Text: H.R.1775 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?

Shown Here:
Referred in Senate (09/13/2000)

 
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1775 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 1775


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 13, 2000

 Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and 
                              Public Works

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
   To catalyze restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient 
  financing of projects and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-
         Federal restoration programs, 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 ``Estuary Restoration Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to promote the restoration of estuary habitat;
            (2) to develop a national estuary habitat restoration 
        strategy for creating and maintaining effective estuary habitat 
        restoration partnerships among public agencies at all levels of 
        government and to establish new partnerships between the public 
        and private sectors;
            (3) to provide Federal assistance for estuary habitat 
        restoration projects and to promote efficient financing of such 
        projects; and
            (4) to develop and enhance monitoring and research 
        capabilities to ensure that estuary habitat restoration efforts 
        are based on sound scientific understanding and to create a 
        national database of estuary habitat restoration information.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act, the following definitions apply:
            (1) Council.--The term ``Council'' means the Estuary 
        Habitat Restoration Council established by section 5.
            (2) Estuary.--The term ``estuary'' means a part of a river 
        or stream or other body of water that has an unimpaired 
        connection with the open sea and where the sea water is 
        measurably diluted with fresh water derived from land drainage. 
        The term also includes near coastal waters and wetlands of the 
        Great Lakes that are similar in form and function to estuaries.
            (3) Estuary habitat.--The term ``estuary habitat'' means 
        the physical, biological, and chemical elements associated with 
        an estuary, including the complex of physical and hydrologic 
        features and living organisms within the estuary and associated 
        ecosystems.
            (4) Estuary habitat restoration activity.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``estuary habitat 
                restoration activity'' means an activity that results 
                in improving degraded estuaries or estuary habitat or 
                creating estuary habitat (including both physical and 
                functional restoration), with the goal of attaining a 
                self-sustaining system integrated into the surrounding 
                landscape.
                    (B) Included activities.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat restoration activity'' includes--
                            (i) the reestablishment of chemical, 
                        physical, hydrologic, and biological features 
                        and components associated with an estuary;
                            (ii) except as provided in subparagraph 
                        (C), the cleanup of pollution for the benefit 
                        of estuary habitat;
                            (iii) the control of nonnative and invasive 
                        species in the estuary;
                            (iv) the reintroduction of species native 
                        to the estuary, including through such means as 
                        planting or promoting natural succession;
                            (v) the construction of reefs to promote 
                        fish and shellfish production and to provide 
                        estuary habitat for living resources; and
                            (vi) other activities that improve estuary 
                        habitat.
                    (C) Excluded activities.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat restoration activity'' does not include an 
                activity that--
                            (i) constitutes mitigation required under 
                        any Federal or State law for the adverse 
                        effects of an activity regulated or otherwise 
                        governed by Federal or State law; or
                            (ii) constitutes restoration for natural 
                        resource damages required under any Federal or 
                        State law.
            (5) Estuary habitat restoration project.--The term 
        ``estuary habitat restoration project'' means a project to 
        carry out an estuary habitat restoration activity.
            (6) Estuary habitat restoration plan.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``estuary habitat 
                restoration plan'' means any Federal or State plan for 
                restoration of degraded estuary habitat that was 
                developed with the substantial participation of 
                appropriate public and private stakeholders.
                    (B) Included plans and programs.--The term 
                ``estuary habitat restoration plan'' includes estuary 
                habitat restoration components of--
                            (i) a comprehensive conservation and 
                        management plan approved under section 320 of 
                        the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 
                        U.S.C. 1330);
                            (ii) a lakewide management plan or remedial 
                        action plan developed under section 118 of the 
                        Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 
                        1268);
                            (iii) a management plan approved under the 
                        Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 
                        1451 et seq.); and
                            (iv) the interstate management plan 
                        developed pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay 
                        program under section 117 of the Federal Water 
                        Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1267).
            (8) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
        meaning given such term by section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
            (9) Non-federal interest.--The term ``non-federal 
        interest'' means a State, a political subdivision of a State, 
        an Indian tribe, a regional or interstate agency, or, as 
        provided in section 4(g)(2), a nongovernmental organization.
            (10) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Army.
            (11) State.--The term ``State'' means the States of 
        Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 
        Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, 
        Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, 
        New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, 
        Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, 
        Washington, and Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern 
        Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, American 
        Samoa, and Guam.

