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                                                       Calendar No. 522
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     109-284

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



 
FORT MCDOWELL INDIAN COMMUNITY WATER RIGHTS SETTLEMENT REVISION ACT OF 
                                  2006

                                _______
                                

                 July 19, 2006.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. McCain, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2464]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 2464) to revise a provision relating to a repayment 
obligation of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation under the Fort 
McDowell Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    S. 2464 revises the Fort McDowell Indian Community Water 
Rights Settlement Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-628) to implement an 
agreement between the Fort McDowell Indian Community and the 
Department of the Interior to cancel or relieve the parties of 
certain specified obligations arising under the Settlement Act. 
The effect of the bill would be to fulfill all conditions 
necessary to accomplish full and final implementation of the 
Fort McDowell Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Act of 
1990.

                               BACKGROUND

    The Fort McDowell Indian Community Water Rights Settlement 
Act of 1990 ratified a negotiated settlement of the entitlement 
of the Fort McDowell Indian Community (currently known as the 
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation) to flows from the Verde River. 
Among the terms of the Settlement Act, Congress authorized and 
directed the Secretary of the Interior to provide the Fort 
McDowell Yavapai Nation a no-interest loan of $13 million 
pursuant to the Small Reclamation Project Act, to construct 
facilities for the conveyance and delivery of water to 1,584 
acres on the Fort McDowell reservation. Section 412 of the 
Settlement Act states that the authorizations in section 409(b) 
become effective as of the date the Secretary publishes a 
statement of certain findings (specified in section 412) in the 
Federal Register. That statement of findings was published on 
January 31, 1994.
    After publication of the Federal Register notice, but prior 
to construction of the irrigation system, the Department of the 
Interior conducted its environmental review pursuant to the 
National Environmental Protection Act. The review revealed that 
227 of the 1,584 acres to be irrigated included significant 
cultural sites. The Secretary subsequently withdrew those acres 
from development and proposed to acquire replacement lands. 
Other available land, however, proved to be difficult and 
expensive to render as productive as the 227 acres originally 
intended. To date, the replacement lands have not been 
developed and implementation of the Settlement Act has been 
left uncompleted.
    S. 2464 is intended to allow the tribe and the Department 
of the Interior to revise their respective responsibilities 
under the Settlement Act in a mutually acceptable way. The 
Yavapai Nation and the Department of the Interior proposed that 
the Department forgive and cancel Yavapai Nation's obligation 
to repay the mandatory loan in return for the Tribe's forgiving 
the Department of the Interior's responsibility to develop 227 
mitigation acres. S. 2464 cancels the obligation of the Yavapai 
Nation to repay the $13 million no-interest loan made under 
section 408(e) of the Settlement Act, and S. 2464 relieves the 
Secretary of any responsibility or obligation to obtain 
mitigation property or develop additional farm acreage under 
section 410 of the Settlement Act. The Committee has been 
informed that funds already advanced toward development of the 
227 replacement acres would be reprogrammed to fund other water 
development projects on the Yavapai Nation's reservation.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 2464 was introduced on October 20, 2005, by Senator 
McCain and Senator Kyl, and was referred to the Committee on 
Indian Affairs. On June 22, 2006, S. 2464 was unanimously 
passed out of the Committee and ordered reported without 
amendment.

            COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION AND TABULATION OF VOTE

    On June 22, 2006, the Committee, in an open business 
session, considered S. 2464. By a unanimous voice vote, the 
Committee ordered the bill reported favorably to the full 
Senate with a recommendation that the bill do pass.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 of the bill sets forth the short title, Fort 
McDowell Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Revision Act 
of 2006.

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 sets forth the defined terms used in the bill.

Section 3. Cancellation of repayment of obligation

    Section 3 of the bill cancels the obligation of the Yavapai 
Nation to repay the $13 million loan made under section 408(e) 
of the Settlement Act. This section also specifies that 
cancellation of the repayment obligation is considered to 
fulfill all conditions required to achieve the full and final 
implementation of the Settlement Act.
    This section also relieves the Secretary of the Interior 
from any responsibility or obligation to obtain mitigation 
property or develop additional farm acreage under section 410 
of the Settlement Act, and states that nothing in this Act 
alters or affects the eligibility of the Yavapai Nation or any 
member of the Yavapai Nation for any service or benefit 
provided by the Federal government.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The Congressional Budget Office cost estimate for S. 2464 
is set forth below:

S. 2464--A bill to revise a provision relating to a repayment 
        obligation of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation under the Fort 
        McDowell Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990, 
        and for other purposes

    S. 2464 would cancel the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation's 
obligation to repay a loan it received from the Secretary of 
the Interior to build an irrigation project on the Fort 
McDowell Indian Reservation. The Fort McDowell Indian Community 
Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990 provided a $13 million loan 
to the Yavapia Nation, to be repaid over a term of 50 years 
without interest. S. 2464 also would relieve the Secretary of 
the Interior of the environmental mitigation responsibilities 
created by the earlier act. The act authorized appropriations 
of the necessary amounts to complete the environmental 
mitigation.
    Based on information from the department, CBO estimates 
that forgiving the loan would increase direct spending by 
almost $5 million in 2006, assuming enactment by the end of the 
fiscal year. (The tribe has not yet repaid any of the $13 
million loan.) The increase in direct spending represents the 
net present value of the expected repayments over the remaining 
life of the loan. Any savings from relieving the Secretary of 
the Interior from environmental mitigation costs for the tribe 
would depend on future appropriation acts. Based on information 
from the department, such costs could be a few million dollars.
    S. 2464 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. The 
bill would benefit Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation by cancelling 
its loan obligation and would impose no costs on any other 
state, local, or tribal government.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Gregory Waring 
(for federal costs), and Marjorie Miller (for the impact on 
state, local, and tribal governments). This estimate was 
approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

               REGULATORY AND PAPERWORK IMPACT STATEMENT

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill to 
evaluate the regulatory and paperwork impact that would be 
incurred in carrying out the bill. The Committee has concluded 
that the regulatory and paperwork impacts of S. 2464 should be 
minimal.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has not received official executive 
communications on S. 2464.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    S. 2464 will not make any changes to existing law.