S.612 - WIIN Act114th Congress (2015-2016)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX] (Introduced 02/27/2015)|
|Committees:||Senate - Environment and Public Works | House - Transportation and Infrastructure|
|Latest Action:||12/16/2016 Became Public Law No: 114-322. (All Actions)|
|Roll Call Votes:||There have been 4 roll call votes|
This bill has the status Became Law
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
- Passed Senate
- Passed House
- Resolving Differences
- To President
- Became Law
Summary: S.612 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)
Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act or the WIIN Act
Public Law No: 114-322 (12/16/2016)
TITLE I--WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENTWater Resources Development Act of 2016
Subtitle A--General Provisions
(Sec. 1101) This bill requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to enter cooperative agreements with youth service and conservation corps organizations for services on Corps projects.
(Sec. 1102) The Corps of Engineers must use its existing channel depths and dimensions authority under the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1915 to carry out navigation safety activities at harbor or inland harbor projects eligible for Corps operation and maintenance under the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (WRDA 1986), including at entrances, bends, sidings, and turning places necessary for the free movement of boats.
(Sec. 1103) The bill makes permanent a requirement under WRDA 1986 that the Corps of Engineers use at least 10% (currently, exactly 10%) of the difference between the funds made available for a fiscal year to pay operations and maintenance costs of harbors and inland harbors and the funds that were available for such costs for FY2012 as priority funding for emerging harbor projects that transit less than 1 million tons of cargo annually.
(Sec. 1104) The Corps of Engineers must report on its inventory and assessment of the structural condition of all federal breakwaters and jetties protecting harbors and inland harbors.
(Sec. 1105) The Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA 2007) is amended to require the Corps of Engineers to consider regional (currently, local) communities when it makes recommendations for harbor and navigation improvements that are not justified solely by national economic development benefits.
(Sec. 1106) The Corps of Engineers may enter agreements to assume the operation and maintenance costs of an alternative project to maintenance dredging for a federal navigation channel if the costs of the operation and maintenance of the alternative project, and any remaining costs necessary for maintaining the federal navigation channel, are less than the costs of maintaining such channel without the alternative project.
(Sec. 1107) The bill makes permanent the Corps of Engineers' authority to use available priority funds (the difference between funds made available for operations and maintenance costs assigned to commercial navigation of harbors under WRDA 1986 each fiscal year and those funds made available for FY2012) for underserved harbors and projects within the Great Lakes Navigation System.
(Sec. 1108) If the target total budget resources available to the Corps of Engineers from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) for a fiscal year is lower than the resources for the previous fiscal year, the target shall be adjusted to be the lesser of: (1) 103% of the total appropriated for the previous fiscal year, or (2) 100% of the harbor maintenance taxes received in the previous fiscal year.
(Sec. 1109) The Corps of Engineers may maintain federally authorized harbors of refuge to restore and maintain authorized dimensions.
(Sec. 1110) The bill amends the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA 2014) to revise the payment allocations to donor ports and energy transfer ports through the establishment of a new category of medium-sized donor ports that are eligible for funding if they annually collect between $5 million and $15 million of total HMTF funding (donor ports must currently collect at least $15 million annually to be eligible).
The bill modifies the method of transferring through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection payments that ports may currently elect to provide to importers or shippers. The new process: (1) excludes shippers from being eligible recipients of such payments, and (2) requires payment calculations by the Corps of Engineers based on discretionary cargo (maritime cargo for which the U.S. port of unlading is different than the U.S. port of entry) that is shipped through the ports and that is most at risk of diversion to seaports outside the United States. The Corps of Engineers must determine the top importers at a port electing to provide such payments, as ranked by value of discretionary cargo, and payments shall be limited to those top importers.
The bill extends through FY2020, or through FY2025 if target total budget resources are met, the authorization for funding to such donor ports, medium-sized donor ports, and energy transfer ports for: (1) payments to importers, (2) maintenance dredging that benefits commercial navigation at harbors, or (3) environmental remediation related to dredging berths and federal navigation channels.
(Sec. 1111) The bill extends to contracts for physical construction that have not been awarded before enactment of WRRDA 2014 the formula that calculates the harbor deepening costs to be paid by nonfederal interests during construction for harbor or inland harbor navigation projects. For the portion of a project that has a depth in excess of 45 feet but not in excess of 50 feet, the cost to be paid by nonfederal interests is decreased from 50% to 25% of the cost of construction for that portion.
(Sec. 1112) The Corps of Engineers must publish guidance for the implementation of WRRDA 2014 provisions concerning maintenance of emerging ports and Great Lakes ports.
(Sec. 1113) The Corps of Engineers may permit a nonfederal interest to carry out maintenance activities necessary to ensure that a navigation project is maintained to not less than the minimum project dimensions. Costs incurred by the nonfederal interest are eligible for reimbursement up to the estimated federal cost, but are limited to costs directly related to the performance of work for the federal government and the actual fiscal year appropriations for that portion of maintenance dredging. Any reimbursement is subject to the nonfederal interest complying with all federal laws and regulations that would apply if such maintenance activities were carried out by the Corps.
In carrying out the maintenance activities, the nonfederal interest shall: (1) provide equipment at no cost to the federal government, and (2) hold the United States free from damages that arise from the use of the equipment. This section terminates 10 years after enactment of this bill.
(Sec. 1114) The Corps of Engineers' next biennial HMTF report on operations and maintenance costs assigned to commercial navigation of harbors and inland harbors must identify transportation cost savings realized by achieving and maintaining the constructed width and depth for such harbors on a project-by-project basis. This requirement does not apply to subsequent reports.
(Sec. 1115) The Corps of Engineers must establish a pilot program to accept services from nonfederal interests or commercial entities for removal of sediment captured behind up to 10 U.S. dams under Corps jurisdiction for the purpose of restoring authorized storage capacity. The nonfederal interests or commercial entities may sell or otherwise dispose of the removed sediment without compensating the Corps for the sediment's value.
(Sec. 1116) In a state in which a drought emergency has been declared or was in effect during the year before enactment of this bill, the Corps of Engineers may enter agreements with nonfederal interests to carry out approved water supply conservation measures.
(Sec. 1117) Upon the request of a governor of a state with a drought emergency during the year leading up to the enactment of this bill, the Corps of Engineers may prioritize updates of water control manuals and incorporate seasonal operations for water conservation and water supply for control structures.
(Sec. 1118) The Corps of Engineers, at a nonfederal interest's request, may review proposals to increase the quantity of available water supplies at federal water resources development projects through: (1) modification of the project, (2) modification of how a project is managed, or (3) access to water released from a project. But this section shall not apply to proposals that: (1) reallocate existing water supply or hydropower storage, or (2) reduce water available for any authorized project purpose.
If a proposal relates to a federal project that is not operated by the Corps of Engineers, this section applies only to activities under the Corps' authority.
The Corps of Engineers must comply with public participation requirements and provide a copy of proposals to federal agencies that operate a project, affected states, power marketing administrations, and other entities with project rights or responsibilities.
The Corps of Engineers shall not approve a proposal that: (1) is not supported by the federal agency that operates the project, (2) adversely impacts contractual or legal rights, (3) increases costs to other entities, (4) interferes with authorized project purposes, or (5) modifies federal statutory requirements without congressional authorization.
The cost of developing, reviewing, and implementing a submitted proposal shall be provided by a nonfederal entity. But if an entity working with a state is authorized to receive the Corps of Engineers' assistance in the preparation of a comprehensive plan, the Corps may use those funds to pay 50% of the cost of the entity's proposal review.
Special requirements are set forth for operation and maintenance costs relating to the construction of additional water supply storage at a reservoir for use under a water supply storage agreement.
Other entities may contribute to the costs of implementing a proposal.
The Corps of Engineers may provide technical assistance for a proposal if the nonfederal interest agrees to pay the costs of the assistance.
This section shall not apply to reservoirs in the Upper Missouri River, the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system, the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river system, or the Stones River.
(Sec. 1119) For federally recognized Indian tribes, local cost-sharing requirements for studies and projects are waived up to a specified amount.
(Sec. 1120) The Corps of Engineers must submit to Congress: (1) the Tribal Consultation Policy reports that it currently submits to the Office of Management and Budget; and (2) a report on its review of existing policies, regulations, and guidance related to consultation with Indian tribes that may have an impact on tribal cultural or natural resources.
(Sec. 1121) The Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000) is amended to allow the Corps of Engineers to carry out cost-shared design and construction of water resources development projects under the tribal partnership program.
At an Indian tribe's request, the Corps of Engineers must report on the feasibility of a water resources development project that will substantially benefit Indian tribes.
The Corps of Engineers may carry out the design and construction of a feasible tribal partnership project if: (1) the federal share is not more than $10 million, or (2) congressional authorization is obtained for a federal share exceeding $10 million.
The Corps of Engineers is prohibited from requiring an Indian tribe to waive its sovereign immunity as a condition to entering into a cost-sharing agreement under the tribal partnership program.
The bill sets forth the nonfederal cost shares for studies, design and construction, and watershed and river basin assessments under the expanded program.
(Sec. 1122) The Corps of Engineers must establish a pilot program to carry out 10 cost-sharing projects for the beneficial use of dredged material. Project selections must be based solely on: (1) environmental, economic, and social benefits; and (2) diversity in project types and geographical locations. The projects are exempt from federal standards that require dredged material disposals representing the least costly alternatives. Regional teams that include local agencies and stakeholders must be established to identify and assist in implementation of projects.
