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                                                        Calendar No. 78
114th Congress      }                                  {         Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                  {         114-38

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



 
PROVIDING FOR THE CONVEYANCE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY TO THE YUKON KUSKOKWIM 
              HEALTH CORPORATION LOCATED IN BETHEL, ALASKA

                                _______
                                

                  May 11, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 230]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 230) to provide for the conveyance of certain property 
to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation located in Bethel, 
Alaska, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 230, as ordered reported, is to provide 
for the conveyance by warranty deed of certain property located 
in Bethel, Alaska, from the United States to the Yukon 
Kuskokwim Health Corporation.

                         BACKGROUND AND HISTORY

    The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (Corporation) 
administers a comprehensive health care delivery system for 58 
rural communities in the southwest region of Alaska.\1\ The 
Corporation includes community clinics, sub-regional clinics, a 
regional hospital, dental services, mental health services, 
substance abuse counseling and treatment, health promotion and 
disease prevention programs, and environmental health 
services.\2\ The Corporation, as authorized by the 58 Alaska 
Native tribes in the region, has compacted with the Indian 
Health Service to operate a hospital and other services in the 
region pursuant to the Indian Self-Determination and Education 
Assistance Act of 1975 (ISDEAA).\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, About YKHC, http://
www.ykhc.org/about-ykhc/ (last visited Mar. 9, 2015).
    \2\Id.
    \3\Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act, Pub. L. 
No. 93-638 (1975).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The bill, S. 230, would direct the Secretary of the 
Department of Health and Human Services (Secretary) to convey 
certain property to the Corporation located in Bethel, Alaska. 
The property would continue to be used for health and social 
services programs. The hospital building and approximately 23 
acres of land belong to the Indian Health Service, but are 
maintained by the Corporation.
    The Corporation must significantly expand its health care 
facilities, including the renovation of a 30-plus-year-old 
hospital, to meet present and future needs of residents in the 
region. To finance the costs of expansion and renovation, the 
Corporation must demonstrate evidence of sufficient site 
control to secure the project with any financial partners. To 
secure the site, the Corporation must own or control the land. 
The conveyance of land in S. 230 is intended to address the 
Corporation's need to secure the site.
    Additionally, the bill would shield the Corporation from 
liability for any environmental contaminations on the conveyed 
property. The Secretary would also be accorded any easement to 
the conveyed property as may be reasonably necessary to satisfy 
any obligation or liability of the Secretary. The bill would 
require the Secretary to comply with a section of the 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act of 1980.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec.  9620(h)(3)(A) (1980).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    The bill, S. 230, was introduced on January 21, 2015, by 
Senator Murkowski. On April 16, 2015, Senator Sullivan was 
added as a co-sponsor. The bill was referred to the Senate 
Committee on Indian Affairs (Committee). No hearing was held on 
the bill. On February 25, 2015, the Committee held a business 
meeting to consider this legislation. The Committee ordered S. 
230 to be reported without amendment favorably by voice vote.
    The House companion bill is H.R. 521, which was introduced 
by Representative Don Young. There are no co-sponsors. The 
House bill, H.R. 521, was referred to both the Committee on 
Natural Resources and the Committee on Energy and Commerce. 
Each committee referred the bill to their respective 
subcommittees, the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska 
Native Affairs and the Subcommittee on Environment and the 
Economy. On April 14, 2015, the Subcommittee on Indian, 
Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs held a hearing on the bill.
    Related Prior Bill--Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. 
In the 113th Congress, Senators Murkowski and Begich introduced 
S. 235, a bill similar to S. 230. Under this bill, S. 235, a 
similar property transfer in Alaska was authorized for the 
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
    This property transfer and purposes (also similar in 
nature) were examined by the Committee on July 31, 2013 during 
a legislative hearing held on the bill, S. 235. On October 30, 
2013, the Committee ordered that bill to be reported with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably by voice 
vote. No further action was taken on this bill.
    However, on October 30, 2013, the Senate received H.R. 623, 
the House companion bill to S. 235, which was referred to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs. On December 20, 2013, the 
Committee discharged H.R. 623 by unanimous consent. The Senate 
passed H.R. 623 without amendment by unanimous consent. On 
December 26, 2013, the bill became Pub. L. No. 113-68.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\See, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act, 
Pub. L. No. 113-68 (2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Related Prior Bill--Maniilaq Association. During the 112th 
Congress, Senators Murkowski and Begich introduced S. 1898, a 
bill transferring property in Alaska to the Maniilaq 
Association, also similar in purpose to S. 230. On March 22, 
2012, the Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on the 
bill. No further action was taken on this bill.
    On December 15, 2011, the Senate received H.R. 443, the 
House companion bill to S. 1898, which was referred to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs. On June 28, 2012, the Committee 
ordered the bill to be reported without amendment favorably by 
voice vote. On December 20, 2012, the bill passed the Senate 
with an amendment by unanimous consent. On January 1, 2013, the 
House agreed to the Senate amendment and passed the bill, as 
amended. On January 14, 2013, the bill became Pub. L. No. 112-
263.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\See, To provide for the conveyance of certain property from the 
United States to the Maniilaq Association located in Kotzebue, Alaska, 
Pub. L. No. 112-263 (2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS OF S. 230

