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113th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 113-137
THREE KIDS MINE REMEDIATION AND RECLAMATION ACT
July 8, 2013.--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 H.R. 697]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 697) to provide for the conveyance of certain
Federal land in Clark County, Nevada, for the environmental
remediation and reclamation of the Three Kids Mine Project
Site, and for other purposes, having considered the same,
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that
the bill as amended do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Three Kids Mine Remediation and
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means the
approximately 948 acres of Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of
Land Management land within the Three Kids Mine Project Site,
as depicted on the map.
(2) Hazardous substance; pollutant or contaminant; remedy.--
The terms ``hazardous substance'', ``pollutant or
contaminant'', and ``remedy'' have the meanings given those
terms in section 101 of the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C.
(3) Henderson redevelopment agency.--The term ``Henderson
Redevelopment Agency'' means the redevelopment agency of the
City of Henderson, Nevada, established and authorized to
transact business and exercise the powers of the agency in
accordance with the Nevada Community Redevelopment Law (Nev.
Rev. Stat. 279.382 to 279.685).
(4) Map.--The term ``map'' means the map entitled ``Three
Kids Mine Project Area'' and dated February 6, 2012.
(5) Responsible party.--The term ``Responsible Party'' means
the private sector entity designated by the Henderson
Redevelopment Agency, and approved by the State of Nevada, to
complete the assessment, remediation, reclamation and
redevelopment of the Three Kids Mine Project Site).
(6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
(7) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of Nevada.
(8) Three kids mine project site.--The term ``Three Kids Mine
Project Site'' means the approximately 1,262 acres of land that
(A) comprised of--
(i) the Federal land; and
(ii) the approximately 314 acres of adjacent
non-Federal land; and
(B) depicted as the ``Three Kids Mine Project Site''
on the map.
SEC. 3. LAND CONVEYANCE.
(a) In General.--Notwithstanding sections 202 and 203 of the Federal
Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712, 1713), not
later than 90 days after the date on which the Secretary determines
that the conditions described in subsection (b) have been met, and
subject to valid existing rights and applicable law, the Secretary
shall convey to the Henderson Redevelopment Agency all right, title,
and interest of the United States in and to the Federal land.
(1) Appraisal; fair market value.--
(A) In general.--As consideration for the conveyance
under subsection (a), the Henderson Redevelopment
Agency shall pay the fair market value of the Federal
land, if any, as determined under subparagraph (B) and
as adjusted under subparagraph (F).
(B) Appraisal.--The Secretary shall determine the
fair market value of the Federal land based on an
(i) that is conducted in accordance with
nationally recognized appraisal standards,
(I) the Uniform Appraisal Standards
for Federal Land Acquisitions; and
(II) the Uniform Standards of
Professional Appraisal Practice; and
(ii) that does not take into account any
existing contamination associated with
historical mining on the Federal land.
(C) Remediation and reclamation costs.--
(i) In general.--The Secretary shall prepare
a reasonable estimate of the costs to assess,
remediate, and reclaim the Three Kids Mine
(ii) Considerations.--The estimate prepared
under clause (i) shall be--
(I) based on the results of a
comprehensive Phase II environmental
site assessment of the Three Kids Mine
Project Site prepared by the Henderson
Redevelopment Agency or a Responsible
Party that has been approved by the
(II) prepared in accordance with the
current version of the ASTM
International Standard E-2137-06 (2011)
entitled ``Standard Guide for
Estimating Monetary Costs and
Liabilities for Environmental
(iii) Assessment requirements.--The Phase II
environmental site assessment prepared under
clause (ii)(I) shall, without limiting any
additional requirements that may be required by
the State, be conducted in accordance with the
(I) the most recent version of ASTM
International Standard E-1527-05
entitled ``Standard Practice for
Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I
Environmental Site Assessment
(II) the most recent version of ASTM
International Standard E-1903-11
entitled ``Standard Guide for
Environmental Site Assessments: Phase
II Environmental Site Assessment
(iv) Review of certain information.--
(I) In general.--The Secretary shall
review and consider cost information
proffered by the Henderson
Redevelopment Agency, the Responsible
Party, and the State in the preparation
of the estimate under this
(II) Final determination.--If there
is a disagreement among the Secretary,
Henderson Redevelopment Agency, and the
State over the reasonable estimate of
costs under this subparagraph, the
parties shall jointly select 1 or more
experts to assist the Secretary in
making the final estimate of the costs.
(D) Deadline.--Not later than 30 days after the date
of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall begin the
appraisal and cost estimates under subparagraphs (B)
and (C), respectively.
(E) Appraisal costs.--The Henderson Redevelopment
Agency or the Responsible Party shall reimburse the
Secretary for the costs incurred in performing the
appraisal under subparagraph (B).
(F) Adjustment.--The Secretary shall administratively
adjust the fair market value of the Federal land, as
determined under subparagraph (B), based on the
estimate of remediation, and reclamation costs, as
determined under subparagraph (C).
