« PreviousContinue »
COMMITTEE ON RULES
EDWARD W. POU, North Carolina, Chairman WILLIAM B. BANKHEAD, Alabama. PRED S. PURNELL, Indiana. JOHN J. O'CONNOR, New York.
DARL C. MICHENER, Michigan. ADOLPH J. SABATH, Illinois.
HARRY C. RANSLEY, Pennsylvania. DANIEL E. GARRETT, Texas.
JOSEPH W. MARTIN, JR., Massachusetts. ARTHUR H. GREENWOOD, Indiana. E. E. COX, Georgia. THOMAS S. MCMILLAN, South Carolina.
WILLIAM S. MOYE, Clerk
GRANTING CERTAIN LANDS TO THE METROPOLITAN
WATER DISTRICT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 1932
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON RULES,
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 11.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. William B. Bankhead (acting chairman) presiding.
[H. R. 10048, Seventy-second Congress, first session] A BILL Granting to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California certain public
and reserved lands of the United States in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino, in the State of California
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, subject to the reservation, until their disposition is hereafter expressly directed by law, of all minerals except earth, stone, sand, gravel, and other materials of like character, there is hereby granted to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a public corporation of the State of California, all lands belonging to the United States, situate in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino, in the State of California, including trust or restricted Indian allotments in any Indian reservation or lands reserved for any purpose in connection with the Indian Service, which have not been conveyed to any allottee with full power of alienation, which may be necessary, as found by the Secretary of the Interior, for any or all of the following purposes : Rights of way; buildings and structures; construction and maintenance camps; dumping grounds; flowage; diverting or storage dams; pumping plants; power plants; canals, ditches, pipes, and pipe lines; flumes, tunnels, and conduits for conveying water for domestic, irrigation, power, and other useful purposes; poles, towers, and lines for the conveyance and distribution of electrical energy; poles and lines for telephone and telegraph purposes; roads, trails, bridges, tramways, railroads, and other means of locomotion, transmission, or communication; for obtaining stone, earth, gravel, and other materials of like character; or any other necessary purposes of said district, together with the right to take for its own use, free of cost, from any public lands, within such limits as the Secretary of the Interior may determine, stone, earth, gravel, sand, and other materials of like character necessary or useful in the construction, operation, and maintenance of aqueducts, reservoirs, dams, pumping plants, electric plants, and transmission, telephone, and telegraph lines, roads, trails, bridges, tramways, railroads, and other means of locomotion, transmission, and communication, or any other necessary purposes of said district. This grant shall be effective upon (1) the filing by said grantee at any time after the passage of this Act, with the register of the United States local land office in the district where said lands are situated, of a map or maps showing the boundaries, locations, and extent of said lands and of said rights of way for the purposes hereinabove set forth; (2) the approval of such map or maps by the Secretary of the Interior, with such reservations or modifications as he may deem appropriate; (3) the payment of $1.25 per acre for all Government lands conveyed under this act other than for the right of way for the aqueduct and (4) for all lands conveyed in Indian reservations or in Indian allotments 129041-32
which have not been conveyed to the allottee with full power of alienation, the district shall pay for the benefit of the Indians such just compensation as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior: Provided, That said lands for right of way shall be along such locations and of such width, not to exceed two hundred and fifty feet, as in the judgment of the Secretary of the Interior may be required for the purposes of this act: And provided further, That said lands for any of said purposes other than for rights of way for the aqueduct may be of such width or extent as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior as necessary for such purposes.
SEO. 2. Whenever the lands or the rights of way are the same as are designated on any map heretofore filed by said district or by the city of Los Angeles in connection with any application for a right of way under any statute of the United States, which said application is still pending, or has been granted, and is unrevoked and has been transferred to and is now owned by said district, then upon the approval by the Secretary of the Interior of any such later map with such modifications and under such conditions as he may deem appropriate the rights hereby granted shall, as to such lands or rights of way, become effective as of the date of the filing of said earlier map or maps with the register of the United States local land office.
SEC. 3. If any of the lands to which the said district seeks to acquire title under sections i and 2 of this act are in a national forest, the said map or maps shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture so far as national-forest lands are affected ; and upon such approval and the subsequent approval by the Secretary of the Interior, title to said lands shall vest in the grantee upon the date of such subsequent approval.
SEC. 4. Said grants are to be made subject to the rights of all claimants or persons who shall have filed or made valid claims, locations, or entries on or to said lands, or any part thereof prior to the effective date of any conflicting grant hereunder, unless prior to such effective date proper relinquishments or quitclaims have been procured and caused to be filed in the proper land office.
Seo. 5. On the cessation of use of the land granted for the purposes of the grant the estate of the grantee or of its assigns shall terminate and revest in the United States.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Mr. Evans will appear to ask for a rule for the consideration of H. R. 10048, a bill granting to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California certain public lands and reserve lands of the United States.
You realize, Mr. Evans, that our time is limited ?
