[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 122, 110th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

122 STAT. 2975

Public Law 110-297
110th Congress

An Act


 
To approve, ratify, and confirm the settlement agreement entered into to
resolve claims by the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians relating to alleged
interferences with the water resources of the Tribe, to authorize and
direct the Secretary of the Interior to execute and perform the
Settlement Agreement and related waivers, and for other
purposes. [NOTE: July 31, 2008 -  [H.R. 4841]]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress [NOTE: Soboba Band of Luiseno
Indians Settlement Act. California.] assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians
Settlement Act''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

(a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
(1) The Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians is a federally
recognized Indian tribe whose Reservation of approximately 6,000
acres, extending east and north from the banks of the San
Jacinto River in Riverside County, California, was created by an
Executive Order dated June 19, 1883, and enlarged and modified
by subsequent Executive Orders, purchases, and an Act of
Congress.
(2) The Tribe's water rights have not been quantified, and
the Tribe has asserted claims for interferences with the water
resources of its Reservation, which the Tribe maintains have
rendered much of the Tribe's Reservation useless for habitation,
livestock, or Agriculture. On April 20, 2000, the Tribe filed a
lawsuit against The Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California for interference with the Tribe's water resources and
damages to its Reservation allegedly caused by Metropolitan's
construction and operation of the San Jacinto Tunnel, which is
part of the Colorado River Aqueduct. The lawsuit, styled Soboba
Band of Luiseno Indians v. Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California, No. 00-04208 GAF (MANx), is pending in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California.
(3) The Tribe also has made claims against Eastern Municipal
Water District and Lake Hemet Municipal Water District, located
adjacent to the Reservation, seeking to secure its water rights
and damages arising from alleged past interference with the
Tribe's water resources.
(4) After negotiations, which included participation by
representatives of the Tribe, the United States on behalf of the
Tribe, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California,
Eastern Municipal Water District, and Lake Hemet Municipal

[[Page 2976]]
122 STAT. 2976

Water District, a Settlement Agreement has been developed to
determine the Tribe's water rights, resolve all of its claims
for interference with the water resources of, and damages to,
its Reservation, provide for the construction of water projects
to facilitate the exercise of the Tribe's rights, and resolve
the lawsuit referenced in paragraph (2) of this section.
(5) The Settlement Agreement provides that--
(A) Eastern Municipal Water District and Lake Hemet
Municipal Water District acknowledge and assure the
Tribe's prior and paramount right, superior to all
others, to pump 9,000 acre-feet of water annually from
the San Jacinto River basin in accordance with the
limitations and other conditions set forth in the
Settlement Agreement;
(B) Eastern Municipal Water District and The
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will
contract to supply water to Eastern Municipal Water
District and Eastern Municipal Water District will use
this water to recharge water supplies into the basin;
and
(C) the three water districts will make substantial
additional contributions to the settlement, including
the conveyance of certain replacement lands and economic
development funds to the Tribe, to carry out the
Settlement Agreement's provisions.

(b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
(1) to approve, ratify, and confirm the Settlement Agreement
entered into by the Tribe and non-Indians entities;
(2) to achieve a fair, equitable, and final settlement of
all claims of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, its members,
and the United States on behalf of the Tribe and its members, to
the water of the San Jacinto River basin;
(3) to authorize and direct the Secretary of the Interior to
execute and perform all obligations of the Secretary under the
Settlement Agreement; and
(4) to authorize the actions and appropriations necessary to
meet obligations of the United States under the Settlement
Agreement and this Act.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:
(1) Restoration fund.--The term ``Restoration Fund'' means
the San Jacinto Basin Restoration Fund established by section 6.
(2) Development fund.--The term ``Development Fund'' means
the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians Water Development Fund
established by section 7.
(3) Reservation.--
(A) In general.--The term ``Reservation'' means the
Soboba Indian Reservation created by Executive Order
dated June 19, 1883, and enlarged and modified as of the
date of enactment of this Act by Executive Orders and an
Act of Congress.
(B) Exclusions.--For the purposes of this Act, the
term ``Reservation'' does not include--
(i) the 950 acres northwest of and contiguous
to the Reservation known as the ``Jones Ranch'',
purchased by the Soboba Tribe in fee on July 21,
2001, and placed into trust on January 13, 2003;

