S.1762 - Small Watershed Rehabilitation Act of 2000106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Coverdell, Paul [R-GA] (Introduced 10/21/1999)|
|Committees:||Senate - Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry|
|Committee Reports:||S. Rept. 106-408|
|Latest Action:||House - 10/25/2000 Held at the desk. (All Actions)|
This bill has the status Passed Senate
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Text: S.1762 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
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Engrossed in Senate (10/25/2000)
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [S. 1762 Engrossed in Senate (ES)] 106th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 1762 _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To amend the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to provide cost share assistance for the rehabilitation of structural measures constructed as part of water resource projects previously funded by the Secretary under such Act or related laws. 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 ``Small Watershed Rehabilitation Act of 2000''. SEC. 2. REHABILITATION OF WATER RESOURCE STRUCTURAL MEASURES CONSTRUCTED UNDER CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PROGRAMS. The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (16 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``SEC. 14. REHABILITATION OF STRUCTURAL MEASURES NEAR, AT, OR PAST THEIR EVALUATED LIFE EXPECTANCY. ``(a) Definitions.--For purposes of this section: ``(1) Rehabilitation.--The term `rehabilitation', with respect to a structural measure constructed as part of a covered water resource project, means the completion of all work necessary to extend the service life of the structural measure and meet applicable safety and performance standards. This may include (A) protecting the integrity of the structural measure, or prolonging the useful life of the structural measure, beyond the original evaluated life expectancy, (B) correcting damage to the structural measure from a catastrophic event, (C) correcting the deterioration of structural components that are deteriorating at an abnormal rate, (D) upgrading the structural measure to meet changed land use conditions in the watershed served by the structural measure or changed safety criteria applicable to the structural measure, or (E) decommissioning the structural measure, including removal or breaching. ``(2) Covered water resource project.--The term `covered water resource project' means a work of improvement carried out under any of the following: ``(A) This Act. ``(B) Section 13 of the Act of December 22, 1944 (Public Law 78-534; 58 Stat. 905). ``(C) The pilot watershed program authorized under the heading `Flood Prevention' of the Department of Agriculture Appropriation Act, 1954 (Public Law 156; 67 Stat. 214). ``(D) Subtitle H of title XV of the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3451 et seq.; commonly known as the Resource Conservation and Development Program). ``(3) Eligible local organization.--The term `eligible local organization' means a local organization or appropriate State agency responsible for the operation and maintenance of structural measures constructed as part of a covered water resource project. ``(4) Structural measure.--The term `structural measure' means a physical improvement that impounds water, commonly known as a dam, which was constructed as part of a covered water resource project. ``(b) Cost Share Assistance for Rehabilitation.-- ``(1) Assistance authorized.--The Secretary may provide financial assistance to an eligible local organization to cover a portion of the total costs incurred for the rehabilitation of structural measures originally constructed as part of a covered water resource project. The total costs of rehabilitation include the costs associated with all components of the rehabilitation project, including acquisition of land, easements, and rights-of-ways, rehabilitation project administration, the provision of technical assistance, contracting, and construction costs, except that the local organization shall be responsible for securing all land, easements, or rights-of-ways necessary for the project. ``(2) Amount of assistance; limitations.--The amount of Federal funds that may be made available under this subsection to an eligible local organization for construction of a particular rehabilitation project shall be equal to 65 percent of the total rehabilitation costs, but not to exceed 100 percent of actual construction costs incurred in the rehabilitation. However, the local organization shall be responsible for the costs of water, mineral, and other resource rights and all Federal, State, and local permits. ``(3) Relation to land use and development regulations.--As a condition on entering into an agreement to provide financial assistance under this subsection, the Secretary, working in concert with the eligible local organization, may require that proper zoning or other developmental regulations are in place in the watershed in which the structural measures to be rehabilitated under the agreement are located so that-- ``(A) the completed rehabilitation project is not quickly rendered inadequate by additional development; and ``(B) society can realize the full benefits of the rehabilitation investment. ``(c) Technical Assistance for Watershed Project Rehabilitation.