SEC. 4. ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established an estuary habitat 
restoration program under which the Secretary may carry out estuary 
habitat restoration projects and provide technical assistance in 
accordance with the requirements of this Act.
    (b) Origin of Projects.--A proposed estuary habitat restoration 
project shall originate from a non-Federal interest consistent with 
State or local laws.
    (c) Required Elements of Project Proposals.--To be eligible for the 
estuary habitat restoration program established under this Act, each 
proposed estuary habitat restoration project must--
            (1) address restoration needs identified in an estuary 
        habitat restoration plan;
            (2) be consistent with the estuary habitat restoration 
        strategy developed under section 7;
            (3) be technically feasible;
            (4) include a monitoring plan that is consistent with 
        standards for monitoring developed under section 8 to ensure 
        that short-term and long-term restoration goals are achieved; 
        and
            (5) include satisfactory assurance from the non-Federal 
        interests proposing the project that the non-Federal interests 
        will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority to carry 
        out and properly maintain the project.
    (d) Selection of Projects.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary, after considering the 
        advice and recommendations of the Council, shall select estuary 
        habitat restoration projects taking into account the following 
        factors:
                    (A) The scientific merit of the project.
                    (B) Whether the project will encourage increased 
                coordination and cooperation among Federal, State, and 
                local government agencies.
                    (C) Whether the project fosters public-private 
                partnerships and uses Federal resources to encourage 
                increased private sector involvement, including 
                consideration of the amount of private funds or in-kind 
                contributions for an estuary habitat restoration 
                activity.
                    (D) Whether the project is cost-effective.
                    (E) Whether the State in which the non-Federal 
                interest is proposing the project has a dedicated 
                source of funding to acquire or restore estuary 
                habitat, natural areas, and open spaces for the benefit 
                of estuary habitat restoration or protection.
                    (F) Other factors that the Secretary determines to 
                be reasonable and necessary for consideration.
            (2) Priority.--In selecting estuary habitat restoration 
        projects to be carried out under this Act, the Secretary shall 
        give priority consideration to a project if, in addition to 
        meriting selection based on the factors under paragraph (1)--
                    (A) the project occurs within a watershed in which 
                there is a program being carried out that addresses 
                sources of pollution and other activities that 
                otherwise would re-impair the restored habitat; or
                    (B) the project includes pilot testing or a 
                demonstration of an innovative technology having the 
                potential for improved cost-effectiveness in estuary 
                habitat restoration.
    (e) Cost Sharing.--
            (1) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of an 
        estuary habitat restoration project carried out under this Act 
        shall not exceed 65 percent of such cost.
            (2) Non-federal share.--The non-Federal share of the cost 
        of an estuary habitat restoration project carried out under 
        this Act shall include lands, easements, rights-of-way, and 
        relocations and may include services, or any other form of in-
        kind contribution determined by the Secretary to be an 
        appropriate contribution equivalent to the monetary amount 
        required for the non-Federal share of the activity.
    (f) Interim Actions.--
            (1) In general.--Pending completion of the estuary habitat 
        restoration strategy to be developed under section 7, the 
        Secretary may take interim actions to carry out an estuary 
        habitat restoration activity.
            (2) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of an 
        estuary habitat restoration activity before the completion of 
        the estuary habitat restoration strategy shall not exceed 25 
        percent of such cost.
    (g) Cooperation of Non-Federal Interests.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall not select an estuary 
        habitat restoration project until a non-Federal interest has 
        entered into a written agreement with the Secretary in which 
        the non-Federal interest agrees to--
                    (A) provide all lands, easements, rights-of-way, 
                and relocations and any other elements the Secretary 
                determines appropriate under subsection (e)(2); and
                    (B) provide for maintenance and monitoring of the 
                project to the extent the Secretary determines 
                necessary.
            (2) Nongovernmental organizations.--Notwithstanding section 
        221 of the Flood Control Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 1962d-5b(b)), 
        for any project undertaken under this Act, the Secretary, upon 
        the recommendation of the Governor of the State in which the 
        project is located and in consultation with appropriate 
        officials of political subdivisions of such State, may allow a 
        nongovernmental organization to serve as the non-Federal 
        interest.
    (h) Delegation of Project Implementation.--In carrying out this 
Act, the Secretary may delegate project implementation to another 
Federal department or agency on a reimbursable basis if the Secretary, 
after considering the advice and recommendations of the Council, 
determines such delegation is appropriate.

