Text: H.R.135 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Reported in House (06/04/2008)

Union Calendar No. 429

110th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 135

[Report No. 110–504, Parts I and II]


To establish the Twenty-First Century Water Commission to study and develop recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy to address future water needs.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 4, 2007

Mr. Linder (for himself, Mr. Butterfield, Ms. Bordallo, Mr. Norwood, Mr. Gary G. Miller of California, and Mr. Terry) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

December 19, 2007

Reported from the Committee on Natural Resources

December 19, 2007

Referral to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure extended for a period ending not later than January 15, 2008

January 15, 2008

Referral to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure extended for a period ending not later than February 29, 2008

February 29, 2008

Referral to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure extended for a period ending not later than April 30, 2008

April 30, 2008

Referral to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure extended for a period ending not later than May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008

Referral to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure extended for a period ending not later than June 6, 2008

June 4, 2008

Additional sponsors: Mr. Goodlatte, Mr. Sessions, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Price of Georgia, Mr. Gingrey, Mr. Kuhl of New York, Mrs. Musgrave, Mr. Marchant, Mr. Weldon of Florida, Mr. Costa, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Shadegg, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Stupak, Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California, Mr. Scott of Georgia, Mr. Kingston, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mr. Deal of Georgia, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Hinojosa, and Mr. Calvert

June 4, 2008

Reported from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure with an amendment

[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]

[For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on January 4, 2007]


A BILL

To establish the Twenty-First Century Water Commission to study and develop recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy to address future water needs.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. 21st Century Water Commission.

(a) Establishment.—There is established a commission to be known as the 21st Century Water Commission (in this section referred to as the “Commission”).

(b) Duties.—The duties of the Commission shall be to—

(1) use existing water studies and assessments and conduct such additional studies and assessments as may be necessary, including studies and assessments on climate change impacts, to—

(A) project future water supply needs and demand;

(B) develop national and regional assessments on flood risk and water availability; and

(C) develop national and regional trends related to water quality;

(2) study current water management programs of Federal, interstate, State, and local agencies and private sector entities directed at increasing water supplies, managing flood risk, and improving the availability, reliability, and quality of water resources; and

(3) develop recommendations, in consultation with representatives of such agencies and entities, for a comprehensive water strategy that—

(A) identifies incentives to ensure an adequate and dependable supply of water to meet the needs of the United States for the next 50 years;

(B) considers all available technologies and other methods to optimize water supply reliability, availability, and quality, while safeguarding and enhancing the environment;

(C) suggests financing options, incentives, and opportunities for development of comprehensive watershed management plans, regional watershed planning, holistically designed water resources projects, and increased use of nonstructural elements (including green infrastructure and low impact development techniques);

(D) encourages, to the maximum extent practicable, the integration of flood control and water supply projects, including recommendations for capturing excess water and flood water for conservation and reuse;

(E) suggests options to promote the use of, and reduce biases against, nonstructural elements (including green infrastructure and low impact development techniques) when managing stormwater, including features that—

(i) preserve and restore natural processes, landforms (such as floodplains), natural storage, natural vegetated stream side buffers, wetlands, or other topographical features;

(ii) utilize natural design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate, and detain water close to its source; or

(iii) minimize the use of impervious surfaces;

(F) encourages the avoidance and minimization of adverse impacts to natural systems, and where possible, the restoration of natural systems; and

(G) addresses other objectives related to a comprehensive water strategy which the Commission shall consider appropriate.

(c) Development of a comprehensive water strategy.—

(1) IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE.—In developing recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy, the Commission shall—

(A) evaluate the effectiveness of existing hazard mitigation strategies and contingency planning provisions for Federal, interstate, State, and local water management programs in light of climate change impacts, including sea level rise, changing weather patterns, increased risk of flooding or drought, and associated impacts to water quality;

(B) consider and evaluate the impacts of climate change;

(C) include strategies for using best available climate science in projections of future flood and drought risk, and for developing hazard mitigation strategies to protect water quality in extreme weather conditions caused by climate change; and

(D) identify adaptation techniques, or further research needs of adaptation techniques, for responding to climate change impacts.

(2) POLICY CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy, the Commission shall—

(A) respect the primary role of States in adjudicating, administering, and regulating water rights and water uses;

(B) identify whether recommendations are consistent with existing laws, treaties, decrees, and interstate compacts;

(C) identify duplication among Federal governmental programs, and make recommendations to improve coordination among Federal, interstate, State, and local agencies; and

(D) avoid suggesting strategies for increased mandates on State and local governments.

