Title: Act to amend and supplement the acreage limitation and residency provisions of the Federal Reclamation Law, as amended anad supplemented, and for othe
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Title: Act to amend and supplement the acreage limitation and residency provisions of the Federal Reclamation Law, as amended anad supplemented, and for othe
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Language: English
Publication Date: 1902
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96TH CONGRESS S 4
18T SESSION .14




IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SEPTEMBER 18, 1979
Referred to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs




AN ACT
To amend and supplement the acreage limitation and residency
provisions of the Federal Reclamation Law, as amended and
supplemented, and for other purposes.

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
2 ties of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 That this Act shall be a supplement to the Act of June 17,
4 1902, and Acts supplementary thereof and amendatory
5 thereto (43 U.S.C. 391), hereinafter referred to as the Feder-
6 al Reclamation Law, and this Act may be cited as the "Rec-
7 lamation Reform Act of 1979".
8 DEFINITIONS
9 SEC. 2. (a) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary
10 of the Interior.







2
1 (b) The term "individual" means any person, including
2 his or her spouse, and including other dependents thereof
3 within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.

4 152).
5 (c) The term "qualified recipient" means an individual
6 who is a citizen of the United States or a resident alien there-
7 of or any legal entity established under State or Federal law
8 which benefits twenty-five such individuals or less.

9 (d) The term "limited recipient" means any legal entity
10 established under State or Federal law benefiting more than
11 twenty-five individuals that is receiving water service from,
12 through, or by means of a Federal reclamation project on the
13 date of this Act.

14 (e) The term "landholding" means the total acreage of
15 one or more tracts of land owned or operated under a lease
16 or leases by any person alone or by participation in a legal

17 entity which is served with a water supply pursuant to a
18 contract with the Secretary.
19 ACREAGE LIMITATION

20 SEC. 3. (a) The Federal Reclamation Law shall apply

21 only to lands which are included within a Federal reclama-
22 tion project which has been authorized by statute and which
23 are served with a water supply from, through or by means of

24 works provided by such authorization pursuant to a contract

25 with the Secretary.







3
1 (b) Any provision of the Federal Reclamation Law
2 which establishes a limitation on acreage to be served with a

3 water supply to the contrary notwithstanding, a landholding
4 of any qualified recipient which consists of one thousand two
5 hundred and eighty acres or less shall be considered to be
6 within the acreage limitation of the Federal Reclamation
7 Law.

8 (c) In the determination of excess lands under the provi-
9 sions of this Act or any other provision of the Federal Recla-
10 nation Law, the applicable acreage limitation shall be inter-

11 preted as applying to a landholding as defined in subsection
12 2(e) of this Act.

13 (d) Lands included in a landholding of any qualified or
14 limited recipient which exceed the acreage limitation imposed
15 by this Act or lands included in a landholding of any other
16 person which violate the provisions of this Act and any other

17 provision of the Federal Reclamation Law and which are re-
18 ceiving a reclamation water supply but are not under a
19 recordable contract on the date of enactment of this Act shall
20 be placed under a recordable contract within three years of
21 the date of enactment of this Act as a condition of continued
22 water service.

23 (e) Recordable contracts entered into pursuant to the

24 provisions of subsection (d) of this section shall provide for







4
1 the disposal of such excess land within ten years of the date
2 of enactment of this Act.
3 (f) The Secretary may, in his discretion, by rule, impose
4 a limitation on the number of landholdings that may be man-
5 aged by another person on behalf of qualified recipients or
6 other landholders.

7 (g) Except to the extent that they are inconsistent with
8 the provisions of this Act, the provisions of the Federal Rec-
9 lamation Law, including those provisions relating to the im-
10 plementation of the acreage limitation, shall remain in full
11 force and effect.
12 (h) Nothing in this Act shall repeal or amend any exist-
13 ing statutory exemptions from the acreage limitation of the
14 Federal Reclamation Law.
15 EQUIVALENCY
16 SEC. 4. Wherever an acreage limitation is imposed by
17 the Federal Reclamation Law, the Secretary shall (upon re-
18 quest of a qualified or limited recipient or other contracting
19 entity representing one or more qualified or limited recipi-
20 ents) designate by rule the acreage of a landholding which
21 may receive water at one thousand two hundred and eighty
22 acres of class 1 land in the case of a qualified recipient or one
23 hundred and sixty acres in the case of a limited recipient or
24 the equivalent thereof in other lands of lesser productive po-