The Corps of Engineers may use sediment from other federal and nonfederal sources, but any nonfederal source sediment must be obtained without federal expense. Federal water resources projects involving the disposal of dredged material may include a single or periodic application of sediment for beneficial use and shall not require operation and maintenance. The Corps may accept funds from a nonfederal interest to dispose of such dredged material for private shores or lands that are ineligible for federal cost sharing.
(Sec. 1123) The bill repeals provisions of WRDA 2000 concerning the authorization of appropriations for Great Lakes fishery and ecosystem restoration plans and projects.
(Sec. 1124) A Corps of Engineers coordinator and principal approving official must be designated to acquire Federal Aviation Administration authorizations for the Corps to operate small unmanned aircraft systems (drones) to support civil works and emergency response missions.
(Sec. 1125) The Corps of Engineers may accept funds from a railroad carrier to expedite the evaluation of the carrier's permits for a project under the Corps' jurisdiction. (Currently, the Corps may accept such funds from only public utility or natural gas companies to expedite such a permit.) The Corps' authority to accept such contributions for expedited permit processing is extended through June 10, 2024.
(Sec. 1126) The Corps of Engineers may provide technical assistance to nonfederal interests for feasibility studies of a proposed water resources development project if the nonfederal interest contracts to pay the costs of such assistance.
(Sec. 1127) The Corps of Engineers may authorize credits or reimbursements for discrete segments of a flood reduction project under WRDA 1986 before final completion of the project if the nonfederal interest can independently operate and maintain the segment without creating a hazard in advance of project completion.
(Sec. 1128) The Corps of Engineers may cooperate with groups of states to prepare comprehensive plans for the development, utilization, and conservation of the water and related resources of drainage basins, watersheds, or ecosystems located within their boundaries. States may combine funds that the Corps makes available to them for such purposes.
(Sec. 1129) The cost-share assistance under the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 that is provided to Indian tribes, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands to prepare comprehensive plans for the development, utilization, and conservation of the water and related resources of drainage basins, watersheds, or ecosystems shall be as provided under the local cost-sharing waivers for U.S. territories under WRDA 1986.
(Sec. 1130) State regional districts' flood damage reduction projects are eligible for assistance from: (1) the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a levee safety program, and (2) the Corps of Engineers for flood mitigation activities. The national levee database, inventory and review procedures, and safety guidelines must be updated to include regional district participation.
(Sec. 1131) The categories of "nonfederal interests" under the Flood Control Act of 1970 are expanded to include Alaska native villages, regional corporations, and village corporations among the entities that may enter partnership agreements with the Corps for implementation or construction of water resources projects.
(Sec. 1132) The Corps of Engineers' post-authorization change reports recommending modifications to authorized projects: (1) may not be delayed by policy or priority change considerations, and (2) must be submitted to Congress upon completion.
(Sec. 1133) The Corps of Engineers must establish a publicly available database on its dredging projects, including information on maintenance dredging carried out by federal and nonfederal vessels. For each project and contract, the database must include estimated and actual data on the number of private contractor bids received and the bid amounts.
(Sec. 1134) The Corps of Engineers' system for electronic submission of permit applications must: (1) allow applicants to prepare permit applications, request jurisdictional determinations, and track their status electronically; and (2) address joint applications for state and federal permits. The Corps must maintain records of each permit decision and jurisdictional determination for at least five years and then archive those records.
(Sec. 1135) The Corps of Engineers must publish data on: (1) the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of water resources development projects; and (2) water quality and water management of projects owned, operated, or managed by the Corps. But disclosure is not authorized for confidential or privileged information, law enforcement or national security information, infrastructure security information, or personal information.
(Sec. 1136) Transmittal letters and attachments printed as House or Senate documents for certain proposed reports and recommendations transmitted to Congress for flood control or navigation improvements must be made publicly available.
The Corps of Engineers must provide the Library of Congress a copy of each final post-authorization change report for water resources projects.
(Sec. 1137) The Corps of Engineers must report on the amount of acquisitions it has made in the prior fiscal year for civil works projects from entities that manufactured the articles, materials, or supplies outside of the United States. The report must indicate dollar values and summarize total procurement funds spent on goods manufactured inside versus outside the United States for each category of acquisition.
(Sec. 1138) The Corps of Engineers' international outreach program is expanded to include informing the United States of technological innovations abroad that could improve any water resources development in the United States, including technology transfers or exchanges. (Under current law, the program is limited to informing the maritime industry and port authorities about innovations that could improve waterborne transportation.)
(Sec. 1139) The Corps of Engineers must issue guidance for dam safety repair projects to: (1) identify the types of circumstances under which WRDA 1986's requirement relating to state-of-the-art design or construction criteria deemed necessary for safety purposes would apply, (2) assist Corps district offices in communicating with nonfederal interests when entering into and implementing cost-sharing agreements, and (3) assist Corps communications with nonfederal interests concerning their estimated and final cost-share responsibilities.
(Sec. 1140) The Corps of Engineers' projects to support the fishery, ecosystem, and beneficial uses of the Great Lakes may include compatible recreation features, except that the federal cost of such features may not exceed 10% of the ecosystem restoration costs of the project.
(Sec. 1141) WRDA 2007 is amended to extend the period during which the Corps of Engineers is prohibited from taking action seeking to remove an improvement (including dwellings) within the flowage easement of Lake Kemp, Texas (below elevation 1159 feet mean sea level), until the earlier of: (1) January 1, 2025, or (2) the transfer of ownership of an improvement occurring after this bill's enactment.
(Sec. 1142) The Corps of Engineers must report on corrosion prevention actions and projects.
(Sec. 1143) The Corps of Engineers is authorized to conduct a study of the economic and noneconomic costs, benefits, and impacts of acquiring sediment from domestic and nondomestic sources for shoreline protection. The Corps must report on the results of the study.
(Sec. 1144) The Corps of Engineers must give priority to flood management projects that have executed project partnership agreements in areas where: (1) there has been loss of life due to flood events and the President has declared a major disaster or an emergency under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, or (2) there is a significant risk for catastrophic flooding.
(Sec. 1145) The Corps of Engineers must coordinate with Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to assess the recovery of Gulf Coast oyster beds damaged by: (1) Hurricane Katrina in 2005, (2) the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and (3) floods in 2011 and 2016.
(Sec. 1146) For initiation of work on a separable element of a water resources development project that has received construction funds in the previous six years: (1) no new start or new investment decision is required, and (2) the work shall be treated as ongoing work.
(Sec. 1147) The Corps of Engineers must expedite environmental decisions and reviews related to the construction of, impoundment of water in, and operation of, the Lower Bois d'Arc Creek Reservoir Project, including any associated water transmission facilities, by the North Texas Municipal Water District in Fannin County, Texas.
(Sec. 1148) The bill revises WRRDA 2014's standards for floating cabins with overnight accommodations on Corps of Engineers' waters in the Cumberland River basin. The amended standards may not be construed to authorize the Corps to impose requirements on floating cabins or facilities (including marinas or docks located on such waters) that are different or more stringent than the requirements imposed on all recreational vessels authorized to use such waters.
(Sec. 1149) At the request of state or local officials, the Corps of Engineers must identify and allow implementation of appropriate safety measures addressing navigation hazards in federally marked or maintained Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway navigation channels adjacent to a marina. In identifying appropriate measures, the Corps must consider whether: (1) documented safety hazards are a direct result of excessive wakes from recreational vessels, (2) proposed measures will remedy safety concerns without significant impacts to the navigable capacity of the channel, and (3) the measures are consistent with any Coast Guard recommendations to ensure the safety of vessels and passengers.
(Sec. 1150) The Corps of Engineers may carry out small flood control projects under the Flood Control Act of 1948 that are not specifically authorized by Congress, including planning, design, construction, and monitoring of structural and nonstructural technologies to prevent and mitigate flood damages associated with ice jams. During FY2017-FY2022, the Corps must carry out at least 10 projects to demonstrate such technologies and designs. Projects must be selected from all cold U.S. regions, including the Upper Missouri River Basin and the Northeast region.
(Sec. 1151) The Corps of Engineers must develop a structural health monitoring program to assess and improve the condition of Corps infrastructure, including systems and frameworks for: (1) response to floods and earthquakes, (2) predisaster mitigation measures, (3) lengthening the useful life of the infrastructure, and (4) identifying risks due to sea level rise.
(Sec. 1152) The Corps of Engineers must transfer the human remains known as Kennewick Man or the Ancient One to the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to dispose of and repatriate the remains through the State Historic Preservation Officer to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Wanapum Band of Priest Rapids. The transfer is conditioned on the tribes: (1) following the state of Washington's requirements under state laws; and (2) verifying their agreement on a final burial place in, and legal custody of the remains by, the state of Washington.
(Sec. 1153) The bill amends WRRDA 2014 to allow the Corps of Engineers to accept materials, services, or funds from a nonfederal public entity, a nonprofit entity, or a private entity to repair, restore, replace, or maintain a water resources project if there is a risk of adverse impacts to the functioning of the project. (Under current law, the Corps may accept only materials or services for repairing, restoring, or replacing such a project that has been damaged or destroyed as a result of an emergency.)
The Corps may: (1) use such accepted materials and services only if they comply with all applicable laws and regulations that would apply if they were acquired by the Corps, and (2) accept services only to provide supplementary services to existing federal employees and to perform work that would not otherwise be accomplished as a result of funding or personnel limitations.
