Text: H.R.1834 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Placed on Calendar Senate (02/25/2008)

 
[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1834 Placed on Calendar Senate (PCS)]






                                                       Calendar No. 581
110th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 1834


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           February 25, 2008

            Received; read twice and placed on the calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To authorize the national ocean exploration program and the national 
 undersea research program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                            Administration.

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

              TITLE I--NATIONAL OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``National Ocean Exploration Program 
Act''.

SEC. 102. AUTHORIZATION.

    The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration shall, in consultation with the National Science 
Foundation and other appropriate Federal agencies, conduct a 
coordinated national ocean exploration program within the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that promotes collaboration with 
other Federal ocean and undersea research and exploration programs. To 
the extent appropriate, the Administrator shall seek to facilitate 
coordination of data and information management systems, outreach and 
education programs to improve public understanding of ocean and coastal 
resources, and development and transfer of technologies to facilitate 
ocean and undersea research and exploration.

SEC. 103. AUTHORITIES.

    (a) In General.--In carrying out the program authorized under 
section 102, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (in this title referred to as the ``Administrator'') 
shall--
            (1) conduct interdisciplinary voyages or other scientific 
        activities of discovery in conjunction with other Federal 
        agencies or academic or educational institutions, to explore 
        and survey little known areas of the marine environment, 
        inventory, observe, and assess living and nonliving marine 
        resources, and report such findings;
            (2) give priority attention to deep ocean regions, with a 
        focus on deep water marine systems that hold potential for 
        important scientific discoveries, such as hydrothermal vent 
        communities and seamounts;
            (3) conduct scientific voyages to locate, define, and 
        document historic shipwrecks, submerged sites, and other ocean 
        exploration activities that combine archaeology and 
        oceanographic sciences;
            (4) develop and implement, in consultation with the 
        National Science Foundation, a transparent, competitive process 
        for merit-based peer-review and approval of proposals for 
        activities to be conducted under this program, taking into 
        consideration advice of the Board established under section 
        104;
            (5) enhance the technical capability of the United States 
        marine science community by promoting the development of 
        improved oceanographic research, communication, navigation, and 
        data collection systems, as well as underwater platforms and 
        sensors and autonomous vehicles; and
            (6) establish an ocean exploration forum to encourage 
        partnerships and promote communication among experts and other 
        stakeholders in order to enhance the scientific and technical 
        expertise and relevance of the national program.
    (b) Donations.--In carrying out the program authorized under 
section 102, the Administrator may accept donations of property, data, 
and equipment to be applied for the purpose of exploring the oceans or 
increasing knowledge of the oceans.

SEC. 104. OCEAN EXPLORATION ADVISORY BOARD.

    (a) Establishment.--The Administrator shall appoint an Ocean 
Exploration Advisory Board composed of experts in relevant fields to--
            (1) advise the Administrator on priority areas for survey 
        and discovery;
            (2) assist the program in the development of a five-year 
        strategic plan for the fields of ocean, marine, and Great Lakes 
        science, exploration, and discovery;
            (3) annually review the quality and effectiveness of the 
        proposal review process established under section 103(4); and
            (4) provide other assistance and advice as requested by the 
        Administrator.
    (b) Federal Advisory Committee Act.--Section 14 of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Board 
appointed under subsection (a).

SEC. 105. APPLICATION WITH OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS ACT.

    Nothing in this Act supersedes, or limits the authority of the 
Secretary of the Interior under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act 
(43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.).

SEC. 106. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration to carry out this title--
            (1) $30,500,000 for fiscal year 2008;
            (2) $33,550,000 for fiscal year 2009;
            (3) $36,905,000 for fiscal year 2010;
            (4) $40,596,000 for fiscal year 2011;
            (5) $44,655,000 for fiscal year 2012;
            (6) $49,121,000 for fiscal year 2013; and
            (7) $54,033,000 for fiscal year 2014.

                  TITLE II--UNDERSEA RESEARCH PROGRAM

SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``National Undersea Research Program 
Act of 2007''.

SEC. 202. AUTHORIZATION.

    The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration shall conduct an undersea research, exploration, 
education, and technology development program and shall designate a 
Director of that program.

SEC. 203. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of the program authorized under section 202 is to 
increase scientific knowledge essential for the informed management, 
use, and preservation of oceanic, marine, coastal, and Great Lakes 
resources. The Director, in carrying out the program authorized in 
section 202, shall cooperate with institutions of higher education and 
other educational marine and ocean science organizations, and shall 
make available undersea research facilities, equipment, technologies, 
information, and expertise to support undersea research efforts by 
these organizations. The Director may also enter into partnerships, 
using existing authorities, with the private sector to achieve the 
goals of the program and to promote technological advancement of the 
marine industry.

