Text: H.R.5160 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 109-359 (10/16/2006)

 
[109th Congress Public Law 359]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ359.109]

[[Page 120 STAT. 2049]]

Public Law 109-359
109th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To establish the Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative. <<NOTE: Oct. 
                       16, 2006 -  [H.R. 5160]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Long Island 
Sound Stewardship Act of 2006.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 
2006''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.>> 

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) Long Island Sound is a national treasure of great 
        cultural, environmental, and ecological importance;
            (2) 8,000,000 people live within the Long Island Sound 
        watershed and 28,000,000 people (approximately 10 percent of the 
        population of the United States) live within 50 miles of Long 
        Island Sound;
            (3) activities that depend on the environmental health of 
        Long Island Sound contribute more than $5,000,000,000 each year 
        to the regional economy;
            (4) the portion of the shoreline of Long Island Sound that 
        is accessible to the general public (estimated at less than 20 
        percent of the total shoreline) is not adequate to serve the 
        needs of the people living in the area;
            (5) existing shoreline facilities are in many cases 
        overburdened and underfunded;
            (6) large parcels of open space already in public ownership 
        are strained by the effort to balance the demand for recreation 
        with the needs of sensitive natural resources;
            (7) approximately 1/3 of the tidal marshes of Long Island 
        Sound have been filled, and much of the remaining marshes have 
        been ditched, diked, or impounded, reducing the ecological value 
        of the marshes; and
            (8) much of the remaining exemplary natural landscape is 
        vulnerable to further development.

    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to establish the Long 
Island Sound Stewardship Initiative to identify, protect, and enhance 
upland sites within the Long Island Sound ecosystem with significant 
ecological, educational, open space, public access, or recreational 
value through a bi-State network of sites best exemplifying these 
values.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act, the following definitions apply:

[[Page 120 STAT. 2050]]

            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
            (2) Advisory committee.--The term ``Advisory Committee'' 
        means the Long Island Sound Stewardship Advisory Committee 
        established by section 8.
            (3) Region.--The term ``Region'' means the Long Island Sound 
        Stewardship Initiative Region established by section 4(a).
            (4) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the States of 
        Connecticut and New York.
            (5) Stewardship.--The term ``stewardship'' means land 
        acquisition, land conservation agreements, site planning, plan 
        implementation, land and habitat management, public access 
        improvements, site monitoring, and other activities designed to 
        enhance and preserve natural resource-based recreation and 
        ecological function of upland areas.
            (6) Stewardship site.--The term ``stewardship site'' means 
        any area of State, local, or tribal government, or privately 
        owned land within the Region that is designated by the 
        Administrator under section 5(a).
            (7) Systematic site selection.--The term ``systematic site 
        selection'' means a process of selecting stewardship sites 
        that--
                    (A) has explicit goals, methods, and criteria;
                    (B) produces feasible, repeatable, and defensible 
                results;
                    (C) provides for consideration of natural, physical, 
                and biological patterns;
                    (D) addresses replication, connectivity, species 
                viability, location, and public recreation values;
                    (E) uses geographic information systems technology 
                and algorithms to integrate selection criteria; and
                    (F) will result in achieving the goals of 
                stewardship site selection at the lowest cost.
            (8) Qualified applicants.--The term ``qualified applicant'' 
        means a non-Federal person that owns title to property located 
        within the borders of the Region.
            (9) Threat.--The term ``threat'' means a threat that is 
        likely to destroy or seriously degrade a conservation target or 
        a recreation area.
SEC. 4. LONG ISLAND SOUND STEWARDSHIP INITIATIVE 
                    REGION. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.>> 

    (a) Establishment.--There is established in the States of 
Connecticut and New York the Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative 
Region.
    (b) Boundaries.--The Region consists of the immediate coastal upland 
areas along--
            (1) Long Island Sound between mean high water and the inland 
        boundary, as described on the map entitled ``Long Island Sound 
        Stewardship Region'' and dated April 21, 2004; and
            (2) the Peconic Estuary as described on the map entitled 
        ``Peconic Estuary Program Study Area Boundaries'' and included 
        in the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the 
        Peconic Estuary Program and dated November 15, 2001.