(d) Membership.—

(1) NUMBER AND APPOINTMENT.—The Commission shall be composed of 11 members who shall be appointed, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, as follows:

(A) 3 members appointed by the President.

(B) 3 members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives from a list of 6 individuals—

(i) 3 nominated for that appointment by the chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and

(ii) 3 nominated for that appointment by the chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives.

(C) 3 members appointed by the majority leader of the Senate from a list of 6 individuals—

(i) 3 nominated for that appointment by the chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate; and

(ii) 3 nominated for that appointment by the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.

(D) 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives from a list of 2 individuals—

(i) 1 nominated for that appointment by the ranking member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and

(ii) 1 nominated for that appointment by the ranking member of the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives.

(E) 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the Senate from a list of 2 individuals—

(i) 1 nominated for that appointment by the ranking member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate; and

(ii) 1 nominated for that appointment by the ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.

(2) QUALIFICATIONS.—

(A) RECOGNIZED STANDING AND DISTINCTION.—Members shall be appointed to the Commission from among individuals who are of recognized standing and distinction in water policy issues.

(B) LIMITATION.—A person while serving as a member of the Commission may not hold any other position as an officer or employee of the United States, except as a retired officer or retired civilian employee of the United States.

(C) OTHER CONSIDERATIONS.—In appointing members of the Commission, every effort shall be made to ensure that the members represent a broad cross section of regional and geographical perspectives in the United States.

(3) CHAIRPERSON.—The Chairperson of the Commission shall be elected by a majority vote of the members of the Commission.

(4) TERMS.—Members of the Commission shall serve for the life of the Commission.

(5) VACANCIES.—A vacancy on the Commission shall not affect its operation and shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

(6) COMPENSATION AND TRAVEL EXPENSES.—Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation; except that members shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57, United States Code.

(e) Meetings and quorum.—

(1) MEETINGS.—The Commission shall hold its first meeting not later than 60 days after the date on which all original members are appointed under subsection (d) and shall hold additional meetings at the call of the Chairperson or a majority of its members.

(2) QUORUM.—A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

(f) Staffing.—The Chairperson of the Commission may, without regard to the civil service laws and regulations, appoint and terminate an Executive Director and such other additional personnel as may be necessary for the Commission to perform its duties. The Executive Director shall be compensated at a rate not to exceed the annual rate of basic pay for GS–15 of the General Schedule. The employment and termination of an Executive Director shall be subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the Commission.

(g) Hearings.—

(1) MINIMUM NUMBER.—The Commission shall hold no fewer than 10 hearings during the life of the Commission.

(2) IN CONJUNCTION WITH MEETINGS.—Hearings may be held in conjunction with meetings of the Commission.

(3) TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE.—The Commission may take such testimony and receive such evidence as the Commission considers appropriate to carry out this section.

(4) SPECIFIED.—At least one hearing shall be held in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of taking testimony of representatives of Federal agencies, national organizations, and Members of Congress. At least one hearing shall focus on potential water resource issues relating to climate change and how to mitigate the harms of climate change-related weather events.

(5) NONSPECIFIED.—Hearings, other than those referred to in paragraph (4), shall be scheduled in distinct geographical regions of the United States. In conducting such hearings, the Commission should seek to ensure testimony from individuals with a diversity of experiences, including those who work on water issues at all levels of government and in the private sector.

(h) Information and support from federal agencies.—Upon request of the Commission, the head of a Federal department or agency shall—

(1) provide to the Commission, within 30 days of the request, such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out this section; and

(2) detail to temporary duty with the Commission on a reimbursable basis such personnel as the Commission considers necessary to carry out this section.

(i) Interim reports.—Not later than one year after the date of the first meeting of the Commission, and every year thereafter, the Commission shall submit an interim report containing a detailed summary of its progress, including meetings held and hearings conducted before the date of the report, to—

(1) the President; and

(2) Congress.

(j) Final report.—As soon as practicable, but not later than 5 years after the date of the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit a final report containing a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Commission and recommendations for legislation and other policies to implement such findings and conclusions to—

(1) the President;

(2) the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and

(3) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate.

(k) Termination.—The Commission shall terminate not later than 30 days after the date on which the Commission transmits a final report under subsection (j).

(l) Applicability of federal advisory committee act.—The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 1 et seq.) shall not apply to the Commission.

(m) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated $12,000,000 to carry out this section.


Union Calendar No. 429

110th CONGRESS
     2d Session
H. R. 135
[Report No. 110–504, Parts I and II]

A BILL
To establish the Twenty-First Century Water Commission to study and develop recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy to address future water needs.

June 4, 2008
Reported from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure with an amendment
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