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                                                        Calendar No. 49
                                                        
115th Congress      }                                       {    Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                       {    115-35

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



 
          BLACK HILLS NATIONAL CEMETERY BOUNDARY EXPANSION ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 3, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                          [To accompany S. 35]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 35) to transfer administrative 
jurisdiction over certain Bureau of Land Management land from 
the Secretary of the Interior to the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs for inclusion in the Black Hills National Cemetery, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute and recommends 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.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Black Hills National Cemetery 
Boundary Expansion Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
          (1) Cemetery.--The term ``Cemetery'' means the Black Hills 
        National Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota.
          (2) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means the 
        approximately 200 acres of Bureau of Land Management land 
        adjacent to the Cemetery, generally depicted as ``Proposed 
        National Cemetery Expansion'' on the map entitled ``Proposed 
        Expansion of Black Hills National Cemetery--South Dakota'' and 
        dated June 16, 2016.
          (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.

SEC. 3. TRANSFER AND WITHDRAWAL OF BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT LAND FOR 
                    CEMETERY USE.

    (a) Conduct of Due Diligence Activities by the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs.--
          (1) In general.--Before the transfer of administrative 
        jurisdiction and withdrawal of the Federal land under 
        subsections (b) and (c), respectively, and subject to paragraph 
        (2), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall complete any 
        appropriate environmental, cultural resource, and other due 
        diligence activities on the Federal land that would enable the 
        Secretary of Veterans Affairs to confirm that the Federal land 
        is suitable for cemetery purposes.
          (2) Notice; required coordination.--The Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs shall--
                  (A) before conducting any due diligence activities 
                under paragraph (1), notify the Secretary of the 
                activities to be conducted; and
                  (B) as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines 
                to be necessary in the conduct of the due diligence 
                activities under paragraph (1), coordinate the 
                activities with the Secretary; and
                  (C) if the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines, 
                on completion of the due diligence activities under 
                paragraph (1), that the Federal and is suitable for 
                cemetery purposes, submit written notice of the 
                determination to the Secretary.
    (b) Transfer of Administrative Jurisdiction.--
          (1) Transfer.--
                  (A) In general.--On receipt by the Secretary of 
                written notice of a determination that the Federal land 
                is suitable for cemetery purposes under subsection 
                (a)(2)(C), except as provided in subparagraph (B), and 
                subject to valid existing rights, administrative 
                jurisdiction over the Federal land is transferred from 
                the Secretary to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for 
                use as a national cemetery in accordance with chapter 
                24 of title 38, United States Code.
                  (B) Exclusion.--The transfer of administrative 
                jurisdiction over the Federal land under subparagraph 
                (A) shall not include the land located within 100 feet 
                of the center of the Centennial Trail, as generally 
                depicted on the map entitled ``Proposed Expansion of 
                Black Hills National Cemetery--South Dakota'' and dated 
                June 16, 2016.
          (2) Legal descriptions.--
                  (A) In general.--As soon as practicable after the 
                date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
                publish in the Federal Register a notice containing a 
                legal description of the Federal land.
                  (B) Effect.--A legal description published under 
                subparagraph (A) shall have the same force and effect 
                as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary 
                may correct any clerical and typographical errors in 
                the legal description.
                  (C) Availability.--Copies of the legal description 
                published under subparagraph (A) shall be available for 
                public inspection in the appropriate offices of--
                          (i) the Bureau of Land Management; and
                          (ii) the National Cemetery Administration.
                  (D) Costs.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
                reimburse the Secretary for the costs incurred by the 
                Secretary in carrying out this paragraph, including the 
                costs of any surveys and other reasonable costs.
    (c) Withdrawal.--On receipt by the Secretary of written notice of a 
determination that the Federal land is suitable for cemetery purposes 
under subsection (a)(2)(C) and subject to valid existing rights, the 
Federal land--
          (1) is withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the 
        public land laws, including the mining laws, the mineral 
        leasing laws, and the geothermal leasing laws; and
          (2) shall be treated as property as defined under section 
        102(9) of title 40, United States Code.
    (d) Boundary Modification.--The boundary of the Cemetery is 
modified to include the Federal land.
    (e) Modification of Public Land Order.--Public Land Order 2112, 
dated June 6, 1960 (25 Fed. Reg. 5243), is modified to exclude the 
Federal land.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 35 is to transfer administrative 
jurisdiction over approximately 200 acres of Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) land in South Dakota from the Secretary of the 
Interior to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for inclusion in 
the Black Hills National Cemetery.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The Black Hills National Cemetery (Cemetery) is located 
just outside of Sturgis, South Dakota. It is part of the 
national cemetery system for military veterans and their 
spouses administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
Approximately 20,000 veterans or their close relatives have 
been buried within its 106-acre footprint since it was 
established in 1948. S. 35 would provide for a permanent 
transfer of approximately 200 acres for the purpose of 
expanding the Cemetery. The land would be transferred from the 
BLM to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and would provide 
for necessary accommodation to properly honor veterans with a 
dignified burial for generations to come.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senator Thune introduced S. 35 on January 5, 2017.
    In the 114th Congress, Senator Thune introduced a similar 
measure, S. 2223, on October 29, 2015. The Subcommittee on 
Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a hearing on April 21, 
2016, to consider S. 2223. The Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources met in open business session on July 13, 2016, and 
ordered S. 2223 favorably reported as amended.
    The measure was also included in Amendment No. 3234, which 
the Senate agreed to on April 19, 2016, as an amendment to S. 
2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, which the 
Senate passed, as amended, on April 20, 2016.
    In the House of Representatives, Representative Noem 
introduced a companion bill, H.R. 3839, on October 27, 2015.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on March 30, 2017, and ordered S. 35 favorably 
reported as amended.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During its consideration of S. 35, the Committee adopted an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute to include provisions 
related to due diligence activities, agency coordination, and 
land exclusions. The amendment is further described in the 
section-by-section analysis.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on March 30, 2017, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
35, if amended as described herein.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides the short title.