[[Page 120 STAT. 2051]]

SEC. 5. DESIGNATION OF STEWARDSHIP SITES. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 
                    note.>> 

    (a) In General.--The Administrator may designate a stewardship site 
in accordance with this Act any area that contributes to accomplishing 
the purpose of this Act.
    (b) Publication of List of Recommended Sites.--The Administrator 
shall--
            (1) publish in the Federal Register and make available in 
        general circulation in the States of Connecticut and New York 
        the list of sites recommended by the Advisory Committee; and
            (2) provide a 90-day period for--
                    (A) the submission of public comment on the list; 
                and
                    (B) an opportunity for owners of such sites to 
                decline designation of such sites as stewardship sites.

    (c) Opinion Regarding Owner's Responsibilities.--The Administrator 
may not designate an area as a stewardship site under this Act unless 
the Administrator provides to the owner of the area, and the owner 
acknowledges to the Administrator receipt of, a comprehensive opinion in 
plain English setting forth expressly the responsibility of the owner 
that arises from such designation.
    (d) Designation of Stewardship Sites.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline.>> later 
than 150 days after receiving from the Advisory Committee its list of 
recommended sites, the Administrator--
            (1) shall review the recommendations of the Advisory 
        Committee; and
            (2) may designate as a stewardship site any site included in 
        the list.
SEC. 6. RECOMMENDATIONS BY ADVISORY COMMITTEE. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 
                    note.>> 

    (a) In General.--The Advisory Committee shall--
            (1) in accordance with this section, evaluate applications--
                    (A) for designation of areas as stewardship sites;
                    (B) to develop management plans to address threats 
                to stewardship sites; and
                    (C) to act on opportunities to protect and enhance 
                stewardship sites;
            (2) develop recommended guidelines, criteria, schedules, and 
        due dates for the submission of applications and the evaluation 
        by the Advisory Committee of information to recommend areas for 
        designation as stewardship sites that fulfill terms of a multi-
        year management plan;
            (3) recommend to the Administrator a list of sites for 
        designation as stewardship sites that further the purpose of 
        this Act;
            (4) develop management plans to address threats to 
        stewardship sites;
            (5) raise awareness of the values of and threats to 
        stewardship sites;
            (6) recommend that the Administrator award grants to 
        qualified applicants; and
            (7) recommend to the Administrator ways to leverage 
        additional resources for improved stewardship of the Region.

    (b) Identification of Sites.--

[[Page 120 STAT. 2052]]

            (1) In general.--Any qualified applicant may submit an 
        application to the Advisory Committee to have a site recommended 
        to the Administrator for designation as a stewardship site.
            (2) Identification.--The Advisory Committee shall review 
        each application submitted under this subsection to determine 
        whether the site exhibits values that promote the purpose of 
        this Act.
            (3) Natural resource-based recreation areas.--In reviewing 
        an application for recommendation of a recreation area for 
        designation as a stewardship site, the Advisory Committee may 
        use a selection technique that includes consideration of--
                    (A) public access;
                    (B) community support;
                    (C) high population density;
                    (D) environmental justice (as defined in section 
                385.3 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations (or 
                successor regulations));
                    (E) open spaces; and
                    (F) cultural, historic, and scenic characteristics.
            (4) Natural areas with ecological value.--In reviewing an 
        application for recommendation of a natural area with ecological 
        value for designation as a stewardship site, the Advisory 
        Committee may use a selection technique that includes 
        consideration of--
                    (A) measurable conservation targets for the Region; 
                and
                    (B) prioritizing new sites using systematic site 
                selection, which shall include consideration of--
                          (i) ecological uniqueness;
                          (ii) species viability;
                          (iii) habitat heterogeneity;
                          (iv) size;
                          (v) quality;
                          (vi) open spaces;
                          (vii) land cover;
                          (viii) scientific, research, or educational 
                      value; and
                          (ix) threats.
            (5) Deviation from process.--The Advisory Committee may 
        accept an application to recommend a site other than as provided 
        in this subsection, if the Advisory Committee--
                    (A) determines that the site makes significant 
                ecological or recreational contributions to the Region; 
                and
                    (B) provides to the Administrator the reasons for 
                deviating from the process otherwise described in this 
                subsection.