(Sec. 1154) The Corps of Engineers' funding of response actions to address human health and environmental threats from military munitions deposited on a beach shall be reimbursed from amounts made available to the Department of Defense (DOD) agency responsible for the original release of the munitions.
(Sec. 1155) The Water Resources Development Act of 1992 (WRDA 1992) is amended to authorize the Corps of Engineers to allow a nonfederal public entity that has entered into a cooperative agreement for the operation and management of recreation facilities and natural resources at civil works projects under the Corps' jurisdiction to collect user fees for the use of developed recreation sites and facilities, whether developed or constructed by such entity or the Corps.
These nonfederal public entities may: (1) use any visitor reservation service that the Corps of Engineers has provided for by contract or interagency agreement to manage fee collections and reservations, subject to the Corps' terms and conditions; and (2) retain the fees collected to pay for operation, maintenance, and management at the recreation site where they were collected.
(Sec. 1156) If a person or entity seeks permission from the Corps of Engineers for an occupation, use, or alteration of a harbor or river public works project that also requires review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) or another legal authority, the reviews and approvals shall occur concurrently to the extent practicable. If the Corps is not the lead federal agency for an environmental review, the Corps shall (consistent with federal laws) participate as a cooperating agency and use the same documents prepared under NEPA.
The Corps of Engineers may accept funds from nonfederal public or private entities to evaluate an alteration, permanent occupation, or use of a work built by the United States.
The bill establishes time frames for the Corps of Engineers to make decisions on applications affecting public projects. The Corps must notify Congress and explain its justification for any time frames that are extended.
(Sec. 1157) The bill authorizes funding for FY2017-FY2021 for the Corps of Engineers to carry out to completion certain environmental infrastructure projects or programs of assistance under WRDA 1992 if: (1) a project has already received more than $4 million in federal appropriations and those appropriations are greater than 80% of the authorized amount, (2) significant progress has been demonstrated but a project is not complete, and (3) the federal investment will not be realized without the project's completion.
The Corps of Engineers' annual report on future water resources development must include projects under environmental infrastructure assistance programs if authorized before enactment of this title.
(Sec. 1158) The Corps of Engineers' revolving fund for maintenance and operation of plants and equipment may be used to construct buildings for its New England district headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts, and its district headquarters in Buffalo, New York.
(Sec. 1160) The bill establishes a process that requires the Corps of Engineers to submit project prospectuses or building surveys to obtain approval before using plant maintenance and operation revolving funds to newly construct, or perform a major renovation of more than $20 million on, a building for use by the Corps of Engineers.
(Sec. 1161) Monitoring plans for ecosystem restoration projects must describe: (1) the types and number of restoration activities, (2) the physical action to be undertaken, (3) the functions and values that will result from the restoration plan, and (4) the contingency plan for taking any corrective actions. The nonfederal interest's responsibility for operation and maintenance of the nonstructural and nonmechanical elements of an ecosystem restoration project shall cease 10 years after the Corps of Engineers makes a determination of success.
(Sec. 1162) Habitat connectivity protection and restoration measures must be included in programmatic mitigation plans to address potential impacts to ecological resources, fish, and wildlife.
The Corps of Engineers, with the consent of the nonfederal interest and with prior notice to Congress, may use preconstruction engineering and design funds after authorization of project construction to: (1) satisfy mitigation requirements through third-party arrangements, or (2) acquire land interests necessary to meet mitigation requirements.
(Sec. 1163) The Corps of Engineers must issue implementation guidance for water resources projects involving wetlands mitigation that impacts the service area of a mitigation bank. The guidance must provide for consideration in water resources development feasibility studies of the entire amount of potential in-kind credits available at Corps'-approved mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs with an approved service area that includes the location of the projected impacts of the project. All potential mitigation bank and in-lieu fee credits that meet such criteria shall be considered reasonable alternatives if: (1) the mitigation bank has an approved mitigation banking instrument and has completed a functional analysis of the potential credits using the approved Corps-certified habitat assessment model specific to the region, and (2) the Corps determines that the use of such banks or in-lieu fee programs provide reasonable assurance that the statutory and regulatory mitigation requirements for a water resources development project are met.
(Sec. 1164) The bill increases the Corps of Engineers' annual maximum allotment for debris removal from rivers, harbors, streams, and tributaries. It expands the authorized activities to include: (1) the removal of obstructions located in or adjacent to a federal channel, and (2) the clearing or straightening of channels for recreation.
(Sec. 1165) The Corps of Engineers must consider a property's economic, cultural, historic, or recreational significance or impacts at the national, state, or local level when carrying out a disposition study for a Corps project or conducting assessments for its inventory of properties that are not needed for Corps missions. The Corps of Engineers must complete its inventory of such properties within one year after this bill's enactment.
(Sec. 1166) The bill revises the Corps of Engineers' authority to apply credit for in-kind contributions provided by a nonfederal interest that are in excess of the required nonfederal cost share for a project toward the required nonfederal cost share for a different water resources development study or project. A nonfederal interest may request that the credit be applied prior to completion of the study or project.
(Sec. 1167) The bill increases the maximum amount that the Corps of Engineers may expend for small shore and beach restoration and protection projects not specifically authorized by Congress.
(Sec. 1168) The Corps of Engineers may operate a fish hatchery to restore a population of threatened or endangered fish species. Nonfederal entities or other federal agencies shall be responsible for all additional costs associated with managing such a fish hatchery that are not authorized as of the enactment of this bill.
(Sec. 1169) The River and Harbor Act of 1968 is amended to provide for: (1) feasibility studies to be cost-shared in the same proportion as construction of projects, and (2) reimbursements to nonfederal interests if they expend more than their share of study costs.
(Sec. 1170) The bill makes permanent a program that demonstrates the benefits of recreation facilities and activities at Corps of Engineers' lakes primarily in Oklahoma.
(Sec. 1171) The Corps of Engineers' authority to provide nonfederal interests a credit in lieu of a reimbursement for the estimated federal share of a flood damage reduction project under repealed provisions the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 (WRDA 1996) is extended to projects for which a written agreement with the Corps for construction was finalized on or before December 31, 2014. (Currently, the credit in lieu of reimbursement is limited to projects that have been constructed by a nonfederal interest before the provisions were repealed on June 10, 2014.) The credit may be applied to other water resources development projects or studies of the nonfederal interest.
(Sec. 1172) The Corps of Engineers may not collect consideration (money or other thing of value) for easements across water resources development project land for the electric, telephone, or broadband service facilities of nonprofit organizations eligible for financing under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.
(Sec. 1173) The Corps of Engineers must contract with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to study the use and performance of innovative materials in Corps projects.
(Sec. 1174) Under the Corps of Engineers' authority to make contracts for domestic and industrial uses of surplus water that may be available at Corps-controlled reservoirs, the Corps must provide nonfederal entities an opportunity to convert to permanent storage agreements under the Water Supply Act of 1958 certain water supply agreements (with a duration of 30 years or longer predicated on water that was surplus to a purpose and provided for the complete payment of the actual investment costs of storage to be used) whose project purposes are no longer authorized as of the enactment of this section.
(Sec. 1175) Projects authorized to receive funding from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund are exempted temporarily from a process that deauthorizes unconstructed projects for which funds have not been obligated for a specified preceding period of years. The exemption for these inland waterways projects begins on June 10, 2014, and ends upon the completion of certain navigation projects in the Lower Ohio River, Illinois, and Kentucky.
(Sec. 1176) The Corps of Engineers, at a nonfederal sponsor's request, may use the natural disaster emergency fund to repair or restore flood control work, hurricane or shore protective structures, or the depths of federal navigable channels or waterways to an increased pumping capacity or a level of protection above the system design. The nonfederal sponsor must agree to pay the difference between the cost of restoration to the original design level and the cost of achieving the higher level of protection. The Corps must notify and consult with nonfederal sponsors regarding the opportunity to request nonstructural alternatives to restore or protect natural resources (including streams, rivers, floodplains, wetlands, or coasts) if those efforts will reduce flood risk.
(Sec. 1177) The Corps of Engineers may carry out feasible cost-sharing projects with nonfederal entities to rehabilitate nonfederally operated dams classified by states as posing a high hazard potential if the dams were: (1) constructed, in whole or in part, by the Corps for flood control purposes; and (2) completed before 1940. The Corps shall not expend more than $10 million for a project at any single dam.
(Sec. 1178) The bill increases funding for ecosystem restoration projects for the lower Columbia River and Tillamook Bay estuaries in Oregon and Washington.
The River and Harbor Act of 1958 is amended to allow the Corps of Engineers to establish, operate, and maintain new or existing watercraft inspection stations (currently, the Corps may only establish such stations) to protect the Columbia River Basin in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington from the spread of aquatic invasive species at Corps-operated and -maintained reservoirs. The Corps must also consult with such states and assist them with rapid response to any aquatic invasive species, including quagga or zebra mussel infestation.
At the Department of the Interior's request, the Corps of Engineers may provide assistance, on land transferred by the Corps to Interior, to Indian tribes displaced by construction of the Bonneville Dam, Oregon. The Corps of Engineers must recommend to Congress a plan to assist the Indian tribes displaced by John Jay Dam construction.
(Sec. 1179) The Corps of Engineers, in partnership with Interior, must carry out a pilot program to implement sediment management plans for Corps-owned and -operated reservoirs in the Upper Missouri River Basin, on request by project beneficiaries. The program may also apply to reservoirs managed or owned by the Bureau of Reclamation.