[[Page 2977]]
122 STAT. 2977

(ii) the 535 acres southeast of and contiguous
to the Reservation known as the ``Horseshoe
Grande'', purchased by the Soboba Tribe in fee in
seven separate transactions in June and December
2001, December 2004, June 2006, and January 2007;
and
(iii) the 478 acres north of and contiguous to
the Reservation known as ``The Oaks'', purchased
by the Soboba Tribe in fee on April 4, 2004.
(4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary
of the Interior or a designee of the Secretary.
(5) Settlement agreement.--The term ``Settlement Agreement''
means that agreement dated June 7, 2006, as amended to be
consistent with this Act, together with all exhibits thereto.
The parties to the Settlement Agreement are the Soboba Band of
Luiseno Indians and its members, the United States on behalf of
the Tribe and its members, The Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California, Eastern Municipal Water District, and Lake
Hemet Municipal Water District.
(6) Tribe, soboba tribe, or soboba band of luiseno
indians.--The terms ``Tribe'', ``Soboba Tribe'', or ``Soboba
Band of Luiseno Indians'' means the body politic and federally
recognized Indian tribe, and its members.
(7) Water management plan.--The term ``Water Management
Plan'' means the plan, approved by the Soboba Tribe and the
Secretary, developed pursuant to section 4.8, paragraph A of the
Settlement Agreement to resolve the overdraft of the San Jacinto
basin.
SEC. 4. RATIFICATION OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT; AUTHORIZATION.

(a) In General.--The United States hereby approves, ratifies, and
confirms the Settlement Agreement, except to the extent it conflicts
with the provisions of this Act.
(b) Authorization.--The Secretary is authorized and directed to
execute, and take such other actions as are necessary to implement, the
Settlement Agreement and any amendments approved by the parties
necessary to make the Settlement Agreement consistent with this Act.
SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

(a) Restoration Fund.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the
San Jacinto Basin Restoration Fund established in section 6 of this Act
the amount of $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011 to pay
or reimburse the costs associated with constructing, operating, and
maintaining the portion of the basin recharge project that the United
States is responsible for under the Settlement Agreement. These costs
are described in section 4.5 of the Settlement Agreement and are
necessary to accommodate deliveries of the supplemental imported water
under section 4.4 of the Settlement Agreement.
(b) Development Fund.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the
Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians Water Development Fund established in
section 7 of this Act the amount of $5,500,000 for each of fiscal years
2010 and 2011 to pay or reimburse costs associated with constructing,
operating, and maintaining water and sewage infrastructure, and other
water-related development projects.

[[Page 2978]]
122 STAT. 2978

(c) Limitation.--No funding of any construction, operation,
maintenance, or replacement other than those funds authorized under
subsections (a) and (b) shall be the responsibility of the Federal
Government under the Settlement Agreement or this Act.
SEC. 6. RESTORATION FUND.

(a) Establishment.--There shall be established within the Treasury
of the United States a non-interest bearing account to be known as the
``San Jacinto Basin Restoration Fund'', consisting of the amounts
authorized to be appropriated in section 5(a) of this Act.
(b) Administration.--The Restoration Fund shall be administered by
the Secretary for the purposes set forth in subsection (d) of this
section.
(c) Availability.--The funds authorized to be appropriated pursuant
to section 5(a) of this Act shall be available for expenditure or
withdrawal only after the effective date set forth in section 10(a).
(d) Expenditures and Withdrawals.--
(1) Expenditure plan.--
(A) In general.--Eastern Municipal Water District,
on behalf of the Water Management Plan, shall submit to
the Secretary for approval an expenditure plan for use
of the Restoration Fund.
(B) Requirements.--The expenditure plan shall
require that any funds be expended or reimbursed in
accordance with the purposes described in section 5(a)
of this Act.
(2) Withdrawals.--On approval by the Secretary of the
expenditure plan described in this section, Eastern Municipal
Water District, on behalf of the Water Management Plan, may
expend or be reimbursed monies from the Restoration Fund as
provided in the plan.
(3) Enforcement.--The Secretary may take judicial or
administrative action to enforce the provisions of any
expenditure plan to ensure that monies expended or reimbursed
from the Restoration Fund under the plan are used in accordance
with this Act.
(4) Liability.--If Eastern Municipal Water District, on
behalf of the Water Management Plan, exercises the right to
expend or be reimbursed monies from the Restoration Fund,
neither the Secretary nor the Secretary of the Treasury shall
have any liability for the expenditure or reimbursement.
(5) Annual report.--Eastern Municipal Water District shall
submit to the Tribe and the Secretary an annual report that
describes all expenditures or reimbursements from the
Restoration Fund during the year covered by the report.
SEC. 7. DEVELOPMENT FUND.

