Text: S.646 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (03/21/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 646


To create the National Endowment for the Oceans to promote the protection and conservation of United States ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 21, 2013

Mr. Whitehouse (for himself, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Blumenthal, and Mr. Nelson) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To create the National Endowment for the Oceans to promote the protection and conservation of United States ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems, 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 “National Endowment for the Oceans Act”.

SEC. 2. Purposes.

The purposes of this Act are to protect, conserve, restore, and understand the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes of the United States, ensuring present and future generations will benefit from the full range of ecological, economic, educational, social, cultural, nutritional, and recreational opportunities and services these resources are capable of providing.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) COASTAL SHORELINE COUNTY.—The term “coastal shoreline county” has the meaning given the term by the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for purposes of administering the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.).

(2) COASTAL STATE.—The term “coastal State” has the meaning given the term “coastal state” in section 304 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1453).

(3) CORPUS.—The term “corpus”, with respect to the Endowment fund, means an amount equal to the Federal payments to such fund, amounts contributed to the fund from non-Federal sources, and appreciation from capital gains and reinvestment of income.

(4) ENDOWMENT.—The term “Endowment” means the endowment established under subsection (a).

(5) ENDOWMENT FUND.—The term “Endowment fund” means a fund, or a tax-exempt foundation, established and maintained pursuant to this Act by the Foundation for the purposes described in section 4(a).

(6) FOUNDATION.—The term “Foundation” means the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation established by section 2(a) of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act (16 U.S.C. 3701(a)).

(7) INCOME.—The term “income”, with respect to the Endowment fund, means an amount equal to the dividends and interest accruing from investments of the corpus of such fund.

(8) INDIAN TRIBE.—The term “Indian tribe” has the meaning given that term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).

(9) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Commerce.

(10) TIDAL SHORELINE.—The term “tidal shoreline” has the meaning given that term pursuant to section 923.110(c)(2)(i) of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, or a similar successor regulation.

SEC. 4. National Endowment for the Oceans.

(a) Establishment.—The Secretary and the Foundation are authorized to establish the National Endowment for the Oceans as a permanent Endowment fund, in accordance with this section, to further the purposes of this Act and to support the programs established under this Act.

(b) Agreements.—The Secretary and the Foundation may enter into such agreements as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(c) Investments.—The Foundation shall invest the Endowment fund corpus and income for the benefit of the Endowment.

(d) Requirements.—Any amounts received by the Foundation pursuant to this Act shall be subject to the provisions of the National Fish and Wildlife Establishment Act (16 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.), except the provisions of section 10(a) of that Act (16 U.S.C. 3709(a)).

(e) Withdrawals and expenditures.—

(1) ALLOCATION OF FUNDS.—Each fiscal year, the Foundation shall, in consultation with the Secretary, allocate an amount equal to not less than 3 percent and not more than 7 percent of the corpus of the Endowment fund and the income generated from the Endowment fund from the current fiscal year.

(2) EXPENDITURE.—Of the amounts allocated under paragraph (1) for each fiscal year—

(A) at least 59 percent shall be used by the Foundation to award grants to coastal States under section 6(b);

(B) at least 39 percent shall be allocated by the Foundation to award grants under section 6(c); and

(C) no more than 2 percent may be used by the Secretary and the Foundation for administrative expenses to carry out this Act, which amount shall be divided between the Secretary and the Foundation pursuant to an agreement reached and documented by both the Secretary and the Foundation.

(f) Recovery of payments.—After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary is authorized to recover any Federal payments under this section if the Foundation—

(1) makes a withdrawal or expenditure of the corpus of the Endowment fund or the income of the Endowment fund that is not consistent with the requirements of section 5; or

(2) fails to comply with a procedure, measure, method, or standard established under section 6(a)(1).

SEC. 5. Eligible uses.

(a) In general.—Amounts in the Endowment may be allocated by the Foundation to support programs and activities intended to restore, protect, maintain, or understand living marine resources and their habitats and ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, including baseline scientific research, ocean observing, and other programs and activities carried out in coordination with Federal and State departments or agencies, that are consistent with Federal environmental laws and that avoid environmental degradation, including the following:

(1) Ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes restoration and protection, including the protection of the environmental integrity of such areas, and their related watersheds, including efforts to mitigate potential impacts of sea level change, changes in ocean chemistry, and changes in ocean temperature.

(2) Restoration, protection, or maintenance of living ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and their habitats, including marine protected areas and riparian migratory habitat of coastal and marine species.

(3) Planning for and managing coastal development to enhance ecosystem integrity or minimize impacts from sea level change and coastal erosion.

(4) Analyses of current and anticipated impacts of ocean acidification and assessment of potential actions to minimize harm to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.

(5) Analyses of, and planning for, current and anticipated uses of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes areas.

(6) Regional, subregional, or site-specific management efforts designed to manage, protect, or restore ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and ecosystems.

