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115th Congress     }                                        {   Report
                          HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session        }                                        {  115-1002

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



 
   LYON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION ACT

                                _______
                                

November 2, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 5347]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5347) to facilitate resolution of environmental 
remediation and reclamation, resolve potential liability of the 
United States, and promote economic development in Lyon County, 
Nevada, 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 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Lyon County Economic 
Development and Environmental Remediation Act''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
Sec. 3. Findings.
Sec. 4. Conveyance of land; resolution of Federal liability.
Sec. 5. General provisions relating to the conveyance.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Atlantic richfield.--The term ``Atlantic Richfield'' 
        means the Atlantic Richfield Company, a Delaware corporation, 
        or its successors or assigns.
          (2) BLM.--The term ``BLM'' means the Bureau of Land 
        Management.
          (3) CERCLA.--The term ``CERCLA'' means the Comprehensive 
        Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 
        (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).
          (4) County.--The term ``County'' means Lyon County, Nevada.
          (5) Federal selected lands.--The term ``Federal selected 
        lands'' means the approximately 2,062 acres of land managed by 
        the BLM, located in five distinct parcels in Lyon County, 
        Nevada, and generally depicted on the map entitled ``Anaconda 
        Copper Mine Site--Federal Parcels Proposed to be Acquired'' and 
        dated September 7, 2017.
          (6) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian Tribe'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination 
        and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).
          (7) Map.--The term ``Map'' means the map entitled ``Anaconda 
        Copper Mine Site--Federal Parcels Proposed to be Acquired'' and 
        dated September 7, 2017.
          (8) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.
          (9) Site.--The term ``Site'' means the Anaconda Copper Mine 
        Site located in Lyon County, Nevada.
          (10) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of Nevada.

SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds that--
          (1) Atlantic Richfield is performing environmental response 
        actions under CERCLA at the Site with the State's Division of 
        Environmental Protection in the lead oversight role;
          (2) to comprehensively and efficiently facilitate the 
        environmental remediation and reclamation at the Site, Atlantic 
        Richfield requires access to land that is owned by the Federal 
        Government;
          (3) more than half of the acreage located within the Site's 
        boundaries is owned by the Federal Government and managed by 
        the BLM, and, therefore, attempting to implement a CERCLA 
        remedy on BLM-managed lands requires extensive coordination and 
        can involve substantial delays and increased costs;
          (4) because the historic releases and elements of the remedy 
        do not follow existing property boundaries, reducing any 
        inconsistent treatment based on land ownership will benefit 
        cost management, efficiency of operations and maintenance, and 
        long-term protectiveness;
          (5) the United States may be designated as a potentially 
        responsible party under CERCLA and accordingly could be 
        assigned a significant liability share for CERCLA response 
        costs;
          (6) at the time of conveyance, the Federal selected lands 
        will be unburdened by mining claims;
          (7) the conveyance of the Federal selected lands will promote 
        economic development within the County by consolidating private 
        land for future mining activities;
          (8) the BLM has routinely conveyed lands to potentially 
        responsible parties to facilitate remedial actions;
          (9) a legislated land conveyance is necessary to meet the 
        remediation goals of the Site, promote economic development in 
        the County, and for BLM and the United States to receive a 
        covenant not to sue and indemnity for certain potential 
        liabilities relating to the Site;
          (10) the Federal selected lands contain contamination and 
        hazardous waste, and therefore the fair market value of such 
        lands is minimal;
          (11) the United States potential CERCLA liability at the Site 
        is substantially greater than the fair market value of the 
        Federal selected lands; and
          (12) the BLM and Atlantic Richfield have concluded that 
        conveyance of the Federal selected lands to Atlantic Richfield 
        in exchange for resolution of certain United States liabilities 
        is reasonable, logical, advisable, and in the public interest.

SEC. 4. CONVEYANCE OF LAND; RESOLUTION OF FEDERAL LIABILITY.

