Text: H.R.2547 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/25/1997)

 
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2547 Introduced in House (IH)]







105th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2547

 To develop and maintain a coordinated, comprehensive, and long-range 
national policy with respect to ocean and coastal activities that will 
   assist the Nation in meeting specified objectives, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 25, 1997

 Mr. Farr of California (for himself, Mr. Saxton, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. 
    Miller of California, Mr. Gilchrest, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Brown of 
   California, Mr. Goss, Mr. Kennedy of Rhode Island, and Mr. Ortiz) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                               Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To develop and maintain a coordinated, comprehensive, and long-range 
national policy with respect to ocean and coastal activities that will 
   assist the Nation in meeting specified objectives, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

     This Act may be cited as the ``Oceans Act of 1997''.

SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS; PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES.

     (a) Findings.--The Congress makes the following findings:
             (1) Covering more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface, 
        the oceans and Great Lakes play a critical role in the global 
        water cycle and in regulating climate, sustain a large part of 
        Earth's biodiversity, provide an important source of food and a 
        wealth of other natural products, act as a frontier to 
        scientific exploration, are critical to national security, and 
        provide a vital means of transportation. The coastal zone, 
        transition between land and open ocean, is a region of 
        remarkably high biological productivity, and is of considerable 
        importance for commercial and recreational activities.
             (2) Ocean and coastal resources are susceptible to change 
        as a direct and indirect result of human activities, and such 
        changes can significantly impact the ability of the oceans and 
        Great Lakes to provide the benefits upon which the Nation 
        depends. Changes in ocean and coastal processes could affect 
        global climate patterns, marine productivity and biodiversity, 
        environmental quality, national security, economic 
        competitiveness, availability of energy, vulnerability to 
        natural hazards, and transportation safety and efficiency.
            (3) Ocean and coastal resources are not infinite, and human 
        pressure on them is increasing. One half of the Nation's 
        population lives within 50 miles of the coast, many ocean and 
        coastal resources once considered inexhaustible are now 
        depleted, and if population trends continue as expected, 
        pressure on, and conflicting demands for, ocean and coastal 
        resources will increase further as will vulnerability to 
        coastal hazards.
            (4) Research has uncovered the link between oceanic and 
        atmospheric processes and improved understanding of world 
        climate patterns and forecasts. Important new advances, 
        including availability of military technology, have made 
        feasible the exploration of large areas of the ocean which were 
        once inaccessible. In designating 1998 as ``The Year of the 
        Ocean'', the United Nations highlights the value of increasing 
        our knowledge of the oceans.
            (5) It has been 30 years since the Commission on Marine 
        Science, Engineering, and Resources (known as the Stratton 
        Commission) conducted a comprehensive examination of ocean and 
        coastal activities that led to enactment of major legislation 
        and the establishment of key oceanic and atmospheric 
        institutions.
            (6) A review of existing activities and an assessment of 
        future needs is essential to respond to the changes that have 
        occurred over the past 3 decades, and to develop an effective 
        new policy for the 21st century to conserve and sustainably use 
        ocean and coastal resources, protect the marine environment, 
        explore ocean frontiers, ensure human safety, and enhance 
        marine technologies and economic opportunities.
            (7) While a significant Federal ocean and coastal program 
        is underway, that program would benefit from a coherent 
        national ocean and coastal policy, improved interagency 
        coordination, and strengthened partnerships with State, 
        private, and international entities engaged in ocean and 
        coastal activities.
    (b) Purpose and Objectives.--The purpose of this Act is to develop 
and implement a coordinated, comprehensive, and long-range national 
policy with respect to ocean and coastal activities that will assist 
the Nation in meeting the following objectives:
            (1) The protection of life and property against natural and 
        manmade hazards.
            (2) Responsible stewardship of fisheries and other living 
        and non-living ocean and coastal resources.
            (3) The protection of the marine environment.
            (4) The enhancement of ocean and coastal activities, and 
        the resolution of conflicts among users of the marine 
        environment.
            (5) The expansion of human knowledge of the marine 
        environment, including the role of the oceans in climate and 
        global environmental change, and the advancement of education 
        and training in fields related to ocean and coastal activities.
            (6) The continued investment in, and development and 
        improvement of, the capabilities, performance, use, and 
        efficiency of technologies for use in ocean and coastal 
        activities.
            (7) Close cooperation among all government agencies and 
        departments involved in the regulation of ocean and coastal 
        activities, and in ensuring the availability and appropriate 
        allocation of Federal funding, personnel, facilities, and 
        equipment for such activities.
            (8) The preservation of the role of the United States as a 
        leader in ocean and coastal activities, and, when it is in the 
        national interest, the cooperation by the United States with 
        other nations and international organizations in ocean and 
        coastal activities.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    As used in this Act--
            (1) The term ``Commission'' means the Commission on Ocean 
        Policy.
            (2) The term ``marine environment'' includes--
                    (A) the oceans, including coastal and offshore 
                waters;
                    (B) lands within the coastal zone and submerged 
                lands of the continental shelf;
                    (C) the Great Lakes; and
                    (D) the ocean and coastal resources thereof.
            (3) The term ``ocean and coastal activities'' includes 
        oceanography, coastal zone management, fisheries, marine 
        wildlife conservation, and other ocean and coastal resource 
        stewardship and use, marine aquaculture, energy and mineral 
        resource extraction, and recreation and tourism.
            (4) The term ``ocean and coastal resource'' includes any 
        living or non-living natural resource (including all forms of 
        wildlife found in the marine environment or Great Lakes, 
        habitat, biodiversity, minerals, oil, and gas) and any 
        significant historic, cultural or aesthetic resource.

