.
    Section (4) requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
consult with the Secretary of the Interior to develop an 
airspace plan that safely, and to the extent practicable, 
restricts activity over the Mojave National Preserve.
    Section (5) requires a NEPA analysis on the lands conveyed 
to Clark County prior to construction of the airport facility.
    Section (6) defines the terms used in the Act.

                   cost and budgetary considerations

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of the costs 
of this measure follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 20, 2000.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1695, the Ivanpah 
Valley Airport Public Lands Transfer Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Megan 
Carroll (for federal costs) and Marjorie Miller (for the state 
and local impact).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1695--Ivanpah Valley Airport Public Lands Transfer Act

    Summary. H.R. 1695 would direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to convey to Clark County, Nevada, about 6,400 acres 
of public land for the purpose of developing an airport 
facility and related infrastructure. The county would pay fair 
market value for the land. The legislation would authorize the 
Secretary to spend the proceeds of the land sale. CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 1695 would result in an increase in 
offsetting receipts in 2001, but that those receipts would be 
fully offset by a corresponding increase in direct spending 
over fiscal years 2005 through 2007. Because H.R. 1695 would 
affect direct spending (including offsetting receipts), pay-as-
you-go procedures would apply. Implementing the legislation 
also could increase spending subject to appropriation, but CBO 
estimates that any additional discretionary spending would be 
less than $500,000 a year.
    H.R. 1695 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
Clark County would probably incur some costs as a result of 
this legislation's enactment, but these costs would be 
voluntary.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government. The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1695 is shown in the following table. 
The legislation also could affect spending subject to 
appropriation, but CBO estimates that any changes in 
discretionary spending would be less than $500,000 a year. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and the environment).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   2001    2002    2003    2004    2005
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Asset sale proceeds:
    Estimated budget authority..       0      -6       0       0       0
    Estimated outlays...........       0      -6       0       0       0
Spending of proceeds:
    Estimated budget authority..       0       6       0       0       0
    Estimated outlays...........       0   (\1\)       0       0       2
Net changes:
    Estimated budget authority..       0       0       0       0       0
    Estimated outlays...........       0      -6       0       0       2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: For the purposes of this estimate, CBO 
assumes that H.R. 1695 will be enacted by the end of fiscal 
year 2000. Estimates of outlays are based on historical 
spending patterns for similar activities, and the requirement 
under this legislation that development of the airport be 
approved before proceeds from the sale can be spent.

Direct spending (including offsetting receipts)

    H.R. 1695 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey about 6,400 acres of public land to Clark County, 
Nevada, at fair market value. Certain conditions would have to 
be met before the conveyance could occur. Based on information 
from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of 
Transportation, CBO estimates that those requirements would be 
completed during fiscal year 2002 and that the land would be 
sold in that year. Under current law, BLM has no plans to sell 
the land, and the land does not generate any receipts for the 
federal government. According to BLM, the proceeds from sale of 
the land are highly uncertain since an appraisal has not been 
conducted and there are virtually no other comparable land 
sales in that area. Based on information from the local airport 
authority and BLM, CBO estimates that sale proceeds would total 
about $6 million in fiscal year 2002.
    Current law provides that states receive 5 percent of the 
net proceeds of sales of public lands within their limits. 
Thus, we estimate that payments to the state of Nevada would 
total about $300,000 in fiscal year 2002 as a result of 
implementing H.R. 1695.
    H.R. 1695 provides that proceeds from sale of the land 
shall be deposited in a special account in the Treasury created 
by section 4(e)(1)(C) of the Southern Nevada Public Land 
Management Act (Public Law 105-263). We assume that such 
deposits will be net of the payments to Nevada discussed above. 
The net proceeds would be available to the Secretary of the 
Interior, without further appropriation, to purchase 
environmentally sensitive land in Nevada, reimburse agency 
costs incurred in arranging the land disposal, and for certain 
other purposes.
    Under H.R. 1695, the proceeds from the sale could not be 
spent until the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of 
Transportation complete all actions required under the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the development of 
the airport has been approved. Based on information from BLM 
and the Department of Transportation, CBO expects these 
requirements would be met by the start of fiscal year 2005 and 
that the Secretary would spend $2 million a year over the 2005-
2007 period for the purposes specified in the legislation.