SEC. 204. PROGRAM.

    The program authorized under section 202 shall be conducted through 
a national headquarters, a network of extramural regional undersea 
research centers that represent all relevant National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration regions, and the National Institute for 
Undersea Science and Technology. Overall direction of the program will 
be developed by the program director with a Council of Center Directors 
comprised of the directors of the extramural regional centers and the 
National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology. Draft program 
direction shall be published not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this Act. The draft program direction shall be published 
in the Federal Register for a public comment period of not less than 
120 days. Final program direction with Agency responses to the comments 
received shall be published in the Federal Register within 90 days 
after the close of the comment period. The program director shall 
update the program direction, with opportunity for public comment, at 
least every five years.

SEC. 205. REGIONAL CENTERS AND INSTITUTE.

    (a) Programs.--The following research, exploration, education, and 
technology programs shall be conducted through the network of 
extramural regional centers and the National Institute for Undersea 
Science and Technology:
            (1) Core research and exploration based on national and 
        regional undersea research priorities.
            (2) Advanced undersea technology development to support the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's research 
        mission and programs.
            (3) Development, testing, and transition of advanced 
        undersea technology associated with ocean observatories, 
        submersibles, advanced diving technologies, remotely operated 
        vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, and new sampling and 
        sensing technologies.
            (4) Undersea science-based education and outreach programs 
        to enrich ocean science education and public awareness of the 
        oceans and Great Lakes.
            (5) Discovery, study, and development of natural products 
        from ocean and aquatic systems.
    (b) Operations.--Operation of the extramural regional centers and 
the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology shall 
leverage partnerships and cooperative research with academia and 
private industry.

SEC. 206. COMPETITION.

    (a) Discretionary Fund.--The program shall allocate no more than 10 
percent of its annual budget to a discretionary fund that may be used 
only for program administration and priority undersea research projects 
identified by the Director but not covered by funding available from 
centers.
    (b) Competitive Selection.--The Administrator shall conduct an 
initial competition to select the regional centers that will 
participate in the program 90 days after the publication of the final 
program direction required in section 204 and every five years 
thereafter. Funding for projects conducted through the regional centers 
shall be awarded through a competitive, merit-reviewed process on the 
basis of their relevance to the goals of the program and their 
technical feasibility.

SEC. 207. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration to carry out this title--
            (1) $17,500,000 for fiscal year 2008;
            (2) $19,500,000 for fiscal year 2009;
            (3) $21,500,000 for fiscal year 2010;
            (4) $23,500,000 for fiscal year 2011;
            (5) $25,500,000 for fiscal year 2012;
            (6) $27,500,000 for fiscal year 2013; and
            (7) $29,500,000 for fiscal year 2014.

            TITLE III--INTERAGENCY PLANNING AND COORDINATION

SEC. 301. OCEAN EXPLORATION AND UNDERSEA RESEARCH TECHNOLOGY AND 
              INFRASTRUCTURE TASK FORCE.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, in coordination with the National Science 
Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the 
United States Geological Survey, the Department of the Navy, the 
Mineral Management Service, and relevant governmental, non-
governmental, academic, industry, and other experts, shall convene an 
ocean exploration and undersea research technology and infrastructure 
task force to develop and implement a strategy--
            (1) to facilitate transfer of new exploration and undersea 
        research technology to the programs authorized under titles I 
        and II of this Act;
            (2) to improve availability of communications 
        infrastructure, including satellite capabilities, to such 
        programs;
            (3) to develop an integrated, workable, and comprehensive 
        data management information processing system that will make 
        information on unique and significant features obtained by such 
        programs available for research and management purposes;
            (4) to conduct public outreach activities that improve the 
        public understanding of ocean science, resources, and 
        processes, in conjunction with relevant programs of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National 
        Science Foundation, and other agencies; and
            (5) to encourage cost-sharing partnerships with 
        governmental and nongovernmental entities that will assist in 
        transferring exploration and undersea research technology and 
        technical expertise to the programs.
    (b) Budget Coordination.--The task force shall coordinate the 
development of agency budgets and identify the items in their annual 
budget that support the activities identified in the strategy developed 
under subsection (a).

            Passed the House of Representatives February 14, 2008.

            Attest:

                                            LORRAINE C. MILLER,

                                                                 Clerk.
                                                       Calendar No. 581

110th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 1834

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

 To authorize the national ocean exploration program and the national 
 undersea research program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                            Administration.

_______________________________________________________________________

                           February 25, 2008

            Received; read twice and placed on the calendar