Text: H.R.999 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House No: 106-284 (03/04/1999)

 
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 999 Introduced in House (IH)]







106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 999

To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to improve the quality 
         of coastal recreation waters, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 4, 1999

 Mr. Bilbray (for himself, Mr. Farr of California, Mr. Gilchrest, Mrs. 
 Capps, Mr. Kuykendall, and Mr. Saxton) introduced the following bill; 
       which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and 
                             Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to improve the quality 
         of coastal recreation waters, 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 ``Beaches Environmental Assessment, 
Cleanup, and Health Act of 1999''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) the Nation's beaches and coastal recreational waters 
        are a valuable public resource used for recreation by millions 
        of people annually;
            (2) the beaches of coastal States are hosts to many out-of-
        State and international visitors;
            (3) tourism in coastal areas generates billions of dollars 
        annually;
            (4) increased population and urbanization of the watershed 
        have contributed to the decline in the environmental quality of 
        coastal waters;
            (5) pollution in coastal waters is not restricted by State 
        and other political boundaries;
            (6) coastal States have different methods of testing the 
        quality of coastal recreation waters, providing varying degrees 
        of protection to the public;
            (7) the adoption of consistent criteria by coastal States 
        for monitoring and evaluating the quality of coastal recreation 
        waters, and notifying the public during periods when the 
        standards are exceeded or predicted to be exceeded, would 
        enhance public health and safety; and
            (8) while the adoption of such criteria will enhance public 
        health and safety, exceedances of such criteria should be 
        addressed (for example, as part of a watershed approach to 
        effectively identify and eliminate sources of pollution).
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to establish uniform 
criteria for testing, monitoring, and notifying public users of coastal 
recreation waters to protect public safety and improve environmental 
quality.

SEC. 3. ADOPTION OF COASTAL RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY CRITERIA BY 
              STATES.

    Section 303 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 
1313) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(i) Adoption of Coastal Recreational Water Quality Criteria by 
States.--
            ``(1) General rule.--A State shall adopt water quality 
        criteria for coastal recreation waters which, at a minimum, are 
        consistent with the criteria published by the Administrator 
        under section 304(a)(1) not later than 3\1/2\ years following 
        the date of the enactment of this subsection. Such water 
        quality criteria shall be developed and promulgated in 
        accordance with the requirements of subsection (c). A State 
        shall incorporate such criteria into all appropriate programs 
        into which such State would incorporate other water quality 
        criteria adopted under such section and revise such criteria 
        not later than 3 years following the date of publication of 
        revisions by the Administrator under section 4(b) of the 
        Beaches Environmental Assessment, Cleanup, and Health Act of 
        1999.
            ``(2) Failure of states to adopt.--If a State has not 
        complied with paragraph (1) by the last day of the 3\1/2\-year 
        period beginning on the date of enactment of this subsection, 
        the Administrator shall promptly prepare and publish proposed 
        regulations setting forth revised or new water quality 
        standards for such State to incorporate water quality criteria 
        for coastal recreation waters pursuant to subsection (c)(4).''.

SEC. 4. REVISIONS TO WATER QUALITY CRITERIA.

    (a) Studies.--After consultation with appropriate Federal, State, 
and local officials, including local health officials, and other 
interested persons, but not later than the last day of the 3-year 
period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
Administrator shall conduct, in cooperation with the heads of other 
Federal agencies, studies to provide additional information to the 
current base of knowledge for use in developing--
            (1) a more complete list of potential human health risks, 
        including effects to the upper respiratory system;
            (2) appropriate and effective indicators for improving 
        detection in coastal recreational waters of the presence of 
        pathogens which are harmful to human health; and
            (3) appropriate, accurate, expeditious, and cost-effective 
        methods (including predictive models) for detecting in coastal 
        recreation waters the presence of pathogens which are harmful 
        to human health.
    (b) Revised Criteria.--Based on the results of the studies 
conducted under subsection (a), the Administrator, after consultation 
with appropriate Federal, State, and local officials, including local 
health officials, shall issue, within 5 years after the date of the 
enactment of this Act (and review and revise from time to time 
thereafter, but in no event less than once every 5 years) revised water 
quality criteria for pathogens in coastal recreation waters that are 
harmful to human health, including a revised list of indicators and 
testing methods.

SEC. 5. COASTAL BEACH WATER QUALITY MONITORING.

    Title IV of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 
1341-1345) is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new 
section:

``SEC. 406. COASTAL BEACH WATER QUALITY MONITORING.

