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107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     107-698

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



 
    COSTS OF REVIEWS FOR CONVEYANCES UNDER EDUCATION LAND GRANT ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 26, 2002.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Hansen, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3802]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3802) to amend the Education Land Grant Act to require 
the Secretary of Agriculture to pay the costs of environmental 
reviews with respect to conveyances under that Act, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 3802 is to amend the Education Land 
Grant Act to require the Secretary of Agriculture to pay the 
costs of environmental reviews with respect to conveyances 
under that Act.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The 106th Congress enacted the Education Land Grant Act 
that allows the USDA Forest Service to convey up to 80 acres of 
National Forest System Land to school districts. This land 
would be used to renovate, expand or construct school 
facilities. Prior to this act, the Bureau of Land Management 
had similar authority to convey public land to school 
districts.
    The Education Land Grant Act requires that land to be 
conveyed be identified for disposal in a Land and Resource 
Management Plan (Forest Plan). The act also states that a 
conveyance shall be for a nominal cost and that the cost of the 
survey shall be borne by the applicant. Survey costs can vary, 
depending on differences in the survey, such as distance to 
known corners and complexity of the boundary. The Forest 
Service has recently published an interim manual direction in 
the Federal Register; requiring school districts make a nominal 
payment of $10 per acre.
    Both the conveyance of land under this act and the forest 
plan amendment requires an environmental analysis under the 
National Environmental Policy Act. The act and the interim 
Forest Service manual are silent on who bears the cost of the 
environmental analysis. H.R. 3802 will require the Forest 
Service to bear the full cost of environmental analysis.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 3802 was introduced on February 27, 2002 by Mr. 
Hayworth. The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources, 
and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on Forests and 
Forest Health. On June 20, 2002, the Subcommittee held a 
hearing on the bill. On September 12, 2002, the Full Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Forests 
and Forest Health was discharged from further consideration of 
the bill by unanimous consent. No amendments were offered and 
the bill was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the Education Land Grant Act 
to require the Secretary of Agriculture to pay the costs of 
environmental reviews with respect to conveyances under that 
Act.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 24, 2002.
Hon. James V. Hansen,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3802, a bill to 
amend the Education Land Grant Act to require the Secretary of 
Agriculture to pay the costs of environmental reviews with 
respect to conveyances under that 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. 3802--A bill to amend the Education Land Grant Act to require the 
        Secretary of Agriculture to pay the costs of environmental 
        reviews with respect to conveyances under that act

    Upon written application, the Education Land Grant Act 
authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to convey federal lands 
to school districts at nominal cost. The act specifies that 
applicants must pay for any surveys required to complete such 
conveyances. H.R. 3802 would amend that act to require the 
Secretary of Agriculture to pay for such surveys. CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 3802 would cost less than $500,000 in 
fiscal year 2003, assuming the availability of appropriated 
funds. The bill would not affect direct spending or receipts; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    By requiring the Secretary to pay for surveys, H.R. 3802 
would increase federal costs to complete conveyances under the 
Education Land Grant Act. The magnitude of that increase would 
depend on the number of school districts that apply for 
conveyances under that act. According to the Forest Service, 
only one such conveyance has occurred since land transfers were 
authorized in 2000, and a few applications are pending. Based 
on information from the Forest Service, CBO estimates that the 
cost of the required surveys averages $250,000 per application. 
Based on the current level of program activity, CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 3802 would cost up to $1 million a year, 
depending on the number of applications and assuming the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    H.R. 3802 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. 
Enacting this legislation would benefit local school districts 
that receive land under the Education Land Grant Act.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Megan Carroll 
(for federal costs) and Marjorie Miller (for the state and 
local impact). This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

              SECTION 202 OF THE EDUCATION LAND GRANT ACT


SEC. 202. CONVEYANCE OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM LANDS FOR EDUCATIONAL 
                    PURPOSES.

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (f) Costs of Review.--The Secretary shall pay the costs of 
all action required under section 102(2)(C) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)) with 
respect to any conveyance under this section.