HJR 15: Supporting the introduction and enactment of federal legislation acknowledging that the federal government is financially responsible under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for the remediation of contaminated land subject to conveyance under the Act.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 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 03 Act for the remediation of contaminated land subject to conveyance under the Act. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS Alaska Native land claims were settled differently in the state than in the 06 rest of the nation when, in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, instead of adopting a 07 reservation system, the federal government established Alaska Native village and regional 08 corporations and granted the corporations ownership and other rights to surface and 09 subsurface land; and 10 WHEREAS Alaska Native corporations were created under the Alaska Native Claims 11 Settlement Act to manage land and resources for the benefit of Native shareholders in 12 settlement of certain aboriginal land claims; and 13 WHEREAS, under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the federal government 14 conveyed to many Alaska Native corporations land that was contaminated by the federal 15 government or by activities allowed or overseen by the federal government before the
01 conveyance of the land under the Act; and 02 WHEREAS, in 1995, the United States Congress acknowledged that contaminated 03 land was being conveyed to Alaska Native corporations under the Alaska Native Claims 04 Settlement Act and, in sec. 103, P.L. 104-42 (43 U.S.C. 1629f), required the United States 05 Secretary of the Interior to provide a detailed report on contaminated land before conveying 06 the land to Alaska Native corporations and organizations; and 07 WHEREAS, in December 1998, the United States Department of the Interior 08 submitted a report to the United States Congress that located approximately 650 contaminated 09 sites on land conveyed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act; and 10 WHEREAS Alaska Native corporations, as landowners, are subject to liability under 11 federal and state law for the contaminated condition of their land; and 12 WHEREAS several Alaska Native corporations have incurred considerable expense 13 cleaning up contaminated sites, negotiating land exchanges, and battling with the federal and 14 state governments to clean up sites on a case-by-case basis; and 15 WHEREAS, in recognition of this problem, United States Representative Don 16 Young, on the floor of the United States House of Representatives on January 4, 1995, stated, 17 "it was clearly not the intention of ANCSA to extinguish Native claims by conveying 18 contaminated property to recipients"; 19 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the introduction and 20 enactment of federal legislation acknowledging that the federal government is financially 21 responsible under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for the remediation of 22 contaminated land subject to conveyance under the Act. 23 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Ken Salazar, United States 24 Secretary of the Interior; the Honorable Ron Wyden, Chair of the Energy and Natural 25 Resources Committee of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Indian 26 Affairs Committee of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Doc Hastings, Chair of the Natural 27 Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives; Neil Kornze, Principal Deputy 28 Director, Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior; the 29 Honorable Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, United States 30 Department of the Interior; Kim Elton, Director, Alaska Affairs, United States Department of 31 the Interior; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S.
01 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 02 delegation in Congress.