The Corps of Engineers shall be the lead agency for soil moisture and snowpack monitoring projects in the Upper Missouri River Basin.
(Sec. 1180) The bill increases authorized appropriations for alternative or beneficially modified habitats for fish and wildlife, including native oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.
(Sec. 1181) The pilot designation is removed from California's Salton Sea restoration projects. Additional nonfederal interests may participate in cost sharing for these projects.
(Sec. 1182) Under WRDA 1992, the list of: (1) South Carolina counties with nonfederal interests eligible for assistance with water treatment and distribution projects for Marion and Moultrie Lakes is adjusted to add Berkeley County and remove Sumter County, and (2) Alabama counties with nonfederal interests eligible for assistance with water related infrastructure is expanded to include Blount and Cullman counties.
(Sec. 1183) Corps of Engineers' studies to determine the feasibility of Corps projects in coastal zones to enhance ocean and coastal ecosystem resiliency must prioritize projects in communities whose existence is threatened by rising sea level. The Corps must coordinate with Indian tribes in carrying out the studies.
An interagency working group must be convened on extreme weather and sea level rise to: (1) coordinate research and federal investments, and (2) participate in state authorized studies.
The Corps of Engineers must report on regional assessments of coastal and back bay protection.
(Sec. 1184) In studying the feasibility of projects for flood risk management, hurricane and storm damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration, the Corps of Engineers (with the consent of the nonfederal sponsor) must consider: (1) natural features created through physical, geological, biological, and chemical processes over time; (2) human-designed, nature-based features engineered and constructed to provide risk reduction by acting in concert with natural processes; and (3) nonstructural and structural measures.
(Sec. 1185) The Corps of Engineers, within two years after enactment of this bill, must finalize a revision of the Table Rock Lake Master Plan and Table Rock Lake Shoreline Management Plan. The moratorium on new or modified shoreline permits based on the existing plan must be suspended until the final revision. The Corps must establish an oversight committee to review permits issued under the existing plan and advise on its revisions.
The Corps must also report on and implement revisions to Table Rock Lake permit fees.
(Sec. 1186) Under the Water Resources Development Act of 1999 program for providing environmental assistance to nonfederal interests in Idaho, Montana, rural Nevada, New Mexico, rural Utah, and Wyoming, the Corps of Engineers must give priority to project sponsors prepared to: (1) execute a new or amended project cooperation agreement, and (2) commence promptly after the enactment of this bill.The Corps shall consider a project authorized under such program and an environmental infrastructure project authorized under WRDA 1992 for new starts on the same basis as any other similarly funded project.
(Sec. 1187) The bill removes provisions of the Water Supply Act of 1958 concerning Congress's recommendation for an interstate water compact for the operation of projects in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River System and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River System.
(Sec. 1188) The bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) state water quality standards that impact the disposal of dredged material should be developed collaboratively, (2) open-water disposal of dredged material should be reduced, and (3) disputes between states related to the disposal of dredged material and the protection of water quality should be resolved in accordance with regional plans and the involvement of regional bodies.
(Sec. 1189) Disposal of dredged material shall not be considered environmentally acceptable for purposes of identifying the federal standard (the least costly alternative consistent with sound engineering and environmental standards) if it violates state water quality standards approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act).
(Sec. 1201) The Corps of Engineers may conduct feasibility studies for the following navigation, flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, ecosystem or environmental restoration, water conservation, water supply, flood control, reservoir, and recreation projects:
- Ouachita-Black Rivers, Arkansas and Louisiana;
- Cache Creek Settling Basin, California;
- Coyote Valley Dam, California;
- Del Rosa Channel, City of San Bernardino, California;
- Merced County Streams, California;
- Mission-Zanja Channel, Cities of San Bernardino and Redlands, California;
- Soboba Indian Reservation, California;
- Indian River Inlet, Delaware;
- Lewes Beach, Delaware;
- Mispillion Complex, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware;
- Daytona Beach, Florida;
- Brunswick Harbor, Georgia;
- Savannah River below Augusta, Georgia;
- Dubuque, Iowa;
- St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana;
- Cattaraugus Creek, New York;
- Cayuga Inlet, Ithaca, New York;
- Delaware River Basin, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware;
- Silver Creek, Hanover, New York;
- Johnstown, Pennsylvania;
- Stonycreek and Little Conemaugh Rivers, Pennsylvania;
- Tioga-Hammond Lake, Pennsylvania;
- Brazos River, Fort Bend County, Texas;
- Chacon Creek, City of Laredo, Texas;
- Corpus Christi Ship Channel, Texas;
- City of El Paso, Texas;
- Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Brazoria and Matagorda Counties, Texas;
- Port of Bay City, Texas;
- Chincoteague Island, Virginia; and
- Burley Creek Watershed, Kitsap County, Washington.
(Sec. 1202) The Corps of Engineers must conduct studies to determine the feasibility of modifying projects for: (1) flood risk management in Tulsa and West Tulsa, Oklahoma; and (2) navigation in the Mississippi River Ship Channel, Gulf to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Corps of Engineers must review plans and studies to determine the feasibility of carrying out a second phase of a project in Cincinnati, Ohio, for flood risk reduction, ecosystem restoration, and recreation. If feasible, the Corps may undertake additional flood risk reduction and ecosystem components.
When determining whether an Arctic deep draft port is feasible, the Corps of Engineers must consult with DOD and the Coast Guard to consider benefits to national security or Coast Guard missions. The Corps may provide technical assistance to Alaska native villages, regional corporations, or villages for deep draft ports.
(Sec. 1203) The Corps of Engineers' study to determine the feasibility of projects to restore aquatic ecosystems within the coastal waters of the northeastern United States from Virginia to Maine must be carried out as a comprehensive assessment and management plan.
(Sec. 1204) The Corps of Engineers must study coastal areas within the geographical boundaries of its South Atlantic Division to identify the risks and vulnerabilities to increased hurricane and storm damage as a result of sea level rise. It must: (1) develop a long-term strategy to enhance resiliency, increase sustainability, and lower risks in populated areas, areas of concentrated economic development, and areas with vulnerable environmental resources; and (2) report within four years after enactment of this bill with recommendations to address those risks and vulnerabilities.
(Sec. 1205) The Corps of Engineers must consider information developed by the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District to expedite completion of the comprehensive plan authorized by WRDA 2007 to determine the feasibility of projects for flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration in Texas coastal areas.
(Sec. 1206) The Corps of Engineers must study and develop a long-term strategy for the riverine areas located within the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River basins to address the risks and vulnerabilities of increased flood damages.
(Sec. 1207) The Corps of Engineers must study the feasibility of implementing projects for flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, navigation, water supply, recreation, and water resources related purposes within the Kanawha River Basin in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Subtitle C--Deauthorizations, Modifications, and Related Provisions
(Sec. 1301) The Corps of Engineers must seek comment from the public and states regarding an interim deauthorization list from which the Corps must then prepare a final deauthorization list of projects with an aggregate estimated federal cost to complete that is at least $10 billion.
The Corps' interim list must identify: (1) each water resources development project authorized for construction before November 8, 2007, for which planning, design, or construction was not initiated before enactment of this bill or for which planning, design, or construction was initiated but no funds were obligated during the current fiscal year or the preceding six fiscal years; and (2) projects identified on a list under WRDA 1986 that have received no obligations during a specified preceding period of years.
A project shall not be deauthorized if: (1) Congress disapproves of such project's deauthorization, or (2) a nonfederal interest provides sufficient funds to complete the project or a separable element of the project.
(Sec. 1302) The bill deauthorizes water resources development projects authorized for construction by this bill unless, within 10 years after its enactment: (1) funds have not been obligated for construction of, or a post-authorization study for, such a project; or (2) this bill's authorization is modified by a subsequent Act of Congress. The Corps of Engineers must identify for Congress any projects so deauthorized.
After 12 years, the Corps must submit to Congress: (1) a list of projects authorized by this bill that have not been completed, (2) the reasons the projects were not completed, (3) a schedule for completions based on expected appropriations, and (4) a 5-year and 10-year projection of the construction backlog with recommendations on how to mitigate such backlog.
(Sec. 1303) Specified portions of a navigation project in Valdez, Alaska, and Texas City Ship Channel, Texas City, Texas, shall not be subject to navigation servitude.
(Sec. 1304) The Corps of Engineers must prioritize updates to water control manuals for control structures for the flood control project in the Los Angeles County Drainage Area in California.
(Sec. 1305) The bill deauthorizes specified portions of projects for:
- Sutter Basin, California;
- Stonington Harbor, Connecticut;
- Green River Locks and Dams 3, 4, 5, and 6 and Barren River Lock and Dam 1, Kentucky;
- Essex River, Massachusetts;
- Hannibal Small Boat Harbor on the Mississippi River, Hannibal, Missouri;
- Red River below Denison Dam, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana; and
- Salt Creek, Graham, Texas.
(Sec. 1307) Flowage easements are extinguished for portions of Port of Cascade Locks, Oregon.
(Sec. 1308) Unless local public officials object, portions of the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are declared to be nonnavigable waters of the United States. The declaration of nonnavigability for the Rivercenter portion of the Delaware River (currently, scheduled to expire on November 17, 2018) shall not expire.
(Sec. 1309) The Corps of Engineers must prioritize the updating of the master plan for the Juniata River and tributaries project in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. It must ensure that alternatives for additional recreation access and development are fully assessed and incorporated as a part of the update.