    (c) Submission of List of Recommended Sites.--
            (1) In general.--After completion of the site identification 
        process set forth in subsection (b), the Advisory Committee 
        shall submit to the Administrator its list of sites recommended 
        for designation as stewardship sites.
            (2) Limitation.--The Advisory Committee shall not include a 
        site in the list submitted under this subsection unless, prior 
        to submission of the list, the owner of the site is--
                    (A) notified of the inclusion of the site in the 
                list; and

[[Page 120 STAT. 2053]]

                    (B) allowed to decline inclusion of the site in the 
                list.
            (3) Public comment.--In identifying sites for inclusion in 
        the list, the Advisory Committee shall provide an opportunity 
        for submission of, and consider, public comments.
SEC. 7. GRANTS AND ASSISTANCE. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.>> 

    (a) In General.--The Administrator may provide grants, subject to 
the availability of appropriations, and other assistance for projects to 
fulfill the purpose of this Act.
    (b) Federal Share.--The Federal share of the cost of an activity 
carried out using any assistance or grant under this Act shall not 
exceed 60 percent of the total cost of the activity.
SEC. 8. LONG ISLAND SOUND STEWARDSHIP ADVISORY 
                    COMMITTEE. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.>> 

    (a) Establishment.--There is established a committee to be known as 
the ``Long Island Sound Stewardship Advisory Committee''.
    (b) Membership.--
            (1) In general.--The Administrator may appoint the members 
        of the Advisory Committee in accordance with this subsection and 
        the guidance in section 320(c) of the Federal Water Pollution 
        Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1330(c)), except that the Governor of 
        each State may appoint 2 members of the Advisory Committee.
            (2) Additional members.--In addition to the other members 
        appointed under this subsection, the Advisory Committee may 
        include--
                    (A) a representative of the Regional Plan 
                Association;
                    (B) a representative of marine trade organizations; 
                and
                    (C) a representative of private landowner interests.
            (3) Consideration of interests.--In appointing members of 
        the Advisory Committee, the Administrator shall consider--
                    (A) Federal, State, and local government interests 
                and tribal interests;
                    (B) the interests of nongovernmental organizations;
                    (C) academic interests;
                    (D) private interests including land, agriculture, 
                and business interests; and
                    (E) recreational and commercial fishing interests.
            (4) Chairperson.--In addition to the other members appointed 
        under this subsection, the Administrator may appoint as a member 
        of the Advisory Committee an individual to serve as the 
        Chairperson, who may be the Director of the Long Island Sound 
        Office of the Environmental Protection Agency.
            (5) Completion of appointments.--
        The <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Administrator shall complete the 
        appointment of all members of the Advisory Committee by not 
        later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
                    (A) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Advisory 
                Committee--
                          (i) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> shall be filled not 
                      later than 90 days after the vacancy occurs;
                          (ii) shall not affect the powers of the 
                      Advisory Committee; and
                          (iii) shall be filled in the same manner as 
                      the original appointment was made.

    (c) Term.--

[[Page 120 STAT. 2054]]

            (1) In general.--A member of the Advisory Committee shall be 
        appointed for a term of 4 years.
            (2) Multiple terms.--An individual may be appointed as a 
        member of the Advisory Committee for more than 1 term.