25 tential. Standards and criteria for determination of land








5
1 classes pursuant to this authority shall take into account all
2 factors which significantly affect the economic feasibility of
3 irrigated agriculture, including but not limited to, soil charac-
4 teristics, crop adaptability, costs of crop production, and
5 length of growing season.
6 RESIDENCY NOT REQUIRED
7 SEC. 5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
8 qualified or limited recipient shall not be required to be a
9 resident on or near a landholding in order for such landhold-
10 ing to be eligible to receive water pursuant to a contract with
11 the Secretary.
12 REPAYMENT OF CONSTRUCTION CHARGES
13 SEC. 6. (a) The acreage limitation provisions of the Fed-
14 eral Reclamation Law shall cease to apply to any part of a
15 landholding upon completion of the repayment by any con-
16 tracting entity of the amount of any construction costs re-
17 quired to be repaid by such contracting entity by the terms of
18 any contracts with the Secretary relating to the delivery of
19 water supplies to such part of a landholding for agricultural
20 use: Provided, That where any such contract has been or
21 may be entered into pursuant to the authority of the Reha-
22 bilitation and Betterment Act (Act of October 7, 1949, 63
23 Stat. 724, as amended), the contracting entity shall have the

24 additional option of adopting a form of repayment consistent
25 with section 5(c)(2) of the Small Reclamation Projects Act of








6
1 1956 (Act of August 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1044, as amended)
2 and if such form of repayment is adopted, the acreage limita-
3 tion provisions of the Federal Reclamation Law shall not

4 apply solely as a result of the indebtedness under such con-
5 tract.

6 (b) The Secretary shall provide, upon request of any
7 owner of a landholding for which repayment has occurred, a
8 certificate acknowledging that the landholding is free of the
9 acreage limitation of the Federal Reclamation Law. Such
10 certificate shall be in a form suitable for entry in the land
11 records of the county in which such landholding is located.
12 (c) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing
13 or permitting lump sum or accelerated repayment of con-
14 struction costs, except in the case of a repayment contract
15 which is in effect upon the date of enactment of this Act and
16 which provides for such lump sum or accelerated repayment
17 and except as provided in subsection (d) of this section.
18 (d) The Secretary is authorized to negotiate with such
19 contracting entity to conform the terms of any such contract
20 to permit lump sum or accelerated repayment if the Secre-
21 tary finds that the amount of outstanding indebtedness is less
22 than 5 per centum of the total repayment obligation associat-
23 ed with such contract and that a pattern of family farming

24 has been established in the project service area.









1 LEASING RESTRICTIONS

2 SEC. 7. (a) Lands which are leased by any lessee and

3 operated for agricultural production utilizing water supplied
4 pursuant to a contract with the Secretary shall be considered
5 to be part of such lessee's landholding as well as the lessor's
6 landholding for purposes of applying the acreage limitation of
7 the Federal Reclamation Law.
8 (b) Lessees holding lands in excess of the acreage limita-
9 tion of this Act or of any other provisions of the Federal
10 Reclamation Law under the provisions of a valid written
11 lease effective as of the date of this Act shall be required to
12 comply with the appropriate acreage limitation within ten

13 years of the date of this Act.
14 EXEMPTIONS
15 SEC. 8. (a) The Secretary is authorized to continue de-
16 livery of water supplies to all project lands held by boria fide
17 religious or charitable nonprofit organizations as of January
18 1, 1978, without regard to the acreage limitation of this Act
19 or other Federal Reclamation Law so long as title remains
20 unchanged and as long as the agricultural produce or pro-
21 ceeds of sales are directly used for charitable purposes.
22 (b) Section 3 of the Act of July 7, 1970 (43 U.S.C.
23 425b) is amended by striking the phrase "for a period not to
24 exceed twenty-five years" following the term "project
25 water".








8
1 (c)(1) The following provisions of Federal Reclamation
2 Law shall not apply to lands within the Imperial Irrigation
3 District of California on January 1, 1979-
4 (A) section 5 of the Act of June 17, 1902 (43
5 U.S.C. 431);
6 (B) section 46 of the Act of May 25, 1926 (43
7 U.S.C. 423e); and
8 (C) any other provision of law amendatory or sup-
9 elementary to either of such sections.
10 (2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to
11 any land during any period during which such land or any
12 interest therein is owned by any person who is not a citizen
13 of the United States or an alien admitted to the United States
14 for permanent residence, if such ownership commences after
15 the date of the enactment of this Act.
16 (3) Any person, other than a person referred to in para-
17 graph (2) of this subsection, who, after the date of the enact-
18 ment of this Act, purchases or otherwise acquires irrigable
19 land in the Imperial Irrigation District of California, or the
20 beneficial ownership of such land, which would be in excess
21 of the acreage limitations of the Federal Reclamation Law
22 except for the exemption provided by paragraph (1) of this
23 subsection, shall pay interest annually on that part of the
24 unpaid balance of the district's indebtedness for project costs
25 which is allocable on a pro rata basis to such land. This para-








