Text: H.R.1507 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/13/2007)


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[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1507 Introduced in House (IH)]







110th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1507

To ensure that proper information gathering and planning are undertaken 
to secure the preservation and recovery of the salmon and steelhead of 
 the Columbia River Basin in a manner that protects and enhances local 
 communities, ensures effective expenditure of Federal resources, and 
maintains reasonably priced, reliable power, to direct the Secretary of 
  Commerce to seek scientific analysis of Federal efforts to restore 
 salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
                        and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 13, 2007

 Mr. McDermott (for himself, Mr. Petri, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Shays, Mr. 
 George Miller of California, Mr. Walsh of New York, Mr. Pallone, Mr. 
   Ramstad, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Gilchrest, Mr. Moran of Virginia, Mrs. 
 McCarthy of New York, Mr. Weiner, Mr. Lipinski, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. 
   Grijalva, Mr. Stark, Mr. Gonzalez, Mrs. Tauscher, Mr. Hastings of 
Florida, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Berman, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Levin, Mr. Honda, Mr. 
 Bishop of New York, Mr. Costello, Mr. Towns, Mr. Doggett, Ms. Loretta 
   Sanchez of California, Mr. Cooper, Ms. Schakowsky, and Mr. Lynch) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To ensure that proper information gathering and planning are undertaken 
to secure the preservation and recovery of the salmon and steelhead of 
 the Columbia River Basin in a manner that protects and enhances local 
 communities, ensures effective expenditure of Federal resources, and 
maintains reasonably priced, reliable power, to direct the Secretary of 
  Commerce to seek scientific analysis of Federal efforts to restore 
 salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
                        and for other purposes.

    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 ``Salmon Economic Analysis and 
Planning Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds and declares the following:
            (1) Certain species of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia 
        and Snake River Basin are on the brink of extinction as a 
        consequence of various factors, including hydroelectric 
        projects, harvest management practices, habitat degradation, 
        altered in stream flow, and unsound hatchery practices.
            (2) These salmon and steelhead have major economic, 
        ecological, educational, recreational, scientific, cultural, 
        and spiritual significance to the Nation and its people.
            (3) The Federal Government and ratepayers in the Pacific 
        Northwest have spent more than $6,000,000,000 on salmon 
        recovery efforts.
            (4) Thirteen salmon and steelhead species in the Columbia 
        and Snake River Basin are listed for protections under the 
        Endangered Species Act of 1973 (6 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
            (5) Salmon and steelhead extinction could cost taxpayers 
        billions of dollars.
            (6) Salmon and steelhead are symbols of the Pacific 
        Northwest, support thousands of jobs in coastal and inland 
        communities, and serve as an indicator of the health of 
        Northern California and Pacific Northwest river ecosystems.
            (7) Salmon and steelhead of the Snake River are a vital 
        economic resource to communities in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, 
        Idaho, and California. Restoring Snake River salmon to healthy, 
        self-sustaining, harvestable levels will have significant 
        economic benefits for these communities. Understanding these 
        benefits is imperative to setting public policy on salmon 
        restoration efforts in the Northwest.
            (8) The original range of Snake River salmon included not 
        only their existing habitat in central Idaho, northeast Oregon, 
        southeast Washington, the lower Columbia River, and the coastal 
        waters of Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington, but also 
        currently inaccessible habitat in the upper Snake River Basin, 
        including southern Idaho, southeast Oregon, and northern 
        Nevada.
            (9) The United States Government has signed treaties with 
        Indian tribes in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho and 
        with the Government of Canada creating a legally enforceable 
        trust responsibility to restore salmon populations to 
        sustainable, harvestable levels.
            (10) Since the construction of 4 Federal dams on the lower 
        Snake River in Washington, salmon and steelhead populations in 
        the Snake River have significantly declined, and all salmon and 
        steelhead in the Snake River are extinct or listed as 
        endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 
        1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
            (11) Recent studies indicate that the time remaining to 
        protect remaining Snake River salmon and steelhead is short, 
        with scientists estimating that, if changes do not occur, many 
        if not all of the remaining Snake River salmon and steelhead 
        populations will be extinct in our lifetime.
            (12) A federally funded group of State, tribal, Federal, 
        and independent scientists found that partially removing the 4 
        lower Snake River dams in Washington is the surest way to 
        protect and recover Snake River salmon and steelhead.
            (13) Several communities that rely on the 4 lower Snake 
        River dams would be affected by partial dam removal.
            (14) A Federal court has found that the 4 lower Snake River 
        dams violate water quality standards under the Federal Water 
        Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).
            (15) Energy production in the Northwest is heavily 
        dependent upon hydropower and thus, the prospects for salmon 
        recovery and hydropower management are inextricably linked.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to ensure the protection and recovery of Columbia and 
        Snake River salmon and steelhead to self-sustaining, 
        harvestable levels, while providing for reliable, reasonably 
        priced energy in the Northwest and an economically sustainable 
        salmon recovery program, and to maximize the potential economic 
        benefits from potential dam removal while mitigating for its 
        impacts; and
            (2) to ensure that the Northwest and the Nation have 
        completed the necessary planning and evaluation to efficiently 
        manage salmon recovery, implement biologically effective 
        measures, and respond rapidly if major new actions are 
        necessary to protect and recover salmon and steelhead in the 
        Columbia and Snake River Basin.