  (a) Federal Selected Lands.--Notwithstanding section 120(h) of CERCLA 
(42 U.S.C. 9620(h)), not later than 120 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall convey all right, title, and 
interest (including mineral rights) of the United States in and to the 
Federal selected lands to Atlantic Richfield.
  (b) Covenant Not To Sue and Indemnity.--Upon conveyance of the 
Federal selected lands under subsection (a), and for full and complete 
compensation for those lands, Atlantic Richfield shall--
          (1) covenant not to sue and agree not to assert any claims or 
        causes of action against the BLM or its contractors or 
        employees with respect to CERCLA response costs that Atlantic 
        Richfield has incurred or will incur at or relating to the 
        Site; and
          (2) indemnify the United States against future liabilities 
        that result from Atlantic Richfield's activities on the Federal 
        selected lands after the conveyance.
  (c) Equal Value.--The value of the Federal selected lands is deemed 
to be equal to or less than the United States portion of the CERCLA 
response costs at the Site and no further valuation is required for the 
purposes of this Act or the conveyance of the Federal selected lands 
under this Act.

SEC. 5. GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE CONVEYANCE.

  (a) In General.--The conveyance authorized by this Act shall be 
subject to the following terms and conditions:
          (1) Existing encumbrances.--In the United States patent to be 
        issued pursuant to this Act, the Secretary shall describe any 
        existing known encumbrances in the patent. The terms of such 
        encumbrances shall be prescribed by the Secretary not later 
        than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
          (2) Right of rescission.--This Act shall not be binding on 
        either the United States or Atlantic Richfield if, not later 
        than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
        Atlantic Richfield submits to the Secretary a duly authorized 
        and executed resolution of the Company stating its intention 
        not to enter into the conveyance authorized by this Act.
  (b) Withdrawal.--Subject to valid existing rights, effective on the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal selected lands are 
hereby withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the public land 
laws (including the mining laws) and from disposition under all laws 
pertaining to mineral leasing.
  (c) Patent.--The conveyance of the Federal selected lands under this 
Act shall be by United States patent acceptable to the Secretary and in 
conformity with applicable title standards of the Attorney General.
  (d) Tribal Rights.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall initiate in government-to-
government consultation with any Indian Tribe affected by the 
conveyance of the Federal selected lands regarding issues of concern to 
the affected Indian Tribe related to the land conveyance. Such 
consultation shall conclude within 90 days of its initiation. After the 
consultation under this subsection, the Secretary shall consult with 
Atlantic Richfield and seek to find mutually acceptable measures to 
address any identified concerns of the affected Indian Tribe.
  (e) Tribal Rights Unaffected.--Nothing in this Act alters or 
diminishes the treaty rights of any Indian Tribe.
  (f) State Law Unaffected.--Nothing in this Act modifies, expands, 
diminishes, amends, or otherwise affects any State law relating to the 
imposition, application, timing, or collection of a State tax.
  (g) Compliance With Applicable Laws.--The land transfer directed by 
this Act, and all determinations, authorizations, and actions taken by 
the Secretary pursuant to this Act, are deemed to be non-discretionary 
actions authorized and directed by Congress, and to comply with all 
applicable procedural and other requirements of the laws of the United 
States.
  (h) Use of Federal Selected Lands.--Notwithstanding the former 
ownership of the Federal selected lands by the United States, such land 
shall be treated as non-Federal land after the conveyance of such lands 
to Atlantic Richfield.
  (i) Environmental Compliance.--After the conveyance, Atlantic 
Richfield shall perform all response actions determined by the State 
Division of Environmental Protection to be necessary to protect human 
health and the environment with respect to any hazardous substance 
stored, released, or disposed of on the Federal selected lands. 
Response actions on the Federal selected lands shall be conducted in 
accordance with applicable Federal, State, and local laws pertaining to 
response, mining, and related activities on land in private ownership.
  (j) Availability of Map.--The Map shall be on file and available for 
public inspection in the appropriate offices of the BLM.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 5347 is to facilitate resolution of 
environmental remediation and reclamation, resolve potential 
liability of the United States, and promote economic 
development in Lyon County, Nevada.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Anaconda copper mine is located on approximately 3,500 
acres of land in Lyon County, Nevada, immediately west of the 
city of Yerington. Copper was first discovered in the area in 
the 1800s and commercial development began in the mid-20th 
century. The mine site includes both private and public lands 
managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In the mid-
