Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     113-553

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



 
   TO APPROVE THE TRANSFER OF YELLOW CREEK PORT PROPERTIES IN IUKA, 
                              MISSISSIPPI

                                _______
                                

 July 24, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3044]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 3044) to approve the transfer of 
Yellow Creek Port properties in Iuka, Mississippi, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose of Legislation...........................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Legislative History and Consideration............................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     4
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     4
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     5
Advisory of Earmarks.............................................     5
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Federal Mandate Statement........................................     5
Preemption Clarification.........................................     6
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     6
Applicability of Legislative Branch..............................     6
Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation.......................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

                         PURPOSE OF LEGISLATION

    H.R. 3044, to approve the transfer of Yellow Creek Port 
properties in Iuka, Mississippi, approves the conveyance of 
property by the Tennessee Valley Authority to the State of 
Mississippi.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was established by 
Congress in 1933 to aid in the development of the Tennessee 
River Valley region through the proper use, conservation, and 
development of the region's natural resources. The region 
includes parts of seven states--Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
    TVA is an independent government corporation, with 
headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee. One of the most 
significant programs of the TVA has been the furnishing of 
plentiful, low cost electricity to the region.
    Under Section 4(k)(b) of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act 
of 1933, TVA may ``convey by deed, lease, or otherwise, the 
possession and control of any such real property to any 
corporation, partnership, person, or persons for the purpose of 
erecting thereon docks and buildings for purposes or the 
manufacture or storage thereon of products for the purpose of 
trading or shipping in transportation: Provided, That no 
transfer authority herein (b) shall be made without the 
approval of Congress: . . .''
    This provision allows TVA to negotiate the conveyance of 
property without a public auction, subject to the approval of 
Congress.
    Though rare, Congress has taken action to approve of this 
type of non-competitive conveyance in the past. For instance, 
in August 1954, Congress enacted Public Law 83-722 to approve 
of the conveyance TVA public use terminal properties in 
Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Harriman, Tennessee, and Decatur 
and Guntersville, Alabama.
    The Yellow Creek Port Project is an industrial port 
development project at the juncture of the Tennessee and 
Tombigbee Rivers to stimulate economic growth in the northern 
Mississippi area. The project initiators were TVA, Mississippi 
Development Authority, Tombigbee River Valley Water Management 
District, and Yellow Creek Port Authority which were bound by a 
contractual agreement first executed in 1971 to develop the 
port.
    As intended by this project, economic and industrial port 
development has occurred, including industrial growth, high 
paying jobs, associated spin off industries, and increased 
traffic on the inland waterway system. TVA's contribution 
consisted of land, roads and railroads, docks, buildings, and 
materials handling equipment equaling about $7 million, most of 
which were appropriated funds. Mississippi's investment in the 
project has been considerably more significant and to date 
totals over $24 million.
    Construction of Yellow Creek Port in 1971 initially 
involved approximately 289 acres. Approximately 116 acres have 
been sold in fee. The remaining approximately 173 acres to be 
conveyed are described as follows:
           75 acres are encumbered by a permanent industrial 
        easement;
          16.8 acres are encumbered by highway easements;
          26.5 acres are encumbered by railroad easements; and,
          54 acres remain undeveloped and zoned for industrial 
        use.
    Of the lands that are encumbered by permanent easements, 
the easement rights are so extensive that the remaining fee has 
no appreciable value. The easement rights include rail and road 
rights-of way over tracts that are only wide enough to allow 
the applicable rail line or road as well as easements that 
allow industrial or port operations over the entire tract.
    The 54 unencumbered acres that remain undeveloped have been 
available for sale since 1984, despite ongoing marketing 
efforts by TVA. Approximately 50 percent of this remaining land 
is undevelopable due to topography and sensitive resources.
    TVA has not considered asking for fair market value for the 
land transfer due to state and local investments at Yellow 
Creek Port, and due to TVA's determination that transferring 
the land to the state of Mississippi, with the condition that 
it be developed solely for industrial purposes consistent with 
Section 4(k)(b) of the TVA Act, is the most effective way to 
advance TVA's original economic development goals for the 
project.
    Under a law enacted by the state in 2011, Mississippi is 
authorized to acquire the property if environmental assessments 
determine that the property is clear of any contaminants or 
pollutants and if TVA waives certain payment obligations. 
Although some spending may occur if the state's environmental 
assessments identify a need for remedial action, TVA 
anticipates that any such costs would be negligible and could 
occur under current law.
    TVA does place reversionary interest clauses in transfers 
and sales to ensure that those uses specified by Congress in 
the TVA Act are carried out. TVA retains the right to re-enter 
and take possession of the property if the use conditions are 
breached.

