Text: H.R.6944 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/27/2018)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
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[H.R. 6944 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 6944

 To establish centers of excellence for innovative stormwater control 
                infrastructure, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 27, 2018

Mr. Heck (for himself, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Peters, Mr. Smith 
     of Washington, Ms. Moore, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Pocan, and Mr. 
 Cartwright) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the 
    Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 
                               concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To establish centers of excellence for innovative stormwater control 
                infrastructure, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Clean Water Through Green 
Infrastructure Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) many water resources in the United States are 
        declining, particularly in urban and agricultural areas;
            (2) the decline of water resources is the result of--
                    (A) an increase in population, water consumption, 
                and impermeable surfaces; and
                    (B) the negative effects of urbanization, 
                commercial and industrial activities, and increasing 
                and persistent droughts; and
            (3) an October 2008 study by the National Research Council 
        found that some of the benefits of innovative stormwater 
        control infrastructure include--
                    (A) increased water supplies;
                    (B) the creation of jobs;
                    (C) cost savings; and
                    (D) a reduction of stormwater runoff, surface water 
                discharge, stormwater pollution, and stormwater flows 
                to protect and restore natural hydrology, meeting local 
                conditions to the maximum extent feasible.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
            (2) Center.--The term ``center'' means a center of 
        excellence for innovative stormwater control infrastructure 
        established under section 4(a).
            (3) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible entity'' means--
                    (A) a State, tribal, or local government; or
                    (B) a local, regional, or other entity that manages 
                stormwater, drinking water resources, or waste water 
                resources.
            (4) Eligible institution.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``eligible institution'' 
                means an institution of higher education (as defined in 
                section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
                U.S.C. 1001)), or a research institution, that has 
                demonstrated excellence in innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure by--
                            (i) conducting research on innovative 
                        stormwater control infrastructure to determine 
                        the means by which innovative infrastructure 
                        reduces stormwater runoff, enhances and 
                        protects drinking water sources, and improves 
                        water quality;
                            (ii) developing and disseminating 
                        information regarding the means by which an 
                        organization can use innovative stormwater 
                        control infrastructure;
                            (iii) providing technical assistance to an 
                        organization for an innovative stormwater 
                        control infrastructure project;
                            (iv) developing best practices standards 
                        for innovative stormwater control 
                        infrastructure;
                            (v) providing job training relating to 
                        innovative stormwater control infrastructure;
                            (vi) developing course curricula for--
                                    (I) elementary schools (as defined 
                                in section 9101 of the Elementary and 
                                Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 
                                U.S.C. 7801));
                                    (II) secondary schools (as defined 
                                in that section);
                                    (III) institutions of higher 
                                education (as defined in section 101 of 
                                the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
                                U.S.C. 1001)); or
                                    (IV) vocational schools;
                            (vii) training students regarding 
                        innovative stormwater control infrastructure; 
                        or
                            (viii) providing information to the Federal 
                        Government or State, tribal, and local 
                        governments regarding the implementation of 
                        innovative stormwater control infrastructure.
                    (B) Associated definition.--For purposes of 
                subparagraph (A), the term ``research institution'' 
                means an entity that is--
                            (i) described in section 501(c)(3) of the 
                        Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
                            (ii) exempt from tax under section 501(a) 
                        of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and
                            (iii) organized and operated for research 
                        purposes.
            (5) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
        meaning given the term in section 518(h) of the Federal Water 
        Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1377(h)).
            (6) State.--The term ``State'' means--
                    (A) each of the several States of the United 
                States;
                    (B) the District of Columbia;
                    (C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
                    (D) Guam;
                    (E) American Samoa;
                    (F) the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
                Islands;
                    (G) the Federated States of Micronesia;
                    (H) the Republic of the Marshall Islands;
                    (I) the Republic of Palau; and
                    (J) the United States Virgin Islands.
            (7) Innovative stormwater control infrastructure.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure'' means any green infrastructure 
                stormwater management technique that--
                            (i) uses natural systems or engineered 
                        systems that mimic natural processes to 
                        infiltrate, evapotranspire, or capture 
                        stormwater; and
                            (ii) preserves, enhances, or mimics natural 
                        hydrology to protect or restore water quality.
                    (B) Inclusions.--The term ``innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure'' includes--
                            (i) methods that promote absorption, 
                        uptake, percolation, evapotranspiration, and 
                        filtration by soil and plant life; and
                            (ii) the preservation or restoration of--
                                    (I) natural topography, including 
                                hills, plains, ravines, and shorelines;
                                    (II) interconnected networks of 
                                natural land that protect essential 
                                ecological functions critical for water 
                                quality;
                                    (III) ecological function, 
                                including forests, grasslands, and 
                                deserts;
                                    (IV) bodies of water, including 
                                lakes, flood plains, headwaters, and 
                                wetlands; and
                                    (V) native soil characteristics of 
                                composition, structure, and 
                                transmissivity.

SEC. 4. CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE FOR INNOVATIVE STORMWATER CONTROL 
              INFRASTRUCTURE.