SEC. 4. NATIONAL OCEAN AND COASTAL POLICY.

    (a) Executive Responsibilities.--The President shall--
            (1) develop and maintain a coordinated, comprehensive, and 
        long-range national policy with respect to ocean and coastal 
        activities; and
            (2) with regard to Federal agencies and departments--
                    (A) review significant ocean and coastal 
                activities, including plans, priorities, 
                accomplishments, and infrastructure requirements;
                    (B) plan and implement an integrated program of 
                ocean and coastal activities including, but not limited 
                to, oceanography, stewardship of ocean and coastal 
                resources, protection of the marine environment, and 
                marine recreation and tourism;
                    (C) designate responsibility for funding and 
                conducting ocean and coastal activities; and
                    (D) ensure cooperation and resolve differences 
                arising from laws and regulations applicable to ocean 
                and coastal activities which result in conflicts among 
                participants in such activities.
    (b) Assistance and Advice.--The President shall carry out 
subsection (a) with the assistance of the heads of appropriate 
executive departments, agencies, and other entities, and with the 
advice of the Commission.
    (c) Cooperation and Consultation.--In carrying out responsibilities 
under this Act, the President may use such staff, interagency, and 
advisory arrangements as the President finds necessary and appropriate 
and shall consult with non-Federal organizations and individuals 
involved in ocean and coastal activities.

SEC. 5. COMMISSION ON OCEAN POLICY.

