H.R.5044 - Yellowstone Protection Act107th Congress (2001-2002)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Holt, Rush [D-NJ-12] (Introduced 06/27/2002)|
|Committees:||House - Resources|
|Latest Action:||House - 07/09/2002 Executive Comment Requested from Interior. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.5044 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (06/27/2002)
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 5044 Introduced in House (IH)] 107th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 5044 To require the Secretary of the Interior to implement the final rule to phase out snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, and Grand Teton National Park, and snowplane use in Grand Teton National Park. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 27, 2002 Mr. Holt (for himself, Mr. Shays, Mr. Hall of Ohio, Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Frank, Mr. George Miller of California, Mr. Clement, Mr. Capuano, Ms. Rivers, Mr. Waxman, Mr. Filner, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. DeFazio, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Hinchey, Mrs. Maloney of New York, Ms. McKinney, Ms. Lee, Mrs. Mink of Hawaii, Mr. Markey, Mr. Boucher, Mr. Smith of Washington, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Hoeffel, Mr. Moran of Virginia, Mr. Becerra, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Kennedy of Rhode Island, Mr. Clay, Mr. Rothman, Mr. Stark, Mr. Andrews, Ms. Brown of Florida, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. DeGette, Ms. McCarthy of Missouri, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Honda, Mr. Towns, Ms. Woolsey, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Lantos, Mrs. Johnson of Connecticut, Mr. Engel, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Wexler, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Serrano, Ms. Solis, Mr. McNulty, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Ford, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Payne, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Maloney of Connecticut, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Israel, Mr. Wu, Mr. Weiner, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Evans, Mr. Moore, Mr. Inslee, Mr. Dooley of California, Mr. Doggett, Mr. Kirk, Mr. Simmons, Mrs. Morella, Mr. Farr of California, Mr. Deutsch, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Coyne, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Olver, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mrs. Jones of Ohio, Mr. Levin, Ms. Norton, Mr. Tierney, Mrs. Tauscher, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Carson of Oklahoma, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Udall of New Mexico, Mr. Meehan, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Neal of Massachusetts, Mr. Green of Texas, Mr. Meeks of New York, Mr. Delahunt, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Roemer, Mr. Frost, Mr. Matsui, Ms. Waters, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr. Rangel, Ms. Velazquez, Mr. Baca, Mr. Baird, Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Dingell, Ms. Berkley, Mrs. Clayton, Mr. Borski, Mr. Fattah, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Gonzalez, Ms. Hooley of Oregon, Ms. Watson of California, and Mr. Gilchrest) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To require the Secretary of the Interior to implement the final rule to phase out snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, and Grand Teton National Park, and snowplane use in Grand Teton National Park. 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 ``Yellowstone Protection Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds the following: (1) The January 22, 2001, rule phasing out snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway was made by professionals in the National Park Service who based their decision on law, 10 years of scientific study, and extensive public process. (2) An environmental impact statement that formed the basis for the rule concluded that snowmobile use is impairing or adversely impacting air quality, natural soundscapes, wildlife, public and employee health and safety, and visitor enjoyment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the environmental impact statement had ``among the most thorough and substantial science base that we have seen supporting a NEPA document''. (3) The National Park Service concluded that snowmobile use is violating the mission given to the agency by Congress--to manage the parks ``in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations''. The National Park Service also found that snowmobile use is ``inconsistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act, Executive Orders 11644 and 11989 [by Presidents Nixon and Carter, relating to off-road vehicle use on public lands], the NPS's general snowmobile regulations and NPS management objectives for the parks''. (4) In order to maintain winter visitor access, the Park Service outlined a plan to use the already existing mode of winter transportation known as snowcoaches, which are mass transit, oversnow vehicles similar to vans. The final rule states that a snowcoach transit system ``would reduce adverse impacts on park resources and values, better provide for public safety, and provide for public enjoyment of the park in winter''. (5) The National Park Service Air Resources Division determined that despite being outnumbered by automobiles 16 to 1 during the course of a year, snowmobiles produce up to 68 percent of Yellowstone's carbon monoxide pollution and up to 90 percent of the park's annual hydrocarbon emissions. (6) Noise from snowmobiles routinely disrupts natural sounds and natural quiet at popular Yellowstone attractions. A February 2000 ``percent time audible'' study found snowmobile noise present more than 90 percent of the time at 8 of 13 sites. (7) In Yellowstone's severe winter climate, snowmobile traffic regularly disturbs and harasses wildlife. In October 2001, 18 eminent scientists warned the Secretary of the Interior that ``ignoring this information would not be consistent with the original vision intended to keep our national parks unimpaired for future generations''. National Park Service regulations allow snowmobile use only when that use ``will not disturb wildlife...'' (36 CFR 2.18(c)). (8) At Yellowstone's west entrance, park rangers and fee collectors suffer from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning due to snowmobile exhaust. According to National Park Service records, in December 2000, a dozen park employees filed medical complaints citing sore throats, headaches, lethargy, eye irritation, and tightness in the lungs. Their supervisor requested more staff at the west entrance, not because of a need for additional personnel to cover the work there, but so the supervisor could begin rotating employees more frequently out of the ``fume cloud'' for the sake of their health. In 2002, for the first time in National Park history, rangers were issued respirators to wear while performing their duties. (9) The public opportunity to engage in the environmental impact study process was extensive and comprehensive. During the 3-year environmental impact study process and rulemaking, there were 4 opportunities for public consideration and comment. The Park Service held 22 public hearings in regional communities such as West Yellowstone, Cody, Jackson, and Idaho Falls, and across the Nation. The agency received over 70,000 individual comments. At each stage of the input process, support for phasing out snowmobiles grew, culminating in a 4- to-1 majority in favor of the rule in early 2001. More recently, 82 percent of those commenting wrote in favor of the National Park Service decision to phase out snowmobile use in the parks. SEC. 3. FINAL RULE CODIFIED. Beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall implement the final rule to phase out snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park, the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, and Grand Teton National Park, and snowplane use in Grand Teton National Park, as published in the Federal Register on January 22, 2001 (66 Fed. Reg. 7260-7268). The Secretary shall not have the authority to modify or supersede any provision of that final rule. <all>