    (a) Establishment of Centers.--
            (1) In general.--The Administrator shall provide grants, on 
        a competitive basis, to eligible institutions to establish and 
        maintain not less than 3, and not more than 5, centers of 
        excellence for innovative stormwater control infrastructure, to 
        be located in various regions throughout the United States.
            (2) General operation.--Each center shall--
                    (A) conduct research on innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure that is relevant to the 
                geographical region in which the center is located, 
                including stormwater and sewer overflow reduction, 
                other approaches to water resource enhancement, and 
                other environmental, economic, and social benefits;
                    (B) develop manuals and establish industry 
                standards on best management practices relating to 
                State, tribal, local, and commercial innovative 
                stormwater control infrastructure for use by State, 
                tribal, and local governments and the private sector;
                    (C) develop and administer testing and evaluation 
                protocols to measure and verify the performance of 
                stormwater infrastructure products and practices;
                    (D) provide information regarding research 
                conducted under subparagraph (A), manuals developed 
                under subparagraph (B), and testing and evaluation 
                performed under subparagraph (C) to the national 
                electronic clearinghouse center for publication on the 
                Internet website established under subsection (c) to 
                provide to the Federal Government and State, tribal, 
                and local governments and the private sector 
                information regarding innovative stormwater control 
                infrastructure;
                    (E) provide technical assistance to State, tribal, 
                and local governments to assist with the construction, 
                operation, and maintenance of innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure projects;
                    (F) collaborate with institutions of higher 
                education and private and public organizations in the 
                geographical region in which the center is located on 
                innovative stormwater control infrastructure research 
                and technical assistance projects;
                    (G) assist institutions of higher education, 
                secondary schools, and vocational schools to develop 
                innovative stormwater control infrastructure curricula;
                    (H) provide training regarding innovative 
                stormwater control infrastructure to institutions of 
                higher education and professional schools;
                    (I) evaluate regulatory and policy issues relating 
                to innovative stormwater control infrastructure; and
                    (J) coordinate with the other centers to avoid 
                duplication of efforts.
    (b) Application.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this 
section, an eligible institution shall prepare and submit to the 
Administrator an application at such a time, in such form, and 
containing such information as the Administrator may require.
    (c) National Electronic Clearinghouse Center.--Of the centers 
established under subsection (a)(1), one shall--
            (1) be designated as the ``national electronic 
        clearinghouse center''; and
            (2) in addition to the other functions of that center--
                    (A) develop, operate, and maintain an Internet 
                website and a public database that contain information 
                relating to innovative stormwater control 
                infrastructure; and
                    (B) post to the website information from all 
                centers.

SEC. 5. INNOVATIVE STORMWATER CONTROL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT GRANTS.

    (a) Grant Authority.--The Administrator shall provide grants, on a 
competitive basis, to eligible entities to carry out innovative 
stormwater control infrastructure projects in accordance with this 
section.
    (b) Innovative Stormwater Control Infrastructure Projects.--
            (1) Planning and development grants.--The Administrator may 
        make planning and development grants under this section for the 
        following projects:
                    (A) Planning and designing innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure projects, including engineering 
                surveys, landscape plans, maps, and implementation 
                plans.
                    (B) Identifying and developing standards and 
                revisions to local zoning, building, or other local 
                codes necessary to accommodate innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure projects.
                    (C) Identifying and developing fee structures to 
                provide financial support for design, installation, and 
                operations and maintenance of innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure.
                    (D) Developing training and educational materials 
                regarding innovative stormwater control infrastructure 
                for distribution to--
                            (i) individuals and entities with 
                        applicable technical knowledge; and
                            (ii) the public.
                    (E) Developing an innovative stormwater control 
                infrastructure portfolio standard program described in 
                section 6(e).
            (2) Implementation grants.--The Administrator may make 
        implementation grants under this section for the following 
        projects:
                    (A) Installing innovative stormwater control 
                infrastructure.
                    (B) Protecting or restoring interconnected networks 
                of natural areas that protect water quality.
                    (C) Monitoring and evaluating the environmental, 
                economic, or social benefits of innovative stormwater 
                control infrastructure.
                    (D) Implementing a best practices standard for an 
                innovative stormwater control infrastructure program.
                    (E) Implementing an innovative stormwater control 
                infrastructure portfolio standard program described in 
                section 6(e).
    (c) Application.--Except as otherwise provided in this Act, to be 
eligible to receive a grant under this section, an eligible entity 
shall prepare and submit to the Administrator an application at such 
time, in such form, and containing such information as the 
Administrator may require, including, as applicable--
            (1) a description of the innovative stormwater control 
        infrastructure project;
            (2) a plan for monitoring the impacts of the innovative 
        stormwater control infrastructure project on the water quality 
        and quantity;
            (3) an evaluation of other environmental, economic, and 
        social benefits of the innovative stormwater control 
        infrastructure project; and
            (4) a plan for the long-term operation and maintenance of 
        the innovative stormwater control infrastructure project.
    (d) Additional Requirement for Innovative Stormwater Control 
Infrastructure Portfolio Standard Project.--In addition to an 
application under subsection (c), a State or Indian tribe applying for 
a grant for an innovative stormwater control infrastructure portfolio 
standard program described in section 6(e) shall prepare and submit to 
the Administrator a schedule of increasing minimum percentages of the 
annual water to be managed using innovative stormwater control 
infrastructure under the program.
    (e) Priority.--In making grants under this section, the 
Administrator shall give priority to applications submitted on behalf 
of--
            (1) a community that--
                    (A) has combined storm and sanitary sewers in the 
                collection system of the community; or
                    (B) is a low-income or disadvantaged community, as 
                determined by the Administrator; or
            (2) an eligible entity that will use not less than 10 
        percent of the grant to provide service to a low-income or 
        disadvantaged community, as determined by the Administrator.
    (f) Maximum Amounts.--
            (1) Planning and development grants.--
                    (A) Single grant.--The amount of a single planning 
                and development grant provided under this section shall 
                be not more than $200,000.
                    (B) Aggregate amount.--The total amount of all 
                planning and development grants provided under this 
                section for a fiscal year shall be not more than \1/3\ 
                of the total amount made available to carry out this 
                section.
            (2) Implementation grants.--
                    (A) Single grant.--The amount of a single 
                implementation grant provided under this section shall 
                be not more than $3,000,000.
                    (B) Aggregate amount.--The total amount of all 
                implementation grants provided under this section for a 
                fiscal year shall be not more than \2/3\ of the total 
                amount made available to carry out this section.
    (g) Federal Share.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (3), the 
        Federal share of a grant provided under this section shall not 
        exceed 65 percent of the total project cost.
            (2) Credit for implementation grants.--The Administrator 
        shall credit toward the non-Federal share of the cost of an 
        implementation project carried out under this section the cost 
        of planning, design, and construction work completed for the 
        project using funds other than funds provided under this Act.
            (3) Exception.--The Administrator may waive the Federal 
        share limitation under paragraph (1) for an eligible entity 
        that has adequately demonstrated financial need.

