H. Rept. 112-298 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)
December 01, 2011, As Reported by the Natural Resources Committee

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House Report 112-298 - FORT PULASKI NATIONAL MONUMENT LEASE AUTHORIZATION ACT




[House Report 112-298]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    112-298

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



 
         FORT PULASKI NATIONAL MONUMENT LEASE AUTHORIZATION ACT

                                _______
                                

December 1, 2011.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 535]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (S. 535) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
lease certain lands within Fort Pulaski National Monument, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of S. 535 is to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to lease certain lands within Fort Pulaski National 
Monument.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Fort Pulaski is located on Cockspur Island in the Savannah 
River and was constructed as part of a system of coastal 
fortifications ordered by President James Madison after the War 
of 1812. The fort became a national monument in 1924 and was 
transferred from the War Department to the National Park 
Service (NPS) in 1933.
    In 1940, NPS authorized, by special use permit, exclusive 
use of land and improvements within the national monument to 
the Savannah Bar Pilots Association to operate a vessel-
piloting business. The Bar Pilots Association operates pilot 
vessels to help steer commercial shipping through the waters of 
the Savannah River, where shifting sand bars create dangerous 
conditions that make navigation difficult. The Bar Pilots 
Association has occupied the same spot at the west end of 
Cockspur Island since 1940.
    In 1973, NPS issued a twenty-year special use permit 
allowing the Association to continue to use the tract, and to 
construct and upgrade living quarters, a dock, a fuel supply 
system and a parking lot. While the permit has been renewed, 
the terms of these permits have ranged in length from one year 
to a 20-year permit that existed from 1973 to 1993. The current 
special use permit the parties are operating under expires on 
March 15, 2013.
    NPS has been advised by the Department of the Interior's 
Solicitor's Office that the Association's continued use of 
national monument land should be authorized through a non-
competitive lease, rather than a special use permit. S. 535 
would authorize NPS to enter into such a lease. Proceeds from 
the lease may be used under current law for infrastructure 
needs at units of the National Park System.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    S. 535 was introduced on March 9, 2011, by Senator Johnny 
Isakson (R-GA). On November 2, 2011, the bill passed the Senate 
by unanimous consent. The bill was then referred to the House 
Committee on Natural Resources. On September 15, 2011, the 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a 
hearing on the House companion bill, H.R. 2687, sponsored by 
Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA). On November 17, 2011, the 
Full Resources Committee met to consider S. 535. No amendments 
were offered, and the bill was 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 Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) 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)(2)(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. 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:

S. 535--Fort Pulaski National Monument Lease Authorization Act

    S. 535 would authorize the National Park Service (NPS) to 
lease to the Savannah Bar Pilots Association a small site at 
the Fort Pulaski National Monument in Georgia. Under the bill, 
the NPS would charge the association a rental fee based on the 
market value of the land and use the proceeds, without further 
appropriation, for site maintenance and other expenses.
    Based on information provided by the NPS, CBO estimates 
that implementing the bill would have no significant net effect 
on the federal budget. The nonprofit association already 
operates a 30,000-square-foot site, including a dock and 
associated facilities, under a special-use permit. Fees 
collected under the permit are used, without appropriation, for 
purposes similar to those authorized by the bill. CBO estimates 
that rental proceeds under the bill would be less than $25,000 
a year, slightly more than the NPS currently collects in permit 
fees.
    Because enacting S. 535 would affect direct spending 
(through the collection and spending of additional fees), pay-
as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, however, that the 
net effect of any annual changes on the federal budget would be 
insignificant.
    S. 535 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von 
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

    2. Section 308(a) of 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, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures. Based on information provided by 
the National Park Service, CBO estimates that implementing the 
bill would have no significant net effect on the federal 
budget.
    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 authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to lease certain lands within Fort Pulaski National 
Monument.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    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

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.