9
1 graph shall not apply with respect to any land or interest
2 acquired by devise or inheritance or otherwise acquired by
3 reason of the death of any person. The interest rate applica-
4 ble for purposes of this paragraph shall be the average inter-
5 est rate paid on Treasury bills during the year preceding each
6 annual payment.
7 (d) Any other provision of law notwithstanding, neither
8 the acreage limitation, nor other provisions of the Federal
9 Reclamation Law (Act of June 17, 1902, 32 Stat. 388 and
10 Acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto) shall be
11 applicable to landholdings receiving benefits from Federal
12 water resource projects constructed by the United States

13 Army Corps of Engineers unless-
14 (1) the project has, by Federal statute, explicitly
15 been designated, made a part of, or integrated with a
16 Federal reclamation project, or

17 (2) the Secretary of the Interior, pursuant to his
18 authority under the Federal Reclamation Law has pro-
19 vided project works for the control or conveyance of an
20 agricultural water supply for the lands involved, or

21 (3) the provisions of the Federal Reclamation Law

22 are, by Federal statute, explicitly made applicable to

23 the lands involved, or








10
1 (4) the landholdings are included in the Kings
2 River, Kern River, Tule River, or Kaweah River
3 Projects.

4 (e)(1) The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct a
5 study with a view to determining the cost to the Federal
6 Government of storage of water for irrigation purposes
7 behind the Pine Flat Dam on the Kings River and the Isabel-
8 la Dam on the Kern River, both in the State of California.
9 (2) On or before the expiration of the twelve-month
10 period following the date of the enactment of this Act, the
11 Secretary of the Interior shall report to the Congress the
12 results of such study.
13 (f) The excess land provisions of the Federal Reclama-
14 tion Law, as amended and supplemented, shall not be appli-
15 cable, during the thirty-six-month period following the date
16 of the enactment of this Act, to the lands covered by the
17 study authorized by subsection (e) of this section, unless the
18 Congress, by law otherwise provides.

19 (g)(1) Unless otherwise provided by Congress, at any
20 time on and after the date on which the excess land provi-
21 sions of the Federal Reclamation Law are again applicable to
22 lands referred to in subsection (f), individuals receiving water
23 from any such storage project for their lands shall be author-
24 ized to enter into an arrangement or other agreement with

25 the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to which such individ-







11
1 uals shall be permitted to pay the cost to the United States
2 attributable to such storage. Upon making such payment,
3 such excess land provisions shall not be applicable to such
4 land receiving such water.

5 (2) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as pro-
6 hibiting any district from continuing to receive water from
7 such storage facilities in accordance with the terms of any
8 applicable contract, and to have the lands therein remain sub-
9 ject to such excess land provisions.
10 (h) The acreage limitation of the Federal Reclamation
11 Law shall not apply to lands temporarily provided with a
12 water supply in unusually wet years or from infrequent flood
13 flows of short duration, nor shall such limitation apply to
14 lands leased for one year or less for the purpose of water
15 conservation or management in years of inadequate water

16 supply.

17 (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3, the Sec-
18 retary may deliver water to minor tracts of land though the
19 delivery to such tracts may cause a qualified recipient to
20 become an excess landholder if the Secretary determines that

21 there is no economically viable alternative means of operat-

22 ing such minor tracts.

23 (j) Land in excess of a landholding upon sale into nonex-
24 cess status after the effective date of this Act, shall be eligi-
25 ble to receive water service only if title to the land is subject








12
1 to a condition that the land shall not be sold at a price great-
2 er than the landowner's cost for the land, plus the value of
3 any improvements, both increased only by the rate of in-
4 crease of the Consumer Price Index for the period between
5 the date of that landowner's purchase and the date of his sale
6 of the land: Provided, That if such land has continuously re-
7 mained as nonexcess land for a period of ten or more years,
8 the sale price of the land after the tenth year may be at the
9 fair market value thereof without regard to the provisions of
10 section 423e of title 43, United States Code.
11 (k) Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Federal
12 Reclamation Law to the contrary, a landholding, including
13 any lands in excess of the acreage limitation applicable to
14 such landholding, may be acquired by foreclosure or other
15 process of law, by conveyance in satisfaction of mortgage, by
16 inheritance, or by devise, and (1) if acquired by other than a
17 qualified recipient, such landholding shall be furnished with a
18 water supply temporarily for a period not exceeding ten years
19 from the effective date of such acquisition, delivery of water
20 thereafter ceasing until the transfer thereof is completed to a
21 qualified recipient, and (2) such lands of the landholding as
22 were not held in excess status at the time of such acquisition
23 may thereafter be sold at the fair market value of the proper-
24 ty without regard to the provisions of section 423e of title
25 43, United States Code, or section 3 of this Act.







