Text: H.R.4249 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 106-255 (08/02/2000)
[106th Congress Public Law 255]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 114 STAT. 639]]
Public Law 106-255
To foster cross-border cooperation and environmental cleanup in Northern
Europe. <<NOTE: Aug. 2, 2000 - [H.R. 4249]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Cross-Border
Cooperation and Environmental Safety in Northern Europe Act of
2000. Hazardous substances.>>
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Cross-Border Cooperation and
Environmental Safety in Northern Europe Act of 2000''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
(1) Northern Europe is an increasingly vital part of Europe
and one that offers great opportunities for United States
(2) Northern Europe offers an excellent opportunity to make
progress toward the United States vision of a secure,
prosperous, and stable Europe, in part because of--
(A) historical tradition of regional cooperation;
(B) the opportunity to engage Russia in positive,
cooperative activities with its neighbors to the west;
(C) commitment by the Baltic states to regional
cooperation and integration into western institutions;
(D) longstanding, strong ties with the United
(3) The United States Northern Europe Initiative (NEI)
provides the conceptual and operational framework for United
States policy in the region, focused on developing a regional
network of cooperation in the important areas of business and
trade promotion, law enforcement, the environment, energy, civil
society, and public health.
(4) A central objective of the United States Northern Europe
Initiative is to promote cross-border cooperation among the
countries in the region.
(5) A wide variety of regional and cross-border projects
have been initiated under the United States Northern Europe
Initiative since the Initiative was established in 1997,
including the following:
(A) A United States-Lithuanian training program for
entrepreneurs from Belarus and Kaliningrad.
(B) The Great Lakes-Baltic Sea Partnership program
that is being implemented by the Environmental
(C) A Center of Excellence for Treatment of
Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Riga, Latvia.
(D) A regional HIV/AIDS strategy being developed
under United States and Finnish leadership.
[[Page 114 STAT. 640]]
(E) Multiple efforts to combat organized crime,
including regional seminars for police officers and
(F) Programs to encourage reform of the Baltic
electricity market and encourage United States
investment in such market.
(G) Language and job training programs for Russian-
speaking minorities in Latvia and Estonia to promote
social integration in those countries.
(H) A mentoring partnership program for woman
entrepreneurs in the northwest region of Russia and the
Baltic states, as part of broader efforts to promote
women's participation in political and economic life.
(6) Norway, Sweden, and Finland have made considerable
efforts to provide assistance to the newly independent Baltic
states and to the Northwest region of Russia. In particular, the
United States notes the request placed before the European Union
by Finland in 1999 for the creation and extensive funding by the
European Union of a ``Northern Dimension'' Initiative to
substantially address the problems that now exist in Northern
Europe with regard to economic development, protection of the
environment, the safety and containment of nuclear materials,
and other issues.
(7) The United States commends the endorsement of the
``Northern Dimension'' Initiative by the European Council at its
meeting in Helsinki, Finland in December 1999 and calls on the
European Union to act on that endorsement through the provision
of substantial funding for the Initiative.
(8) While the European Union, its member states, and other
European countries should clearly take the lead in addressing
the challenges posed in Northern Europe, in particular through
appropriate yet substantial assistance provided by the European
Union, the United States Northern Europe Initiative, and this
Act are intended to supplement such efforts and build on the
considerable assistance that the United States has already
provided to the Baltic states and the Russian Federation.
Partnership with other countries in the region means modest
United States investment can have significant impact.
(9) The United States Northern Europe Initiative's focus on
regional environmental challenges is particularly important.
Northern Europe is home to significant environmental problems,
particularly the threat posed by nuclear waste from Russian
submarines, icebreakers, and nuclear reactors.
(10) In particular, 21,000 spent fuel assemblies from
Russian submarines are lying exposed near Andreeyeva Bay, nearly
60 dangerously decrepit nuclear submarines, many in danger of
sinking, are languishing in the Murmansk area of Northwest
Russia, whole reactors and radioactive liquid waste are stored
on unsafe floating barges, and there are significant risks of
marine and atmospheric contamination from accidents arising from
loss of electricity or fire on deteriorating, poorly monitored
(11) This waste poses a threat to the safety and stability
of Northern Europe and to countries of the Eurasian continent.
(12)(A) In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency has
facilitated the expansion and upgrading of a facility for
[[Page 114 STAT. 641]]
the treatment of low-level liquid radioactive waste from the
decommissioning of nuclear submarines docked at naval facilities
in the Arctic region of Russia.