SEC. 3. SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS OF FEDERAL SALMON RECOVERY EFFORTS.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 3 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall enter into an 
arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences providing for 
scientific analysis of Federal salmon protection, restoration, and 
recovery actions (hereinafter ``recovery actions'') and submission of a 
report on the results of the analysis in accordance with subsection 
(c).
    (b) Subjects of Analysis.--
            (1) In general.--For purposes of this section, scientific 
        analysis shall include, at a minimum, review of--
                    (A) the biological effectiveness of--
                            (i) current Federal recovery actions for 
                        Columbia and Snake River Basin salmon and 
                        steelhead populations; and
                            (ii) anticipated Federal recovery actions 
                        for such populations, including those actions 
                        currently in the planning stage or proposed in 
                        the most current Federal Columbia River Power 
                        System biological opinion; and
                    (B) the timelines for, and feasibility of, 
                implementing those recovery actions.
            (2) Comparison of effectiveness.--In such review, the 
        effectiveness of those actions--
                    (A) shall be compared to the effectiveness of a 
                Federal salmon recovery strategy that includes, but is 
                not limited to, partial dam removal; and
                    (B) shall be evaluated and compared with respect to 
                whether they are likely to achieve recovery to self-
                sustaining, harvestable population levels of naturally 
                spawning, wild salmon and steelhead populations listed 
                under section 4(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 
                1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533).
            (3) Identification of limiting factors.--The analysis shall 
        also identify limiting factors to salmon and steelhead recovery 
        including the impacts of tributary habitat degradation, salmon 
        harvest, hatcheries, and hydropower dams.
            (4) Global climate change analysis.--The analysis shall 
        also--
                    (A) identify the effect of global climate change on 
                ocean conditions and on hydrological conditions in the 
                Snake and Columbia Rivers and their salmon and 
                steelhead-bearing tributaries; and
                    (B) examine how such global climate change effects 
                might affect the Federal recovery actions necessary to 
                achieve recovery of naturally spawning, wild salmon and 
                steelhead populations to self-sustaining, harvestable 
                levels.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 8 months after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the National Academy of Sciences shall submit a final report 
on the results of the scientific analysis conducted under this section 
to the Secretary of Commerce and the Congress.

SEC. 4. STUDIES REGARDING REMOVAL OF LOWER SNAKE RIVER DAMS.

    (a) Study of Assessments of Effects and Costs of Dam Removal.--The 
Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study 
reviewing the various assessments that have been conducted by Federal 
agencies and others regarding the potential effects and costs of 
partially and fully removing the 4 lower Snake River dams. The 
Comptroller General's review shall include a comparison of the scope 
and methodologies used in, findings of, and recommendations made in 
those studies that have addressed any or all of the following:
            (1) The economic effects of dam removal and recovered Snake 
        River salmon and steelhead populations for communities near the 
        dams, for communities upstream from the dams, and for 
        downstream and coastal communities, including downstream and 
        coastal communities located within the boundaries of Alaska, 
        California, and Canada. This analysis should include the 
        impacts on commercial fishing, sport fishing, and nonfishing 
        recreation such as boating and camping, including employment 
        gains or losses that would result from removing the lower Snake 
        River dams and replacing their energy, navigation, and water 
        supply benefits in the most cost-effective manner.
            (2) The effects of dam removal on freight transportation, 
        including--
                    (A) the feasibility, costs, and sufficiency of 
                various alternative transportation configurations 
                utilizing existing or upgraded railroads, highways, 
                Columbia River barges, or other means;
                    (B) the economic benefits and costs of various 
                alternatives for replacing the dams' freight 
                transportation benefits;
                    (C) the environmental impact of shifting to such 
                alternatives;
                    (D) the means for mitigating any environmental harm 
                that might be caused by the use of such alternatives; 
                and
                    (E) any development or expansion of such 
                alternatives that would be required to continue 
                transporting the same amount of cargo that is currently 
                transported on the lower Snake River.
            (3) The effects of dam removal on irrigation, including the 
        availability of alternatives to replace irrigation water or to 
        extend irrigation pumps.
            (4) The effects of dam removal on energy production, 
        including the regional effects of any changes in energy 
        production, identification of alternative renewable energy 
        sources or energy efficiency measures that could replace any 
        loss in energy production, and the benefits and costs of such 
        energy alternatives.
            (5) The economic effects of extinction of the salmon and 
        steelhead populations in the Snake River.
    (b) Review of Dam Removal Engineering Cost Determinations by Corps 
of Engineers.--The Comptroller General of the United States shall 
conduct a study reviewing and determining the accuracy of the 
engineering costs associated with dam removal as determined by the 
February 2002 Army Corps of Engineers Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon 
Migration Feasibility Report/Environmental Impact Statement.
    (c) Reports.--Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the Congress final 
reports on both of the studies required under this section.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act, the following definitions apply:
            (1) Federal salmon recovery actions.--The term ``Federal 
        salmon recovery actions'' means Federal actions required to 
        protect, recover, and restore salmon and steelhead in the 
        Columbia and Snake River basin that are listed under section 
        4(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)).
            (2) Lower snake river dams.--The term ``4 lower Snake River 
        dams'' means the following dams on the Snake River in 
        Washington:
                    (A) The Ice Harbor dam.
                    (B) The Lower Monumental dam.
                    (C) The Little Goose dam.
                    (D) The Lower Granite dam.
            (3) Populations.--The term ``populations'' means the 13 
        evolutionarily significant units of salmon and steelhead in the 
        Columbia and Snake River Basin that are listed under section 
        4(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)).
            (4) Partial removal.--The terms ``partially removing'' and 
        ``partial dam removal'' mean removing only the earthen portions 
        of the lower Snake River dams and leaving the powerhouse and 
        turbines in place.
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