Text: S.3588 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/20/2012)


112th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3588


To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to protect and restore the Great Lakes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 20, 2012

Mr. Levin (for himself, Mr. Kirk, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Casey, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Brown of Ohio, and Mrs. Gillibrand) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works


A BILL

To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

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 “Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act of 2012”.

SEC. 2. Great Lakes provision modifications.

(a) Findings; purpose.—Section 118(a) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1268(a)) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1)—

(A) by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following:

“(B) the United States should seek to attain the goals embodied in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan, the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978 (including subsequent amendments); and”; and

(B) in subparagraph (C), by inserting “, tribal,” after “State”;

(2) by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following:

“(2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to achieve the goals established in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan, the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement through—

“(A) improved organization and definition of mission on the part of the Agency;

“(B) the funding of grants, contracts, and interagency agreements for protection, restoration, and pollution control in the Great Lakes area; and

“(C) improved accountability.”; and

(3) in paragraph (3), by striking subparagraph (H) and inserting the following:

“(H) ‘Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement’ means the Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality, 1978, signed at Ottawa on November 22, 1978 (30 UST 1383; TIAS 9257), between the United States and Canada.”.

(b) Great Lakes management.—Section 118(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1268(c)) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1)—

(A) in subparagraph (A), by striking “,;” and inserting a semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (E);

(C) by redesignating subparagraphs (C) and (D) as subparagraphs (D) and (E), respectively;

(D) in subparagraph (D) (as so redesignated), by adding “and” at the end;

(E) in subparagraph (E) (as so redesignated), by striking “; and” and inserting a period; and

(F) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following:

“(C) coordinate with the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, as required under paragraph (8);”;

(2) in paragraph (3)(C), by striking “subparagraph (c)(1)(C) of this section” and inserting “paragraph (1)(D)”;

(3) by striking paragraph (6) and inserting the following:

“(6) GREAT LAKES GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT.—

“(A) GREAT LAKES ADVISORY BOARD.—

“(i) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Administrator shall establish an advisory board, to be known as the ‘Great Lakes Advisory Board’, to provide advice and recommendations to the Administrator on matters pertaining to Great Lakes restoration and protection.

“(ii) DUTIES.—The Great Lakes Advisory Board shall develop and submit reports and information to the Administrator and the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force that include recommendations on planning, assessment, reporting, and accountability matters relating to the Great Lakes.

“(iii) MEMBERSHIP.—The Great Lakes Advisory Board shall consist of not less than 12 and not more than 20 members, who shall—

“(I) be appointed by the Administrator; and

“(II) include representatives of or individuals affiliated with—

“(aa) environmental groups;

“(bb) hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations;

“(cc) businesses;

“(dd) agricultural groups;

“(ee) foundations;

“(ff) environmental justice organizations;

“(gg) academia; and

“(hh) State, local, and tribal governments.

“(iv) MEETINGS.—

“(I) IN GENERAL.—The Great Lakes Advisory Board shall meet not less frequently than once every 180 days.

“(II) OPEN TO PUBLIC.—

“(aa) IN GENERAL.—Subject to item (bb), the meetings of the Great Lakes Advisory Board shall be open to the public.

“(bb) EXECUTIVE SESSIONS.—The Great Lakes Advisory Board may hold executive sessions that are closed to the public.

“(v) OPERATION.—The Great Lakes Advisory Board shall operate on a consensus basis.

“(vi) COSTS.—The members of the Great Lakes Advisory Board shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Board.”;

(4) by striking paragraph (7) and inserting the following:

“(7) GREAT LAKES RESTORATION INITIATIVE.—

“(A) FINDINGS.—Congress finds that—

“(i) the goal of the Great Lakes program of the Agency is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem; and

“(ii) in 2010, the Agency, in coordination with Federal partners, commenced implementation of a new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (referred to in this paragraph as the ‘Initiative’), which is designed—

“(I) to identify programs and projects that are strategically selected to target the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem;

“(II) to be based on the work of—

“(aa) the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force established by paragraph (8)(A); and

“(bb) the Great Lakes Advisory Board, stakeholders, and nongovernmental partners; and

“(III) to represent the commitment of the Federal Government to significantly advancing Great Lakes protection and restoration.

“(B) FOCUS AREAS.—The Initiative shall prioritize work done by non-Federal partners using funding made available for the Great Lakes for priority areas for each fiscal year, such as—

“(i) the remediation of toxic substances and areas of concern;

“(ii) the prevention and control of invasive species and the impacts of invasive species;

“(iii) the protection and restoration of nearshore health and the prevention and mitigation of nonpoint source pollution;

“(iv) habitat and wildlife protection and restoration, including wetlands restoration and preservation;

“(v) accountability, monitoring, evaluation, communication, and partnership activities; and

“(vi) other areas prioritized by the Great Lakes Advisory Board.