(B) The Environmental Protection Agency has also initiated a
project to construct an 80-ton prototype cask for the storage
and transport of civilian-controlled spent nuclear fuel, much of
it damaged and currently stored onboard an aging vessel anchored
in Murmansk Harbor. Currently in the design phase, this project
is scheduled for completion in 2000.
(13) Working with the countries in the region to address
these environmental problems remains vital to the long-term
national interest of the United States.
(14) The United States and other countries are currently
negotiating a number of agreements with Russia which will
provide internationally accepted legal protections for the
United States and other countries that provide nuclear waste
management assistance to Russia. Regrettably, it has not yet
been possible to resolve remaining differences over liability,
taxation of assistance, privileges and immunities for foreign
contractors, and audit rights.
(15) Concluding these agreements is vital to the continued
provision of such assistance and to the possible development of
(16) With the election of Russian President Vladamir Putin,
the opportunity presents itself to surmount these problems, to
conclude these outstanding agreements, and to allow assistance
programs to move forward to alleviate this problem.
(17) The United States Government is currently studying
whether dismantlement of multi-purpose submarines is in the
(b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to demonstrate concrete
support for continued cross-border cooperation in Northern Europe and
immediate efforts to assist in the clean up of nuclear waste in that
SEC. 3. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.
It is the sense of the Congress that--
(1) the United States Northern Europe Initiative is a sound
framework for future United States involvement in Northern
(2) the European Union should move expeditiously to
authorize and fund the proposed ``Northern Dimension''
Initiative at appropriate yet substantial levels of assistance;
(3) the United States should continue to support a wide-
ranging strengthening of democratic and civic institutions on a
regional basis to provide a foundation for political stability
and investment opportunities, including cross-border exchanges,
in Northern Europe;
(4) the United States should demonstrate continued
commitment to address environmental security challenges in
Northwest Russia, in cooperation with partners in the region;
(5) recently-elected Russian President Vladamir Putin should
rapidly conclude pending nuclear waste management agreements to
enable assistance programs to go forward; and
(6) assistance to Russia on nuclear waste management should
only be provided after issues related to liability, taxation
[[Page 114 STAT. 642]]
of assistance, privileges and immunities for foreign
contractors, and audit rights have been resolved.
SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES NORTHERN EUROPE INITIATIVE PROJECTS.
(a) Availability of Amounts From East European and the Baltic States
Assistance.--Of the amounts available for fiscal year 2001 to carry out
the provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Support for
Eastern European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 for assistance and for
related programs for Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, not less than
$2,000,000 shall be used for projects described in subsection (c).
(b) Availability of Amounts From Independent States of the Former
Soviet Union Assistance.--Of the amounts available for fiscal year 2001
to carry out the provisions of chapter 11 of part I of the Foreign
Assistance Act of 1961 and the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian
Democracies and Open Markets Support Act of 1992 for assistance for the
independent states of the former Soviet Union and related programs, not
less than $2,000,000 shall be used for the projects described in
(c) Projects Described.--The projects described in this subsection
are United States Northern Europe Initiative projects relating to
environmental cleanup, law enforcement, public health, energy, business
and trade promotion, and civil society.
SEC. 5. REPORT ON ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY.
Not <<NOTE: Deadline.>> later that 180 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the
heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, shall
prepare and submit to the Congress a report on--
(1) the threat to the environmental security of the
countries of Northern Europe and other countries of Europe and
Asia presented by Russian marine nuclear reactors, waste, and
(2) identifying the possibilities for new and expanded
United States and multilateral assistance programs for
environmental clean-up in Northwest Russia, including technical
exchanges and private-public partnerships.
SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Northern europe.--The term ``Northern Europe'' means the
northwest region of the Russian Federation (including
Kaliningrad), the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Estonia,
the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Kingdom
of Denmark, the Republic of Finland, the Republic of Iceland,
the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Poland, and the Kingdom
(2) United states northern europe initiative.--The term
``United States Northern Europe Initiative'' means the framework
agreement established in 1997 between the United States and the
countries of Northern Europe to promote stability in the Baltic
Sea region and to strengthen key institutions
[[Page 114 STAT. 643]]
and security structures of the United States and the countries
of Northern Europe.
Approved August 2, 2000.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 4249:
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 146 (2000):
May 15, considered and passed House.
July 19, considered and passed Senate.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 36 (2000):
Aug. 3, Presidential statement.