H.R.1404 - FLAME Act111th Congress (2009-2010)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Rahall, Nick J., II [D-WV-3] (Introduced 03/10/2009)|
|Committees:||House - Natural Resources; Agriculture; Budget | Senate - Energy and Natural Resources|
|Latest Action:||07/21/2009 Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearings held.|
|Major Recorded Votes:||03/26/2009 : Passed House|
This bill has the status Passed House
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
- Passed House
Subject — Policy Area:
- Public Lands and Natural Resources
- View subjects
Summary: H.R.1404 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)
Passed House amended (03/26/2009)
Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act or FLAME Act - (Sec. 2) Establishes in the Treasury the Federal Land Assistance, Management, and Enhancement Fund (Flame Fund). Requires amounts in the Flame Fund to be made available to the Secretaries of the Interior and of Agriculture (the Secretaries) to pay the costs of catastrophic emergency wildland fire suppression activities that are separate from amounts annually appropriated for the predicted annual workload for such activities. Requires that such authorized suppression activities include containment activities in response to crisis insect infestations to reduce the likelihood of wildfires.
Authorizes appropriations for the Flame Fund. Expresses the intent of Congress with respect to the expenditure of amounts appropriated to the Flame Fund.
Instructs the Secretaries to notify specified congressional committees (the committees) whenever only an estimated two months worth of funding remains in the Flame Fund.
Requires the transfer of unobligated wildland fire suppression funds into the Flame Fund.
Makes amounts in the Flame Fund available to the Secretaries only after such Secretaries issue a declaration that a wildland fire suppression activity is eligible for funding from the Fund. Sets forth the criteria upon which such a declaration shall be based, including criteria concerning the fire's severity and the threat posed by it. Requires the Secretaries, for the purposes of applying the severity and threat criteria in individual wildland fire incidents, to take into account areas where insect infestation has created an extreme risk for wildfire.
Continues funding for anticipated and predicted wildland fire suppression activities within appropriate agency budgets. Requires the additional funding made available through the Flame Fund to be used only for purposes and in instances consistent with this section.
Requires obligating all amounts in the Flame Fund and all funds appropriated for wildland fire suppression on federal land before the transfer of funds from non-fire accounts for wildland fire suppression.
Directs the Secretaries to establish an accounting and reporting system for the Flame Fund compatible with existing National Fire Plan reporting procedures.
Requires the Secretaries to report annually to the committees on the use of the funds from the Flame Fund, together with recommendations to improve administrative control and oversight of the Fund. Requires such report to be made available to the public.
Requires the Secretaries to submit to the committees estimates of anticipated wildfire suppression costs in order to improve budgeting and funding. Subjects the methodology for the development of the estimates to peer review to ensure that they were developed using the best available climate, weather, and other relevant data and models and other analytic tools.
(Sec. 3) Requires the Secretaries to submit a report to Congress that contains a cohesive wildland fire management strategy, consistent with the recommendations of recent Comptroller General reports.
Sets forth the elements of the strategy. Includes: (1) a system for ensuring that the highest priority fuels reduction projects are being funded first; (2) a system to assess the impacts of climate change on the frequency and severity of wildland fire; (3) a system to study the effects of invasive species on wildland fire risk; and (4) a plan, developed in coordination with the National Guard Bureau, to maximize the use of National Guard resources to fight wildfires.
Directs the Secretaries to submit to Congress, at least once during every five-year period initially beginning on the date of submission of the strategy, a revised strategy taking into consideration changes affecting the elements of the strategy, in particular changes respecting landscape, vegetation, climate, and weather.
Ensures that owners of adjacent private land are notified before any prescribed fire is used on National Forest System land.
(Sec. 4) Directs the Secretaries to conduct a review, using independent panels, of each wild fire incident for which expenses exceeding $10 million were incurred and to submit a report containing the results of each review conducted. Requires the review of an incident to include separate assessments of: (1) what actions, if any, could have been taken in advance of the fire that may have prevented it or at least reduced its severity; and (2) the quantity of greenhouse gases produced as a result of the fire.
(Sec. 5) Directs the Secretaries to develop regional maps of communities most at risk of wildfire and in need of hazardous fuel treatment and maintenance.
Requires such maps to identify priority areas for hazardous fuels reduction projects, including: (1) at-risk communities in fire-prone areas of the wildland-urban interface; (2) watersheds and municipal drinking water sources; (3) emergency evacuation corridors; (4) electricity transmission corridors; and (5) low-capacity or low-income communities.
Authorizes the Secretaries to provide cost-share grants to fire-ready communities which may be used for: (1) education programs to raise awareness of homeowners and citizens about wildland fire protection practices, including FireWise or other similar programs; (2) training programs for local firefighters on wildland firefighting techniques and approaches; (3) equipment acquisition to facilitate wildland fire preparedness; (4) implementation of a community wildfire protection plan; and (5) implementation of fire-safety programs focused on the eradication or control of invasive species.
Instructs the Secretaries, in developing any wildland fire cost-share agreement with a state forester or equivalent official, to encourage the state and local communities involved to become fire-ready communities.
Authorizes appropriations to carry out this section.