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 defines key terms.

Section 3. Transfer and withdrawal of Bureau of Land Management land 
        for cemetery use

    Section 3(a) directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
complete any appropriate environmental, cultural resource, and 
other due diligence activities on the Federal land that would 
enable the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to confirm the land is 
suitable for cemetery purposes prior to the transfer and 
withdrawal of administrative jurisdiction. This subsection 
further specifies required notifications and coordination 
between the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of 
the Interior.
    Subsection (b) transfers administrative jurisdiction of the 
subject land from the Secretary of the Interior to the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, subject to valid existing 
rights; requires publication and availability of the legal 
description; requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
reimburse the Secretary of the Interior for reasonable costs 
incurred for carrying out this section; and excludes the 
transfer of administrative jurisdiction of lands located within 
100 feet of the center of the Centennial Trail, as generally 
depicted on the specified map.
    Subsection (c) withdraws the subject land from all forms of 
appropriation under the public land laws, subject to valid 
existing rights, and requires the Federal land to be treated as 
property as defined in 40 U.S.C. 102(9).
    Subsection (d) modifies the boundary of the cemetery to 
include the Federal land.
    Subsection (e) modifies the existing Public Land Order 
2112, dated June 6, 1960 (25 Fed. Reg. 5243), to exclude the 
Federal land.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    S. 35 would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to 
transfer 200 acres of land to the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA) to expand a national cemetery. CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 35 would have insignificant costs for VA to 
cover administrative expenses associated with the transfer and 
make improvements to the Black Hills National Cemetery.
    Under the bill, the affected lands would be withdrawn from 
mining and mineral leasing activities. Based on an analysis of 
information provided by BLM, CBO expects that those activities 
would not occur over the next 10 years and we estimate that 
withdrawing the lands would not affect the federal budget. 
Because enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or 
revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 35 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 35 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 Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 35. The bill is not a regulatory measure in the 
sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 35, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 35, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    Because S. 35 is similar to legislation considered by the 
Committee in the 114th Congress, the Committee did not request 
Executive Agency views. The testimony provided by the 
Department of the Interior at the hearing before the 
Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining on April 21, 
2016, follows:

    Statement of Mike Pool, Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Land 
                 Management Department of the Interior

    Thank you for inviting the Department of the Interior to 
testify on S. 2223, the Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary 
Expansion Act, which transfers administrative jurisdiction of 
approximately 200 acres of public land currently managed by the 
Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the Department 
of Veterans Affairs' (VA) National Cemetery Administration 
(NCA) for inclusion in the Black Hills National Cemetery in 
Meade County, South Dakota. The Department of the Interior 
supports S. 2223.


                               background


    The Black Hills National Cemetery is located three miles 
southeast of Sturgis, South Dakota, near the Black Hills. 
Established in 1948, the cemetery currently encompasses 106 
acres and has had over 20,000 interments. The BLM understands 
that the NCA would use the additional land provided under S. 
2223 to expand the Black Hills National Cemetery to provide 
burial space for future needs. The BLM and the NCA have 
discussed such a transfer for several years, but the BLM has 
determined that no general authority exists for the agency to 
grant a perpetual transfer of jurisdiction as required by the 
NCA for a cemetery.


                                s. 2223


    S. 2223 directs the Secretary of the Interior to transfer 
administrative jurisdiction of approximately 200 acres of 
public land to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be 
incorporated into the existing Black Hills National Cemetery, 
subject to valid existing rights. The Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs would be required to pay all survey costs and other 
reasonable costs associated with the transfer. The Federal land 
to be transferred would be withdrawn from all forms of 
appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining, 
mineral leasing, and geothermal leasing laws. Under the bill, 
should the NCA ever determine that it no longer needs any 
portion of the additional land, the Secretary of the Interior 
could restore the unneeded land to the public domain. The 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs would be responsible for costs of 
any decontamination necessary for restoration to public land 
status.
    The Department of the Interior supports S. 2223 and the 
transfer of administrative jurisdiction. We note that the 
expansion area is currently part of the Fort Meade Recreation 
Area/Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and that the 
Centennial Trail runs along the northern boundary of the 
expansion area. We suggest adding bill language to provide a 
100-foot setback boundary from the centerline of the trail. The 
Administration would also like to work with the sponsor and the 
Committee to clarify the provisions related to decontamination 
and restoration of the land to public land status.


                               conclusion


    Thank you again for the opportunity to testify in support 
of S. 2223, the Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary 
Expansion Act. We appreciate the work of the South Dakota 
congressional delegation on this legislation, and we look 
forward to collaborating with them and the Committee to meet 
the needs of the Black Hills National Cemetery.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill as ordered 
reported.