Text: H.R.6068 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/29/2012)


112th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6068

To provide for continued conservation efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 29, 2012

Mr. Van Hollen (for himself, Mr. Wittman, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Harris, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Sarbanes, Ms. Edwards, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Moran, Mr. Connolly of Virginia, Mr. Rigell, Mr. Platts, Mr. Hinchey, and Ms. Norton) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To provide for continued conservation efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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 “Chesapeake Bay Watershed Fairness Act of 2012”.

SEC. 2. Chesapeake Bay watershed program.

(a) In general.—Section 1240Q of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839bb–4) is amended—

(1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

“(a) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) CHESAPEAKE BAY STATE; STATE.—The terms ‘Chesapeake Bay State’ and ‘State’ means any of—

“(A) the States of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia; and

“(B) the District of Columbia.

“(2) CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED.—The term ‘Chesapeake Bay watershed’ means all tributaries, backwaters, and side channels, including their watersheds, draining into the Chesapeake Bay in a Chesapeake Bay State.

“(3) OWNER.—The term ‘owner’ means an owner of nonindustrial private forest land.

“(4) TECHNICAL SERVICE PROVIDER.—The term ‘technical service provider’ means a third-party provider who is eligible to be approved pursuant to section 1242(e).”;

(2) by inserting “and owners” after “producers” each place it appears in subsections (b), (c), (d)(1)(A), (d)(2), and (e)(1);

(3) in subsection (b), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by inserting “and nonindustrial private forest lands” after “agricultural lands”;

(4) in subsection (c), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking “The Secretary” and inserting “Except as provided in subsection (d)(1)(B)(ii), the Secretary”;

(5) in subsection (d)(1)—

(A) in subparagraph (B), by striking “section to cover the costs of the program involved with each agreement.” and inserting “section—”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(i) to cover the costs of the program involved with each agreement; or

“(ii) to provide technical assistance directly or through technical service providers.”;

(6) by redesignating subsections (e) through (h) as subsections (f) through (i), respectively;

(7) by inserting after subsection (d) the following:

“(e) Technical assistance.—

“(1) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO CHESAPEAKE BAY STATES.—

“(A) STATE WATER QUALITY GOALS.—The Secretary may provide technical assistance to a Chesapeake Bay State to assist in developing the water quality goals of the State to result in reductions in losses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from agricultural or nonindustrial private forest land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“(B) TARGETED ASSISTANCE TO CHESAPEAKE BAY STATES.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may enter into an agreement with a Chesapeake Bay State (including any political subdivision or agency of the Chesapeake Bay State) to provide financial and technical assistance to the Chesapeake Bay State.

“(ii) PURPOSE OF ASSISTANCE.—Assistance provided by the Secretary under this subparagraph shall be used by the Chesapeake Bay State to provide, through a technical service provider, the technical assistance needed by an agricultural producer or owner in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to promote water quality goals of the Chesapeake Bay State.

“(2) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS AND OWNERS OF CERTAIN NONINDUSTRIAL PRIVATE FOREST LAND.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may provide technical assistance to producers and owners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed directly or through—

“(i) a technical service provider;

“(ii) an agricultural or silvicultural producer association;

“(iii) a State or unit of local government;

“(iv) an Indian tribe;

“(v) a farmer cooperative;

“(vi) an institution of higher education; or

“(vii) an organization with an established history of working with producers on agricultural land, as determined by the Secretary, to address—

“(I) local conservation priorities related to agricultural production, wildlife habitat development, and nonindustrial private forest land management; or

“(II) critical watershed-scale soil erosion, water quality, sediment reduction, or other natural resource concerns.

“(B) PURPOSE OF ASSISTANCE.—Technical assistance may be provided under this paragraph for—

“(i) conservation services to reduce losses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from agricultural and nonindustrial private forest land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including—

“(I) education regarding activities such producers and owners can undertake to reduce such losses; or

“(II) conservation planning, implementation, and maintenance to reduce such losses;

“(ii) identifying best management practices and assessing practices required to achieve compliance with State and Federal water quality laws, including through—

“(I) outreach to, and education of, producers and owners regarding available assistance; or

“(II) adoption and use of tools and technology capable of assessing practices that may be used to achieve compliance with State and Federal water quality laws; or

“(iii) other purposes as the Secretary may determine appropriate.”; and

(8) in paragraph (2) of subsection (f) (as redesignated by paragraph (6)), by inserting “or owner” after “producer”.

(b) Funding.—Subsection (i) of section 1240Q of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839bb–4) (as redesignated by subsection (a)(6)) is amended—

(1) in subparagraph (C), by striking “and” after the semicolon at the end;

(2) in subparagraph (D), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; and”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

“(E) $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2018.”.