    ``(a) Monitoring.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
enactment of this section and after consultation with appropriate 
Federal, State, and local officials, including local health officials, 
and after providing notice and an opportunity for comment, the 
Administrator shall publish performance criteria for the monitoring of, 
and specifying available methods to be used to monitor, coastal 
recreation waters open for use by the public for compliance with 
applicable water quality criteria for those waters and protection of 
public safety. Such performance criteria shall, at a minimum--
            ``(1) specify the frequency of monitoring based on the 
        periods of recreational use of such waters;
            ``(2) specify the frequency of monitoring based on the 
        extent and degree of use during such periods;
            ``(3) specify the frequency and location of monitoring 
        based on the proximity of coastal recreation waters to known or 
        identified point and nonpoint sources of pollution and in 
        relation to storm events;
            ``(4) specify methods for detecting levels of pathogens 
        that are harmful to human health and for identifying short-term 
        increases in pathogens that are harmful to human health in 
        coastal recreation waters, including in relation to storm 
        events; and
            ``(5) specify the conditions and procedures under which 
        monitoring of discrete areas of coastal recreation waters is 
        not necessary to ensure compliance with applicable water 
        quality criteria for those waters or for the protection of 
        public safety.
    ``(b) Notification Requirements.--Performance criteria published 
pursuant to subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum--
            ``(1) criteria for prompt notification to the public, local 
        governments, and the Administrator of an exceedance of 
        applicable water quality standards for coastal recreation 
        waters or the immediate likelihood of such an exceedance;
            ``(2) measures for prompt communication of the occurrence, 
        nature, location, pollutants involved, and extent of such an 
        exceedance, or the immediate likelihood of such an exceedance 
        to the Administrator and a designated official of a local 
        government having jurisdiction over land adjoining the coastal 
        recreation waters for which an exceedance is identified; and
            ``(3) measures for posting of signs for the period during 
        which the exceedance continues, sufficient to give notice to 
        the public of an exceedance of applicable water quality 
        criteria for such waters and the potential risks associated 
        with water contact activities in such waters.
    ``(c) Information Database.--The Administrator shall establish, 
maintain, and make available to the public by electronic and other 
means a national coastal recreational water pollution occurrence 
database that provides information on exceedances of applicable water 
quality standards for coastal recreation waters using information 
reported under subsection (b) or made available to the Administrator 
from other coastal water quality monitoring programs determined to be 
reliable by the Administrator.
    ``(d) Floatable Materials Monitoring Procedures.--The Administrator 
shall provide technical assistance to the States for development of 
assessment and monitoring procedures for floatable materials in coastal 
recreation waters and the conditions under which the presence of 
floatable materials will constitute a threat to public health and 
safety.
    ``(e) Implementation Grants.--
            ``(1) Authority.--Following the publication of criteria for 
        monitoring and notification under subsection (a), the 
        Administrator shall make grants to States or local governments 
        for the purpose of implementing programs for monitoring and 
        notification that are approved under paragraph (2).
            ``(2) Program approval.--
                    ``(A) State programs.--Any State may submit to the 
                Administrator a comprehensive program for monitoring 
                and notification under subsection (a). If the 
                Administrator determines that the program meets the 
                performance criteria established under subsection (a), 
                the Administrator shall provide a grant to such State 
                for implementation of such program in accordance with 
                this section.
                    ``(B) Local programs.--If a State does not submit a 
                program for approval under subparagraph (A) within 1 
                year following the date of publication of performance 
                criteria under subsection (a), or if the program 
                submitted by the State is not approved, a local 
                government within such State may submit a program for 
                monitoring and notification applicable to that local 
                government and if the Administrator determines that the 
                program meets the performance criteria established 
                under subsection (a), the Administrator shall provide a 
                grant to such local government for implementation of 
                such program in accordance with this section.
                    ``(C) Cost sharing.--Grants under this subsection 
                shall not exceed 50 percent of the costs of 
                implementing an approved monitoring and notification 
                program in any fiscal year.
    ``(f) Delegation of Responsibility.--A State program approved under 
subsection (e) may allow delegation of responsibility for monitoring 
and notification to local government authorities and the State may make 
implementation grant moneys received by a State available to such 
delegated local government authorities.
    ``(g) Review and Revision of Regulations.--The Administrator shall 
review and revise regulations published pursuant to this section 
periodically, but in no event less than once every 5 years.
    ``(h) Failure To Implement Program.--
            ``(1) List of areas with no monitoring program.--Beginning 
        not later than 18 months after publishing performance criteria 
        under subsection (a), the Administrator shall maintain a list 
        of discrete areas of coastal recreation waters for which the 
        Administrator cannot verify the existence of a program for 
        monitoring and notification that meets the performance criteria 
        established under subsection (a), other than those discrete 
        areas of coastal recreation waters where the Administrator 
        determines that monitoring is not necessary to ensure 
        compliance with applicable water quality criteria or the 
        protection of the public safety. The Administrator shall make 
        such list publicly available through publication in the Federal 
        Register and through electronic media. The Administrator shall 
        update such list at least once annually.
            ``(2) EPA implementation.--If, after the last day of the 3-
        year period beginning on the date the Administrator includes a 
        discrete area of coastal recreation waters on the list under 
        paragraph (1), there remains no program for monitoring and 
        notification that meets the criteria established under 
        subsection (a) for such area, the Administrator shall conduct 
        such a program for such area.
    ``(i) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
            ``(1) Coastal recreation waters.--The term `coastal 
        recreation waters' means the Great Lakes and marine coastal 
        waters used by the public for swimming, bathing, surfing, or 
        other similar water contact activities.
            ``(2) Floatable materials.--The term `floatable materials' 
        means any foreign matter that may float or remain suspended in 
        the water column and includes plastic, aluminum cans, wood, 
        bottles, and paper products.''.

SEC. 6. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

    Not later than 4 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
and periodically thereafter, the Administrator shall submit to Congress 
a report including--
            (1) recommendations concerning the need for additional 
        water quality criteria and other actions needed to improve the 
        quality of coastal recreation waters; and
            (2) an evaluation of State or local efforts to implement 
        this Act, including the amendments made by this Act.

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act, the following definitions apply:
            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
            (2) Coastal recreation waters.--The term ``coastal 
        recreation waters'' means the Great Lakes and marine coastal 
        waters used by the public for swimming, bathing, surfing, or 
        other similar body contact purposes.
            (3) Floatable materials.--The term ``floatable materials'' 
        means any foreign matter that may float or remain suspended in 
        the water column and includes plastic, aluminum cans, wood, 
        bottles, and paper products.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator--
            (1) for making grants to State or local governments under 
        section 406(e) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 
        $7,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2000 through 2004; and
            (2) for carrying out the other provisions of this Act 
        (including amendments made by this Act), such sums as may be 
        necessary for each of fiscal years 2000 through 2004.
                                 <all>

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