S. 157: Denali National Park Improvement Act

S. 157

Denali National Park Improvement Act

Sponsor
Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Date
September 10, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, the House will consider S. 157, the Denali National Park Improvement Act, under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced in the Senate on January 28, 2013 by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).  The bill was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent.   S. 157 was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

S. 157 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for microhydroelectric projects in the Kantishna Hills area within the Denali National Park and Preserve.  Microhydro projects are defined as hydroelectric facilities that have a maximum power generation capability of 100 kilowatts, including distribution or transmission lines required to serve the area.  In addition, this legislation requires the Secretary to complete, no later than 180 days after the submission of a permit application, any analysis required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 with respect to proposed or existing microhydro projects in the area. 

S. 157 directs the Secretary to conduct a land exchange with Doyon Tourism, Inc.  The National Park Service will exchange land near land owned by Doyon Tourism, Inc. for approximately 18 acres owned by the company.  It directs the exchange to be made by February 2015.  The land would be administered as part of the Park.

Finally, it authorizes the Secretary to issue right-of-way permits for a high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline in non-wilderness areas within the National Park, subject to meeting environmental standards.  Finally, it redesignates the Talkeetna Ranger Station as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.

Background

Denali National Park and Preserve is a national park located in Interior Alaska, centered around Denali (Mt. McKinley).  The national park consists of approximately 4.7 million acres, and the national preserve consists of 1.3 million acres.  The Kantishna Hills are located in the northern part of the park. 

Cost

The CBO estimates that this legislation could increase offsetting receipts from permit fees and associated direct spending.  CBO estimates that the total collections under the legislation would be insignificant over the 2014-2023 period, and the net effect on direct spending would be negligible.[1] 

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.