Spending subject to appropriation

    H.R. 1695 would make the land conveyance contingent on 
Clark County conducting an airspace assessment to identify any 
potential adverse effects on access to the Las Vegas Basin 
resulting from the construction and operation of an airport on 
the land to be conveyed. Further, the conveyance would be 
contingent on the Federal Aviation Administration certifying 
that the county's assessment is thorough and considers 
alternatives to any adverse effects identified in the 
assessment. H.R. 1695 would require the Secretary of the 
Interior and the Secretary of Transportation to meet the 
requirements of NEPA prior to constructing and operating the 
airport. Finally, the legislation would direct the Secretary of 
Transportation to develop an airspace management plan for the 
Ivanpah Valley Airport that restricts arrivals and departures 
over the Mojave Desert Preserve in California. Based on 
information from the departments, we estimate that the total 
cost to the federal government of implementing these provisions 
would be less than $500,000 each year over the 2001-2005 
period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act sets up pay-as-you-go procedures 
for legislation affecting direct spending or receipts. The net 
changes in outlays that are subject to pay-as-you-go procedures 
are shown in the following table. For the purposes of enforcing 
pay-as-you-go procedures, only the effects in the current year, 
the budget year, and the succeeding four years are counted. 
Under the Balanced Budget Act, proceeds from nonroutine asset 
sales (sales that are not authorized under current law) may be 
counted for pay-as-you-go purposes only if the sale would 
entail no financial cost to the government. Based on 
information provided by BLM, CBO estimates that the sale of the 
public land specified in H.R. 1695 would result in a net 
savings to the government, and therefore, the proceeds would 
count for pay-as-you-go purposes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          By fiscal year, in millions of dollars
                                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   2000    2001    2002    2003    2004    2005    2006    2007    2008    2009    2010
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Changes in outlays..............................................       0       0      -6       0       0       2       2       2       0       0       0
Changes in receipts.............................................   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)   (\1\)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Not applicable.

    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 1695 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA. The conveyance authorized by this legislation would be 
voluntary on the part of Clark County and any costs they would 
incur to fulfill the conditions of the conveyance also would be 
voluntary. This would include paying fair market value for the 
land and conducting an airspace assessment. The county would 
benefit from the opportunity to acquire this land, and the 
state of Nevada would benefit because they would receive a 
portion of the receipts from the sale.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: The legislation 
would impose no new private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Previous CBO estimate: On November 4, 1999, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for H.R. 1695, as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Resources on October 20, 1999. At that time, we 
assumed that H.R. 1695 would be enacted early in fiscal year 
2000 and that the sale would occur during fiscal year 2001. In 
contrast, we now assume that the legislation will be enacted by 
the end of fiscal year 2000 and that the sale would occur 
during fiscal year 2002. In addition, two significant 
differences between the two versions account for differences in 
our cost estimates for this legislation.
    First, the Senate version includes a provision that would 
delay the spending of proceeds from the sale of land under H.R. 
1695 until certain requirements are met. The House version 
contains no such provision; hence, we estimated that under that 
version the increase in offsetting receipts from the sale would 
be fully offset by a subsequent increase in direct spending of 
those receipts over the 2001-2004 period. In contrast, we 
estimate that under the Senate version, such receipts would be 
only partially offset by subsequent spending over the 2001-2005 
period, but that they would be fully offset by 2007.
    Second, under the House version of this legislation, 
interest earned on the proceeds from the sale of land would be 
available to be spent by the Secretary of the Interior. Hence, 
we estimated that the House version would have resulted in a 
net increase in direct spending of about $1 million over five 
years. The Senate version of H.R. 1695 contains no such 
provision; thus, we estimate that, over the 2001-2007 period, 
enacting this legislation would not result in a net change in 
direct spending.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll. Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Marjorie Miller. 
Impact on the Private Sector: Lauren Marks.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      regulatory impact evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out H.R. 1695.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of H.R. 1695, as ordered reported.

