There is one summary for H.R.251. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (01/03/1991)

Wetlands No Net Loss Act of 1991 - Requires the Secretary of the Interior to designate a nonprofit organization as a Wetlands Preservation Trust if such organization: (1) is established for the purpose of acquiring ownership interests in wetlands, former wetlands, and related property and for restoring, creating, or preserving wetlands; and (2) meets, and submits an application in accordance with, the Secretary's requirements.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to create special rules for contributions of land to such Trusts. Applies the 50 percent limitation on charitable contribution deductions to contributions of wetlands to such Trusts. Permits a ten-year carryover for excess contributions. Extends the deadline for the exchange of property held for productive use or investment if such contributions are made as part of such exchanges. Permits the carryover of unused deductions on a taxpayer's last return if such taxpayer dies before the close of the last taxable year for which such deductions could have been allowed.

Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the Office of Wetlands Identification and Preservation, to make grants to States from the Wetlands Preservation Account for the improvement, development, or implementation of State Wetlands Conservation Plans. Outlines requirements of such Plans. Prohibits the Secretary from approving any Plan that does not include all wetlands in the State.

Amends the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 to include former wetlands in the national wetlands priority conservation plan.

Amends the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to require the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish the Office of Wetlands Identification and Preservation within the Service by consolidating the Service's programs of Federal Aid, Acquisition, National Wetland Inventory, and Enhancement (restoration).

Requires the Director, acting through the Office, to: (1) provide National Wetland Inventory maps to all Federal agencies that own or manage wetlands and make such maps available to the public; (2) conduct a Wetlands Restoration Initiative; (3) carry out title III of the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 (State and Federal wetland acquisition); and (4) report to the Congress every five years on trends of the nation's wetland resources, the rate at which they are being lost or gained, and the types and causes of alterations. Authorizes the Director to enter into agreements with private persons to carry out wetlands preservation. Directs heads of Federal agencies that own or manage wetlands to enter into agreements with the Director regarding the completion of mapping of lands not covered by the National Wetland Inventory map.

Establishes the Wetlands Preservation Account. Requires at least 60 percent of Account funds to be available for grants to States. Sets forth uses for the remainder of such funds. Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to deposit into such Account amounts received in the form of: (1) criminal penalties for certain permit violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; and (2) civil and administrative penalties under such Act. Directs the Secretary to transfer annually to the Account $300,000,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the head of each executive agency to: (1) complete an inventory of all wetlands and associated uplands owned or managed by the agency; and (2) implement a plan for the protection of wetlands and uplands included in the inventory. Requires such agencies to submit such plans to the head of the Office and the Secretary of the Interior.

Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to authorize the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, to issue permits for activities in wetlands or other navigable waters that result in specified changes, or impair the flow, reach, or circulation of surface waters, in such wetlands or waters. Requires permit guidelines to be designed to achieve no overall net loss of wetlands. Applies provisions concerning the denial or restriction of use of specified disposal sites to alterations of wetlands or navigable waters.

Authorizes the Secretary to issue general permits within a State for categories of wetlands or other waters if the State has an approved State Wetlands Conservation Plan. Requires the Secretary to monitor the achievement of no overall net loss of wetlands in each general permit and base issuances or renewals of permits on such monitoring.

Authorizes the Governors of States desiring to administer their own permit programs for the discharge of dredged or fill material and other alterations of navigable waters to submit State Wetlands Conservation Plans to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Provides for permit processing fees. Provides that permits shall require State water quality certifications. Prohibits the issuance of any permit unless measures are taken to avoid and minimize adverse effects of activities on wetlands and other navigable waters. Requires mitigation measures to be included in permits.

Amends the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act to transfer specified authorities of the Secretary of the Interior to the Secretary of Commerce. Revises reporting requirements to require Federal agency reports under such Act to include measures to achieve no net loss of wetlands.

Requires the Director of the Office of Technology Assessment to study and report to the Congress on: (1) incentives under Federal and State laws for the protection and management of wetlands; (2) potential modifications to existing Federal laws to improve their effectiveness in creating such incentives and to increase the permanence of such protection; and (3) ways in which the Federal Government may encourage State and local governments to create additional incentives for the protection and management of wetlands by private individuals.