When any licensee cannot acquire by contract or pledges an unimproved dam site or the right to use or damage the lands or property of others necessary to the construction, maintenance, or operation of any dam, reservoir, diversion structure, or the works appurtenant or accessory thereto, in conjunction with any improvement which in the judgment of the commission is desirable and justified in the public interest for the purpose of improving or developing a waterway or waterways for the use or benefit of interstate or foreign commerce, it may acquire the same by the exercise of the right of eminent domain in the district court of the United States for the district in which such land or other property may be located, or in the State courts. The practice and procedure in any action or proceeding for that purpose in the district court of the United States shall conform as nearly as may be with the practice and procedure in similar action or proceeding in the courts of the State where the property is situated: Provided, That United States district courts shall only have jurisdiction of cases when the amount claimed by the owner of the property to be condemned exceeds $3,000 1 Provided further, That no licensee may use the right of eminent domain under this section to acquire any lands or other property that, prior to October 24, 1992, were owned by a State or political subdivision thereof and were part of or included within any public park, recreation area or wildlife refuge established under State or local law. In the case of lands or other property that are owned by a State or political subdivision and are part of or included within a public park, recreation area or wildlife refuge established under State or local law on or after October 24, 1992, no licensee may use the right of eminent domain under this section to acquire such lands or property unless there has been a public hearing held in the affected community and a finding by the Commission, after due consideration of expressed public views and the recommendations of the State or political subdivision that owns the lands or property, that the license will not interfere or be inconsistent with the purposes for which such lands or property are owned.
(June 10, 1920, ch. 285, pt. I, §21, 41 Stat. 1074; renumbered pt. I, Aug. 26, 1935, ch. 687, title II, §212, 49 Stat. 847; Pub. L. 102–486, title XVII, §1701(d), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3009.)
1992—Pub. L. 102–486 substituted final proviso and sentence for period at end.
1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a colon.