                        executive communications

    On July 13, 2000, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of 
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting 
forth Executive agency recommendations on H.R. 1695. These 
reports had not been received at the time the report on H.R. 
1695 was filed. When the reports become available, the Chairman 
will request that they be printed in the Congressional Record 
for the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by the 
National Park Service at the Subcommittee hearing on S. 930 
follows:

  Statement of John Reynolds, Regional Director, Pacific West Region, 
           National Park Service, Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to be here today before the 
subcommittee to present the views of the Department of the 
Interior on S. 930, a bill to provide for the conveyance of 
certain public land in the Ivanpah Valley, Nevada, to the Clark 
County, Nevada, Department of Aviation.
    The department cannot support this bill as currently 
written as it provides for a mandatory conveyance of public 
lands circumventing existing statutory requirements for land 
use planning and sale of public lands. This change creates a 
poor precedent and restricts our ability to adequately evaluate 
the effects of this transfer on the affected public lands and 
the natural and cultural resources located therein. Further, it 
prevents any meaningful evaluation of alternative sites for the 
airport facility. These are exactly the kind of issues that are 
appropriately examined in a thorough environmental analysis and 
through the planning process. Unfortunately, the legislation 
appears to waive that analysis. The department believes that 
the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) is 
mandatory before any land conveyances occur. An EIS would not 
only document the impact of any airport, but would examine 
alternative sites to determine if a more suitable location for 
the airport and its accompanying infrastructure can be found. 
The EIS process would also allow for public input into the 
decision on siting of the airport. Unfortunately, the public 
involvement called for in the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (FLPMA) is eliminated in this legislation.
    S. 930 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey 
parcels of land to Clark County, Nevada, for the purpose of 
establishing an airport facility and related infrastructure. 
The proposed lands are along Interstate 15 between Jean and 
Primm, Nevada, and are approximately ten miles north of the 
Mojave National Preserve's boundary. Due to prevailing winds 
from the south, the airport proposal provides only for a north-
south runway, which would mean that departing planes would 
typically fly over the northern portion of the preserve.
    The Mojave National Preserve was created in October 1994, 
under the California Desert Protection Act. The act was 
established to protect one of the most diverse desert 
environments in the world. Creosote bushes, pinyon pines, 
juniper woodlands, sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua 
tree forests, vast vistas and mile-high mountains can all be 
found within the Mojave Desert. Visitors to the Mojave National 
Preserve come to enjoy the wild splendors of the rugged, 
isolated solitude of the desert, and to sightsee, hike, and 
camp among the fascinating flora and fauna.
    Thus, the National Park Service is deeply concerned with 
the potential effects the proposed airport would have on the 
Mojave National Preserve's resources and visitor experience, 
especially in several wilderness areas. The proposed airport is 
envisioned to be a cargo airport with major warehousing 
facilities. Large, low-flying jet aircraft would be a 
significant intrusion on a visitor's solitude and enjoyment of 
the quiet desert environment that is currently available. Few 
aircraft now fly over the preserve and commercial aircraft are 
normally at crusing altitudes and barely visible. While there 
are occasional military flights through the preserve, they do 
not have the enormous impact on park resources and visitors 
that regular overflights of departing or approaching jets would 
have.
    There are real concerns that jets departing at regular 
intervals would adversely impact the nearby desert bighorn 
sheep in the wilderness of Clark Mountain. The desert bighorn 
sheep is one of the most distinctive and easily recognized 
desert animals and is generally found in isolated areas of the 
desert ranges. There is research that shows that repeated jet 
noise at regular intervals can increase stress in animals and 
potentially have long-term effects on their reproduction and 
ability to detect and escape predators.
    Another desert animal that could be impacted by the noise 
generated by a proposed airport is the threatened desert 
tortoise. This long-lived reptile was listed as a threatened 
species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1992, and 
continues to face threats to its survival. Ivanpah Valley is 
designated critical habitat for the desert tortoise, whose 
populations have declined dramatically over the last twenty 
years. Increased urban development has fragmented and reduced 
suitable habitat. Studies and recover efforts are ongoing to 
help protect and preserve this threatened species.
    The scientific community is only beginning to investigate 
and understand how animal species like the tortoise, bighorn, 
and insects communicate. They have already observed that jet 
noise can disrupt communication of spade food toads, creating 
opprotunities for increased predation.
    Another potentially significant impact to the Mojave 