    (d) Powers.--The Advisory Committee may hold such hearings, meet and 
act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such 
evidence as the Advisory Committee considers advisable to carry out this 
Act.
    (e) Meetings.--
            (1) In general.--The Advisory Committee shall meet at the 
        call of the Chairperson, but no fewer than 4 times each year.
            (2) Initial meeting.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline.>> later than 30 
        days after the date on which all members of the Advisory 
        Committee have been appointed, the Chairperson shall call the 
        initial meeting of the Advisory Committee.
            (3) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Advisory 
        Committee shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of 
        members may hold hearings.

    (f) Adaptive Management.--
            (1) In general.--The Advisory Committee shall use an 
        adaptive management framework to identify the best policy 
        initiatives and actions through--
                    (A) definition of strategic goals;
                    (B) definition of policy options for methods to 
                achieve strategic goals;
                    (C) establishment of measures of success;
                    (D) identification of uncertainties;
                    (E) development of informative models of policy 
                implementation;
                    (F) separation of the landscape into geographic 
                units;
                    (G) monitoring key responses at different spatial 
                and temporal scales; and
                    (H) evaluation of outcomes and incorporation into 
                management strategies.
            (2) Application of adaptive management framework.--The 
        Advisory Committee shall apply the adaptive management framework 
        to the process for making recommendations under subsections (b) 
        through (f) of section 6 to the Administrator regarding sites 
        that should be designated as stewardship sites.
            (3) Adaptive management.--The adaptive management framework 
        required by this subsection shall consist of a scientific 
        process--
                    (A) for--
                          (i) developing predictive models;
                          (ii) making management policy decisions based 
                      upon the model outputs;
                          (iii) revising the management policies as data 
                      become available with which to evaluate the 
                      policies; and
                          (iv) acknowledging uncertainty, complexity, 
                      and variance in the spatial and temporal aspects 
                      of natural systems; and
                    (B) that requires that management be viewed as 
                experimental.

    (g) Termination of Advisory Committee.--The Advisory Committee shall 
terminate on December 31, 2011.

[[Page 120 STAT. 2055]]

SEC. 9. REPORTS.

    (a) Administrator.--The <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note. Public 
information.>>  Administrator shall publish and make available to the 
public on the Internet and in paper form--
            (1) not <<NOTE: Deadline.>> later than 1 year after the date 
        of enactment of this Act, a report that--
                    (A) assesses the role of this Act in protecting the 
                Long Island Sound;
                    (B) establishes in coordination with the Advisory 
                Committee guidelines, criteria, schedules, and due dates 
                for evaluating information to designate stewardship 
                sites;
                    (C) includes information about any grants that are 
                available for the purchase of land or property rights to 
                protect stewardship sites; and
                    (D) accounts for funds received and expended during 
                the previous fiscal year;
            (2) an update of such report, at least every other year; and
            (3) information on funding and any new stewardship sites 
        more frequently than every other year.

    (b) Advisory Committee.--
            (1) Report.--For each of fiscal years 2007 through 2011, the 
        Advisory Committee shall submit to the Administrator and the 
        decisionmaking body of the Long Island Sound Study Management 
        Conference established under section 320 of the Federal Water 
        Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1330), an annual report that 
        contains--
                    (A) a detailed statement of the findings and 
                conclusions of the Advisory Committee since the last 
                report under this subsection;
                    (B) a description of all sites recommended by the 
                Advisory Committee to the Administrator for designation 
                as stewardship sites;
                    (C) the recommendations of the Advisory Committee 
                for such legislation and administrative actions as the 
                Advisory Committee considers appropriate; and
                    (D) in accordance with paragraph (2), the 
                recommendations of the Advisory Committee for the 
                awarding of grants.
            (2) Recommendation for grants.--
                    (A) In general.--The Advisory Committee shall 
                recommend that the Administrator award grants to 
                qualified applicants to help to secure and improve the 
                open space, public access, or ecological values of 
                stewardship sites, through--
                          (i) purchase of the property of a stewardship 
                      site;
                          (ii) purchase of relevant property rights to a 
                      stewardship site; or
                          (iii) entering into any other binding legal 
                      arrangement that ensures that the values of a 
                      stewardship site are sustained, including entering 
                      into an arrangement with a land manager or 
                      property owner to develop or implement a 
                      management plan that is necessary for the 
                      conservation of natural resources.
                    (B) Equitable distribution of funds.--The Advisory 
                Committee shall exert due diligence to ensure that its 
                recommendations result in an equitable distribution of 
                funds between the States.

