Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House without amendment (04/09/2002)

Upper Mississippi River Basin Protection Act of 2001 - Declares that it is the policy of Congress that Federal investments in the Upper Mississippi River Basin must be guided by sound science.

Title I: Sediment and Nutrient Monitoring Network - Directs the Secretary of the Interior, through the United States Geological Survey, to establish a nutrient and sediment monitoring network for the River Basin to: (1) identify and evaluate sources of sediments and nutrients; (2) quantify the processes affecting mobilization, transport, and fate of those sediments and nutrients on land and in water; (3) quantify their transport to and through the Basin; (4) record changes to sediment and nutrient loss; (5) provide coordinated data to be used in computer modeling of the Basin; and (6) identify major sources for targeting resources to reduce sediment and nutrient loss. States that such information shall be headquartered at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

(Sec. 102) Directs the Secretary to establish guidelines for related data collection and storage activities. Requires such data to be released to the public using generic station identifiers and hydrologic codes. Prohibits information regarding the location of a monitoring station on private lands from being disseminated without the landowner's permission.

(Sec. 103) Directs the Secretary to inventory the sediment and monitoring efforts of governmental and nongovernmental entities for the purpose of creating a baseline understanding of overlap, data gaps, and redundancies, and based on such inventory, to integrate them into the monitoring network. Requires that such activities be carried out in coordination with the Lower Estuary Assessment Group as authorized under the Estuaries and Clean Waters Act of 2000.

(Sec. 104) Directs the Secretary to collaborate with other public and private monitoring efforts in establishing the monitoring program.

(Sec. 105) Makes the non-Federal sponsors of the monitoring network responsible for not less than 25 percent of the costs of maintaining it. Permits up to 80 percent of the non-Federal share to be provided through in-kind contributions. Deems a State or local monitoring effort that is adhering to the guidelines specified above to satisfy all such cost-share requirements.

(Sec. 106) Requires the Secretary to report to Congress on the development of such network.

(Sec. 107) Directs the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a water resources assessment of the Basin.

Title II: Computer Modeling and Research - Requires the Director of the United States Geological Survey to establish a computer modeling program of nutrient and sediment sources in the Basin. Requires such modeling to be used to identify subwatersheds that are significant sources of sediment and nutrient loss and to be made available for targeting public and private sediment and nutrient reduction efforts. Requires sediment and nutrient models to include models to: (1) relate nutrient and sediment loss to landscape, land use, and land management practices; and (2) define river channel nutrient transformation processes. Requires the collection of ancillary information in a GIS format to support modeling and management use of such results. States that such information shall be headquartered at the Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

(Sec. 202) Requires the Director to establish an Internet-based system to distribute information about nutrient and sediment loss reduction projects and nutrient and sediment levels in the Upper Mississippi River and its tributaries.

(Sec. 203) Requires the Director to provide to Congress and the public: (1) annual reports regarding monitoring activities conducted in the Basin; and (2) a progress report regarding modeling activities every three years.

Title III: Authorization of Appropriations - Authorizes appropriations to: (1) the Secretary to carry out this Act; and (2) allow the National Research Council to perform the water resources assessment.