[Senate Report 109-359]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     109-359
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 581


                    FEDERAL AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

                  GOVERNMENT REAL PROPERTY ACT OF 2005

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              TO ACCOMPANY

                                S. 1838

   TO PROVIDE FOR THE SALE, ACQUISITION, CONVEYANCE, AND EXCHANGE OF 
  CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO FACILITATE THE 
 UTILIZATION, DEVELOPMENT, AND REDEVELOPMENT OF SUCH PROPERTY, AND FOR 
                             OTHER PURPOSES




               November 13, 2006.--Ordered to be printed
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                   SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska                  JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio            CARL LEVIN, Michigan
NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota              DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
TOM COBURN, Oklahoma                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
LINCOLN D. CHAFEE, Rhode Island      MARK DAYTON, Minnesota
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah              FRANK LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico         MARK PRYOR, Arkansas
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia
                   Brandon L. Milhorn, Staff Director
                 Amy L. Hall, Professional Staff Member
             Michael L. Alexander, Minority Staff Director
           Donny Williams, Minority Professional Staff Member
                  Trina Driessnack Tyrer, Chief Clerk


                                                       Calendar No. 581
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     109-359

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



 
 FEDERAL AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA GOVERNMENT REAL PROPERTY ACT OF 2005

                                _______
                                

               November 13, 2006.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Ms. Collins, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1838]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 1838), a bill to 
provide for the sale, acquisition, conveyance, and exchange of 
certain real property in the District of Columbia to facilitate 
the utilization, development, and redevelopment of such 
property, and for other purposes, reports favorably with 
amendments and recommends that the bill do pass.

                            C O N T E N T S

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
III. Legislative History..............................................2
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Estimated Cost of Legislation....................................6
 VI. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................8
VII. Changes in Existing Law..........................................8

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    S. 1838 authorizes the exchange of certain land parcels 
between the federal government and the District of Columbia 
(the District). The major properties to be conveyed to the 
District are contained in Poplar Point, Reservation 13, and 
several smaller properties along the Anacostia River. S. 1838 
would also provide for the conveyance to the federal government 
of several District buildings and real property on the west 
campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital, along with several smaller 
properties.

                II. BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    On July 15, 2005, the Bush Administration sent Congress a 
proposal that would authorize transfers of land between the 
federal government and the District of Columbia. S. 1838 would 
authorize the exchange of roughly 200 acres between the General 
Services Administration (GSA), the Secretary of the Interior, 
and the District of Columbia.
    The Administration cites the special relationship the 
federal government has with the District, a ``federal city,'' 
and a desire to ensure that the Nation's capital is one of the 
greatest cities in the world as justification for the 
transfers. In addition, the federal government found that the 
properties to be conveyed to the District are not currently 
providing substantial value to the federal government and are, 
in fact, an unnecessary burden and could be better utilized if 
ownership was transferred to the District. Moreover, the 
District has published an extensive development plan for the 
land along the Anacostia River called the Anacostia Waterfront 
Initiative, a public-private venture among 20 local and federal 
agencies that own or control land along the river.
    The Committee held a hearing to review S. 1838, among other 
pieces of legislation, titled ``Enhancing Educational and 
Economic Opportunity in the District of Columbia,'' on February 
28, 2006. During the hearing, District of Columbia Mayor 
Anthony A. Williams stated that the District would assume all 
costs associated with the environmental clean-up of the land 
received from the federal government. It is the Committee's 
assumption that the District and the federal government will 
enter into a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to such an 
arrangement. However, it is not the Committee's intent to pre-
empt existing environmental law, and nothing in S. 1838 should 
be interpreted to alleviate the federal government's legal 
obligations under 42 U.S.C. 9620(h) to clean up the transferred 
land.
    During the consideration of S. 1838, some members of the 
Committee had concerns regarding policy issues with prospective 
development on land transferred to the District by the Act. It 
is the Committee's understanding that the development projects 
on this land will be undertaken on a competitive basis marked 
by fairness to all bidders and transparency of process.