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION COUNCIL.

    (a) Council.--There is established a council to be known as the 
``Estuary Habitat Restoration Council''.
    (b) Duties.--The Council shall be responsible for--
            (1) soliciting, reviewing, and evaluating project proposals 
        and making recommendations concerning such proposals based on 
        the factors specified in section 4(d)(1), including 
        recommendations as to a priority order for carrying out such 
        projects and as to whether a project should be carried out by 
        the Secretary or by another Federal department or agency under 
        section 4(h);
            (2) developing and transmitting to Congress a national 
        strategy for restoration of estuary habitat;
            (3) periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the 
        national strategy in meeting the purposes of this Act and, as 
        necessary, updating the national strategy; and
            (4) providing advice on the development of the database, 
        monitoring standards, and report required under sections 8 and 
        9.
    (c) Membership.--The Council shall be composed of the following 
members:
            (1) The Secretary (or the Secretary's designee).
            (2) The Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the 
        Department of Commerce (or the Under Secretary's designee).
            (3) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
        Agency (or the Administrator's designee).
            (4) The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the 
        Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (or 
        such Secretary's designee).
            (5) The Secretary of Agriculture (or such Secretary's 
        designee).
            (6) The head of any other Federal agency designated by the 
        President to serve as an ex officio member of the Council.
    (d) Prohibition of Compensation.--Members of the Council may not 
receive compensation for their service as members of the Council.
    (e) Chairperson.--The chairperson shall be elected by the Council 
from among its members for a 3-year term, except that the first elected 
chairperson may serve a term of fewer than 3 years.
    (f) Convening of Council.--
            (1) First meeting.--The Secretary shall convene the first 
        meeting of the Council not later than 60 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act for the purpose of electing a 
        chairperson.
            (2) Additional meetings.--The chairperson shall convene 
        additional meetings of the Council as often as appropriate to 
        ensure that this Act is fully carried out, but not less often 
        than annually.
    (g) Council Procedures.--The Council shall establish procedures for 
voting, the conduct of meetings, and other matters, as necessary.
    (h) Public Participation.--Meetings of the Council shall be open to 
the public. The Council shall provide notice to the public of such 
meetings.

SEC. 6. ADVISORY BOARD.

    (a) In General.--The Council shall establish an advisory board (in 
this subsection referred to as the ``board'').
    (b) Duties.--The board shall provide advice and recommendations to 
the Council--
            (1) on the strategy developed pursuant to section 7; and
            (2) on the Council's consideration of proposed estuary 
        habitat restoration projects and the Council's recommendations 
        to the Secretary pursuant to section 5(b)(1), including advice 
        on the scientific merit, technical merit, and feasibility of a 
        project.
    (c) Members.--The Council shall appoint members of the board 
representing diverse public and private interests. Members of the board 
shall be selected such that the board consists of--
            (1) three members with recognized academic scientific 
        expertise in estuary or estuary habitat restoration;
            (2) three members representing State agencies with 
        expertise in estuary or estuary habitat restoration;
            (3) two members representing local or regional government 
        agencies with expertise in estuary or estuary habitat 
        restoration;
            (4) two members representing nongovernmental organizations 
        with expertise in estuary or estuary habitat restoration;
            (5) two members representing fishing interests;
            (6) two members representing estuary users other than 
        fishing interests;
            (7) two members representing agricultural interests; and
            (8) two members representing Indian tribes.
    (d) Terms.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided by subparagraph (B), 
        members of the board shall be appointed for a term of 3 years.
            (2) Initial members.--As designated by the chairperson of 
        the Council at the time of appointment, of the members first 
        appointed--
                    (A) nine shall be appointed for a term of 1 year; 
                and
                    (B) nine shall be appointed for a term of 2 years.
    (e) Vacancies.--Whenever a vacancy occurs among members of the 
board, the Council shall appoint an appropriate individual to fill that 
vacancy for the remainder of the applicable term.
    (f) Board Leadership.--The board shall elect from among its members 
a chairperson of the board to represent the board in matters related to 
its duties under this Act.
    (g) Compensation.--Members of the board shall not be considered to 
be employees of the United States and may not receive compensation for 
their service as members of the board, except that while engaged in the 
performance of their duties while away from their homes or regular 
place of business, members of the board may be allowed necessary travel 
expenses as authorized by section 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
    (h) Technical Support.--Technical support may be provided to the 
board by regional and field staff of the Corps of Engineers, the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the 
Department of Agriculture. The Secretary shall coordinate the provision 
of such assistance.
    (i) Administrative Support Services.--Upon the request of the 
board, the Secretary may provide to the board the administrative 
support services necessary for the board to carry out its 
responsibilities under this Act.
    (j) Funding.--From amounts appropriated for that purpose under 
section 10, the Secretary shall provide funding for the board to carry 
out its duties under this Act.