“(C) PROJECTS.—Pursuant to the Initiative, the Agency shall consult with Federal partners, including the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, and take into consideration the recommendations of the Great Lakes Advisory Board to select the best combination of programs and projects for Great Lakes protection and restoration using principles and criteria such as—

“(i) the ability to achieve strategic and measurable environmental outcomes;

“(ii) the feasibility of—

“(I) prompt implementation;

“(II) timely achievement of results; and

“(III) the ability to leverage resources; and

“(iii) opportunities for improved interagency and inter-organizational coordination and collaboration to reduce duplication and streamline efforts.

“(D) IMPLEMENTATION OF PROJECTS.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—Funds made available to carry out the Initiative shall be used to strategically implement—

“(I) Federal projects; and

“(II) projects carried out in coordination with States, Indian tribes, municipalities, institutions of higher education, and other organizations.

“(ii) TRANSFER OF FUNDS.—Of amounts made available for environmental programs and management for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Administrator may—

“(I) transfer not more than $475,000,000 to the head of any Federal department or agency, with the concurrence of the department or agency head, to carry out activities to support the Initiative and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement;

“(II) enter into an interagency agreement with the head of any Federal department or agency to carry out activities described in subclause (I); and

“(III) make grants to governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, institutions, and educational institutions for use in carrying out planning, research, monitoring, outreach, training, studies, surveys, investigations, experiments, demonstration projects, and implementation relating to the activities described in subclause (I).

“(E) SCOPE.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—Projects shall be carried out pursuant to the Initiative on multiple levels, including—

“(I) local;

“(II) Great Lakes-wide; and

“(III) Great Lakes basin-wide.

“(ii) LIMITATION.—No funds made available to carry out the Initiative may be used for any water infrastructure activity (other than a green infrastructure project that improves habitat and other ecosystem functions in the Great Lakes) for which amounts are made available from—

“(I) a State water pollution control revolving fund established under title VI; or

“(II) a State drinking water revolving loan fund established under section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–12).

“(F) ACTIVITIES BY OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES.—Each relevant Federal department and agency shall, to the maximum extent practicable—

“(i) maintain the base level of funding for the Great Lakes activities of the agency; and

“(ii) identify new activities and projects to support the environmental goals of the Initiative.

“(G) FUNDING.—

“(i) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out the Initiative $475,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.

“(ii) PARTNERSHIPS.—Of the amounts made available to carry out the Initiative, the Administrator shall transfer expeditiously to the Federal partners of the Initiative such sums as are necessary for subsequent use and distribution by the Federal partners in accordance with this section.”;

(5) by striking paragraph (8) and inserting the following:

“(8) GREAT LAKES INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE.—

“(A) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established a task force, to be known as the ‘Great Lakes Interagency Task Force’ as described in Executive Order 13340 (33 U.S.C. 1268 note), relating to the establishment of Great Lakes Interagency Task Force and promotion of regional collaboration of national significance for Great Lakes.

“(B) COORDINATION.—The Program Office shall coordinate, to the maximum extent practicable, with the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force.

“(C) DUTIES.—The Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, as a body or through member agencies, shall—

“(i) collaborate with Canada, provinces of Canada, and binational bodies involved in the Great Lakes region regarding policies, strategies, projects, and priorities for the Great Lakes System;

“(ii) (I) coordinate the development of Federal policies, strategies, projects, and priorities for addressing the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes System consistent with—

“(aa) the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement;

“(bb) the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan; and

“(cc) the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy;

“(II) take into consideration any recommendations of the Great Lakes Advisory Board; and

“(III) assist in the appropriate management of the Great Lakes System;

“(iii) develop outcome-based goals for the Great Lakes System (relying on existing data and science-based indicators of water quality, related environmental factors, and other information) that—

“(I) focus on outcomes such as cleaner water, sustainable fisheries, and biodiversity of the Great Lakes System;

“(II) ensure that Federal policies, strategies, projects, and priorities support measurable results; and

“(III) are consistent with the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan;

“(iv) exchange information regarding policies, strategies, projects, and activities of the agencies represented on the Task Force relating to—

“(I) the Great Lakes System;

“(II) the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement;

“(III) the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan; and

“(IV) the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy;

“(v) coordinate government action associated with the Great Lakes System;

“(vi) ensure coordinated Federal scientific and other research associated with the Great Lakes System;