(a) Establishment.--There shall be established within the Treasury
of the United States a fund to be known as the ``Soboba Band of Luiseno
Indians Water Development Fund'', to be managed and invested by the
Secretary consisting of the amounts authorized to be appropriated in
section 5(b).
(b) Management.--The Secretary shall manage the Development Fund,
make investments, and make monies available for distribution consistent
with the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (25
U.S.C. 4001 et seq.) (referred

[[Page 2979]]
122 STAT. 2979

to in this section as the ``Trust Fund Reform Act''), this Act, and the
Settlement Agreement.
(c) Investment.--The Secretary shall invest amounts in the
Development Fund in accordance with--
(1) the Act of April 1, 1880 (21 Stat. 70, ch. 41, 25 U.S.C.
161);
(2) the first section of the Act of June 24, 1938 (52 Stat.
1037, ch. 648, 25 U.S.C. 162a); and
(3) subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Availability.--The funds authorized to be appropriated pursuant
to section 5(b) of this Act shall be available for expenditure or
withdrawal only after the effective date set forth in section 10(a).
(e) Expenditures and Withdrawals.--
(1) Tribal management plan.--
(A) In general.--The Tribe may withdraw all or part
of the Development Fund on approval by the Secretary of
a tribal management plan as described in the Trust Fund
Reform Act.
(B) Requirements.--In addition to the requirements
under the Trust Fund Reform Act, the tribal management
plan shall require that any funds be expended or
reimbursed in accordance with the purposes described in
section 5(b) of this Act.
(C) Enforcement.--The Secretary may take judicial or
administrative action to enforce the provisions of any
tribal management plan to ensure that monies withdrawn
from the Development Fund under the plan are used in
accordance with this Act.
(D) Liability.--If the Tribe exercises the right to
withdraw monies from the Development Fund, neither the
Secretary nor the Secretary of the Treasury shall retain
any liability for the expenditure or investment.
(2) Expenditure plan.--
(A) In general.--The Tribe shall submit to the
Secretary for approval an expenditure plan for any
portion of the amounts made available under section 5(b)
that the Tribe does not withdraw under this subsection.
(B) Description.--The expenditure plan shall
describe the manner in which, and the purposes for
which, amounts of the Tribe remaining in the Funds will
be used.
(C) Approval.--On receipt of an expenditure plan
under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall approve the
plan if the Secretary determines that the plan is
reasonable and consistent with this Act and the
Agreement.
(3) Annual report.--The Tribe shall submit to the Secretary
an annual report that describes all expenditures from the
Development Fund during the year covered by the report.
(4) No per capita distributions.--No part of the Development
Fund shall be distributed on a per capita basis to members of
the Tribe.
SEC. 8. WAIVERS AND RELEASES.

(a) Tribe and United States Authorization.--The Tribe, on behalf of
itself and its members, and the Secretary, on behalf of the United
States in its capacity as trustee for the Tribe and its members, are
authorized, as part of the performance of their

[[Page 2980]]
122 STAT. 2980

obligations under the Settlement Agreement, to execute a waiver and
release for claims under Federal, State, or other law against The
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Eastern Municipal
Water District, and Lake Hemet Municipal Water District, for any and
all--
(1) past, present, and future claims to surface water and
groundwater rights for the Reservation arising from time
immemorial through the effective date described in section 10 of
this Act and anytime thereafter, except claims to enforce the
Settlement Agreement or claims based on water rights acquired
after the effective date described in section 10 of this Act;
(2) past, present, and future claims for injury of any kind
arising from interference with surface water and groundwater
resources and water rights of the Reservation, including, but
not limited to, all claims for injury to the Tribe's use and
enjoyment of the Reservation, economic development, religion,
language, social structure and culture, and injury to the
natural resources of the Reservation, from time immemorial
through the effective date described in section 10 of this Act;
(3) past, present, and future claims for injury of any kind
arising from, or in any way related to, continuing interference
with surface water and groundwater resources and water rights of
the Reservation, including the full scope of claims defined in
section 5.1, paragraph A(2) of the Settlement Agreement, to the
extent that such continuing interference began prior to the
effective date described in section 10 of this Act, from time
immemorial through the effective date described in section 10 of
this Act and anytime thereafter;
(4) past, present, and future claims for injury of any kind
arising from, or in any way related to, seepage of water into
the San Jacinto Tunnel, including the full scope of claims
defined in section 5.1, paragraph A(2) of the Settlement
Agreement, from time immemorial through the effective date
described in section 10 of this Act and anytime thereafter; and
(5) past, present, and future claims for injury of any kind
arising from, or in any way related to, the Water Management
Plan as approved in accordance with the Settlement Agreement,
from time immemorial through the effective date described in
section 10 of this Act and anytime thereafter.

