Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate without amendment (04/14/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Highlights:

The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 provides FY2017 appropriations for:

  • the civil works projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
  • the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation and Central Utah Project;
  • the Department of Energy (DOE); and
  • several independent agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The bill increases overall FY2017 Energy and Water Development funding above FY2016 levels. The bill includes increases for both DOE and the Army Corps of Engineers, while funding the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation at the FY2016 level.

Within the DOE budget, the bill increases funding for Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The bill does not include FY2017 funding for Nuclear Waste Disposal. It authorizes DOE to conduct a pilot program with private sector partners to provide interim storage for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

Also included in the bill is a provision restricting the Corps of Engineers from advancing regulations changing the definition of "fill material" or "discharge of fill material" under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act).

Full Summary:

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017

TITLE I--CORPS OF ENGINEERS--CIVIL

Provides appropriations to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for authorized civil functions pertaining to rivers and harbors, flood and storm damage reduction, shore protection, aquatic ecosystem restoration, and related efforts.

Provides appropriations to the Corps of Engineers for:

  • Investigations;
  • Construction;
  • Mississippi River and Tributaries, including flood damage reduction projects in the Mississippi River alluvial valley below Cape Girardeau, Missouri;
  • Operation and Maintenance;
  • the Regulatory Program pertaining to navigable waters and wetlands;
  • the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program for clean-up of early atomic energy program contamination;
  • Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies, including hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters;
  • Expenses necessary for the supervision and general administration of the civil works program; and
  • the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

(Sec. 101) Establishes reprogramming guidelines and requirements for funds provided in this title. Prohibits the availability of funds for obligation or expenditure through reprogramming that would: (1) create, initiate, or eliminate a program, project, or activity; (2) increase funds or personnel for any program, project, or activity for which funds are either denied or restricted by this bill; (3) reduce funds that are directed to be used for a specific purpose by this bill; or (4) reprogram funds for specific projects, programs, or activities by more than specified amounts.

Specifies exceptions and requires the Corps of Engineers to submit a report to Congress establishing the baseline for application of reprogramming and transfer authorities for the current fiscal year.

Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used for a contract that commits funds beyond the amounts appropriated for that program, project, or activity that remain unobligated. Includes exception for funds made available through reprogramming.

(Sec. 102) Permits the Corps of Engineers to transfer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service up to $5.4 million in Operation and Maintenance funds to mitigate for fisheries lost due to Corps of Engineers civil works projects.

(Sec. 103) Prohibits the Corps of Engineers from using funds to develop, adopt, implement, administer, or enforce any change to regulations in effect on October 1, 2012, pertaining to the definitions of "fill material" or "discharge of fill material" for the purposes of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act).

(Sec. 104) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used for open lake disposal of dredged sediment in Lake Erie unless the disposal meets the water and environmental standards of a state's water permitting agency and is consistent with a state's Coastal Zone Management Plan. Requires the Corps of Engineers to maintain its funding obligations for upland placement of dredged material with cost sharing, if the standard is not met.

TITLE II--DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Provides appropriations to the Department of the Interior for the Central Utah Project.

Provides appropriations to the Bureau of Reclamation for:

  • Water and Related Resources,
  • the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund,
  • California Bay-Delta Restoration, and
  • Policy and Administration.

Permits appropriations to the Bureau of Reclamation to be used for purchasing replacements for up to five passenger motor vehicles.

(Sec. 201) Prohibits funds provided in this title for Water and Related Resources from being used for a reprogramming that would: (1) create, initiate, or eliminate a program, project, or activity; (2) increase funds for any program, project, or activity for which funds have been denied or restricted by this bill; (3) restart or resume any program, project, or activity for which funds are not provided in this bill unless prior approval is received from Congress; or (4) transfer funds in excess of specified limits or in violation of specified requirements without the approval of Congress.

Requires the Bureau of Reclamation to submit quarterly reports to Congress detailing funds that have been reprogrammed.

(Sec. 202) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to determine the final point of discharge for the interceptor drain for the San Luis Unit until Interior and California develop a plan to minimize any detrimental effect of the San Luis drainage waters. Requires the plan to conform to California water quality standards as approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Directs Interior to classify the costs of the Kesterson Reservoir Cleanup Program and the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program as either reimbursable or nonreimbursable and collected until fully repaid pursuant to specified alternative repayment plans.