(2) Mine remediation and reclamation agreement executed.--
(A) In general.--The conveyance under subsection (a)
shall be contingent on--
(i) the Secretary receiving from the State
written notification that a mine remediation
and reclamation agreement has been executed in
accordance with subparagraph (B); and
(ii) the Secretary concurring, not later than
30 days after the date of receipt of the
written notification under clause (i), that the
requirements under subparagraph (B) have been
(B) Requirements.--The mine remediation and
reclamation agreement required under subparagraph (A)
shall be an enforceable consent order or agreement
between the State and the Responsible Party who will be
obligated to perform under the consent order or
agreement administered by the State that--
(i) obligates the Responsible Party to
perform, after the conveyance of the Federal
land under this Act, the remediation and
reclamation work at the Three Kids Mine Project
Site necessary to ensure all remedial actions
necessary to protect human health and the
environment with respect to any hazardous
substances, pollutant, or contaminant will be
taken, in accordance with all Federal, State,
and local requirements; and
(ii) contains provisions determined to be
necessary by the State and the Henderson
Redevelopment Agency, including financial
assurance provisions to ensure the completion
of the remedy.
(3) Notification from agency.--As a condition of the
conveyance under subsection (a), not later than 90 days after
the date of execution of the mine remediation and reclamation
agreement required under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall
accept written notification from the Henderson Redevelopment
Agency that the Henderson Redevelopment Agency is prepared to
accept conveyance of the Federal land under subsection (a).
SEC. 4. WITHDRAWAL.
(a) In General.--Subject to valid existing rights, for the 10-year
period beginning on the earlier of the date of enactment of this Act or
the date of the conveyance required by this Act, the Federal land is
withdrawn from all forms of--
(1) entry, appropriation, operation, or disposal under the
public land laws;
(2) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and
(3) disposition under the mineral leasing, mineral materials,
and the geothermal leasing laws.
(b) Existing Reclamation Withdrawals.--Subject to valid existing
rights, any withdrawal under the public land laws that includes all or
any portion of the Federal land for which the Bureau of Reclamation has
determined that the Bureau of Reclamation has no further need under
applicable law is relinquished and revoked solely to the extent
(1) to exclude from the withdrawal the property that is no
longer needed; and
(2) to allow for the immediate conveyance of the Federal land
as required under this Act.
(c) Existing Reclamation Project and Permitted Facilities.--Except as
provided in subsection (a), nothing in this Act diminishes, hinders, or
interferes with the exclusive and perpetual use by the existing rights
holders for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of water
conveyance infrastructure and facilities, including all necessary
ingress and egress, situated on the Federal land that were constructed
or permitted by the Bureau of Reclamation before the effective date of
SEC. 5. ACEC BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT.
Notwithstanding section 203 of the Federal Land Policy and Management
Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1713), the boundary of the River Mountains Area
of Critical Environmental Concern (NVN 76884) is adjusted to exclude
any portion of the Three Kids Mine Project Site consistent with the
SEC. 6. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARTIES.
(a) Responsibility of Parties to Mine Remediation and Reclamation
Agreement.--On completion of the conveyance under section 3, the
responsibility for complying with the mine remediation and reclamation
agreement executed under section 3(b)(2) shall apply to the Responsible
Party and the State of Nevada.
(b) Savings Provision.--If the conveyance under this Act has
occurred, but the terms of the agreement executed under section 3(b)(2)
have not been met, nothing in this Act--
(1) affects the responsibility of the Secretary to take any
additional response action necessary to protect public health
and the environment from a release or the threat of a release
of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant; or
(2) unless otherwise expressly provided, modifies, limits, or
(A) the application of, or obligation to comply with,
any law, including any environmental or public health
(B) the authority of the United States to enforce
compliance with the requirements of any law or the
agreement executed under section 3(b)(2).
SEC. 7. SOUTHERN NEVADA PUBLIC LANDS MANAGEMENT ACT.
Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998 (31 U.S.C. 6901
note; Public Law 105-263) shall not apply to land conveyed under this
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 697 is to provide for the conveyance of
certain Federal land in Clark County, Nevada, for the
environmental remediation and reclamation of the Three Kids
Mine Project Site.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
The Three Kids Mine (TKM), located in Clark County, Nevada,
operated from 1916 until 1961. The United States, through the
Defense Plant Corporation (DPC), owned 446 acres of the TKM
Project site from 1942 to 1955. DPC leased the site to U.S.
Metals Reserve Company (MRC). MRC contracted with the Manganese
Ore Company to construct and operate a mill from 1942 through
1944 to produce manganese for national defense purposes. From
1950 to 1959, the U.S. contracted with Manganese, Inc., to
beneficiate federally owned ore. The U.S. also leased private
lands to stockpile manganese nodules associated with the site
as late as 2003.