(Sec. 1317) The Corps of Engineers must transfer specified acres of land in McIntosh County, Oklahoma, to Interior to be held in trust for the benefit of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, on the condition that the transfer does not interfere with other civil works projects. The Corps retains the right to inundate the land with water to carry out the Eufaula Lake project and other civil works projects. Gaming is prohibited on this land. The tribe must pay the fair market value of the land plus transfer costs.
(Sec. 1318) The Corps of Engineers must effectuate the release of U.S. interests in certain tracts of land located in Cameron County, Texas, subject to any conditions the Corps may require to protect U.S. interests. The Brownsville Navigation District is responsible for costs associated with the releases.
(Sec. 1319) The bill deauthorizes the lock and dam at New Savannah Bluff, Savannah River, Georgia and South Carolina. The Savannah Harbor expansion project in Georgia is modified to maintain pool levels, allow safe fish passage, and convey a park and recreation area to Augusta-Richmond County.
(Sec. 1320) The bill modifies the authorized federal and nonfederal costs for a flood damage reduction and environmental restoration project in Hamilton City, California.
(Sec. 1321) The Corps of Engineers: (1) may convey property in the area of Pearl River in Mississippi and Louisiana and Sardis Lake in Mississippi; (2) must convey Pensacola Dam project interests to Oklahoma's Grand River Dam Authority for flood control purposes; and (3) must accept from the Trinity River Authority of Texas certain water supply storage space in Joe Pool Lake, Texas.
(Sec. 1322) The Corps of Engineers may give funding priority to projects that restore coastal wetlands that reduce the impact of storm surge. The Corps must provide priority funding and expedite completion of flood damage reduction and flood risk management projects for:
- Chicagoland Underflow Plan, Illinois, including phase 2 of the McCook Reservoir;
- Cedar River, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
- Comite River, Louisiana;
- Amite River and Tributaries, Louisiana; and
- the Louisiana parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and Pointe Coupee.
The Corps of Engineers must also give priority funding and expedite completion of reports, and if justified, proceed directly to project preconstruction, engineering, and design for navigation, flood risk management, ecosystem, and restoration projects in:
- St. George Harbor, Alaska;
- Rahway River Basin, New Jersey;
- the Hudson-Raritan Estuary Comprehensive Restoration Project;
- Mobile Harbor, Alabama;
- Little Colorado River at Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona;
- Lower San Joaquin River, California;
- Sacramento River Flood Control System, California;
- Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, Iowa;
- Mississippi River Ship Channel, Louisiana; and
- North Branch Ecorse Creek, Wayne County, Michigan.
The Corps of Engineers must provide priority funding for, and expedite completion of, a post-authorization change report for a hurricane and storm damage risk reduction project in New Hanover County, North Carolina.
The Corps of Engineers must expedite its review and decision on recommendations for flood damage reduction and flood risk management in Pearl River Basin, Mississippi, and Brays Bayou, Texas.
Subtitle D--Water Resources Infrastructure
(Sec. 1401) This subtitle authorizes and sets forth conditions for:
- navigation projects in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas;
- flood risk management projects in California, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas;
- hurricane and storm damage risk reduction projects in California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina;
- ecosystem restoration projects in Florida and Washington;
- flood risk management and ecosystem restoration projects in Illinois and Wisconsin;
- flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, and recreation projects in California;
- ecosystem restoration and recreation projects in California and Oregon;
- a hurricane and storm damage risk reduction and ecosystem restoration project in Louisiana; and
- modifications and other projects in Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas.
TITLE II--WATER AND WASTE ACT OF 2016
Water and Waste Act of 2016
Subtitle A--Safe Drinking Water
(Sec. 2101) Urges Congress to provide robust funding of capitalization grants to states for the drinking water state revolving fund (DWSRF) and the clean water state revolving fund.
(Sec. 2102) This bill allows public water systems to use financial assistance from the DWSRF for: (1) planning, design, and associated preconstruction activities, including activities related to the siting of the facility; and (2) meeting matching fund requirements.
(Sec. 2103) It revises the requirements which govern the amount of money states may use for administering the DWSRF and providing technical assistance to public water systems.
(Sec. 2104) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must establish a grant program to provide assistance for public water systems in complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act if those systems serve communities that: (1) are disadvantaged; or (2) have populations of less than 10,000 individuals and do not have the capacity to incur debt sufficient to finance a DWSRF project. The bill makes Indian tribes eligible for the grant program.
(Sec. 2105) The EPA must also establish a grant program for reducing the concentration of lead in drinking water by: (1) replacing publicly owned lead service lines, (2) identifying and addressing conditions that contribute to increased concentration of lead in drinking water, and (3) providing assistance to low-income homeowners to replace lead service lines. The bill makes Indian tribes eligible for the grant program.
(Sec. 2106) This bill amends the Safe Drinking Water Act by requiring public water systems to notify their customers when a lead action level under national drinking water regulations is exceeded in more than 10% of customer taps sampled. An action level is generally a certain contaminant level that triggers a requirement for the public water system to take additional actions to control corrosion.
Further, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must: (1) notify customers of an exceedance of the lead action level that has the potential to have serious adverse effects on human health as a result of short-term exposure, if the state or the public water system fails to notify the public within 24 hours after the public water system learns of the violation or exceedance; and (2) issue the notice no later than 24 hours of being notified of the exceedance.
Community water systems' consumer confidence reports must include a definition of "action level."
The EPA must establish a strategic plan for conducting targeted outreach, education, technical assistance, and risk communication to populations affected by lead in the public water system.
EPA employees must forward to the public water system any data indicating that the drinking water of a household served by a public water system contains a level of lead that exceeds the lead action level. Information on the sampling techniques used to obtain the data must also be forwarded with the data. The public water system must then disseminate to affected households information on the exceedance of a lead limit, its potential adverse effects on human health, corrective steps underway, and advice on whether customers should seek alternative water supplies.
The EPA must disseminate the information if the public water system or the state fails to do so. The EPA must: (1) make information about lead in drinking water available to the public, and (2) carry out targeted outreach strategies that focus on educating groups that are at greater risk than the general population for adverse health effects from exposure to lead in drinking water.
(Sec. 2107) The EPA must establish a grant program for voluntary testing of drinking water for lead contamination at schools and child care facilities.
(Sec. 2108) The EPA, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, must: (1) develop a technology clearinghouse for information on the cost-effectiveness of innovative and alternative drinking water delivery systems, including wells and well systems; and (2) disseminate the information to the public and to communities and nonprofit organizations seeking federal funding for drinking water delivery systems serving 500 or fewer persons.
(Sec. 2109) The EPA may: (1) research innovative water technologies, and (2) provide technical assistance to public water systems to facilitate use of innovative water technologies.
(Sec. 2110) This bill reauthorizes through FY2021 the grant program for providing technical assistance to small drinking water systems.
(Sec. 2112) The EPA may make grants for providing intertribal consortia or tribal organizations training and operator certification services in order to enable their public water systems to comply with national primary drinking water regulations.
(Sec. 2113) Projects funded by DWSRF must only use iron and steel produced in the United States, unless: (1) it would be inconsistent with the public interest, (2) iron and steel products are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality, or (3) inclusion of iron and steel products produced in the United States will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25%.
Subtitle B--Drinking Water Disaster Relief and Infrastructure Investments
(Sec. 2201) This bill allows the EPA to make grants to help states where the President has declared a disaster relating to public health threats associated with the presence of lead and other contaminants in a public drinking water supply system.
The National Center for Environmental Health's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry must conduct voluntary surveillance activities to evaluate adverse health effects on individuals exposed to lead from drinking water in affected communities upon the request of an appropriate state or local health official in those states.
(Sec. 2203) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must establish: (1) within the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention a lead exposure registry to collect data on the lead exposure of residents of a city exposed to lead contamination in drinking water; and (2) an Advisory Committee to review programs that address lead exposure, identify research needs, best practices, and effective services to communities affected by lead exposure.
(Sec. 2204) The bill provides additional funding in FY2017-FY2018 for: (1) CDC's childhood lead poisoning prevention program, and (2) HHS' healthy start initiative.
Subtitle C--Control of Coal Combustion Residuals
(Sec. 2301) This bill amends the subtitle D (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act to establish a permit program for coal combustion residuals (coal ash) that states, after approval by the EPA, may elect to administer in lieu of a federal regulatory program. The EPA must review the programs at least once every 12 years, or on the request of a state.
The EPA may use specified authorities to enforce the prohibition against open dumping with respect to a coal combustion residual unit
TITLE III--NATURAL RESOURCES
Subtitle A--Indian Dam Safety
(Sec. 3101) The bill establishes the High-Hazard Indian Dam Safety Deferred Maintenance Fund and the Low-Hazard Indian Dam Safety Deferred Maintenance Fund. The Department of the Treasury must make deposits to these funds at least monthly until the funds are terminated at the end of FY2023.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) must establish a program to address the deferred maintenance needs of Indian dams that create flood risks or other risks to safety, natural resources, or cultural resources and impede the management and efficiency of Indian dams. To be eligible, a dam must be federally owned and included in the BIA's Safety of Dams program. The low-hazard fund and high-hazard fund must be used to pay for maintenance, repair, and replacement activities with respect to dams classified under guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as low hazard and significant or high hazard, respectively.
The BIA must: (1) develop programmatic goals and prioritization criteria before expending funds; (2) prioritize dams that serve more than one tribe or highly populated Indian communities; (3) consult with landowners served by a dam before expending funds, except in emergencies; and (4) ensure that, each year, every dam in need of critical maintenance receives funding.