Requires future federal obligations of funds regarding drainage service or drainage studies for the San Luis Unit to be fully reimbursable by San Luis Unit beneficiaries of the service or studies.

(Sec. 203) Amends the Calfed Bay-Delta Authorization Act to extend the authorization through 2019.

(Sec. 204) Amends the Secure Water Act of 2009 to increase the authorization of appropriations for grants and cooperative agreements for water management improvement from $350 million to $400 million.

TITLE III--DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Provides appropriations to the Department of Energy (DOE) for Energy Programs, including:

  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,
  • Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability,
  • Nuclear Energy,
  • Fossil Energy Research and Development,
  • Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves,
  • the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR),
  • the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve,
  • the Energy Information Administration,
  • Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup,
  • the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund,
  • Science,
  • the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy,
  • the Office of Indian Energy,
  • the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Loan Program,
  • the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program,
  • Departmental Administration, and
  • the Office of the Inspector General.

Provides appropriations for the Atomic Energy Defense Activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), including for:

  • Weapons Activities,
  • Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation,
  • Naval Reactors, and
  • Federal Salaries and Expenses.

Provides appropriations for Environmental and Other Defense Activities, including:

  • Defense Environmental Cleanup,
  • Defense Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning, and
  • Other Defense Activities.

Provides appropriations for the Power Marketing Administrations, including:

  • the Bonneville Power Administration Fund;
  • Southeastern Power Administration Operation and Maintenance;
  • Southwestern Power Administration Operation and Maintenance;
  • Western Area Power Administration Operation and Maintenance, Construction, and Rehabilitation; and
  • the Falcon and Amistad Operating and Maintenance Fund.

Provides appropriations for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(Sec. 301) Prohibits the use of funds provided in this title for programs, projects, or activities that have not been funded by Congress.

Prohibits specified grants, contracts, allocations, and agreements unless Congress is notified in advance.

Prohibits funds from being used for certain multiyear Department of Energy--Energy Programs activities unless specified conditions are met and Congress is notified.

Establishes requirements and restrictions for the reprogramming of funds provided in this title.

Permits unexpended balances of prior appropriations provided for activities in this bill to be transferred and merged with appropriations accounts established in this bill.

(Sec. 302) Rescinds specified unobligated balances from appropriations provided to the: (1) NNSA for Weapons Activities and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and (2) Fossil Energy Research and Development.

(Sec. 303) Deems funds appropriated by this bill for intelligence activities to be specifically authorized by Congress during FY2017 until the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2017.

(Sec. 304) Prohibits funds provided by this tile from being used to construct specified high-hazard nuclear facilities unless independent oversight is conducted by the Office of Independent Enterprise Assessments to ensure compliance with nuclear safety requirements.

(Sec. 305) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to approve certain critical decisions for construction projects exceeding $100 million until a separate independent cost estimate has been developed.

(Sec. 306) Authorizes DOE to conduct a pilot program with private sector partners to license, construct, and operate one or more storage facilities to provide interim storage for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Permits the Nuclear Waste Fund to be used for this purpose, subject to appropriations.

TITLE IV--INDEPENDENT AGENCIES

Provides appropriations for independent agencies, including:

  • the Appalachian Regional Commission,
  • the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board,
  • the Delta Regional Authority,
  • the Denali Commission,
  • the Northern Border Regional Commission,
  • the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and
  • the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.

(Sec. 401) Permits the NRC to reprogram funds provided by this title if Congress is notified in advance regarding any proposed reprogramming that would change any program funding level by more than $500,000 or 10 percent, whichever is less. Permits the NRC to waive the notification requirement if compliance would pose a substantial risk to human health, the environment, welfare, or national security.

Prohibits NRC funds from being used for a reprogramming that increases funds or personnel for any program, project, or activity for which funds are denied or restricted by this bill.

Requires the NRC to submit a monthly report to Congress that includes total budget authority, unobligated balances, and unliquidated obligations for each program, project, or activity.

TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS

(Sec. 501) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to influence congressional action on any legislation or appropriation matters pending before Congress.

(Sec. 502) Prohibits transfers of funds made available in title III (Department of Energy) of this bill except pursuant to specified authorities for transferring funds or providing goods and services to another entity of the U.S. government.

Requires agencies that utilize transfer authority to provide a semiannual report to Congress detailing the transfer authority used, including the amounts transferred and the purposes for which they were transferred.