    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) Membership.--The President shall, within 90 days of the 
        enactment of this Act, establish a Commission on Ocean Policy. 
        The Commission shall be composed of 15 members appointed by the 
        President in consultation with the Congress, and shall include 
        individuals drawn from Federal and State governments, industry, 
        academic and technical institutions, and public interest 
        organizations involved with ocean and coastal activities, but 
        not more than 3 members shall be from the Federal Government.
            (2) Advisory members.--In addition, the Commission shall 
        have 4 Members of Congress, who shall serve as advisory 
        members. One of the advisory members shall be appointed by the 
        Speaker of the House of Representatives. One of the advisory 
        members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House 
        of Representatives. One of the advisory members shall be 
        appointed by the majority leader of the Senate. One of the 
        advisory members shall be appointed by the minority leader of 
        the Senate. The advisory members shall not participate, except 
        in an advisory capacity, in the formulation of the findings and 
        recommendations of the Commission.
    (b) Findings and Recommendations.--The Commission shall report to 
the President and the Congress on a comprehensive national ocean and 
coastal policy to carry out the purpose and objectives of this Act. In 
developing the findings and recommendations of the report, the 
Commission shall--
            (1) review and suggest any modifications to United States 
        laws, regulations, and department or agency structure, 
        organization, and practices that may be necessary to define and 
        implement such policy;
            (2) assess the condition and adequacy of investment in 
        existing and planned facilities and equipment associated with 
        ocean and coastal activities including human resources, 
        vessels, computers, satellites, and other appropriate 
        technologies and platforms;
            (3) review existing ocean and coastal activities of Federal 
        agencies and departments and the contribution of such 
        activities to oceanography, ocean and coastal resource 
        management, and protection of the marine environment;
            (4) examine and suggest mechanisms to address the 
        interrelationships among ocean and coastal activities, the 
        legal and regulatory framework in which they occur, and their 
        interconnected and cumulative effects on the marine 
        environment, ocean and coastal resources, and marine 
        productivity and biodiversity;
            (5) review the known and anticipated demands for ocean and 
        coastal resources, including an examination of opportunities 
        and limitations with respect to the use of ocean and coastal 
        resources within the exclusive economic zone, projected impacts 
        in coastal areas, and the adequacy of existing efforts to 
        manage such use and minimize user conflicts;
            (6) evaluate relationships among Federal, State, and local 
        governments and the private sector for planning and carrying 
        out ocean and coastal activities and address the most 
        appropriate division of responsibility for such activities;
            (7) identify opportunities for the development of or 
        investment in new products, technologies, or markets that could 
        contribute to the objectives of this Act;
            (8) consider the relationship of the ocean and coastal 
        policy of the United States to the United Nations Convention on 
        the Law of the Sea (and related international agreements) and 
        actions available to the United States to collaborate with 
        other nations, including the development of cooperative 
        international programs for oceanography, protection of the 
        marine environment, and ocean and coastal resource management; 
        and
            (9) engage in any other preparatory work deemed necessary 
        to carry out the duties of the Commission pursuant to this Act.
    (c) Chairman.--The Commission shall elect 1 of its members as 
Chairman. The Chairman of the Commission shall be responsible for--
            (1) the assignment of duties and responsibilities among 
        staff personnel and their continuing supervision; and
            (2) the use and expenditures of funds available to the 
        Commission.
    (d) Compensation.--Members of the Commission appointed from outside 
the Government shall, when engaged in the actual performance of duties 
of the Commission, receive reimbursement of travel expenses, including 
per diem in lieu of subsistence as authorized for persons employed 
intermittently in the Government service under section 3109 of title 5, 
United States Code. Members of the Commission appointed from within the 
Government shall serve without additional compensation to that received 
for their services to the Government but shall be reimbursed for travel 
expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence.
    (e) Staff.--
            (1) The Commission shall have a Director who shall be 
        appointed by the Chairman of the Commission and shall be 
        knowledgeable in administrative management and ocean and 
        coastal policy.
            (2) Upon consultation at the request of the Commission, the 
        head of any Federal Agency shall detail personnel of the agency 
        to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out its 
        functions under this Act. To the extent feasible, such detail 
        shall be on a reimbursable basis.
            (3) The Commission may accept and use the services of 
        volunteers serving without compensation, and reimburse 
        volunteers for travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of 
        subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5, United 
        States Code. Except for the purposes of chapter 81 of title 5, 
        United States Code, relating to compensation for work injuries, 
        and chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code, relating to 
        tort claims, a volunteer under this subsection may not be 
        considered to be an employee of the United States for any 
        purpose.
            (4) To the extent that funds are available, and subject to 
        the rules that may be prescribed by the Commission, the 
        Director may procure the temporary and intermittent services of 
        experts and consultants under section 3109(b) of title 5, 
        United States Code, but at rates not to exceed the rate of pay 
        for GS-15, step 7 of the General Schedule.
    (f) Administration.--
            (1) All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the 
        public, except when a majority of the members of the Commission 
        (in the presence of a quorum) determine that the meeting or any 
        portion of it may be closed to the public. Interested persons 
        shall be permitted to appear at open meetings and present oral 
        or written statements on the subject matter of the meeting. The 
        Commission may administer oaths or affirmations to any person 
        appearing before it.
            (2) All open meetings of the Commission shall be preceded 
        by timely public notice in the Federal Register of the time, 
        place, and subject of the meeting.
            (3) Minutes of each meeting shall be kept and shall contain 
        a record of the people present, a description of the discussion 
        that occurred, and copies of all statements filed. Subject to 
        section 552 of title 5, United States Code, the minutes and 
        records of all meetings and other documents that were made 
        available to or prepared for the Commission shall be available 
        for public inspection and copying at a single location in the 
        offices of the Commission.
            (4) The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) does 
        not apply to the Commission.
    (g) Cooperation With Other Agencies.--
            (1) The Commission is authorized to secure directly from 
        any Federal agency or department any information it deems 
        necessary to carry out its functions under this Act. Each such 
        agency or department is authorized to cooperate with the 
        Commission and, to the extent permitted by law, to furnish such 
        information to the Commission, upon the request of the Chairman 
        of the Commission.
            (2) The Commission may use the United States mails in the 
        same manner and under the same conditions as other departments 
        and agencies of the United States.
            (3) The General Services Administration shall provide to 
        the Commission on a reimbursable basis the administrative 
        support services that the Commission may request.
            (4) The Commission may enter into contracts with Federal 
        and State agencies, private firms, institutions, and 
        individuals to assist the Commission in carrying out its 
        duties. The Commission may purchase and contract without regard 
        to sections 303 of the Federal Property and Administration 
        Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 253), section 18 of the Office 
        of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416), and section 
        8 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637), pertaining to 
        competition and publication requirements, and may arrange for 
        printing without regard to the provisions of title 44, United 
        States Code. The contracting authority of the Commission under 
        this Act is effective only to the extent that appropriations 
are available for contracting purposes.
    (h) Reports.--The Commission shall submit to the President and the 
Congress not later than 18 months after the establishment of the 
Commission, a report of its findings and recommendations. After 
submission of the report, the Commission shall report at the request of 
the President or the Congress and in any case not less than once every 
5 years, on the Nation's progress in meeting the purposes and 
objectives set forth in section 2(b).
    (i) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are hereby authorized 
to be appropriated to support the activities of the Commission--
            (1) a total of $6,000,000 for the 2-fiscal year period 
        beginning October 1, 1997; and
            (2) such sums as are necessary for the 10-fiscal year 
        period beginning October 1, 1999.