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On October 6, 2005, S. 1838, the Federal and District of 
Columbia Government Real Property Act of 2005, was introduced 
by Senator Voinovich and cosponsored by Senator Collins, and 
was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs. On January 27, 2006, the bill was 
referred to the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government 
Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia. 
On February 28, 2006, the Subcommittee held a hearing on S. 
1838. The Subcommittee favorably polled out S. 1838 to the full 
Committee on April 3, 2006 (with Senator Lautenberg recorded as 
No).
    On July 27, 2006, by voice vote, the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs ordered S. 1838 reported 
favorably with an amendment offered by Senators Voinovich and 
Akaka (with Senator Coburn recorded as No). The amendment 
included nine changes submitted by the Department of the 
Interior. All of these changes are supported by the District of 
Columbia and the Administration. The amendment would also 
require the District to report annually to Congress on how the 
land is being used and would require a bi-annual Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) report on the land development, 
provisions that will sunset after 10 years. Additionally, the 
amendment includes a new parcel of land located where the new 
baseball stadium will be built and includes several technical 
changes dealing with land associated with the American Veterans 
Disabled for Life Memorial. Finally, the amendment would allow 
the United States and the District to enter into a contract(s) 
for environmental liability costs and would require compliance 
with environmental law. Senators present: Collins, Coburn, 
Bennett, Lieberman, Akaka, Carper, Dayton, and Pryor.

                    IV. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that the bill may be referred to as 
the ``Federal and District of Columbia Government Real Property 
Act of 2005.''

Section 2. Congressional reports and reversion

    This section requires the District to report annually to 
Congress on how the land is being used and also requires a bi-
annual GAO report on the land development. This section will 
sunset after 10 years.
    The Committee expects the reports to include: (1) how much 
of the land has been developed, (2) the purpose for which it is 
being used, (3) how, if at all, the development deviates from 
the Anacostia Waterfront Framework Plan, (4) a description of 
the process through which development of the transferred land 
was bid, and (5) names of the organizations involved in the 
development.

    TITLE I--REAL PROPERTY CONVEYANCES BETWEEN THE GENERAL SERVICES 
              ADMINISTRATION AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Section 101. Exchange of title over Reservation 13 and certain other 
        properties

    This section requires GSA to convey Reservation 13 and the 
Old Naval Hospital to the District. The conveyance of 
Reservation 13 is subject to existing matters of record, 
including a reservation of title for a national commemorative 
work and for the extension of Massachusetts Avenue. The 
conveyance also stipulates that the Court Services and Offender 
Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia, a federal 
agency, has the right to remain on the site. Finally, this 
section requires the District to convey to GSA five buildings 
on the West Campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital.

Section 102. Termination of claims

    This section is intended to supersede pending claims 
against the United States and certain agencies of the United 
States for performance or reimbursement as described below. The 
section provides that neither the United States nor any of its 
agencies, officers, or employees are obligated to the District 
to perform, or to reimburse the cost of: (1) repairs or 
renovations pursuant to the St. Elizabeths Hospital and 
District of Columbia Mental Health Services Act (24 U.S.C. 225 
et seq.); (2) preservation, maintenance, or repair pursuant to 
a use permit under which the Department of Health and Human 
Services granted permission to the District to occupy portions 
of the West Campus of St. Elizabeths; or (3) mental health 
diagnostic and treatment services for referrals as described in 
the St. Elizabeths Hospital and District of Columbia Mental 
Health Services Act, up to and including the effective date of 
this Act, but not subsequent to that date.

TITLE II--STREAMLINING MANAGEMENT OF PROPERTIES LOCATED IN THE DISTRICT 
                              OF COLUMBIA

Section 201. Transfer of administrative jurisdiction over certain 
        properties

    On the date of enactment, administrative jurisdiction of 
nine specified properties owned by the United States will be 
transferred from the District of Columbia to the Secretary of 
the Interior for administration by the National Park Service 
(NPS).
    Also on the day of enactment, administrative jurisdiction 
of several specified properties owned by the United States will 
be transferred to the District.

Section 202. Exchange of title over certain properties

    This section requires the Secretary of the Interior, on the 
date on which the District conveys to the Secretary all right, 
title, and interest in two specified properties, to convey to 
the District all right, title, and interest in six specified 
properties.

Section 203. Conveyance of United States Reservation 174

    This section requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey U.S. Reservation 174 (a parcel situated on the site of 
the Old Convention Center) to the District of Columbia. This 
conveyance is to occur upon the completion by the District of a 
final plan for the Old Convention Center site that is developed 
through a public planning process. During the planning process, 
the District must consider an alternative that will maintain 
the open space on U.S. Reservation 174. This alternative can 
involve building space constructed underneath U.S. Reservation 
174. The final plan must include open space totaling one and 
one quarter acres.