(7) Research, assessment, monitoring, observation, modeling, and sharing of scientific information that contribute to the understanding of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and support the purposes of this Act.

(8) Efforts to understand better the processes that govern the fate and transport of petroleum hydrocarbons released into the marine environment from natural and anthropogenic sources, including spills.

(9) Efforts to improve spill response and preparedness technologies.

(10) Acquiring property or interests in property in coastal and estuarine areas, if such property or interest is acquired in a manner that will ensure such property or interest will be administered to support the purposes of this Act.

(11) Protection and relocation of critical coastal public infrastructure affected by erosion or sea level change.

(b) Matching requirement.—An amount from the Endowment may not be allocated to fund a project or activity described in paragraph (10) or (11) of subsection (a) unless non-Federal contributions in an amount equal to 30 percent or more of the cost of such project or activity is made available to carry out such project or activity.

(c) Considerations for Great Lakes States.—Programs and activities funded in Great Lakes States shall also seek to attain the goals embodied in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Plan, the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, or other collaborative planning efforts of the Great Lakes Region.

(d) Prohibition on use of funds for litigation.—No funds made available under this Act may be used to fund litigation over any matter.

SEC. 6. Grants.

(a) Administration of grants.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Foundation shall establish the following:

(A) Application and review procedures for the awarding of grants under this section, including requirements ensuring that any amounts awarded under such subsections may only be used for an eligible use described under section 5.

(B) Approval procedures for the awarding of grants under this section that require consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior.

(C) Eligibility criteria for awarding grants—

(i) under subsection (b) to coastal States; and

(ii) under subsection (c) to entities including States, Indian tribes, regional bodies, associations, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions.

(D) Performance accountability and monitoring measures for programs and activities funded by a grant awarded under subsection (b) or (c).

(E) Procedures and methods to ensure accurate accounting and appropriate administration of grants awarded under this section, including standards of record keeping.

(F) Procedures to carry out audits of the Endowment as necessary, but not less frequently than once every 5 years.

(G) Procedures to carry out audits of the recipients of grants under this section.

(2) APPROVAL PROCEDURES.—

(A) SUBMITTAL.—The Foundation shall submit to the Secretary each procedure, measure, method, and standard established under paragraph (1).

(B) DETERMINATION AND NOTICE.—Not later than 90 days after receiving the procedures, measures, methods, and standards under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall—

(i) determine whether to approve or disapprove of such procedures, measures, methods, and standards; and

(ii) notify the Foundation of such determination.

(C) JUSTIFICATION OF DISAPPROVAL.—If the Secretary disapproves of the procedures, measures, methods, and standards under subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall include in notice submitted under clause (ii) of such subparagraph the rationale for such disapproval.

(D) RESUBMITTAL.—Not later than 30 days after the Foundation receives notification under subparagraph (B)(ii) that the Secretary has disapproved the procedures, measures, methods, and standards, the Foundation shall revise such procedures, measures, methods, and standards and submit such revised procedures, measures, methods, and standards to the Secretary.

(E) REVIEW OF RESUBMITTAL.—Not later than 30 days after receiving revised procedures, measures, methods, and standards resubmitted under subparagraph (D), the Secretary shall—

(i) determine whether to approve or disapprove the revised procedures, measures, methods, and standards; and

(ii) notify the Foundation of such determination.

(b) Grants to coastal States.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Foundation shall award grants of amounts allocated under section 4(e)(2)(A) to coastal States that have a coastal management program approved under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), based on the following formula:

(A) Fifty percent of the funds are allocated equally among such coastal States.

(B) Twenty-five percent of the funds are allocated on the basis of the ratio of tidal shoreline miles in a coastal State to the tidal shoreline miles of all coastal States.

(C) Twenty-five percent of the funds are allocated on the basis of the ratio of population density of the coastal shoreline counties of a coastal State to the population density of all coastal shoreline counties.

(2) MAXIMUM ALLOCATION TO STATES.—Notwithstanding paragraph (1), not more than 10 percent of the total funds distributed under this subsection may be allocated to any single State. Any amount exceeding this limit shall be redistributed among the remaining States according to the formula established under paragraph (1).

(3) MAXIMUM ALLOCATION TO CERTAIN GEOGRAPHIC AREAS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding paragraph (1), each geographic area described in subparagraph (B) may not receive more than 1 percent of the total funds distributed under this subsection. Any amount exceeding this limit shall be redistributed among the remaining States according to the formula established under paragraph (1).

(B) GEOGRAPHIC AREAS DESCRIBED.—The geographic areas described in this subparagraph are the following:

(i) American Samoa.

(ii) The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(iii) Guam.

(iv) Puerto Rico.

(v) The Virgin Islands.

(4) REQUIREMENT TO SUBMIT PLANS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, a coastal State shall submit to the Secretary, and the Secretary shall review, a 5-year plan, which shall include the following:

(i) A prioritized list of goals the coastal State intends to achieve during the time period covered by the 5-year plan.