“(vii) provide assistance and support to agencies represented on the Task Force in activities relating to the Great Lakes System;

“(viii) establish annual priorities with respect to Great Lakes protection and restoration, including priorities for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; and

“(ix) not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act of 2012 and every 5 years thereafter—

“(I) review the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan; and

“(II) update and revise the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan to reflect the most comprehensive scientific information available.”;

(6) by striking paragraph (10) and inserting the following:

“(10) REPORTS.—

“(A) ANNUAL COMPREHENSIVE RESTORATION REPORT.—Not later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Administrator shall submit to Congress and make publicly available a comprehensive report on the overall health of the Great Lakes that includes—

“(i) a description of the achievements during the fiscal year in implementing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and any other applicable agreements and amendments that—

“(I) demonstrate, by category (including categories for judicial enforcement, research, State cooperative efforts, and general administration) the amounts expended on Great Lakes water quality initiatives for the fiscal year;

“(II) describe the progress made during the fiscal year in implementing the system of surveillance of the water quality in the Great Lakes System, including the monitoring of groundwater and sediment, with a particular focus on toxic pollutants;

“(III) describe the prospects of meeting the goals and objectives of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; and

“(IV) provide a comprehensive assessment of the planned efforts to be pursued in the succeeding fiscal year for implementing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and any other applicable agreements and amendments that—

“(aa) indicate, by category (including categories for judicial enforcement, research, State cooperative efforts, and general administration) the amount anticipated to be expended on Great Lakes water quality initiatives for the applicable fiscal year; and

“(bb) include a report on programs administered by other Federal agencies that make resources available for Great Lakes water quality management efforts;

“(ii) a detailed list of accomplishments of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative with respect to each organizational element of the Initiative and the means by which progress will be evaluated;

“(iii) recommendations for streamlining the work of existing advisory and coordinating committees (such as the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration and the United States Policy Committee), including a recommendation for eliminating any such entity if the work of the entity—

“(I) is duplicative; or

“(II) complicates the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes; and

“(iv) with respect to each priority established under paragraph (8)(C)(viii) during the fiscal year, the reasons why the Administrator implemented, or did not implement, the priorities and recommendations.

“(B) CROSSCUT BUDGET.—Not later than 45 days after the date of submission of the budget of the President to Congress, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in coordination with the Governor of each Great Lakes State and the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, shall submit to Congress and make publicly available a financial report, certified by the head of each agency that has budget authority for Great Lakes restoration activities, containing—

“(i) an interagency budget crosscut report that—

“(I) describes the budget proposed, including funding allocations by each agency for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative;

“(II) identifies any adjustments from the budget request;

“(III) identifies the funding in any amount for each of the Federal agencies that carry out restoration and protection activities in the subsequent fiscal year, separately reporting the amount of funding to be provided under each law pertaining to the agency;

“(IV) compares specific funding levels allocated for participating Federal agencies from fiscal year to fiscal year; and

“(V) identifies all expenditures since fiscal year 2004 by the Federal Government and State governments for Great Lakes restoration activities;

“(ii) a detailed accounting of all funds received and obligated by all Federal agencies and, to the maximum extent practicable, State agencies using Federal funds, for Great Lakes restoration activities during the current and previous fiscal years;

“(iii) a budget for the proposed projects (including a description of the project, authorization level, and project status) to be carried out in the subsequent fiscal year with the Federal share of funds for activities; and

“(iv) a listing of all projects to be undertaken in the subsequent fiscal year with the Federal share of funds for activities.”; and

(7) in paragraph (12)(H), by striking clause (i) and inserting the following:

“(i) AUTHORIZATION.—In addition to other amounts authorized to be appropriated pursuant to this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this paragraph—

“(I) $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2010; and

“(II) $150,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.”.

(c) Authorization of appropriations.—Section 118(h) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1268(h)) is amended—

(1) by redesignating paragraphs (1) through (3) as subparagraphs (A) through (C), respectively, and indenting the subparagraphs appropriately;

(2) by striking “There are authorized” and inserting the following:

“(1) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

“(2) PROGRAM OFFICE.—There is authorized to be appropriated to the Program Office to carry out this section $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.”.

(d) Effect of section.—Nothing in this section or an amendment made by this section affects—

(1) the jurisdiction, powers, or prerogatives of—

(A) any department, agency, or officer of—

(i) the Federal Government; or

(ii) any State or tribal government; or

(B) any international body established by treaty with authority relating to the Great Lakes (as defined in section 118(a)(3) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1268(a)(3))); or

(2) any other Federal or State authority that is being used or may be used to facilitate the cleanup and protection of the Great Lakes (as so defined).