The Department of the Interior must establish within the BIA the Tribal Safety of Dams Committee to study the modernization of the Indian Dams Safety Act of 1994 and develop recommendations for legislation to improve that Act.
The BIA must establish a flood-plain management pilot program to provide, upon request, guidance to Indian tribes on best practices for the mitigation and prevention of floods. The program is funded through the funds for high- and low-hazard dams and is terminated four years after this bill's enactment.
Subtitle B--Irrigation Rehabilitation and Renovation for Indian Tribal Governments and Their Economies
Part I--Indian Irrigation Fund
(Sec. 3211) The bill establishes the Indian Irrigation Fund for purposes of carrying out this subtitle.
(Sec. 3216) The fund terminates on September 30, 2021.
Part II--Repair, Replacement, and Maintenance of Certain Indian Irrigation Projects
(Sec. 3221) Interior shall establish, and the BIA shall carry out, a program to address deferred maintenance and water storage needs with respect to Indian irrigation projects that: (1) create risks to public or employee safety, natural resources, or cultural resources; and (2) unduly impede the management and efficiency of the Indian irrigation program.
(Sec. 3222) The bill specifies which Indian irrigation projects are eligible for funding under the program.
(Sec. 3223) The BIA must develop certain programmatic goals and funding prioritization criteria with respect to the program.
(Sec. 3224) The BIA shall study options for improving programmatic and project management and performance of irrigation projects managed and operated by the bureau.
(Sec. 3225) Before expending program funds on a project, the BIA must: (1) consult with the Indian tribe that has jurisdiction over the land on which the project is located, and (2) solicit and consider input from landowners and irrigators.
(Sec. 3226) The bill establishes certain requirements, priorities, and limitations with respect to allocating program funding among projects.
Subtitle C--Weber Basin Prepayments
(Sec. 3301) Interior shall allow the prepayment of certain repayment obligations under specified contracts between the United States and the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District.
Subtitle D--Pechanga Water Rights Settlement
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement Act
(Sec. 3404) The bill authorizes, ratifies, and confirms the Pechanga Settlement Agreement, entered into by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, the Rancho California Water District (RCWD), and the United States, except to the extent that the agreement is modified by or conflicts with this subtitle.
(Sec. 3405) The bill confirms water rights that must be held in trust by the United States on behalf of the tribe.
Members of the tribe with an allotment of trust land (allottees) may lease this land together with any water right.
The tribe must enact a Pechanga Water Code that governs the storage, recovery, and use of the water rights, subject to Interior's approval.
(Sec. 3406) The tribe and the United States (acting as trustee for the tribe and allottees) must waive all claims to water rights in the Santa Margarita River Watershed, except for water rights recognized in the Pechanga Settlement Agreement and this subtitle.
(Sec. 3407) The tribe and the United States (acting as trustee for the tribe) waive specified claims against the RCWD.
The tribe may waive claims against the United States regarding specified water rights and damages.
(Sec. 3409) The bill establishes the Pechanga Settlement Fund, which is to be used to carry out this subtitle.
(Sec. 3412) If Interior does not publish, prior to a specified date, certain findings regarding deposits, waivers, and approved agreements: (1) this subtitle is repealed, and (2) related agreements are void.
(Sec. 3413) Interior is not liable for failing to carry out any obligation or activity under this subtitle if there are insufficient appropriations.
Subtitle E--Delaware River Basin Conservation
(Sec. 3503) The bill requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to establish a nonregulatory Delaware River Basin restoration program, under which it shall: (1) draw on existing management plans for the basin and work in consultation with applicable management entities to identify, prioritize, and implement restoration and protection activities within the basin; (2) adopt a basin-wide strategy that supports the implementation of a shared set of science-based restoration and protection activities, targets cost-effective projects with measurable results, and maximizes conservation outcomes with no net gain of federal full-time equivalent employees; and (3) establish specified voluntary grant and technical assistance programs.
(Sec. 3504) The USFWS must: (1) establish a Delaware River Basin restoration grant program to provide competitive matching grants to carry out restoration and protection activities within the basin, and (2) develop criteria to ensure that funded activities accomplish specified purposes and advance the implementation of certain priority actions or needs.
(Sec. 3506) The bill prohibits the use of funds appropriated under this subtitle for federal acquisition of interests in land.
(Sec. 3507) This subtitle terminates after September 30, 2023.
Subtitle F--Miscellaneous Provisions
(Sec. 3601) Interior is temporarily prohibited from increasing permit fees for cabins or trailers on North Dakota land administered by the Bureau of Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office by more than 33% of the permit fee that was in effect on January 1, 2016.
(Sec. 3602) Reclamation must use the same permit renewal process for trailer area permits at Heart Butte Dam and Reservoir (Lake Tschida) as it uses for other permit renewals in other reservoirs in North Dakota administered by its Dakotas Area Office. The bill specifies: (1) requirements for trailer homes, campers, and recreational vehicles; and (2) procedures for permit transfers, replacement and anchoring of trailer homes, and removal of flooded trailer homes.
(Sec. 3603) The bill revises and reauthorizes the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act for seven fiscal years after this bill's enactment.
The bill requires the Forest Service's Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit to:
- coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state, local, and private entities, including local fire departments and volunteer groups;
- conduct forest management activities in the Lake Tahoe Basin in a manner that helps achieve and maintain the environmental threshold carrying capacities established by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and that attains multiple ecosystem benefits, unless such activities would excessively increase the cost of a program; and
- establish and monitor post-program ground condition criteria for ground disturbance caused by forest management activities.
The bill excludes certain forest management projects from the requirements of the National Environment Policy Act of 1969.
Subject to valid existing rights, the federal land located in the basin is withdrawn from: (1) all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws; (2) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and (3) disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing. A land conveyance is exempt from the withdrawal if it is carried out under the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act or the Santini-Burton Act.
The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit must support the attainment of the environmental threshold carrying capacities established by the Planning Agency.
The Forest Service may enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with public and private entities to provide for fuel reduction, erosion control, reforestation, Stream Environment Zone restoration, and similar management activities on federal and nonfederal land within programs in the basin.
The bill mandates and funds priority programs in the basin, including the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Recovery Program, erosion projectts, and programs for fire-risk reduction and forest management, invasive species management, and stormwater management.
The bill imposes civil penalties of up to $1,000 for launching a boat that is not decontaminated to prevent the spread of invasive species.
The bill authorizes the Army Civil Works Division to enter into interagency agreements with nonfederal interests in the basin to provide technical assistance for the Environmental Improvement Program.
The Forest Service, the EPA, the USFWS, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in coordination with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the states of California and Nevada, must develop and implement a plan for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the Environmental Improvement Program.
The President must submit information as part of the President's annual budget regarding each federal agency involved in the Environmental Improvement Program.
The bill amends the Santini-Burton Act to authorize: (1) a donation of specified land from the California Tahoe Conservancy and the California Department of Parks and Recreation to the Forest Service, (2) a transfer of specified land from the Forest Service to Nevada, and (3) the conveyance of any urban lot within the basin under the administrative jurisdiction of the Forest Service.
(Sec. 3604) The bill takes into trust, for the benefit of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, a specified parcel of federal land in Tuolumne County, California. Gaming is prohibited on this land.
(Sec. 3605) The bill amends the San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement Act to approve and ratify all provisions of the settlement agreement dated January 30, 2015, and approved by the La Jolla, Rincon, San Pasqual, Pauma, and Pala Bands of Mission Indians (California), the San Luis Rey River Indian Water Authority, the City of Escondido, California, the Vista Irrigation District, and the United States.
The tribes shall continue to possess federally reserved rights and other water rights held in trust by the United States. In any proceeding involving the assertion, enforcement, or defense of such rights, the United States shall not be a required party and a decision by the United States regarding participation in any such proceeding shall not be subject to judicial review or give rise to any claim for relief against the United States.
(Sec. 3606) The bill takes into trust, for the benefit of the Tule River Indian Tribe, a specified parcel of federal land in Tulare County, California. Gaming is prohibited on this land.
A person claiming valid, existing rights to the land may apply to Interior to have those rights converted to a long-term right-of-way.
(Sec. 3607) The bill provides for the disposition of four specified parcels of land in California.
Interior must convey certain lands designated as "Morongo lands" to a specified individual in exchange for another parcel to be held in trust for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
The bill grants an easement to the city of Banning for a public right-of-way in exchange for a specified parcel to be held in trust for the tribe.
(Sec. 3608) The bill authorizes, ratifies, and confirms, as modified by this section: (1) the settlement agreement effective August 22, 2016, approved by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation, the state of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and (2) the June 15, 2010, agreement between Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board on an amended water storage contract.
The Corps of Engineers must cooperate with Oklahoma to modify the order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma dated September 11, 2009, to conform to the amended storage contract, settlement agreement, and this section.
Obligations relating to future-use storage in Sardis Lake in Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, are waived, effective January 1, 2050.
The bill establishes terms for use of water by members of the tribes who hold an interest in an allotment of tribal land.
The tribes must waive specified claims relating to water rights, damages relating to water, and the regulation of water.
The bill specifies actions that must be taken before the settlement agreement takes effect, including that the settlement agreement is amended in accordance with this section and executed by the parties involved. If the actions are not taken on or before September 30, 2020, or a later agreed upon date, the settlement agreement is null and void.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has exclusive jurisdiction for actions regarding the settlement agreement and amended storage contract.