Section 1--Conveyance of property

    Section 1 would direct the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services, not later than 180 days after the enactment of the 
act, to convey by warranty deed certain property described in 
Section 2 to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation for use in 
connection with health and social services programs.
    It further provides that the Secretary's conveyance of 
title to the property shall supersede and render of no future 
effect any quitclaim deed concerning the same property executed 
by the Secretary and the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
    Section 1 also provides that the conveyance of the property 
by warranty deed shall be made without consideration, and 
without imposing any obligation, term, or condition on the 
Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. It also provides that the 
United States shall not retain any reversionary interest in the 
property.

Section 2--Property described

    This section provides the legal description of the property 
to be conveyed to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation 
pursuant to Section 1.

Section 3--Environmental liability

    This section provides that, notwithstanding any other 
provision of Federal law, as of the date of the conveyance, the 
Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation shall not be liable for any 
soil, surface, groundwater, or other contamination resulting 
from the disposal, release, or presence of any environmental 
contamination, including any oil or petroleum products, or any 
hazardous materials, hazardous waste, pollutants, toxic 
substances, solid waste, or any other environmental 
contamination or hazard as defined in any Federal or State of 
Alaska law, on any property described in Section 2.
    This section grants the Secretary any ``reasonably 
necessary'' easement or access to the conveyed property in 
order to satisfy any retained obligations or liability of the 
United States.
    This section also provides that the Secretary shall comply 
with Section 120(h)(3)(A) and (B) of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 
(42 U.S.C. Sec. 9620(h)(3(A)).

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following cost estimate, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office, dated March 13, 2015, was prepared 
for S. 230:

                                                    March 13, 2015.
Hon. John Barrasso,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
United States Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 230, a bill to 
provide for the conveyance of certain property to the Yukon 
Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel, Alaska.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert 
Stewart.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 230--A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain property to the 
        Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation located in Bethel, Alaska

    S. 230 would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services (HHS) to convey a specified 23-acre parcel of federal 
land in Bethel, Alaska, from the United States to the Yukon 
Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC). The conveyance of the 
property would be made by a warranty deed, which is a type of 
deed that provides that the grantor (the United States) has a 
good title free and clear of all liens and encumbrances and 
that the grantor promises to defend the title to the property 
against all persons claiming the property.
    The Indian Self-Determination and Education Act allows 
Indian tribal entities to assume responsibility for the 
provision of health care services funded by the Indian Health 
Service (IHS), the agency within HHS responsible for providing 
health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The YKHC, a 
nonprofit tribal organization that administers health care 
services for 58 tribal communities in Alaska, operates a 
hospital under the authority of that act on the parcel of land 
that would be transferred under this bill. According to IHS, 
the YKHC currently does not pay rent or any other remuneration 
to IHS for the use of the land. As a result, CBO estimates that 
enacting S. 230 would have no significant effect on the federal 
budget and would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 230 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would benefit the YKHC by transferring the property to the 
corporation. Any costs to the YKHC would be incurred 
voluntarily.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Robert Stewart 
(for federal costs), J'nell Blanco Suchy (for intergovernmental 
effects), and Amy Petz (for private-sector mandates). The 
estimate was approved by Holly Harvey, 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 each report accompanying a bill to evaluate the 
regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that S. 230 will 
have a minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no communications from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 230.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee finds that the 
enactment of S. 230 will make no changes to existing law.

                                  [all]