Mr. BANKHEAD. We have to have a short executive session this morning, and we will thank you to be as brief as possible.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN M. EVANS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MONTANA
Mr. Evans. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, this bill (H. R. 10048) comes from the Committee on Public Lands with a unanimous report. I think I can probably tell you the purport of the bill by reading briefly from the report of the Solicitor for the Interior Department.
This bill is really in furtherance of the Boulder Canyon project act since it only grants necessary rights of way for the metropolitan water district to carry out one of the provisions of the Boulder Dam project act, namely, the sale of water for domestic and other purposes. The district also is a contracting purchaser for a large amount of power to be developed at Hoover Dam to be used in pumping water from the Colorado River into the aqueduct. It is believed that the grant by the United States to the metropolitan water district is not inimical to the United States and will materially aid the district in completing its arrangements in securing water and power from the Boulder Canyon project development. It is, therefore, recommended that H. R. 10048 be enacted in its present form.
And in that paragraph the bill provides that the Government may grant them a right of way from Boulder Dam down to Los Angeles and that section of California; they are seeking a right of way over public lands.
Mr. BANKHEAD. How wide is that proposed right of way?
Mr. Evans. I am going to refer questions of that kind to Mr. Swing, if I may. He is more familiar with the details of the bill than I am. And with that brief statement, Mr. Chairman, I will conclude.
Mr. RANSLEY. The bill says not to exceed 250 feet?
Mr. Martin. Does it provide that any expenses shall be paid by the Government?
Mr. Evans. No expense at all.
Mr. Evans. Yes; it is for supplying the city of Los Angeles, and a good many other cities in southern California, having a population of two or three million, with water for domestic use, and so forth.
Mr. O'CONNOR. It is not a profit-making enterprise ?
STATEMENT OF HON. PHILIP D. SWING, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. Swing. It is for an aqueduct. It simply makes it possible for the metropolitan water district of southern California to acquire this right of way over public lands, for the purpose of building this aqueduct.
I may say that this will be a bigger project than the Panama Canal—264 miles long. It will cost over $200,000,000. It will employ during its development an average of 10,000 men. Nothing can be done by these 13 cities, with a population of more than 1,700,000, toward getting this necessary additional water supply until they first get this right of way.
Mr. O'CONNOR. When you say it would be over public lands, do you mean that they will build the aqueduct over the land?
Mr. SWING. Yes; for most of the distance.
Mr. Swing. Tunnels. This is to cover the right of way over the public lands.
Mr. Cox. I mean what engineering work?
Mr. SWING. All of the lands that are public lands and are on the desert side of the Coastal Range are worthless, except for what minerals are in them; and these minerals are expressly reserved by this bill. There will be approximately 19 tunnels and one of them will be 13 miles long. It will be necessary, therefore, to get the work started as soon as possible.
By a vote of 5 to 1, the people in these 13 cities voted for these bonds to pay for this work, and are anxious to get started; and this
committee has the power to say whether this great public work, in the interests of these people, can be undertaken now; a work that is to be done at their own expense; and any land outside of the right of way needed for any permanent purpose, light, power plants to pump the water, maintaining houses for those that are to operate them, and so forth, will be paid for at the regular price of $1.25 an acre. The right of way itself has a reservation that it shall be used for this specific purpose, or if it is abandoned at any time, it reverts to the Government of the United States.
Mr. Cox. In building your aqueduct, will it be underground or above ground?
Mr. Swing. In some places it is underground, and in some places above ground; and in some places there will be a tunnel.
Mr. Cox. I mean crossing the country.
Mr. Swing. It depends upon the contour of the country. In some places it goes into an immense steel pipe, like an elbow going up and down; in other places it is mechanically lifted. It will have about 12 successive lifts, and there will be a total lift of about 1,200 feet in all. As soon as this project is completed, the metropolitan water district will begin paying into the United States Treasury $2,750,000 a year.
Mr. PURNELL. What for?
Mr. Swing. For the purpose of Government power and water. It is a revenue-producing proposition.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Is the Government going into the power business out there?
Mr. Swing. It has already done so, to the extent that it has falling water, and it stores the potential energy of falling water; and it has entered into a contract by which it receives $2,750,000 for the falling water.
Mr. SABATH. Is there anything in this bill that will prevent the same thing occurring in this case as happened in the case of San Francisco and the Hetch-Hetchy Valley ?
Mr. Swing. I know of no possibility of a controversy like they have developed up there.
Mr. SABATH. You know that we were guaranteed that that would not be transferred or sold to private interests; and only two years after we sold those water rights, the city of San Francisco made a contract and sold the water to private interests.
Mr. Swing. The contract between the Government and the metropolitan water district provides especially that the power so purchased by the district can be used solely for pumping purposes. Mr. SABATH. For what?
Mr. Swing. For pumping purposes. They can not resell it in competition with anybody. They get power from the Government for the sole power of lifting this water 1.200 feet-a vertical lift.
Mr. SABATH. And what do you do with the water there?
Mr. GARRETT. Without having a picture of it before me, I am simply wondering how this affects that section of country: Is there any diversion of water rights involved in the section below this?