(b) Tribal Waivers Against the United States.--
(1) In general.--The Tribe is authorized, as part of the
performance of its obligations under the Settlement Agreement,
to execute a waiver and release for claims against the United
States (acting in its capacity as trustee for the Tribe or its
members, or otherwise acting on behalf of the Tribe or its
members), including any agencies, officials, or employees
thereof, for any and all--
(A) claims described in subsection (a) of this
section;
(B) past, present, and future claims for failure to
acquire or develop water rights and water resources of
the Reservation arising from time immemorial through the
effective date described in section 10 of this Act and
anytime thereafter;
(C) past, present, and future claims for failure to
protect water rights and water resources of the
Reservation

[[Page 2981]]
122 STAT. 2981

arising from time immemorial through the effective date
described in section 10 of this Act, and any past,
present, and future claims for any continuing failure to
protect water rights and water resources of the
Reservation, arising from time immemorial through the
effective date described in section 10 of this Act and,
to the extent that such continuing failure to protect
began before the effective date described in section 10
of this Act, anytime thereafter;
(D) past, present, and future claims arising from
the failure of any non-Federal Party to fulfill the
terms of the Settlement Agreement at anytime; and
(E) past, present, and future claims arising out of
the negotiation of the Settlement Agreement or the
negotiation and enactment of this Act, or any specific
terms of provisions thereof, including, but not limited
to, the Tribe's consent to limit the number of
participant parties to the Settlement Agreement.
(2) Effectiveness of waivers against the united states.--
(A) In general.--The [NOTE: Effective date.]
waiver and release contained in this subsection shall
take effect on the date on which all of the amounts
authorized under sections 5(a) and 5(b) are
appropriated.
(B) Periods of limitation; equitable claims.--
(i) In general.--All periods of limitation and
time-based equitable defenses applicable to the
claims set forth in paragraph (1) are tolled for
the period between the date of enactment of this
Act until the date on which the amounts authorized
under sections 5(a) and 5(b) are appropriated.
(ii) Effect of subparagraph.--This
subparagraph neither revives any claim nor tolls
any period of limitation or time-based equitable
defense that may have expired before the date of
enactment of this Act.
(C) Defense.--The making of the amounts of
appropriations authorized under sections 5(a) and 5(b)
shall constitute a complete defense to any claim which
involves the claims set forth in paragraph (b)(1)
pending in any court of the United States on the date on
which the appropriations are made.
SEC. 9. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

(a) Jurisdiction.--
(1) No effect on subject matter jurisdiction.--Nothing in
the Agreement or this Act restricts, enlarges, or otherwise
determines the subject matter jurisdiction of any Federal,
State, or Tribal court.
(2) Judgment and decree.--The United States consents to
jurisdiction in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California case known as Soboba Band of Luiseno
Indians v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California,
No. 00-04208 for the purpose of obtaining approval for a
judgment and decree substantially the same as the judgment and
decree attached to the Settlement Agreement as exhibit H.
(3) Effect of subsection.--Nothing in this subsection
confers jurisdiction on any State court to--

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122 STAT. 2982

(A) enforce Federal environmental laws regarding the
duties of the United States; or
(B) conduct judicial review of Federal agency
action.