1970s, the mine was purchased by the Atlantic Richfield 
Company, which is now a subsidiary of British Petroleum.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Anaconda Copper Mine, Lyon County, Nevada, Nevada Division of 
Environmental Protection. https://ndep.nv.gov/land/abandoned-mine-
lands/anaconda-site (last accessed July 13, 2018); National Priorities 
List, Proposed Site: Anaconda Copper Mine, Environmental Protection 
Agency, September 2016. https://semspub.epa.gov/work/09/2400298.pdf 
(last accessed July 13, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    During its operations, the mine produced 1.7 billion pounds 
of copper and 360 million tons of mineral material, the 
majority of which remains onsite.\2\ The site occupies 
approximately 6 square miles and contains a large open-pit 
mine, 400 acres of waste rock, five leach pads on 250 acres, 
3,000 acres of contaminated mine tailings and 1,300 acres of 
disposal ponds. Because mining and processing occurred prior to 
many modern environmental regulations, the processes used to 
extract copper from the mineral ore resulted in heavy metal 
contamination of the site and nearby drinking water wells.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Anaconda Copper Mine, Lyon County, Nevada, Nevada Division of 
Environmental Protection. https://ndep.nv.gov/land/abandoned-mine-
lands/anaconda-site (last accessed July 13, 2018).
    \3\National Priorities List, Proposed Site: Anaconda Copper Mine, 
Environmental Protection Agency, September 2016. https://
semspub.epa.gov/work/09/2400298.pdf (last accessed July 13, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2000, the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection 
(NDEP) began managing cleanup of the site. Due to a lack of 
financial resources, NDEP requested that the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) exercise its Superfund authority under 
the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act (CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).\4\ The Atlantic 
Richfield company is the responsible party for addressing 
environmental issues related to the mine and has paid $19.5 
million in damages awarded to nearby residents in a class 
action lawsuit.\5\\6\ In 2015, the EPA recommended placing the 
site on its National Priorities List to qualify for federal 
funding for long-term clean up. After that, the State of Nevada 
sought funding solutions from private entities and requested 
formally that the EPA defer listing. EPA deferred the placement 
on the National Priorities List in February 2018.\7\ Cleanup 
costs for a portion of the site are estimated to exceed $36 
million\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Ibid.
    \5\Anaconda Copper Mine, Lyon County, Nevada, Nevada Division of 
Environmental Protection. https://ndep.nv.gov/land/abandoned-mine-
lands/anaconda-site (last accessed July 13, 2018).
    \6\Associated Press (2015, December 26). EPA wants to declare 
abounded Nevada copper mine a Superfund site. http://www.latimes.com/
nation/la-na-epa-nevada-mine-20151226-story.html (last accessed July 
13, 2018).
    \7\National Priorities List, Proposed Site: Anaconda Copper Mine, 
Environmental Protection Agency, September 2016. https://
semspub.epa.gov/work/09/2400298.pdf (last accessed July 13, 2018).
    \8\Anaconda Copper Mine, Lyon County, Nevada, Nevada Division of 
Environmental Protection. https://ndep.nv.gov/land/abandoned-mine-
lands/anaconda-site (last accessed July 13, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As part of its land-use planning process, BLM designated 
these parcels as suitable for disposal. Transfer of these lands 
will ensure the availability of adequate fill and cover 
material for the environmental cleanup, provide area for access 
and temporary infrastructure and improve the viability of the 
site for future economically beneficial uses.
    H.R. 5347 would transfer approximately 2,000 acres of 
federal lands managed by BLM located in Lyon County, Nevada, to 
the Atlantic Richfield company, or its successors. As a former 
owner and operator of the Site, Atlantic Richfield Company is 
uniquely situated as the only entity legally qualified under 
CERCLA Section 120(h) to acquire this federal land in its 
current condition. The legislation would also expedite the 
transfer process and allow the environmental cleanup to be 
managed more efficiently.
    The Atlantic Richfield Company does not intend to hold this 
land long term but will transfer ownership to an unaffiliated 
entity that purchased most of the former mine site in the early 
2000s and is currently investigating additional mining 
opportunities.
    Both the Lyon County Commissioners and Yerington City 
Council recently adopted resolutions in support of H.R. 
5347.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Yerington City Council Resolution No. 2018-03; Lyon County 
Resolution No. 18-09.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 5347 was introduced on March 20, 2018, by Congressman 
Mark E. Amodei (R-NV). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Federal Lands. On July 17, 2018, the 
Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On July 18, 2018, the 
Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
Tom McClintock (R-CA) offered an amendment designated #1; it 
was adopted by voice vote. Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) 
offered an amendment designated 041; it was not adopted by a 
roll call vote of 14 ayes and 16 nays, as follows:


    Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) offered an amendment 
designated 040; it was not adopted by a roll call vote of 14 
ayes and 16 nays, as follows:


    No additional amendments were offered, and the bill, as 
amended, was ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by a bipartisan roll call vote of 16 ayes and 
15 nays, as follows:


            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 AND CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, September 4, 2018.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5347, the Lyon 
County Economic Development and Environmental Remediation Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 5347--Lyon County Economic Development and Environmental 
        Remediation Act

    H.R. 5347 would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
to convey 2,062 acres of federal land to the Atlantic Richfield 
Company (ARC). Those lands are part of an abandoned copper mine 
that has been designated as a Superfund site. In 2018, ARC 
assumed responsibility for cleaning up the affected lands under 
the oversight of the state of Nevada.
    Under the bill, ARC would agree not to bring legal action 
against BLM to obtain funds to cover cleanup costs at the site 
and to indemnify the federal government against liabilities 
stemming from the company's activities at the site. However, 
CBO has no basis for determining whether the federal government 
has any legal liability to fund cleanup efforts at the site, 
whether BLM could be held liable for ARC's future activities at 
the site, or whether a legal action would be brought against 
the federal government within the next 10 years.
    Because the affected lands contain existing rights-of-way 
that generate proceeds for the federal government, CBO 
estimates that conveying those lands would reduce offsetting 
receipts, which are treated as reductions in direct spending. 
However, using information provided by BLM, CBO estimates that 
any such effects would be negligible.
    Because enacting H.R. 5347 could affect direct spending, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill would not 
affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5347 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 5347 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. 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 facilitate resolution of 
environmental remediation and reclamation, resolve potential 
liability of the United States, and promote economic 
development in Lyon County, Nevada.

                           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.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    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 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

