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house Bill H.R. 5984

Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement Act

Bill Details

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Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement Act

Official Title

To authorize the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement, and for other purposes.


(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.) Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement Act (Sec. 4) This bill authorizes, ratifies, and confirms the Pechanga Settlement Agreement, entered into by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, the Rancho California Water District (RCWD), and the United States, except to the extent that the agreement is modified by or conflicts with this bill. (Sec. 5) The bill confirms water rights that must be held in trust by the United States on behalf of the tribe and its allottees. (Allottees are individuals who hold a beneficial real property interest in an Indian allotment that is located within the reservation and held in trust by the United States.) Allotted land is entitled to a just and equitable allocation of water from the water rights for irrigation and domestic purposes. Allottees may lease their land together with any water right. The tribe must enact a Pechanga Water Code that governs the storage, recovery, and use of the water rights, subject to the Department of the Interior's approval. Interior must administer the water rights until the water code is enacted and approved. (Sec. 7) The tribe and the United States (acting as trustee for the tribe and allottees) must waive all claims to water rights within the Santa Margarita River Watershed, except water rights recognized in the Pechanga Settlement Agreement and this bill. The tribe and the United States (acting as trustee for the tribe) waive specified claims against the RCWD. The tribe may waive claims against the United States regarding specified water rights and damages. The waivers in this bill are enforceable on the date Interior publishes specified findings regarding deposits, waivers, and approved agreements. (Sec. 8) Interior must provide the amounts necessary to fulfill the tribe's obligations under specified agreements regarding water infrastructure. (Sec. 9) The bill establishes the Pechanga Settlement Fund. The fund is to be used to carry out this bill. (Sec. 12) If Interior does not publish the findings required for enforcement of the waivers in this bill by April 30, 2021, or an alternative later date agreed to by the tribe and Interior, the provisions of this bill expire, related agreements are void, and funds are rescinded.

bill Progress

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      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedSeptember 9th, 2016

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