Subtitle G--Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement
Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act
(Sec. 3704) The bill authorizes, ratifies, and confirms the water rights compact between the Blackfeet Tribe and Montana dated April 15, 2009, as modified to be consistent with this subtitle.
(Sec. 3705) The Blackfeet Tribe and the Fort Belknap Indian Community must enter into an agreement on their Milk River water rights. Interior must approve the agreement if it equitably accommodates the interests of each tribe. Interior may establish terms and conditions for the Milk River water rights if an agreement between the tribes is not approved by a certain date.
(Sec. 3706) Reclamation must enter into at least one water delivery contract with the Blackfeet Tribe for water from the St. Mary River water right delivered through Milk River Project facilities. The tribe has the right to the remaining portion of U.S. St. Mary River water rights after all other rights are satisfied.
(Sec. 3707) Interior must conduct studies in cooperation with the Blackfeet Tribe and Montana regarding St. Mary River and Milk River water supplies, rehabilitation of the St. Mary Diversion Dam and Canal, increased storage in Fresno Dam and Reservoir, and use of the Milk River Project.
Reclamation must review the final project design of the Swiftcurrent Creek Bank Stabilization Project and negotiate with the tribe any changes to the design prior to beginning construction. At the request of the tribe, Reclamation must enter into agreements with the tribe to carry out the project.
The tribe must grant the United States easements and rights-of-way for the Milk River Project and other construction described in this subtitle.
(Sec. 3708) Reclamation is granted exclusive jurisdiction to authorize the development of St. Mary Unit hydroelectric power. The tribe is granted the exclusive right to develop and market such power. Before construction of a hydroelectric power generation project, the tribe must enter into an agreement with Reclamation that includes specified provisions.
(Sec. 3709) Interior must allocate water stored in Lake Elwell for the tribe. The tribe may use the water or enter into agreements for use of the water. Under an agreement, the water must be used within the Missouri River Basin and no portion of the water may be permanently alienated.
(Sec. 3710) Reclamation must carry out: (1) deferred maintenance related to the Blackfeet Irrigation Project; (2) dam safety improvements for Four Horns Dam; and (3) rehabilitation and enhancement of the Four Horns Feeder Canal, Dam, and Reservoir. Ownership of Birch Creek water delivery facilities is transferred to the tribe.
(Sec. 3711) In accordance with agreements with the tribe, Reclamation must construct: (1) the water diversion and delivery features of the Blackfeet Regional Water System; (2) facilities to store water and support irrigation on the tribe's reservation; and (3) construction described in the report "Blackfeet Water Storage, Development, and Project Report," dated March 13, 2013. Ownership of these facilities is granted to the tribe, except ownership of the Birch Creek Unit of the Blackfeet Indian Irrigation Project.
(Sec. 3714) Land within the tribe's reservation acquired by the tribe or by the United States must be held in trust for the tribe.
(Sec. 3715) Tribal water rights are ratified, confirmed, declared to be valid, and held in trust. Members of the tribe with an allotment of trust land (allottees) are entitled to water for irrigation, which must be satisfied from the tribal water rights. The tribe may allocate, distribute, and lease tribal water rights for off-reservation use, subject to Interior approval. The tribe must establish a tribal water code, subject to Interior approval. The tribe may not permanently alienate any portion of its tribal water rights.
(Sec. 3716) The bill establishes the Blackfeet Settlement Trust Fund. Interior must make specified deposits to the fund. The tribe may make withdrawals from the fund in accordance with this subtitle and a tribal management plan or expenditure plan that has been approved by Interior.
(Sec. 3717) The bill establishes the Blackfeet Water Settlement Implementation Fund for use by Interior to carry out this subtitle.
(Sec. 3719) The instream flow water rights of the tribe within the Lewis and Clark National Forest and Glacier National Park are confirmed as described in "Stipulation to Address Claims by and for the Benefit of the Blackfeet Indian Tribe to Water Rights in the Lewis & Clark National Forest and Glacier National Park."
(Sec. 3720) The tribe and the United States (acting as trustee for the tribe) must waive all claims to water rights in Montana, except water rights recognized in the compact and this subtitle.
The United States, acting as trustee for allottees, must waive all claims to water rights within the tribe's reservation, except water rights recognized in the compact and this subtitle.
The tribe must: (1) waive claims against the United States regarding specified water rights, land, and facilities; and (2) withdraw objections to U.S. water rights claims for the benefit of the Milk River Project.
The waivers in this subtitle are enforceable on the date Interior publishes specified findings regarding appropriations, waivers, and approved agreements. If Interior does not publish those findings on or before January 21, 2025, or a later date agreed upon by the tribe and Interior, the provisions of this subtitle expire and related actions and agreements are void. If appropriations are not made on or before January 21, 2026, or a later date agreed upon by the tribe and the Interior, the waivers expire and the United States' approval of the compact is no longer effective.
(Sec. 3724) The United States is not liable for failing to carry out any obligation or activity under this subtitle if there are insufficient appropriations.
Subtitle H--Water Desalination
(Sec. 3801) The bill reauthorizes through FY2021 the Water Desalination Act of 1996. In addition, the bill: (1) expands the list of desalination-related research and study topics with respect to which Interior is authorized to award grants and contracts under the Act, (2) establishes certain priorities with respect to research funding and the desalination demonstration program, and (3) requires the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to coordinate federal desalination research and development activities.
Subtitle I--Amendments to the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act of 1990
(Sec. 3901) The bill reauthorizes through FY2021 the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act of 1990. In addition, the bill: (1) modifies requirements with respect to the identification, review, and implementation of proposals and regional projects under the Act; and (2) prohibits the use of funds appropriated under the Act for federal acquisition of interests in land.
Subtitle J--California Water
(Sec. 4001) Interior and the Department of Commerce must provide the maximum practicable amount of water supplies to specified contractors by approving operations or temporary projects related to California drought relief. In doing so, Interior and Commerce shall:
- with respect to the Delta cross channel (a facility that diverts water from the Sacramento River), collect specified data, design and implement monitoring capabilities, and implement a pilot project to test and evaluate the ability to keep cross-channel gates open to the greatest extent practicable;
- collaborate with the California Department of Water Resources to install a specified deflection barrier;
- implement turbidity (a measure of water clarity) control strategies;
- timely evaluate specified proposals to increase flow in the San Joaquin River;
- take specified action regarding inflow-to-export ratios;
- issue certain permit decisions within a specified timeframe; and
- allow and facilitate certain water transfers.
The bill provides for expedited procedures with respect to federal approval of projects or operational changes related to drought relief.
(Sec. 4002) In implementing specified biological opinions regarding smelt and salmonid (types of fish), Interior and Commerce shall, subject to specified requirements, manage reverse flow in certain rivers at the most negative reverse flow rate allowable in order to maximize water supplies.
(Sec. 4003) With specified restrictions, the bill allows Interior and Commerce to authorize the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project, in order to capture peak flows during storm-related events, to operate at levels resulting in Old River and Middle River flows that are more negative than is allowable by the applicable biological opinion.
(Sec. 4004) The bill establishes certain requirements regarding consultations on the coordinated operations of federal, state, and local agencies working to resolve water resource issues.
(Sec. 4005) Under specified circumstances resulting in reduced water supply to the State Water Project and increased yield for the Central Valley Project, additional yield shall be made available, subject to certain restrictions, to the State Water Project to offset the reduced water supply.
The bill prohibits Interior and Commerce from: (1) in carrying out specified provisions of this subtitle, taking certain action related to water-rights laws, protections, and priorities; or (2) carrying out a specific action authorized under applicable provisions of the subtitle that would result in the involuntary reduction of water supply to an individual, district, or agency that has a contract for water with the State Water Project or Central Valley Project.
In general, Interior shall make every reasonable effort in the operation of the Central Valley Project to allocate water provided for irrigation purposes in accordance with specified percentage requirements.
(Sec. 4006) Reclamation must work with local water and irrigation districts to determine the water storage made available by a specified draft plan of operations for certain projects to maximize water storage and ensure the beneficial use of water resources in the Stanislaus River Basin. The source of water for any such storage program at New Melones Reservoir shall be made available under a valid water right.
(Sec. 4007) Subject to specified requirements, the bill allows Interior to: (1) on the request of a state or public agency organized under state law, negotiate and enter into an agreement on behalf of the United States for the design, study, and construction or expansion of certain federally owned water-storage projects; (2) participate in such projects in an amount up to 50% of the total project cost; (3) on the request of a state governor, participate in state-led water storage projects in an amount up to 25% of the total project cost; and (4) provide financial assistance to carry out projects within any "Reclamation State" (in general, a western state in which Reclamation operates a water development project).
The provisions of this section apply only to projects determined by Interior to be feasible before January 1, 2021.
The bill reauthorizes through FY2019 the Calfed Bay-Delta Authorization Act.
(Sec. 4008) The bill provides for specified compensatory and other relief with respect to a water-dependent business or nonfederal hydroelectric project that is adversely affected by the construction of certain water storage projects.
(Sec. 4009) Subject to specified requirements, Interior may participate in an eligible desalination project in an amount up to 25% of the total project cost.
The bill amends the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to establish: (1) processes for Interior's authorization of new water recycling and reuse projects; and (2) a competitive grant program with respect to funding the planning, design, and construction of such projects.
(Sec. 4010) The bill requires Interior to conduct, with respect to Delta smelt, increased monitoring and a distribution study.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is authorized to carry out specified actions related to the protection of certain fish populations.