National Preserve from the proposed airport is the 
deterioration of the natural quiet and the current night sky 
darkness that visitors enjoy at the park. Light pollution is 
becoming a recognized problem to many rural and rustic areas, 
such as the Mojave Desert. Currently, opportunities to enjoy 
natural quiet and the natural darkness of the nighttime are 
being slowly impacted by development at Primm and Laughlin. A 
nearby airport with runway lights, tower lights, and other 
lighting requirements would adversely change the dark night 
landscape and quiet character of the Mojave National Preserve.
    BLM has expressed concerns that there may be potential 
hydrologic complications due to the proposed location of an 
airport on a dry lakebed. This lakebed floods periodically and 
displaced waters could affect other development in the area. 
Off-site issues that need to be examined include the potential 
effects from ancillary facilities needed to support the 
construction and operations of the airport, as well as the 
impact on natural resources in the area, including the 
endangered species, and cultural resources.
    We note that, in its latest assessment of the Nation's 
projected airport needs, called the National Plan of Integrated 
Airport Systems (NPIAS), the FAA has identified a need in the 
future for a new airport to serve the Las Vegas area. 
Nonetheless, this issue, as well as others that we note today, 
are appropriately examined in a thorough environmental analysis 
and through the planning process already in place for new 
airport site selection. Unfortunately, the legislation appears 
to waive that analysis.
    In addition to the concerns of the National Park Service, 
the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has four major concerns 
with the proposed legislation that we ask the committee to 
consider:
     Resource conflicts;
     Compliance with NEPA, FLPMA, and other 
environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act and 
the Historic Preservation Act;
     Agency costs associated with the transfer; and
     Fair market value determination.
    As the BLM testified on a similar bill before the House 
Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands in the 105th 
Congress, the passage of this bill will create conflicts with 
current uses and resources of these lands. These lands have not 
been identified for disposal through existing land use plans 
because of those uses and resources. As mentioned previously, 
the threatened desert tortoise is indigenous to the area. The 
area also supports a number of recreational pursuits including 
off-highway vehicle use, and it encompasses a Special 
Recreation Management Area within the boundary of the proposed 
land transfer. Two mining claims encumber the land and the area 
is the location of two state of Nevada mineral materials 
permits issued by BLM for road maintenance gravel.
    There are a number of costs associated with implementation 
of the bill, including land and resource surveys, appraisals, 
and land transfer patent expenses. Because the transfer 
benefits Clark County, the bill should specify either that 
Clark County should absorb these costs or that the funds 
described in section 2(d) could be used for all administrative 
costs associated with the transfer.
    The legislation specifies (section 2(d)) that fair market 
value should be paid by Clark County for the federal land, but 
that the value determined based on the land ``in its unimproved 
state and shall not reflect any enhancement in value to the 
parcel based upon the existence or planned construction of 
infrastructure. . . .'' This, in fact, does not represent the 
fair market value of the lands and raises potentially serious 
concerns. We would urge the subcommittee to address this, 
either by deleting the provision or by requiring that should 
these lands later be sold, leased or otherwise conveyed by 
Clark County, the difference between what the County paid and 
the price it later receives should be remitted to the federal 
account specified in section 2(d)(3). This is consistent with 
language in section 4(g)(4) of Public Law 105-263, the Southern 
Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998. The American people 
need to know that their assets are being protected and that any 
financial gain benefits the public.
    Section 203 of the FLPMA requires that the government, when 
contemplating the sale of public land, consider whether the 
sale would ``serve an important public objective, . . . which 
cannot be achieved prudently or feasibly on land other than 
public land and which outweigh other public objective and 
values. . . .'' This legislation waives that very important 
analysis. We think that this is a mistake.
    Because of the large number of concerns raised by the 
National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management, the 
department believes it is critical that a decision on siting on 
this airport be made only after compliance with all 
requirements of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and 
the National Environmental Policy Act. Additionally, the BLM 
would like the opportunity to address and potentially resolve 
more minor concerns with the bill, and is prepared to work with 
your staff to do so.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to share with 
the subcommittee the department's position on S. 930. This 
concludes my formal remarks. I will be pleased to answer any 
question you or other members of the subcommittee may have.

                        changes in existing law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the Act, H.R. 1695, as 
ordered reported.