13
1 (1) A landowner which is a corporate or other trustee
2 may collectively hold in a fiduciary capacity land eligible to
3 receive a water supply notwithstanding any other provisions

4 of the Federal Reclamation Law to the contrary: Provided,
5 That with respect to such holding, the beneficiary or benefi-
6 ciaries thereof are in compliance with the acreage limitation
7 provisions of the Federal Reclamation Law.

8 (m) Any provision of the Federal Reclamation Law
9 which establishes a limitation on acreage to be served with a
10 water supply to the contrary notwithstanding, a landholding
11 of any limited recipient which consists of one hundred and
12 sixty acres or less shall be considered to be within the acre-
13 age limitation of the Federal Reclamation Law.
14 RECORDABLE CONTRACTS
15 SEC. 9. Other provisions of this Act notwithstanding,

16 and only with respect to excess lands subject to recordable
17 contracts between the United States and owners of such
18 lands as had been entered into prior to the effective date of

19 this Act, the period of time during which such owners may

20 dispose of the lands thereby encumbered shall remain as
21 specified in such contracts: Provided, however, That the
22 period of time during which the Secretary of the Interior has

23 suspended, or in fact not generally processed approvals of
24 dispositions of excess lands, whether by virtue of court order







14
1 or otherwise, shall be added to the period provided by such
2 contracts.
3 ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS
4 SEc. 10. (a) The Secretary is hereby authorized and
5 directed to amend any provision of any contract between the
6 Secretary and another party existing upon the date of enact-
7 ment of this Act which is inconsistent with the provisions of

8 this Act but only at the request of said other party.
9 (b) Determination made by the Secretary pursuant to
10 the authority granted in this Act shall be in accordance with
11 the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter
12 5 of title 5, United States Code.
13 (c) Any non-Federal party to a repayment contract with
14 the Secretary relating to a Reclamation project may obtain
15 validation of any provisions of such contract relating to the
16 acreage limitation available to such party pursuant to such
17 contract or under the Federal Reclamation Law by making
18 application therefore to the Secretary in writing within three

19 years from the date of enactment of this Act. The Secretary
20 shall review each such application and within ninety days
21 from the date on which he receives such application shall

22 transmit it to the Congress together with his comments and

23 recommendations. Unless the Congress by concurrent resolu-
24 tion disapproves the application within ninety days from the

25 date on which it receives the Secretary's transmittal, the ap-







15
1 plication shall be approved and the provisions shall be consid-
2 ered to be validated.

3 (d) If lands in excess of the acreage limitation of Recla-
4 mation Law have not been disposed of at the end of the
5 recordable contract period, power of attorney shall vest in
6 the Secretary who shall sell such lands by lottery or other
7 impartial selection only to qualified recipients according to
8 such reasonable rules as he may establish. In such sales the
9 Secretary shall make every effort to provide opportunities for
10 the acquisition of landholdings of varying financially and eco-
11 nomically feasible size.
12 CONSENT TO SUE

13 SEC. 11. In addition to any other remedy available in
14 law or equity, any party to a contract with the Secretary of
15 the Interior providing for the delivery of agricultural water

16 supplies may bring an action in the United States district

17 court for the district in which the project is located for man-

18 datory injunctive relief to reform such contract in accordance
19 with the terms of any written representation concerning the

20 application or interpretation of the Federal Reclamation Law
21 or contracts made by the Secretary or his representative to

22 such party or his predecessor in interest. Exclusive jurisdic-

23 tion for such suit is hereby vested in the United States dis-

24 trict court. If the court finds, on the basis of the evidence

25 submitted, that the party would not have entered into the







16
1 contract but for the written representations made by the Sec-
2 retary or his representative, which were relied on by the
3 water users, then the court shall order the Secretary to
4 reform the contract to conform with the representations and
5 the contract, as reformed, shall be considered valid as of the
6 date of the written representation.
7 REPORTING
8 SEC. 12. Any contracting entity subject to the acreage
9 limitation of Reclamation Law shall compile and maintain
10 such records and information relating to land ownership,
11 leasing, water supply and use, land use, cropping, financial
12 transactions including transfers of interest in lands which are

13 reasonably necessary to implement this Act and the Federal
14 Reclamation Law. On a date set by the Secretary following
15 the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter,
16 every such contracting entity shall provide in a form suitable
17 to the Secretary such reports on the above matters as the
18 Secretary may require.

Passed the Senate September 14 (legislative day, June
21), 1979.

Attest: J. S. KIMMITT,
Secretary.




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