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

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    H.R. 5347 authorizes the conveyance of over 2,000 acres of 
land administered by Bureau of Land Management in Lyon County, 
Nevada to the Atlantic Richfield Company (Atlantic Richfield), 
a subsidiary of British Petroleum, to purportedly facilitate 
environmental remediation and reclamation of the Anaconda 
Copper Mine.
    The land is a portion of the Anaconda Copper Mine Site, a 
contaminated former open-pit mine that spans roughly 3,400 
acres of private and public land. During the Obama 
administration, the State of Nevada and the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency entered into an agreement to place the site 
on the Superfund National Priorities List pursuant to the 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act (CERCLA). However, on February 5, 2018, former 
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Scott Pruitt, 
signed a deferral agreement with the State of Nevada. Under the 
agreement, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection is 
responsible for overseeing Atlantic Richfield's investigation 
and cleanup of the site under Nevada state law. Certain 
criteria, including CERCLA equivalent cleanup, must be met or 
the EPA can choose to end the deferral and take over 
remediation by placing the site on the National Priorities 
List.
    Now, with the deferral on the books, Atlantic Richfield is 
pursuing this bill to convey a portion of the site out of 
federal ownership. The bill's sponsor claims that the steep 
financial obligations imposed on the United States as a 
potentially liable party pursuant to CERCLA will be relieved by 
unburdening the land to Atlantic Richfield, which is why the 
bill does not require an appraisal or any form of compensation 
for the conveyance. Section 4 simply deems the value of the 
land to be equal to or less than the U.S. portion of the CERCLA 
response and transfers it to Atlantic Richfield.
    Section 4 also includes a covenant not to sue and 
indemnifies the federal government against future liabilities. 
This does not functionally relieve the United States of its 
liability but would render it moot and prevent Atlantic 
Richfield from seeking compensation for the cleanup costs. 
Under Sec. 107 of CERCLA, past owners and operators of a site 
are deemed liable for the cleanup and remediation, which in the 
case of the Anaconda Mine, could include the Bureau of Land 
Management, putting Atlantic Richfield in a position to seek 
damages from the United States and recoup costs associated with 
the cleanup. However, at this point, the federal government's 
liability is only speculative. In fact, the Bureau of Land 
Management's testimony on the bill mentions that Department of 
Justice advises against admitting liability. Rather than heed 
that legal advice, the bill admits liability and uses that to 
justify a no-cost conveyance to Atlantic Richfield.
    Once the land is conveyed to private ownership, Atlantic 
Richfield could initiate new mining activity concurrent with 
the cleanup. The value extracted from future mining operations 
could far surpass the cost of the cleanup and any potential 
liability assigned to the United States. What's more, EPA and 
the State of Nevada are still investigating the extent of 
contamination and there is limited information at this point in 
the cleanup process to determine the total cost. Without an 
appraisal there is no way to determine the value of the land, 
the subsurface mineral estate, or the cleanup cost, so it is 
unclear if this is a legitimate equal value exchange. To ensure 
a fair return for taxpayer owned assets, any conveyance of 
federal land should be accompanied by an appraisal and some 
form of equitable compensation.
    In addition to conveying the land without an appraisal, 
Section 5 waives the typical environmental and cultural review 
requirements associated with a land conveyance or exchange. 
Waiving the public input and review requirements of the 
National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic 
Preservation Act could have significant consequences, including 
the transfer of land that includes valuable cultural resources.
    The Yerington Paiute tribe--based nine miles from the 
site--filed a lawsuit in Yerington Paiute Tribal Court against 
Atlantic Richfield and its parent company alleging intentional 
obfuscation of contamination at the site, including substances 
such as arsenic and uranium that may have contaminated 
groundwaters. The tribe has expressed concerns with 
transferring the land into private ownership and removing 
federal oversight. As an attempt to address these concerns, 
H.R. 5347 requires the Secretary of the Interior to initiate a 
government-to-government consultation with any Indian Tribes 
impacted by the conveyance within 30 days of enactment. The 
time it will take to complete meaningful consultation is 
unclear, so Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs 
Subcommittee Ranking Member Gallego offered an amendment to 
ensure consultation was completed prior to the execution of any 
other provisions of the bill. The majority voted down this 
safeguard for impacted tribal governments on a party line vote.
    Lastly, the legislation orders Atlantic Richfield to 
perform all actions deemed necessary by Nevada's Division of 
Environmental Protection to safeguard human health and the 
environment from hazardous substances that may have been 
stored, released, or disposed of on the land being conveyed. 
However, without a bonding requirement or a reversionary 
interest, there is no guarantee Atlantic Richfield--a private 
company that could go bankrupt or fall victim to other 
unforeseen circumstances--will complete the cleanup once the 
land becomes private. Ranking Member Grijalva offered an 
amendment to require Atlantic Richfield to post a bond prior to 
receiving title to the land. This commonsense safeguard was 
rejected by the majority.
    While we are aware of the State of Nevada's decision to 
seek a deferral agreement with the Environmental Protection 
Agency and assume all responsibility for overseeing the 
remediation of the site, it is unclear why the affected federal 
land should be conveyed to private ownership without any 
consideration for its value or the rights of impacted tribal 
governments.

                                   Raul M. Grijalva,
                                           Ranking Member, Committee on 
                                               Natural Resources.