                        TITLE III--POPLAR POINT

Section 301. Conveyance of Poplar Point to District of Columbia

    Upon completion of the land-use plan described in Section 
302, the District is required to transmit to the Secretary of 
the Interior a copy of the plan along with all the information 
necessary to certify the plan. This section requires the 
Secretary of the Interior, upon receipt from the District of 
written acceptance of specified terms and conditions, to convey 
all right, title and interest in Poplar Point to the District.

Section 302. Requirements for Poplar Point land-use plan

    This section requires the District to complete a land-use 
plan for Poplar Point that: (a) identifies a minimum of 70 
acres, including wetlands, to be maintained in perpetuity for 
park purpose; (b) is consistent, where possible, with the 
Anacostia Waterfront Framework Plan; (c) sets aside at least 
two sites, within the areas designated for park purposes, for 
potential memorials; and (d) includes a commitment by the 
District to convey back the sites designated for potential 
memorials to the NPS at the appropriate time, as determined by 
the Secretary of the Interior.
    The deed conveying Poplar Point must reserve to the United 
States all right, title, and interest, at no cost, in existing 
federally owned facilities at Poplar Point and all necessary 
easements for access and utilities. The United States, acting 
by and through the NPS, is to continue to own, control, and 
access the existing facilities until the District provides 
replacement facilities and the NPS has relocated to the 
replacement facilities. Upon completion of the relocation of 
the NPS to the replacement facilities, the Secretary of the 
Interior must convey to the District, in a separate deed, all 
right, title, and interest in the existing facilities and all 
necessary easements for access that were reserved to the United 
States.

Section 303. Conveyance of replacement facilities and properties for 
        National Park Service

    No construction, other than construction related to the 
provision of replacement facilities, can commence on Poplar 
Point until the District and the Secretary of the Interior 
agree, in writing, on suitable replacement facilities. The 
agreement must specify the location of the replacement 
facilities and a timetable by which the District will complete 
the relocation of the NPS to the replacement facilities.
    The District must provide to the Secretary of the Interior, 
at no cost, suitable replacement facilities and relocate the 
NPS to those facilities.
    The NPS may move any fixtures or equipment from the 
existing facilities for use at the replacement facilities.

Section 304. Poplar Point defined

    This section defines the boundaries of Poplar Point.

                      TITLE IV--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 401. Definitions

    This section defines certain terms used in this Act.

Section 402. Limitation on costs

    This section states that the United States shall not be 
responsible for paying any costs and expenses, other than costs 
and expenses related to or associated with environmental 
liabilities or cleanup actions provided under law, which are 
incurred by the District of Columbia or any other parties at 
any time in connection with effecting the provisions of this 
Act or any amendment made by this Act.

Section 403. Authorization of parties to enter into contracts

    This section authorizes the United States and the District 
of Columbia to enter into contracts with each other for payment 
of costs or expenses related to environmental clean-up of any 
properties conveyed under quitclaim deed under this Act or any 
amendment made by this Act.

Section 404. No effect on compliance with environmental laws

    This section states that nothing in this Act may be 
construed to affect or limit the application of or obligation 
to comply with any environmental law, including section 120(h) 
of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9620(h)).

              V. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                                  November 2, 2006.
Hon. Susan M. Collins,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1838, the Federal 
and District of Columbia Government Real Property Act of 2005.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                          Donald B. Marron,
                                                   Acting Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 1838--Federal and District of Columbia Government Real Property Act 
        of 2005

