Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/07/1994)

Illinois Land Conservation Act of 1994 - Ratifies the proposals identified by the land use plan which was developed by the Joliet Arsenal Citizen Planning Commission, approved April 8, 1994.

Transfers to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary), without reimbursement, portions of the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant in Illinois (Arsenal) to constitute the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (MNP) established by this Act.

Directs the Secretary, Secretary of the Army, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide and maintain security measures on the portions of the Arsenal under their jurisdictions.

Authorizes the Secretary, prior to such transfer and subject to such reasonable terms and conditions as the Secretary of the Army may prescribe, to enter upon Arsenal property for purposes related to planning, resource inventory, fish and wildlife habitat manipulation (including burning), and specified other activities.

Transfers jurisdiction to the Secretary and the Secretary of VA over those portions of the Arsenal property identified for transfer within six months of this Act's enactment. Specifies that, in the case of Arsenal property to be transferred to the Secretary, the Secretary of the Army shall transfer to the Secretary only those portions for which no further action is required under any environmental law. Provides for additional transfers and the identification of portions for transfer for MNP.

Directs the Secretary of the Army to retain jurisdiction, authority, and control over real property at the Arsenal to be used for environmental cleanup purposes.

Requires: (1) all costs of necessary surveys for the transfer of jurisdiction of properties among Federal agencies to be shared equally by the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Department receiving the property; and (2) for lands transferred to a non-Federal agency, the Secretary of the Army to pay the survey costs.

(Sec. 4) Requires the Secretary of the Army, with respect to the real property at the Arsenal, to remain liable for and continue to carry out all: (1) response actions required under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) and other environmental law at or related to the property; and (2) actions required under any other environmental law to remediate petroleum products or their derivatives.

Specifies that the Secretary of the Army shall retain any obligation or other liability at the Arsenal that he or she may have under CERCLA and other environmental laws.

Relieves the Secretary from liability for certain costs, penalties, or fines regarding response actions required under CERCLA or the presence, release, or threat of release of any hazardous material at or related to the Arsenal or actions necessary to remedy noncompliance or other specified problems.

Requires any Federal department or agency that had or has operations at the Arsenal resulting in the release or threatened release of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants to pay the cost of related response actions or related actions under other statutes to remediate petroleum products or their derivatives.

(Sec. 5) Establishes the MNP in Illinois to be managed for National Forest purposes. Permits acquisition of private lands for inclusion in the MNP on a willing seller basis only.

Permits the construction and maintenance of roads for use within the MNP, the granting of authorizations for utility rights-of-way under applicable Federal law, or such access as is necessary.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) agricultural leases and special use authorizations; (2) user fees; (3) salvage of improvements; (4) treatment of user fees and salvage receipts; and (5) cooperation with States, local governments, and other entities.

(Sec. 6) Designates specified areas of real property at the Arsenal for a national veterans cemetery, a county landfill, and disposal.

(Sec. 7) Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to restrict or lessen the degree of cleanup at the Arsenal required to be carried out under provisions of any environmental law.