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28th Legislature(2013-2014)

Bill Text 28th Legislature


00 Enrolled HJR 15                                                                                                         
01 Supporting the introduction and enactment of federal legislation acknowledging that the                                 
02 federal government is financially responsible under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act                             
03 for the remediation of contaminated land subject to conveyance under the Act; and urging the                            
04 United States Department of the Interior to implement the six recommendations to identify                               
05 and clean up the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act lands in its 1998 report to the United                             
06 States Congress.                                                                                                        
07                                         _______________                                                                 
08 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                             
09      WHEREAS Alaska Native land claims were settled differently in the state than in the                              
10 rest of the nation when, in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, instead of adopting a                              
11 reservation system, the federal government established Alaska Native village and regional                               
12 corporations and granted the corporations ownership and other rights to surface and                                     
13 subsurface land; and                                                                                                    
14      WHEREAS Alaska Native corporations were created under the Alaska Native Claims                                   
15 Settlement Act to manage land and resources for the benefit of Native shareholders in                                   
01 settlement of certain aboriginal land claims; and                                                                       
02      WHEREAS, under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the federal government                                   
03 conveyed to many Alaska Native corporations land that was contaminated by the federal                                   
04 government or by activities allowed or overseen by the federal government before the                                    
05 conveyance of the land under the Act; and                                                                               
06      WHEREAS, in 1995, the United States Congress acknowledged that contaminated                                      
07 land was being conveyed to Alaska Native corporations under the Alaska Native Claims                                    
08 Settlement Act and, in sec. 103, P.L. 104-42 (43 U.S.C. 1629f), required the United States                              
09 Secretary of the Interior to provide a detailed report on contaminated land before conveying                            
10 the land to Alaska Native corporations and organizations; and                                                           
11      WHEREAS, in December 1998, the United States Department of the Interior                                          
12 submitted a report to the United States Congress that located approximately 650 contaminated                            
13 sites on land conveyed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act; and                                               
14      WHEREAS, in that report, the United States Department of the Interior proposed six                               
15 recommendations to "fully identify contaminated sites and clean-up needs of Alaska Native                               
16 Claims Settlement Act lands"; and                                                                                       
17      WHEREAS the United States Department of the Interior has not fully implemented                                   
18 any of the six recommendations it proposed to the United States Congress; and                                           
19      WHEREAS Alaska Native corporations, as landowners, are subject to liability under                                
20 federal and state law for the contaminated condition of their land; and                                                 
21      WHEREAS several Alaska Native corporations have incurred considerable expense                                    
22 cleaning up contaminated sites, negotiating land exchanges, and battling with the federal and                           
23 state governments to clean up sites on a case-by-case basis; and                                                        
24      WHEREAS, in recognition of this problem, United States Representative Don                                        
25 Young, on the floor of the United States House of Representatives on January 4, 1995, stated,                           
26 "it was clearly not the intention of ANCSA to extinguish Native claims by conveying                                     
27 contaminated property to recipients";                                                                                   
28      BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the introduction and                                   
29 enactment of federal legislation acknowledging that the federal government is financially                               
30 responsible under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for the remediation of                                        
31 contaminated land subject to conveyance under the Act; and be it                                                        
01      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                       
02 Department of the Interior to fully implement the six recommendations to identify and clean                             
03 up Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act lands in its 1998 report to the United States                                    
04 Congress.                                                                                                               
05      COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Sally Jewell, United States                             
06 Secretary of the Interior; the Honorable Mary Landrieu, Chair of the Energy and Natural                                 
07 Resources Committee of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Indian                             
08 Affairs Committee of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Doc Hastings, Chair of the Natural                                  
09 Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives; Neil Kornze, Principal Deputy                                 
10 Director, Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior; the                                      
11 Honorable Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, United States                                       
12 Department of the Interior; Director, Alaska Affairs, United States Department of the Interior;                         
13 and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the                                  
14 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.                                 
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