[[Page 120 STAT. 2056]]

SEC. 10. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.>> PRIVATE PROPERTY PROTECTION; 
                      NO REGULATORY AUTHORITY.

    (a) Access to Private Property.--Nothing in this Act--
            (1) requires any private property owner to allow public 
        access (including Federal, State, or local government access) to 
        the private property; or
            (2) modifies the application of any provision of Federal, 
        State, or local law with regard to public access to or use of 
        private property, except as entered into by voluntary agreement 
        of the owner or custodian of the property.

    (b) Liability.--Establishment of the Region does not create any 
liability, or have any effect on any liability under any other law, of 
any private property owner with respect to any person injured on the 
private property.
    (c) Recognition of Authority to Control Land Use.--Nothing in this 
Act modifies the authority of Federal, State, or local governments to 
regulate land use.
    (d) Participation of Private Property Owners Not Required.--Nothing 
in this Act requires the owner of any private property located within 
the boundaries of the Region to participate in any land conservation, 
financial or technical assistance, or other programs established under 
this Act.
    (e) Purchase of Land or Interest in Land From Willing Sellers 
Only.--Funds appropriated to carry out this Act may be used to purchase 
land or interests in land only from willing sellers.
    (f) Manner of Acquisition.--All acquisitions of land under this Act 
shall be made in a voluntary manner and shall not be the result of 
forced takings.
    (g) Effect of Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--The boundaries of the Region represent the 
        area within which Federal funds appropriated for the purpose of 
        this Act may be expended.
            (2) Regulatory authority.--The establishment of the Region 
        and the boundaries of the Region do not provide any regulatory 
        authority not in existence immediately before the enactment of 
        this Act on land use in the Region by any management entity, 
        except for such property rights as may be purchased from or 
        donated by the owner of the property (including public lands 
        donated by a State or local government).
SEC. 11. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.>> AUTHORIZATION OF 
                      APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Administrator $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2011 to 
carry out this Act, including for--
            (1) acquisition of land and interests in land;
            (2) development and implementation of site management plans;
            (3) site enhancements to reduce threats or promote 
        stewardship; and
            (4) administrative expenses of the Advisory Committee and 
        the Administrator.

    (b) Use of Funds.--Amounts made available to the Administrator under 
this section each fiscal year shall be used by the Administrator after 
reviewing the recommendations included in the annual reports of the 
Advisory Committee under section 9.

[[Page 120 STAT. 2057]]

    (c) Authorization of Gifts, Devises, and Bequests for System.--In 
furtherance of the purpose of this Act, the Administrator may accept and 
use any gift, devise, or bequest of real or personal property, proceeds 
therefrom, or interests therein, to carry out this Act. Such acceptance 
may be subject to the terms of any restrictive or affirmative covenant, 
or condition of servitude, if such terms are considered by the 
Administrator to be in accordance with law and compatible with the 
purpose for which acceptance is sought.
    (d) Limitation on Administrative Costs.--Of the amount available 
each fiscal year to carry out this Act, not more than 8 percent may be 
used for administrative costs.

    Approved October 16, 2006.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 5160 (S. 158):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 152 (2006):
            Sept. 27, considered and passed House.
            Sept. 29, considered and passed Senate.

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