36 CFR § 254.14 - Exchange agreement.

§ 254.14 Exchange agreement.

(a) The parties to a proposed exchange may enter into an exchange agreement subsequent to a decision by the authorized officer to approve the exchange, pursuant to § 254.13 of this subpart. Such an agreement is required if hazardous substances are present on the non-Federal lands. An exchange agreement must contain the following:

(1) Identification of the parties, description of the lands and interests to be exchanged, identification of all reserved and outstanding interests, stipulation of any necessary cash equalization, and all other terms and conditions necessary to complete an exchange;

(2) Inclusion of the terms regarding responsibility for removal, indemnification (“hold harmless” agreement), or other remedial actions concerning any hazardous substances on the involved non-Federal lands; and

(3) The agreed upon values of the involved lands, until consummation of the land exchange.

(b) An exchange agreement, as described in paragraph (a) of this section, is legally binding on all parties, subject to the terms and conditions thereof, provided:

(1) Acceptable title can be conveyed;

(2) No substantial loss or damage occurs to either property from any cause;

(3) No undisclosed hazardous substances are found on the involved Federal or non-Federal lands prior to conveyance;

(4) The exchange proposal receives any required Secretarial approval;

(5) No objections are raised during any required congressional oversight;

(6) In the event of an appeal under 36 CFR part 214 or 215, a decision to approve an exchange proposal pursuant to § 254.13 of this subpart is upheld; and

(7) The agreement is not terminated by mutual consent or upon such terms as may be provided in the agreement.

(c) In the event of a failure to perform or to comply with the terms of an exchange agreement, the noncomplying party is liable for all costs borne by the other party as a result of the proposed exchange, including, but not limited to, land surveys, appraisals, mineral examinations, timber cruises, title searches, title curative actions, cultural resource surveys and mitigation, hazardous substance surveys and controls, removal of encumbrances, arbitration, curing deficiencies preventing highest and best use of the land, and any other expenses incurred in processing the proposed land exchange.

(d) Absent an executed exchange agreement, an action taken by the parties prior to consummation of an exchange does not create any contractual or other binding obligations or rights enforceable against any party.

[59 FR 10867, Mar. 8, 1994; 59 FR 15501, Apr. 1, 1994, as amended at 64 FR 25822, May 13, 1999; 78 FR 33725, June 5, 2013]