                                HEARINGS

    No hearings were held on H.R. 3044.

                 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND CONSIDERATION

    On August 2, 2013, Representative Alan Nunnelee of 
Mississippi introduced H.R. 3044, a bill to approve the 
transfer of Yellow Creek Port properties in Iuka, Mississippi.
    On July 16, 2014, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 3044, and 
ordered the bill reported favorably to the House by voice vote 
with a quorum present.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each recorded 
vote on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against. There were no recorded votes taken in connection 
with consideration of H.R. 3044, or ordering the bill reported. 
A motion to order H.R. 3044 reported favorably to the House was 
agreed to by voice vote with a quorum present.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

               NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3044 from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 18, 2014.
Hon. Bill Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3044, a bill to 
approve the transfer of Yellow Creek Port properties in Iuka, 
Mississippi.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kathleen 
Gramp.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3044--A bill to approve the transfer of Yellow Creek Port 
        properties in Iuka, Mississippi

    H.R. 3044 would authorize the Tennessee Valley Authority 
(TVA) to convey certain federal properties to the state of 
Mississippi. Enacting the bill would affect direct spending; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, 
however, that the net impact on direct spending would be 
insignificant over the 2014-2024 period. Enacting H.R. 3044 
would not affect revenues or spending subject to appropriation.
    Based on information from TVA and the state of Mississippi, 
CBO estimates that TVA would convey approximately 172 acres in 
an area known as the Yellow Creek Port in Iuka, Mississippi. 
Under a law enacted by the state in 2011, Mississippi is 
authorized to acquire the property if environmental assessments 
determine that the property is clear of any contaminants or 
pollutants and if TVA waives certain payment obligations. The 
conveyance is subject to Congressional approval because the 
transfer would occur through a noncompetitive process.
    TVA would incur some administrative and other expenses to 
implement the conveyance, but CBO expects that those costs 
probably would be insignificant in any given year. Although 
some spending may occur if the state's environmental 
assessments identify a need for remedial action, TVA 
anticipates that any such costs would be negligible and could 
occur under current law. Furthermore, CBO estimates that any 
changes in TVA's expenses would have no significant net effect 
on direct spending over the 2014-2024 period because TVA is 
required by law to pass on all of its costs and savings to its 
electricity customers.
    H.R. 3044 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would benefit the state of Mississippi.
    On February 28, 2014, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
S. 212, a bill to approve the transfer of Yellow Creek Port 
Properties in Iuka, Mississippi, as ordered reported by the 
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on February 6, 
2014. H.R. 3044 is identical to S. 212 and the CBO cost 
estimates are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Kathleen Gramp. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goal and objective of this legislation is to 
approve the transfer of Yellow Creek Port properties in Iuka, 
Mississippi.

                          ADVISORY OF EARMARKS

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. No 
provision in the bill includes an earmark, limited tax benefit, 
or limited tariff benefit under clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of 
rule XXI.

                    DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    Pursuant to section 3(j) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 3044 establishes 
or reauthorizes a program of the federal government known to be 
duplicative of another federal program, a program that was 
included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-
139, or a program related to a program identified in the most 
recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTED RULE MAKINGS

    Pursuant to section 3(k) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013), 
the Committee estimates that H.R. 3044 directs no rule makings.

                       FEDERAL MANDATE STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (P.L. 104-4).

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 3044 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (P.L. 104-1).

               SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATION

Section 1. Transfer of Yellow Creek Port properties

    Section 1 provides for the approval of the conveyance of 
172 acres of property from the Tennessee Valley Authority to 
the State of Mississippi.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H.R. 3044 makes no changes in existing law.