Washington, D.C. – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved eighteen bills and a nomination in an 11:30 a.m. business meeting: S. 155, S. 180, S. 211, S. 323, S. 1241, S. 1467, S. 1521, S. 1727, S. 1957, S. 2046, S. 2180, S. 2243, S. 2319, H.R. 1648, H.R. 1658, H.R. 1732, H.R. 3209. The Committee approved the nomination of Suedeen G. Kelly to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Kelly was approved by a majority with eleven yea votes. Two senators, Sens. Craig and Burns, voted present. The eighteen bills, approved by unanimous consent, are as follows: S. 155 as amended - A bill to convey to the town of Frannie, Wyoming, certain land withdrawn by the Commissioner of Reclamation. The amendment adds language that clarifies the conveyance will be made by a quitclaim deed. S. 180 as amended - A bill to establish the National Aviation Heritage Area, and for other purposes. The amendment in the nature of a substitute provides technical corrections and clarifying changes. S. 211 - A bill to establish the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area in the State of New Mexico, and for other purposes. S. 323 as amended - A bill to establish the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Louisiana. The amendment in the nature of a substitute provides technical corrections and clarifying changes. S. 1241 as amended - A bill to establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in the State of New York, and for other purposes. The substitute amendment makes several clarifying changes and removes the statement of purposes and findings contained in section 1 of the original bill. The amendment makes a substantive change by designating the Kate Mullany National Historic Site as an affiliated area of the National Park System. The original language designated the site as a unit of the National Park System. Affiliated areas comprise a variety of locations in the United States and Canada that preserve significant properties outside the National Park System. Some of these have been recognized by Acts of Congress, others have been designated national historic sites by the Secretary of the Interior under authority of the Historic Sites Act of 1935. Affiliated areas may draw on technical or financial assistance at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior, are subject to and remain in private or state ownership. S. 1467 as amended - A bill to establish the Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes. The amendment in the nature of a substitute and report language addresses concerns expressed in testimony from the Administration and clarifies language in a manner consistent with the intent of the original bill. S. 1521 as amended - A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain land to the Edward H. McDaniel American Legion Post No. 22 in Pahrump, Nevada, for the construction of a post building and memorial park for use by the American Legion, other veterans' groups, and the local community. The amendment eliminates findings statements and increases the timeframe for completing the conveyance from 120 days to 180 days. S. 1727 as amended - A bill to authorize additional appropriations for the Reclamation Safety of Dams Act of 1978. The amendment in the nature of a substitute provides project beneficiaries a seat at the table when Department of Interior determines that a construction modification is necessary. The project beneficiaries have an opportunity to consult with the Bureau on a proposed dam modification. The project beneficiaries may offer modification alternatives for the Secretary to consider and the Secretary will respond in writing to the proposal. The Secretary can waive these consultation requirements for safety and/or security reasons. S. 1957 as amended - A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to cooperate with the States on the border with Mexico and other appropriate entities in conducting a hydrogeologic characterization, mapping, and modeling program for priority transboundary aquifers, and for other purposes. The amendment in the nature of a substitute authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to establish a 10-year United States- Mexico transboundary aquifer assessment program to characterize, map, and model priority transboundary aquifers through a partnership with the Water Resources Research Institutes in the four border states. Aquifers to be characterized are prioritized based on the extent of fresh and saline resources, proximity to population centers, and extent of threat of contamination. Existing data and new data collection would be utilized. Partnerships with States, local water authorities and other groups including Mexican partners are required. S. 1957 authorizes $50 million total to be appropriated for fiscal years 2005 through 2014. In addition, the Secretary is required to submit an interim and final report to the border states’ water resource agencies. S. 2046 as amended - A bill to authorize the exchange of certain land in Everglades National Park. The amendment in the nature of a substitute and report language makes technical corrections and clarifying changes. S. 2180 as amended - A bill to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to exchange certain lands in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in the State of Colorado. The amendment in the nature of a substitute extends the deadline for completion of the exchange from 120 days to 180 days and to require the Forest Service to provide the City of Golden with a special- use permit to facilitate the construction of 140 feet of pipeline, within 45 days after S. 2180 is signed into law, while the exchange is being completed. Additionally, technical corrections were made including correcting the number of acres to be added to the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest as a result of the expansion of the boundary of the forest. S. 2243 - A bill to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project in the State of Alaska. S. 2319 as amended - A bill to authorize and facilitate hydroelectric power licensing of the Tapoco Project. The amendment in the nature of a substitute and report language made technical corrections and clarifying changes and removed section that would have exempted the land exchange from the requirements of certain other laws. Senator Lamar Alexander’s statement on the approval of S. 2319: “I am pleased that the Senate Energy Committee quickly approved the Alcoa land swap legislation. The bill will give Congressional approval to an agreement that will preserve thousands of good-paying jobs at the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) plants in Blount County - and at the same time provide recreational opportunities on thousands of acres of ALCOA mountain land for canoeists, hikers and fishermen.” H.R. 1648 - To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain water distribution systems of the Cachuma Project, California, to the Carpinteria Valley Water District and the Montecito Water District. H.R. 1658 as amended - To amend the Railroad Right-of-Way Conveyance Validation Act to validate additional conveyances of certain lands in the State of California that form part of the right-of-way granted by the United States to facilitate the construction of the transcontinental railway, and for other purposes. The amendment corrected the legal description on one of the parcels. H.R. 1732 - To amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Williamson County, Texas, Water Recycling and Reuse Project, and for other purposes. H.R. 3209 - To amend the Reclamation Project Authorization Act of 1972 to clarify the acreage for which the North Loup division is authorized to provide irrigation water under the Missouri River Basin project.