(ii) Identification and general descriptions of existing State projects or activities that contribute to realization of such goals, including a description of the entities conducting those projects or activities.

(iii) General descriptions of projects or activities, consistent with the eligible uses described in section 5, applicable provisions of law relating to the environment, and existing Federal ocean policy, that could contribute to realization of such goals.

(iv) Criteria to determine eligibility for entities which may receive grants under this subsection.

(v) A description of the competitive process the coastal State will use in allocating funds received from the Endowment, except in the case of allocating funds under paragraph (7), which shall include—

(I) a description of the relative roles in the State competitive process of the State coastal zone management program approved under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.) and any State Sea Grant Program; and

(II) a demonstration that such competitive process is consistent with the application and review procedures established by the Foundation under subsection (a)(1).

(B) UPDATES.—As a condition of receiving a grant under this subsection, a coastal State shall submit to the Secretary, not less frequently than once every 5 years, an update to the plan submitted by the coastal State under subparagraph (A) for the 5-year period immediately following the most recent submittal under this paragraph.

(5) OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT.—In determining whether to approve a plan or an update to a plan described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (4), the Secretary shall provide the opportunity for, and take into consideration, public input and comment on the plan.

(6) APPROVAL PROCEDURE.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 30 days after the opportunity for public comment on a plan or an update to a plan of a coastal State under paragraph (5), the Secretary shall notify such coastal State that the Secretary—

(i) approves the plan as submitted; or

(ii) disapproves the plan as submitted.

(B) DISAPPROVAL.—If the Secretary disapproves a proposed plan or an update of a plan submitted under subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (4), the Secretary shall provide notice of such disapproval to the submitting coastal State in writing, and include in such notice the rationale for the Secretary’s decision.

(C) RESUBMITTAL.—If the Secretary disapproves a plan of a coastal State under subparagraph (A), the coastal State shall resubmit the plan to the Secretary not later than 30 days after receiving the notice of disapproval under subparagraph (B).

(D) REVIEW OF RESUBMITTAL.—Not later than 60 days after receiving a plan resubmitted under subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall review the plan.

(7) INDIAN TRIBES.—As a condition on receipt of a grant under this subsection, a State that receives a grant under this subsection shall ensure that Indian tribes in the State are eligible to participate in the competitive process described in the State's plan under paragraph (4)(A)(v).

(c) National grants for oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Foundation may use amounts allocated under section 4(e)(2)(B) to award grants according to the procedures established in subsection (a) to support activities consistent with section 5.

(2) ADVISORY PANEL.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Foundation shall establish an advisory panel to conduct reviews of applications for grants under paragraph (1) and the Foundation shall consider the recommendations of the Advisory Panel with respect to such applications.

(B) MEMBERSHIP.—The advisory panel established under subparagraph (A) shall include persons representing a balanced and diverse range, as determined by the Foundation, of—

(i) ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes dependent industries;

(ii) geographic regions;

(iii) nonprofit conservation organizations with a mission that includes the conservation and protection of living marine resources and their habitats; and

(iv) academic institutions with strong scientific or technical credentials and experience in marine science or policy.

SEC. 7. Annual report.

(a) Requirement for annual report.—Beginning with fiscal year 2014, not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Foundation shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report on the operation of the Endowment during the fiscal year.

(b) Content.—Each annual report submitted under subsection (a) for a fiscal year shall include—

(1) a statement of the amounts deposited in the Endowment and the balance remaining in the Endowment at the end of the fiscal year; and

(2) a description of the expenditures made from the Endowment for the fiscal year, including the purpose of the expenditures.

SEC. 8. Funding.

(a) Outer continental shelf lease revenue.—Section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(q) Deposits in the National Endowment for the Oceans.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Beginning with the first fiscal year beginning after the date of the enactment of the National Endowment for the Oceans Act, the Secretary shall deposit 12.5 percent of the revenue paid to the United States under this section in the National Endowment for the Oceans established pursuant to section 4 of that Act.

“(2) FINES COLLECTED FOR VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL LAW.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Beginning with the first fiscal year beginning after the date of the enactment of the National Endowment for the Oceans Act, the President shall ensure that 10 percent of the civil penalties paid to the United States for a violation of a law set out under subparagraph (B) or for a violation of any requirement or prohibition of any rule, order, or permit promulgated, issued, or approved under such a law that occurs on the outer Continental Shelf are deposited in the National Endowment for the Oceans referred to in paragraph (1).

“(B) LAWS.—The laws set out under this subparagraph are the following:

“(i) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) (commonly referred to as the ‘Clean Water Act’) other than penalties provided for under section 311 of such Act (33 U.S.C. 1321).

“(ii) The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).

“(iii) Chapter 601 of title 49, United States Code.

“(iv) The Act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat. 1151, chapter 425; 33 U.S.C. 401 et seq.).”.


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