Interior and Commerce must develop and implement as necessary the expanded use of conservation hatchery programs to enhance, supplement, and rebuild Delta smelt and certain other fish species under the smelt and salmonid biological opinions.
For specified environmental purposes, Interior is authorized to acquire land, water, or interests in land or water from willing sellers in California.
The bill reauthorizes through FY2021 and revises the Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act of 2000.
Interior is authorized to share in up to 50% of the cost of carrying out certain actions related to the acceleration and completion of water infrastructure and conveyance facilities necessary to achieve full water deliveries to Central Valley wildlife refuges and habitat areas.
The National Marine Fisheries Service shall, jointly with specified irrigation districts in California, establish and conduct a non-native predator research and pilot fish removal program to study the effects of removing certain fish species from the Stanislaus River. The districts shall be responsible for 100% of program costs.
Interior, in collaboration with Commerce and other agencies and parties, must establish and carry out pilot projects to implement a specified invasive species control program.
The bill amends the Central Valley Project Improvement Act to exclude striped bass from a project that requires reasonable efforts to ensure that all anadromous fish (which are fish that migrate from salt water to spawn in fresh water) naturally produce at twice the average levels in Central Valley rivers and streams. (Striped bass are non-native anadromous fish that prey on native salmon and steelhead.)
(Sec. 4011) The bill: (1) provides for prepayment of certain repayment contracts between the United States and contractors of federally developed water supplies, and (2) requires that a specified portion of the receipts generated from such prepayment be directed to the Reclamation Water Storage Account to fund the construction of water storage.
(Sec. 4013) With specified exceptions, this subtitle terminates after five years
TITLE IV--OTHER MATTERS
(Sec. 5001) The Department of Transportation (DOT) must give Congress three full business days' prior notice of any announcement of competitive DOT projects receiving a discretionary grant award, letter of intent, loan, loan guarantee, or line of credit of $750,000 or more.
DOT shall also give Congress notice of emergency program fund allocations for the repair of highways and roads damaged as a result of a disaster:
- three full business days before issuance of the allocation; or
- concurrently with the allocation, if it is made using DOT's quick release (or any successor) process.
(Sec. 5002) The Denali Commission Act of 1998 is amended to reauthorize the Denali Commission (an independent federal agency designed to provide rural and infrastructure development, utilities, job training, and economic support for Alaska) through FY2021.
If a vacancy occurs in the position of federal cochairperson of the commission, the Department of Commerce may appoint an interim federal cochairperson to serve until the vacancy is filled.
No commission member, other than the federal cochairperson, shall be considered a federal employee.
Commission members are subject to a fine or imprisonment for certain conflict of interest violations.
(Sec. 5003) The Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933 is amended to authorize the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to allow the use of floating cabins (designed or used for human habitation or occupation but not primarily designed or used for navigation or transportation on water) that are already located on TVA waters if the TVA has authorized the use of recreational vessels and the cabin owners maintain the cabins to reasonable health, safety, and environmental standards.
The board may not require removal of such cabins for a specified period after enactment of this bill and must allow continued use of such cabins that meet recreational access requirements. But the TVA may establish regulations to prevent construction of new floating cabins.
(Sec. 5004) The bill expresses the sense of Congress that the EPA should receive and expeditiously process tort claims for injury arising out of the Gold King Mine release on August 5, 2015, that discharged contaminated water north of Silverton, Colorado, into Cement Creek while EPA contractors were conducting an investigation to assess mine conditions.
The bill establishes procedures for processing eligible response cost claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.
The EPA must implement a program for long-term water quality monitoring of rivers contaminated by the Gold King Mine release.
(Sec. 5005) The Clean Water Act is amended to revise and reauthorize the EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for FY2017-FY2021.
The bill restates the initiative's priorities for Great Lakes protection and restoration programs and projects, including: (1) the remediation of toxic substances and areas of concern; (2) the prevention and control of invasive species and their impacts; (3) the protection and restoration of near-shore health and the prevention and mitigation of nonpoint source pollution (water pollution that comes from many diffuse sources, such as pollution on the ground picked up by rain or snow); (4) habitat and wildlife protection and restoration; and (5) accountability, monitoring, evaluation, communication, and partnership activities.
In selecting the best combination of the initiative's programs and projects, the EPA must consult with the Great Lakes states and Indian tribes and solicit input from other nonfederal stakeholders.
The EPA must designate a point person from an appropriate federal partner to coordinate, with federal partners and nonfederal stakeholders, the initiative's projects and activities involving harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes.
In addition to current requirements concerning the use of funds made available to carry out the initiative, the bill requires initiative funds to be used to strategically implement operations and activities of the EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office, such as remediation of sediment contamination in areas of concern.
The EPA or federal agency that receives funds under the initiative may make a grant to, or enter into an agreement with, a qualified nonfederal entity for planning, researching, monitoring, outreach, or implementation of a project that supports the Initiative Action Plan or the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Projects may be carried out under the initiative on multiple levels, including at the local level.
Funding made available to implement the initiative may not 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 funding is made available under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA).
The EPA must review, and revise, if appropriate, the Initiative Action Plan at least once every five years. The EPA must also: (1) establish a process for monitoring and periodically reporting to the public on the plan's progress, (2) make information about each project carried out under the plan available on a public website, and (3) provide Congress a yearly detailed description of the initiative's progress and amounts transferred to participating federal agencies for carrying out activities that support the initiative.
(Sec. 5006) The National Dam Safety Program Act is amended to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a program to provide technical, planning, design, and construction assistance grants to nonfederal sponsors (subject to a nonfederal cost-sharing requirement of at least 35%) for rehabilitation of eligible high hazard potential dams.
An "eligible high hazard potential dam" is a nonfederal dam that:
- is located in a state with a state dam safety program,
- is classified as high hazard potential by the dam safety agency of the state in which the dam is located,
- has an emergency action plan approved by such agency, and
- fails to meet minimum state dam safety standards and poses an unacceptable risk to the public.
An eligible high hazard potential dam does not include a licensed hydroelectric dam or a dam built under the authority of the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
FEMA shall require a grant recipient to provide an assurance that the owner of the dam has developed and will carry out a plan for maintenance of the dam during its expected life. A grant must be approved by the relevant state dam safety agency.
Grant funds shall be allocated to all states from which applications are submitted based on each state's relative number of eligible high hazard potential dams compared to all states.
Grant funds may not be used to:
- rehabilitate a federal dam,
- perform routine operation or maintenance of a dam,
- modify a dam to produce hydroelectric power,
- increase water supply storage capacity, or
- make any other modification that does not also improve the safety of the dam.
The bill sets forth requirements and conditions for nonfederal sponsors to receive such grants, including the demonstration of a floodplain management plan to reduce the impacts of future flood events.
(Sec. 5007) The bill amends the Clean Water Act to direct the EPA to carry out an annual survey of sea grasses in the Chesapeake Bay.
(Sec. 5008) WIFIA is amended to expand the water infrastructure public-private partnership loan program to include: (1) chloride control projects; (2) alternative water supplies to reduce aquifer depletion; and (3) projects to prevent, reduce, or mitigate the effects of drought, including projects that enhance the resilience of drought-stricken watersheds. The Corps of Engineers or the EPA must allow WIFIA secured loan fees to be financed as part of the loan. Any eligible project costs incurred and the value of any integral in-kind contributions made before receipt of assistance must be credited toward the 51% of project costs to be provided by sources of funding other than a secured loan.
(Sec. 5009) The Department of the Navy must submit to Congress for four years annual reports and comprehensive strategies to address groundwater contamination from a site in Bethpage, New York.
(Sec. 5010) The bill amends the Clean Water Act to require the EPA to establish a Columbia River Basin Restoration Program. The program shall consist of a collaborative stakeholder-based program for environmental protection and restoration activities throughout the Columbia River Basin.
Under the program, the EPA must: (1) assess trends in water quality, including trends that affect uses of the water of the Columbia River Basin; (2) collect, characterize, and assess data on water quality to identify possible causes of environmental problems; (3) provide grants for projects that assist in eliminating or reducing pollution, cleaning up contaminated sites, improving water quality, monitoring, reducing runoff, protecting habitat, or promoting citizen engagement or knowledge; (4) establish a working group to recommend, prioritize, and review projects and actions; and (5) establish a voluntary, competitive Columbia River Basin program to provide grants to governmental and private entities for environmental protection and restoration activities throughout the Columbia River Basin.
(Sec. 5011) WRRDA 2014 is amended to provide that the EPA's oil pollution prevention regulations shall not apply to farm containers that: (1) have an individual or aggregate gallon capacity below specified amounts on a separate parcel, or (2) hold animal feed ingredients approved for livestock by the Food and Drug Administration.
(Sec. 5012) The Clean Water Act is amended to modify the eligible recipients of additional subsidization that states may provide from water pollution control revolving funds.
(Sec. 5013) The Estuary Restoration Act of 2000 is amended to: (1) reauthorize estuary habitat restoration projects through FY2021; and (2) allow nongovernmental organizations to enter into the required agreements with the Corps of Engineers under WRDA 1986 for flood control projects to be initiated only after the nonfederal interests agree to pay all operation, maintenance, replacement, and rehabilitation costs and the nonfederal share of construction costs.
(Sec. 5014) The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act is amended to require the Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force to issue guidelines for environmental banks in Louisiana. "Environmental banks" are projects to restore, create, or enhance natural resources at designated sites to establish mitigation credits that may be used to satisfy existing liability under federal environmental laws.