Denali National Park Improvement Act

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Denali National Park Improvement Act
Great Seal of the United States
Full title To provide for certain improvements to the Denali National Park and Preserve in the State of Alaska, and for other purposes.
Introduced in 113th United States Congress
Introduced on January 28, 2013
Sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Number of Co-Sponsors 0
Effects and Codifications
Act(s) affected National Environment Policy Act of 1969, Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act
U.S.C. section(s) affected 42 U.S.C. § 4321(etseq), 16 U.S.C. § 3166(a), 42 U.S.C. § 4321(etseq),
Agencies affected United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service,
Legislative history

The Denali National Park Improvement Act (S. 157) is a bill that was introduced into the United States Senate during the 113th United States Congress. If enacted, the bill would do four main things. First, it would allow the United States Department of the Interior to "issue permits for microhydroelectric projects in the Kantishna Hills area of the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska."[1] Second, the bill would authorize the Department of the Interior and a company called Doyon Tourism, Inc. to exchange some land in the area.[1] Third, the bill would authorize the National Park Service (NPS) to "issue permits to construct a natural gas pipeline in the Denali National Park."[1] Finally, the bill would rename the existing Talkeetna Ranger Station the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.[1]

Provisions of the bill[edit]

This summary is based largely on the summary provided by the Congressional Research Service, a public domain source.[2]

The Denali National Park Improvement Act would authorize the United States Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for specified microhydro projects in the Kantishna Hills area within the Denali National Park and Preserve (the Park) in Alaska.[2] The bill would define "microhydro project" as a hydroelectric power generating facility with a maximum power generation capability of 100 kilowatts and includes any distribution or transmission lines required to serve such area.[2] The bill would also require the Secretary to complete, no later than 180 days after the submission of a permit application, any analysis required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 respecting any proposed or existing microhydro projects in such area.[2]

The Denali National Park Improvement Act would direct the Secretary to exchange Park land near or adjacent to land owned by Doyon Tourism, Inc., located at the mouth of Eureka Creek for approximately 18 acres of land owned by Doyon Tourism within the Galena patented mining claim.[2] The bill instructs the Secretary to seek to complete such exchange by February 2015. The bill then permits, if the values of the tracts proposed for exchange are determined not to be equal, an equalization of such values to be achieved by adjusting the quantity of the acreage owned by Doyon Tourism.[2] The bill would require the land acquired by the Secretary to be administered as part of the Park.

The bill also would authorize the Secretary to issue right-of-way permits, subject to certain terms and conditions, for: (1) a high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline (including appurtenances) in nonwilderness areas within the boundary of the Park within, along, or near the approximately seven-mile segment of the George Parks Highway that runs through the Park; and (2) any distribution and transmission pipelines and appurtenances that the Secretary determines to be necessary to provide natural gas supply to the Park.[2]

Finally, the bill would also designate the Talkeetna Ranger Station that is on B Street in Talkeetna, Alaska, and that is approximately 100 miles south of the entrance to the Park, as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.[2]

Congressional Budget Office report[edit]

This summary is based largely on the summary provided, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on July 24, 2013, by the Congressional Budget Office, a public domain source.[1]

Based on information provided by the National Park Service (NPS), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing S. 157 would have no significant impact on the federal budget.[1] The act would:

  • Authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for microhydroelectric projects in the Kantishna Hills area of the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska;[1]
  • Authorize an exchange of land between the Department of the Interior and Doyon Tourism, Inc.;[1]
  • Authorize the NPS to issue permits to construct a natural gas pipeline in the Denali National Park;[1] and
  • Redesignate the Talkeetna Ranger Station as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.[1]

Enacting S. 157 could increase offsetting receipts (from permit fees) and associated direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.[1] If potential owners or operators of a pipeline seek permits from the NPS, the agency could collect a fee to recover any costs associated with issuing such permits. The NPS would retain and spend those amounts to process the permit without further appropriation, and any excess receipts would be deposited in the Treasury.[1] The CBO estimates that the total collections under the legislation would be insignificant over the 2014-2023 period, and the net effect on direct spending would be negligible.[1] Enacting the legislation would not affect revenues.

S. 157 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.[1]

Procedural history[edit]

Senate[edit]

The Denali National Park Improvement Act was introduced into the Senate on January 28, 2013 by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).[3] It was referred to the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.[3] On June 19, 2013, the Senate passed S. 157 by unanimous consent.[3]

House[edit]

The Denali National Park Improvement Act was received in the United States House of Representatives on June 20, 2013.[3] It was referred to the United States House Committee on Natural Resources and the United States House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation.[3] On September 10, 2013, the House voted to pass the legislation by voice vote.[3]

President[edit]

President Barack Obama signed the bill and it became Public Law No. 113-33 on September 18, 2013.[4]

Debate and discussion[edit]

The National Parks Conservation Association was in favor of the bill and released a statement applauding Senator Murkowski for her bill.[5] The group supported the bill because the legislation "takes a thoughtful approach to protecting roadless Alaska, promoting renewable energy development, and honoring native Alaskans."[5]

The bill honors Walter Harper, who was the first person to climb to the summit of Mount McKinley.[6]

See also[edit]

Notes/References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "CBO - S. 157". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "S. 157 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "S. 157 - All Actions". United States Senate. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "S.157 - Denali National Park Improvement Act". 113th Congress. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Kati Schmidt; Perry Wheeler (June 20, 2013). "National Parks Group Applauds Senate Passage of Denali National Park Improvement Act". National Parks Conservation Association. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Shedlock, Jerzy (12 September 2013). "Bill allowing power projects in Denali National Park headed to Obama's desk". Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Government.