(b) Use of Water.--
(1) Tribal use.--With respect to water rights made available
under the Settlement Agreement--
(A) the Tribe may use water made available to it
under the Settlement Agreement for any use it deems
advisable on the Reservation and on any other lands it
owns or may acquire, in fee or in trust, contiguous to
the Reservation or within the area of the groundwater
basin described in section 2.4 of the Settlement
Agreement;
(B) such water rights shall be held in trust by the
United States in perpetuity, and shall not be subject to
forfeiture or abandonment; and
(C) State law shall not apply to the Tribe's use of
water made available to it under the Settlement
Agreement.
(2) Non-tribal use.--
(A) Contracts and options.--Subject to the
limitations in subparagraph (B), the Tribe may enter
into contracts and options to lease or contracts and
options to exchange water made available to it under the
Settlement Agreement, or enter into contracts and
options to postpone existing water uses or postpone
undertaking new or expanded water uses.
(B) Limitations on non-tribal use.--
(i) Consistency with water management plan.--
Any water made available under subparagraph (A)
shall only be used by participants in, or other
users within the area of, the Water Management
Plan described in section 2.32 of the Settlement
Agreement.
(ii) Prohibition on permanent alienation.--No
contract under subparagraph (A) shall be for a
term exceeding one hundred years, nor shall any
contract under subparagraph (A) provide for
permanent alienation of any portion of the water
rights made available under the Settlement
Agreement.
(C) Liability.--The Secretary shall not be liable to
any party, including the Tribe, for any term of, or any
loss or other detriment resulting from, a lease or
contract entered into pursuant to this subparagraph.

(c) Retention of Rights.--
(1) In the event the waivers and releases set out in section
8 of this Act do not become effective pursuant to section 10(a)
of this Act, the Soboba Tribe and the United States shall retain
the right to assert all rights and claims enumerated in section
8, and any claims or defenses of the parties to the Settlement
Agreement shall also be retained.
(2) The parties expressly reserve all rights not
specifically granted, recognized, waived, or released by the
Settlement Agreement or this Act.
(3) Notwithstanding the waivers and releases set forth in
section 8(a), the United States retains all claims relating to
violations of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act,
the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery

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122 STAT. 2983

Act, and the regulations implementing these Acts, including, but
not limited to claims related to water quality.

(d) Precedent.--Nothing in this Act establishes any standard for the
quantification or litigation of Federal reserved water rights or any
other Indian water claims of any other Indian tribes in any other
judicial or administrative proceeding.
(e) Other Indian Tribes.--Nothing in the Settlement Agreement or
this Act shall be construed in any way to quantify or otherwise
adversely affect the water rights, claims, or entitlements to water of
any Indian tribe, band, or community, other than the Soboba Tribe.
(f) Environmental Compliance.--
(1) Signing by the Secretary of the Settlement Agreement
does not constitute major Federal action under the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
(2) The Secretary is directed to carry out all environmental
compliance required by Federal law in implementing the
Agreement.
SEC. 10. EFFECTIVE DATE.

(a) In General.--The [NOTE: Federal Register, publication.]
waivers and releases authorized in subsection (a) of section 8 of this
Act shall become effective as of the date the Secretary causes to be
published in the Federal Register a statement of findings that--
(1) this Act has been enacted;
(2) to the extent that the Settlement Agreement conflicts
with this Act, the Settlement Agreement has been revised to
conform with the Act;
(3) the Settlement Agreement, revised as necessary, and the
waivers and releases described in article 5 of the Settlement
Agreement and section 8(a) of this Act have been executed by the
parties and the Secretary;
(4) warranty deeds for the property to be conveyed to the
Tribe described in section 4.6 of the Settlement Agreement have
been placed in escrow;
(5) the Tribe and the Secretary have approved the Water
Management Plan; and
(6) the judgment and decree attached to the Settlement
Agreement as exhibit H or a judgment and decree substantially
the same as exhibit H has been approved by the United States
District Court, Eastern Division of the Central District of
California, and that judgment and decree has become final and
nonappealable.

(b) Deadline for Effective Date.--If the conditions precedent
required under subsection (a) of this section have not been fulfilled by
March 1, 2012, the Settlement Agreement and this Act shall not
thereafter be effective and shall be null and void, and any funds and
the interest accrued thereon appropriated pursuant to

[[Page 2984]]
122 STAT. 2984

section 5 shall revert to the general fund of the United States
Treasury.

Approved July 31, 2008.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 4841:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 110-649 (Comm. on Natural Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 154 (2008):
May 19, 21, considered and passed House.
July 23, considered and passed Senate.