Statement for the Record
U.S. Department of the Interior
House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation
Concerning H.R. 4120,
To amend the National Law Enforcement Museum Act to extend the termination date
March 25, 2014
The Department has no objection to this legislation. H.R. 4120 would amend section 4(f) of Public Law 106-492, enacted November 9, 2000, to authorize construction of the Museum to begin up to 16 years after the date ofenactment. If this legislation is enacted, the authority to construct the Museum would expire on November 9, 2016.
Public Law 106-492 authorizes the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (theFund) to design, plan, construct, and maintain a National Law Enforcement Museum on Federal landwithin U.S. Reservation 7 in the District of Columbia south of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Reservation 7 is one of the original public reservations of the City ofWashington. The museum site has been under the jurisdictionof the District of Columbia since 1970.
The Act for the new museum requires that the design be approved by the Secretary of the Interior, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). The Fund has coordinated extensively with the NationalPark Service (NPS), on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, the NCPC, the CFA, the D.C. State Historic Preservation Office (DC SHPO), and the District of Columbia government, as well as the adjacent court buildings.
When the Department testified on the original legislation, a billto establish a National Law Enforcement Museum on Federal land in the District of Columbia, on April 27, 2000, we had been concerned, from an historic preservation standpoint, about the impactof locating a new building within this complex of six historic public buildings dating from 1820to 1939. However, the careful design and placement of the museum has resolved these concerns, as evidenced by the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement on June 23, 2008, among DC SHPO, the Fund, the NPS, and the NCPC, and its extension on February 22, 2013. This fulfills the requirement of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Final site and building plans for the museum were approved bythe CFA on January 17, 2013, and by the NCPC on April 4, 2013.
The National Law Enforcement Museum Act prohibits the Fund from beginning construction of the museum unless the Secretary ofthe Interior "determines that sufficient amounts are available to complete construction of theMuseum." The Secretary was unable to make this determination by November 9, 2013. Should the extension be approved, we look forward to verifying the funding, which is our remaining task in this project as required by Section 4(e) of Public Law 106-492. By law, no federal funding will be used in the construction of the Museum.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony on H.R. 4120, and I would be happy toanswer any questions you may have.