SEC. 7. ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION STRATEGY.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Council, in consultation with the advisory 
board established under section 6, shall develop an estuary habitat 
restoration strategy designed to ensure a comprehensive approach to 
maximize benefits derived from estuary habitat restoration projects and 
to foster the coordination of Federal and non-Federal activities 
related to restoration of estuary habitat.
    (b) Goal.--The goal of the strategy shall be the restoration of 
1,000,000 acres of estuary habitat by the year 2010.
    (c) Integration of Estuary Habitat Restoration Plans, Programs, and 
Partnerships.--In developing the estuary habitat restoration strategy, 
the Council shall--
            (1) conduct a review of estuary management or habitat 
        restoration plans and Federal programs established under other 
        laws that authorize funding for estuary habitat restoration 
        activities; and
            (2) ensure that the estuary habitat restoration strategy is 
        developed in a manner that is consistent with the estuary 
        management or habitat restoration plans.
    (d) Elements of the Strategy.--The estuary habitat restoration 
strategy shall include proposals, methods, and guidance on--
            (1) maximizing the incentives for the creation of new 
        public-private partnerships to carry out estuary habitat 
        restoration projects and the use Federal resources to encourage 
        increased private sector involvement in estuary habitat 
        restoration activities;
            (2) ensuring that the estuary habitat restoration strategy 
        will be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the 
        estuary management or habitat restoration plans;
            (3) promoting estuary habitat restoration projects to--
                    (A) provide healthy ecosystems in order to 
                support--
                            (i) wildlife, including endangered and 
                        threatened species, migratory birds, and 
                        resident species of an estuary watershed; and
                            (ii) fish and shellfish, including 
                        commercial and recreational fisheries;
                    (B) improve surface and ground water quality and 
                quantity, and flood control;
                    (C) provide outdoor recreation and other direct and 
                indirect values; and
                    (D) address other areas of concern that the Council 
                determines to be appropriate for consideration;
            (4) addressing the estimated historic losses, estimated 
        current rate of loss, and extent of the threat of future loss 
        or degradation of each type of estuary habitat;
            (5) measuring the rate of change for each type of estuary 
        habitat;
            (6) selecting a balance of smaller and larger estuary 
        habitat restoration projects; and
            (7) ensuring equitable geographic distribution of projects 
        funded under this Act.
    (e) Public Review and Comment.--Before the Council adopts a final 
or revised estuary habitat restoration strategy, the Secretary shall 
publish in the Federal Register a draft of the estuary habitat 
restoration strategy and provide an opportunity for public review and 
comment.
    (f) Periodic Revision.--Using data and information developed 
through project monitoring and management, and other relevant 
information, the Council may periodically review and update, as 
necessary, the estuary habitat restoration strategy.

SEC. 8. MONITORING OF ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION PROJECTS.

    (a) Under Secretary.--In this section, the term ``Under Secretary'' 
means the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department 
of Commerce.
    (b) Database of Restoration Project Information.--The Under 
Secretary, in consultation with the Council, shall develop and maintain 
an appropriate database of information concerning estuary habitat 
restoration projects carried out under this Act, including information 
on project techniques, project completion, monitoring data, and other 
relevant information.
    (c) Monitoring Data Standards.--The Under Secretary, in 
consultation with the Council, shall develop standard data formats for 
monitoring projects, along with requirements for types of data 
collected and frequency of monitoring.
    (d) Coordination of Data.--The Under Secretary shall compile 
information that pertains to estuary habitat restoration projects from 
other Federal, State, and local sources and that meets the quality 
control requirements and data standards established under this section.
    (e) Use of Existing Programs.--The Under Secretary shall use 
existing programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration to create and maintain the database required under this 
section.
    (f) Public Availability.--The Under Secretary shall make the 
information collected and maintained under this section available to 
the public.