-- The Secretary, acting through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, may provide technical assistance in planning, designing, and implementing rehabilitation projects should an eligible local organization request such assistance. Such assistance may consist of specialists in such fields as engineering, geology, soils, agronomy, biology, hydraulics, hydrology, economics, water quality, and contract administration. ``(d) Prohibited Use.-- ``(1) Performance of operation and maintenance.-- Rehabilitation assistance provided under this section may not be used to perform operation and maintenance activities specified in the agreement for the covered water resource project entered into between the Secretary and the eligible local organization responsible for the works of improvement. Such operation and maintenance activities shall remain the responsibility of the local organization, as provided in the project work plan. ``(2) Renegotiation.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), as part of the provision of financial assistance under subsection (b), the Secretary may renegotiate the original agreement for the covered water resource project entered into between the Secretary and the eligible local organization regarding responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the project when the rehabilitation is finished. ``(e) Application for Rehabilitation Assistance.--An eligible local organization may apply to the Secretary for technical and financial assistance under this section if the application has also been submitted to and approved by the State agency having supervisory responsibility over the covered water resource project at issue or, if there is no State agency having such responsibility, by the Governor of the State. The Secretary shall request the State dam safety officer (or equivalent State official) to be involved in the application process if State permits or approvals are required. The rehabilitation of structural measures shall meet standards established by the Secretary and address other dam safety issues. At the request of the eligible local organization, personnel of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture may assist in preparing applications for assistance. ``(f) Justification for Rehabilitation Assistance.--In order to qualify for technical or financial assistance under this authority, the Secretary shall require the rehabilitation project to be performed in the most cost-effective manner that accomplishes the rehabilitation objective. Since the requirements for accomplishing the rehabilitation are generally for public health and safety reasons, in many instances being mandated by other State or Federal laws, a benefit-cost ratio greater than 1 shall not be required. The benefits of and the requirements for the rehabilitation project shall be documented to ensure the wise and responsible use of Federal funds. ``(g) Ranking of Requests for Rehabilitation Assistance.--The Secretary shall establish such system of approving rehabilitation requests, recognizing that such requests will be received throughout the fiscal year and subject to the availability of funds to carry out this section, as is necessary for proper administration by the Department of Agriculture and equitable for all eligible local organizations. The approval process shall be in writing, and made known to all eligible local organizations and appropriate State agencies. In establishing a system of approving rehabilitation requests, the Secretary shall give requests made by eligible local organizations for decommissioning as the form of rehabilitation the same priority as requests made by eligible local organizations for other forms of rehabilitation. ``(h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to provide financial and technical assistance under this section-- ``(1) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2001; ``(2) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2002; ``(3) $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2003; ``(4) $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and ``(5) $35,000,000 for fiscal year 2005. ``(i) Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs.--Of the amount appropriated pursuant to subsection (h) for fiscal years 2001 and 2002, $5,000,000 shall be used by the Secretary, in concert with the responsible State agencies, to conduct an assessment of the rehabilitation needs of covered water resource projects in all States in which such projects are located. ``(j) Recordkeeping and Reports.-- ``(1) Secretary.--The Secretary shall maintain a data base to track the benefits derived from rehabilitation projects supported under this section and the expenditures made under this section. On the basis of such data and the reports submitted under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress an annual report providing the status of activities conducted under this section. ``(2) Grant recipients.--Not later than 90 days after the completion of a specific rehabilitation project for which assistance is provided under this section, the eligible local organization that received the assistance shall make a report to the Secretary giving the status of any rehabilitation effort undertaken using financial assistance provided under this section.''. Passed the Senate October 24 (legislative day, September 22), 2000. Attest: Secretary. 106th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 1762 _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To amend the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to provide cost share assistance for the rehabilitation of structural measures constructed as part of water resource projects previously funded by the Secretary under such Act or related laws.