SEC. 6. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY INNOVATIVE STORMWATER CONTROL 
              INFRASTRUCTURE PROMOTION.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator shall ensure that the Office of 
Water, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance, the Office of Research 
and Development, and the Office of Policy of the Environmental 
Protection Agency promote the use of innovative stormwater control 
infrastructure in and coordinate the integration of innovative 
stormwater control infrastructure into permitting programs, planning 
efforts, research, technical assistance, and funding guidance.
    (b) Duties.--The Administrator shall ensure that the Office of 
Water--
            (1) promotes the use of innovative stormwater control 
        infrastructure in the programs of the Environmental Protection 
        Agency;
            (2) supports establishing public-private partnerships and 
        other innovative financing mechanisms in the implementation of 
        innovative stormwater control infrastructure; and
            (3) coordinates efforts to increase the use of innovative 
        stormwater control infrastructure with--
                    (A) other Federal departments and agencies;
                    (B) State, tribal, and local governments; and
                    (C) the private sector.
    (c) Regional Innovative Stormwater Control Infrastructure 
Promotion.--The Administrator shall direct each regional office of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, as appropriate based on local factors, 
to promote and integrate the use of innovative stormwater control 
infrastructure within the region that includes--
            (1) a plan for monitoring, financing, mapping, and 
        designing the innovative stormwater control infrastructure;
            (2) outreach and training regarding innovative stormwater 
        control infrastructure implementation for State, tribal, and 
        local governments, tribal communities, and the private sector; 
        and
            (3) the incorporation of innovative stormwater control 
        infrastructure into permitting and other regulatory programs, 
        codes, and ordinance development, including the requirements 
        under consent decrees and settlement agreements in enforcement 
        actions.
    (d) Innovative Stormwater Control Infrastructure Information-
Sharing.--The Administrator shall promote innovative stormwater control 
infrastructure information-sharing, including through an Internet 
website, to share information with, and provide technical assistance 
to, State, tribal, and local governments, tribal communities, the 
private sector, and the public regarding innovative stormwater control 
infrastructure approaches for--
            (1) reducing water pollution;
            (2) protecting water resources;
            (3) complying with regulatory requirements; and
            (4) achieving other environmental, public health, and 
        community goals.
    (e) Innovative Stormwater Control Infrastructure Portfolio 
Standard.--The Administrator, in collaboration with State, tribal, and 
local water resource managers, shall establish voluntary measurable 
goals, to be known as the ``innovative stormwater control 
infrastructure portfolio standard'', to increase the percentage of 
annual water managed by eligible entities that use innovative 
stormwater control infrastructure.

SEC. 7. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

    Not later than September 30, 2020, the Administrator shall submit 
to Congress a report that includes, with respect to the period covered 
by the report--
            (1) a description of all grants provided under this Act;
            (2) a detailed description of--
                    (A) the projects supported by those grants; and
                    (B) the outcomes of those projects;
            (3) a description of the improvements in technology, 
        environmental benefits, resources conserved, efficiencies, and 
        other benefits of the projects funded under this Act;
            (4) recommendations for improvements to promote and support 
        innovative stormwater control infrastructure for the centers, 
        grants, and activities under this Act; and
            (5) a description of existing challenges concerning the use 
        of innovative stormwater control infrastructure.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such 
sums as are necessary for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2024.
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