SEC. 9. REPORTING.

    (a) In General.--At the end of the third and fifth fiscal years 
following the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary, after 
considering the advice and recommendations of the Council, shall 
transmit to Congress a report on the results of activities carried out 
under this Act.
    (b) Contents of Report.--A report under subsection (a) shall 
include--
            (1) data on the number of acres of estuary habitat restored 
        under this Act, including descriptions of, and partners 
        involved with, projects selected, in progress, and completed 
        under this Act that comprise those acres;
            (2) information from the database established under section 
        8(b) related to ongoing monitoring of projects to ensure that 
        short-term and long-term restoration goals are achieved;
            (3) an estimate of the long-term success of varying 
        restoration techniques used in carrying out estuary habitat 
        restoration projects;
            (4) a review of how the information described in paragraphs 
        (1) through (3) has been incorporated in the selection and 
        implementation of estuary habitat restoration projects;
            (5) a review of efforts made to maintain an appropriate 
        database of restoration projects carried out under this Act; 
        and
            (6) a review of the measures taken to provide the 
        information described in paragraphs (1) through (3) to persons 
        with responsibility for assisting in the restoration of estuary 
        habitat.

SEC. 10. FUNDING.

    (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--
            (1) Estuary habitat restoration projects.--There is 
        authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for carrying out 
        and providing technical assistance for estuary habitat 
        restoration projects--
                    (A) $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;
                    (B) $35,000,000 for fiscal year 2002; and
                    (C) $45,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2003 
                through 2005.
        Such amounts shall remain available until expended.
            (2) Monitoring.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
        the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department 
        of Commerce for the acquisition, maintenance, and management of 
        monitoring data on restoration projects carried out under this 
        Act, $1,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2005. 
        Such amounts shall remain available until expended.
    (b) Set-Aside for Administrative Expenses of the Council and 
Advisory Board.--Not to exceed 3 percent of the amounts appropriated 
for a fiscal year under subsection (a)(1) or $1,500,000, whichever is 
greater, may be used by the Secretary for administration and operation 
of the Council and the advisory board established under section 6.

SEC. 11. GENERAL PROVISIONS.

    (a) Agency Consultation and Coordination.--In carrying out this 
Act, the Secretary shall, as necessary, consult with, cooperate with, 
and coordinate its activities with the activities of other Federal 
departments and agencies.
    (b) Cooperative Agreements; Memoranda of Understanding.--In 
carrying out this Act, the Secretary may--
            (1) enter into cooperative agreements with Federal, State, 
        and local government agencies and other entities; and
            (2) execute such memoranda of understanding as are 
        necessary to reflect the agreements.
    (c) Federal Agency Facilities and Personnel.--Federal agencies may 
cooperate in carrying out scientific and other programs necessary to 
carry out this Act, and may provide facilities and personnel, for the 
purpose of assisting the Council in carrying out its duties under this 
Act.
    (d) Identification and Mapping of Dredged Material Disposal 
Sites.--In consultation with appropriate Federal and non-Federal public 
entities, the Secretary shall undertake, and update as warranted by 
changed conditions, surveys to identify and map sites appropriate for 
beneficial uses of dredged material for the protection, restoration, 
and creation of aquatic and ecologically related habitats, including 
wetlands, in order to further the purposes of this Act.
    (e) Study of Bioremediation Technology.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the 
        Environmental Protection Agency, with the full participation of 
        the estuarine scientific community, shall begin a 2-year study 
        on the efficacy of bioremediation products.
            (2) Requirements.--The study shall--
                    (A) evaluate and assess bioremediation technology--
                            (i) on low-level petroleum hydrocarbon 
                        contamination from recreational boat bilges;
                            (ii) on low-level petroleum hydrocarbon 
                        contamination from stormwater discharges;
                            (iii) on nonpoint petroleum hydrocarbon 
                        discharges; and
                            (iv) as a first response tool for petroleum 
                        hydrocarbon spills; and
                    (B) recommend management actions to optimize the 
                return of a healthy and balanced ecosystem and make 
                improvements in the quality and character of estuarine 
                waters.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 12, 2000.

            Attest:

                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,

                                                                 Clerk.