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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
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.
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
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
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.
Barry B. Anderson
(For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
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
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
(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.