The TKM project site is approximately 1,262 acres and
includes 948 acres of federal lands now managed by the Bureau
of Land Management (BLM) and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), and
314 acres of private lands, where the mill site and processing
plant is located. The TKM project site is east of the City of
Henderson, Nevada. The City has annexed the area.
The site is contaminated with arsenic, lead and other heavy
metals and petroleum hydrocarbons. Cost estimates for cleanup
and reclamation of the site range from $300 million to $1.2
billion. The lower cost estimates apply to onsite remediation
and disposal of tailings and other materials in the open pits
if it can be accomplished without contaminating groundwater.
The higher cost estimate is associated with offsite disposal of
the contaminated material.
The City of Henderson, the Henderson Redevelopment Agency,
the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP),
Lakemoor Development, LLC, and BLM negotiated a plan to clean
up and redevelop the TKM Project site that includes the
purchase of 948 acres of federal lands and relieves the federal
government of the environmental liability associated with
mining, milling and ore-storage activities at the site at no
cost to the U.S. taxpayer.
The Three Kids Mine Remediation and Reclamation Act (H.R.
697) would provide for the conveyance of approximately 948
acres of federal land to the City of Henderson if certain
conditions are met: namely that the NDEP is satisfied that the
developer has the ability and financial security to clean up,
remediate and reclaim the TKM project site. The purchase price
would be adjusted to reflect the actual cleanup cost of the
federal and non-federal lands where the federal government has
environmental liability resulting from the mill, processing
facilities and the storage of federal-owned manganese nodules.
All in all, this is a win-win scenario. The environmental
problems are addressed, the abandoned mine site is reclaimed
and the land redeveloped for beneficial use, all at no cost to
the American taxpayer. If successful, this could provide a
framework for other abandoned mine sites that are near or
adjacent to small towns and larger urban areas.
During Full Committee consideration of the bill,
Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) offered an amendment in the
nature of a substitute. The amendment is similar to the Senate
version of the legislation and includes a savings clause that
explicitly states that the Secretary of the Interior is liable
for the environmental cleanup if the patent has been issued but
the terms of the agreement under section 3(b)(2) have not been
met. This would be the case even if the savings clause was not
included in the legislation.
The legislation requires a rigorous environmental
assessment of the site to prepare an appropriate cleanup and
remediation plan that will be conducted under a consent order.
The parties responsible for the remediation and redevelopment
will be required to have sufficient bonds and insurance in
place prior to commencement of any remediation activities for a
third party to complete the remediation outlined in the consent
order if the developer is unable to complete the task.
The consent order required in section 3 of the bill and
administered by the State of Nevada ensures that cleanup must
be ``Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act-protective'' and meet ``residential'' cleanup
H.R. 697 was introduced on February 14, 2013, by
Congressman Joseph Heck (R-NV). The bill was referred to the
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the
Subcommittees on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation and
Energy and Mineral Resources. On March 21, 2013, the
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on
the bill. On June 12, 2013, the Full Natural Resources
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittees on Public
Lands and Environmental Regulation and Energy and Mineral
Resources were discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman
Doug Lamborn (R-CO) offered an amendment in the nature of a
substitute designated .025 to the bill; the amendment was
adopted by unanimous consent. No further amendments were
offered and the bill, as amended, was then adopted and ordered
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous
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:
H.R. 697--Three Kids Mine Remediation and Reclamation Act
H.R. 697 would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
to sell 950 acres of federal land, some of which are
contaminated by hazardous waste, to the city of Henderson,
Nevada. Under the bill, the agency would determine the sale
price by estimating the fair market value of the land and
reducing that amount by the estimated cost of any necessary
environmental remediation and mining reclamation activities at
the site. The city of Henderson would be responsible for those
costs following the sale. Based on information from BLM, CBO
estimates that implementing the legislation would have no
significant impact on the federal budget. Enacting the bill
would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures do not apply.
Roughly 15 percent of the lands that would be sold under
the bill are contaminated and will require mine reclamation and
environmental remediation. Based on information provided by BLM
and the city of Henderson, CBO estimates that the agency is
unlikely to receive any financial compensation for any of the
land because remediation and reclamation costs would exceed the
land's fair market value. Because CBO expects that the affected
lands would not generate any receipts under current law over
the next 10 years, we estimate that conveying the lands under
the bill would have no significant impact on the federal
H.R. 697 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
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. 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, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. Based on
information from BLM, CBO estimates that implementing the
legislation would have no significant impact on the federal
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 provide for the conveyance of
certain Federal land in Clark County, Nevada, for the
environmental remediation and reclamation of the Three Kids
Mine Project Site.
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.
COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5
Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any
specific rule-making proceedings.
Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was
not included in any report from the Government Accountability
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law
98-169) as relating to other programs.
PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing
APPENDIX I: MAP