SEC. 6. REPORT AND BUDGET COORDINATION.

    (a) Biennial Report.--The President shall transmit to the Congress 
biennially in January a report, which shall include--
            (1) a description of the ocean and coastal activities and 
        related accomplishments of all independent agencies and 
        departments of the United States during the preceding 2 fiscal 
        years; and
            (2) an evaluation of such activities and accomplishments in 
        terms of the purpose and objectives of this Act. Reports made 
        under this section shall contain such recommendations for 
        legislation as the President may consider necessary or 
        desirable.
    (b) Budget Coordination.--
            (1) Each department or independent agency involved in ocean 
        and coastal activities shall include with its annual request 
        for appropriations a report which--
                    (A) identifies significant elements of the proposed 
                agency or department budget relating to ocean and 
                coastal activities; and
                    (B) specifies how each such element contributes to 
                the implementation of the national ocean and coastal 
                policy developed under section 4(a)(1).
            (2) The President shall, in a timely fashion, provide the 
        head of each such department and independent agency with an 
        opportunity to review and comment on the budget estimate of 
        each such agency or department.
            (3) The President shall identify in each annual budget 
        submitted to the Congress under section 1105 of title 31, 
        United States Code, those elements of each agency or department 
        budget that contribute to the implementation of the national 
        ocean and coastal policy developed under section 4(a)(1).

SEC. 7. REPEAL OF 1966 STATUTE.

    The Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966 (33 
U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) is repealed.
                                 <all>