    Summary: CBO estimates that enacting S. 1838 would not 
significantly affect the federal budget. S. 1838 would 
authorize the exchange of 29 parcels of land between the 
federal government and the District of Columbia. The transfer 
of federal properties would probably involve expenses to 
remediate environmental contamination at these sites. Although 
the degree of contamination present at these sites is unknown, 
CBO expects that the cost to correct it would not be 
significant because many federal properties previously 
transferred to the District of Columbia have required minor 
expenditures to correct contamination problems.
    Enacting S. 1838 could result in savings to the federal 
government because, under the bill, the District of Columbia 
would release all of its current claims against the federal 
government regarding St. Elizabeth's Hospital. Those claims 
have not been adjudicated, and CBO cannot estimate the value of 
such savings, if any.
    S. 1838 contains an intergovernmental mandate as defined in 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) because it would 
terminate certain claims of the District of Columbia against 
the United States. CBO estimates that the cost of this mandate 
might approach, but probably would not exceed the threshold 
established in UMRA ($64 million in 2006, adjusted annually for 
inflation). The land exchanges authorized by this bill 
generally would benefit the District, and any costs it would 
incur to fulfill the conditions of those exchanges would be 
incurred voluntarily. The bill would impose no other costs on 
any state, local, or tribal governments. S. 1838 contains no 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: Under the bill, 
the District of Columbia would receive title to eight National 
Park Service (NPS) and two General Services Administration 
(GSA) properties, including 66 acres around the site of the 
former D.C. General Hospital, Poplar Point (approximately 100 
acres on the east side of the Anacostia River adjacent to the 
11th Street Bridge), and four other small Potomac Avenue 
parcels (to permit development of the proposed baseball stadium 
in southeast Washington). The District of Columbia also would 
gain administrative jurisdiction (which includes administration 
and maintenance, but not title) over seven smaller NPS 
properties.
    In exchange, the NPS would gain administrative jurisdiction 
over nine properties owned by the District of Columbia and 
title to two others. Also, GSA would gain title to five 
buildings on the west campus of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in 
southeast Washington. Finally, as part of the exchange, the 
United States would gain release from all current claims by the 
District regarding St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and the District 
would cover all costs associated with the relocation of federal 
facilities currently located at Poplar Point (headquarters of 
the National Capital Parks--East) and at the U.S. Park Police 
Anacostia Operations and Helicopter Facility.
    CBO estimates that conveying those federal properties to 
the District would not affect offsetting receipts from surplus 
property sales because the NPS and GSA have no plans for 
declaring the affected properties excess to their needs and 
selling them. Moreover, the properties generate no significant 
receipts that would be lost as a result of the exchange.
    Title IV would authorize the District of Columbia or a 
federal agency to enter into contracts for the payment of costs 
related to the land conveyances, including environmental 
cleanup or liability. This title would authorize the District--
a nonfederal entity--to obligate federal funds to remediate any 
environmental contamination on the properties to be 
transferred. The federal government may be responsible for such 
costs under current law, but obligations for this purpose would 
be subject to Congressional appropriation actions. Allowing 
nonfederal entities to incur obligations for cleanup and 
restoration costs outside the federal budget process could 
increase or accelerate federal costs for this work.
    The extent of contamination on any of the properties to be 
exchanged under the bill is unknown, and CBO has no basis for 
estimating the future cost of cleanup or restoration. Reports 
by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the 
Environmental Protection Agency indicate that the costs of 
previous environmental cleanups of federal properties in the 
District of Columbia have ranged widely from more than $100 
million at the Spring Valley site of a World War I era U.S. 
Army chemical weapons research facility, to $30 million for 
environmental remediation and demolition activities at the 
Southeast Federal Center site, to tens of thousands of dollars 
for most of the formerly used defense sites located throughout 
the District.
    Based on information from NPS, GSA, and the Office of 
Management and Budget, CBO expects that the federal government 
and the District of Columbia would each use its existing 
authorities to enter into contracts for the cleanup and 
restoration of their respective properties after transfer, 
subject to the appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    S. 1838 also would require GAO to provide a report to 
Congress every two years for 10 years on the use and 
development of the conveyed property. CBO estimates that the 
report would cost less than $500,000 annually.
    Estimated impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: 
S. 1838 contains an intergovernmental mandate as defined in 
UMRA because it would terminate certain claims of the District 
of Columbia against the United States. CBO estimates that the 
cost of this mandate might approach, but probably would not 
exceed the threshold established in UMRA ($64 million in 2006, 
adjusted annually for inflation). The land exchanges authorized 
by this bill generally would benefit the District, and any 
costs it would incur to fulfill the conditions of those 
exchanges would be incurred voluntarily. The bill would impose 
no other costs on any state, local, or tribal governments.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: This bill contains 
no new private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Previous CBO estimates: On December 27, 2005, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 3699, the Federal and 
District of Columbia Real Property Act of 2005, as ordered 
reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on 
December 15, 2005. On December 12, 2005, CBO transmitted a cost 
estimate for H.R. 3699 as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on December 7, 
2005. On October 12, 2005, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 3699 as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Government Reform on September 29, 2005. The three versions of 
the legislation are similar to S. 1838, as are the CBO cost 
estimates. The Senate bill contains some additional contract 
authorities not included in H.R. 3699. In addition, S. 1838 
would require a report by GAO and would convey somewhat 
different parcels of land.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Matthew Pickford and 
Deborah Reis. Impact on State, Local and Tribal Governments: 
Marjorie Miller. Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                  VI. EVALUATION OF REGULATORY IMPACT

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that enactment of this legislation would have no regulatory 
impact.

                      VII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, there are no changes to existing 
law made by the bill as reported.