Text: S.677 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (03/21/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 677 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

<DOC>






115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 677

 To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to coordinate Federal and 
 State permitting processes related to the construction of new surface 
water storage projects on lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary 
 of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture and to designate the 
Bureau of Reclamation as the lead agency for permit processing, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             March 21, 2017

Mr. Barrasso (for himself, Mr. Flake, Mr. McCain, Mr. Heller, Mr. Enzi, 
and Mr. Risch) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
       referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to coordinate Federal and 
 State permitting processes related to the construction of new surface 
water storage projects on lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary 
 of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture and to designate the 
Bureau of Reclamation as the lead agency for permit processing, 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 ``Water Supply Permitting Coordination 
Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Bureau.--The term ``Bureau'' means the Bureau of 
        Reclamation.
            (2) Cooperating agencies.--The term ``cooperating agency'' 
        means a Federal agency with jurisdiction over a review, 
        analysis, opinion, statement, permit, license, or other 
        approval or decision required for a qualifying project under 
        applicable Federal laws and regulations, or a State agency 
        subject to section 3(c).
            (3) Qualifying projects.--The term ``qualifying projects'' 
        means new surface water storage projects in the States covered 
        under the Act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388, chapter 1093), 
        and Acts supplemental to and amendatory of that Act (43 U.S.C. 
        371 et seq.) constructed on lands administered by the 
        Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture, 
        exclusive of any easement, right-of-way, lease, or any private 
        holding.
            (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF LEAD AGENCY AND COOPERATING AGENCIES.

    (a) Establishment of Lead Agency.--The Bureau is established as the 
lead agency for purposes of coordinating all reviews, analyses, 
opinions, statements, permits, licenses, or other approvals or 
decisions required under Federal law to construct qualifying projects.
    (b) Identification and Establishment of Cooperating Agencies.--The 
Commissioner of the Bureau shall--
            (1) identify, as early as practicable upon receipt of an 
        application for a qualifying project, any Federal agency that 
        may have jurisdiction over a review, analysis, opinion, 
        statement, permit, license, approval, or decision required for 
        a qualifying project under applicable Federal laws and 
        regulations; and
            (2) notify any such agency, within a reasonable timeframe, 
        that the agency has been designated as a cooperating agency in 
        regards to the qualifying project unless that agency responds 
        to the Bureau in writing, within a timeframe set forth by the 
        Bureau, notifying the Bureau that the agency--
                    (A) has no jurisdiction or authority with respect 
                to the qualifying project;
                    (B) has no expertise or information relevant to the 
                qualifying project or any review, analysis, opinion, 
                statement, permit, license, or other approval or 
                decision associated therewith; or
                    (C) does not intend to submit comments on the 
                qualifying project or conduct any review of such a 
                project or make any decision with respect to such 
                project in a manner other than in cooperation with the 
                Bureau.
    (c) State Authority.--A State in which a qualifying project is 
being considered may choose, consistent with State law--
            (1) to participate as a cooperating agency; and
            (2) to make subject to the processes of this Act all State 
        agencies that--
                    (A) have jurisdiction over the qualifying project;
                    (B) are required to conduct or issue a review, 
                analysis, or opinion for the qualifying project; or
                    (C) are required to make a determination on issuing 
                a permit, license, or approval for the qualifying 
                project.

SEC. 4. BUREAU RESPONSIBILITIES.

    (a) In General.--The principal responsibilities of the Bureau under 
this Act are--
            (1) to serve as the point of contact for applicants, State 
        agencies, Indian tribes, and others regarding proposed 
        qualifying projects;
            (2) to coordinate preparation of unified environmental 
        documentation that will serve as the basis for all Federal 
        decisions necessary to authorize the use of Federal lands for 
        qualifying projects; and
            (3) to coordinate all Federal agency reviews necessary for 
        project development and construction of qualifying projects.
    (b) Coordination Process.--The Bureau shall have the following 
coordination responsibilities:
            (1) Preapplication coordination.--Notify cooperating 
        agencies of proposed qualifying projects not later than 30 days 
        after receipt of a proposal and facilitate a preapplication 
        meeting for prospective applicants, relevant Federal and State 
        agencies, and Indian tribes--
                    (A) to explain applicable processes, data 
                requirements, and applicant submissions necessary to 
                complete the required Federal agency reviews within the 
                timeframe established; and
                    (B) to establish the schedule for the qualifying 
                project.
            (2) Consultation with cooperating agencies.--Consult with 
        the cooperating agencies throughout the Federal agency review 
        process, identify and obtain relevant data in a timely manner, 
        and set necessary deadlines for cooperating agencies.
            (3) Schedule.--Work with the qualifying project applicant 
        and cooperating agencies to establish a project schedule. In 
        establishing the schedule, the Bureau shall consider, among 
        other factors--
                    (A) the responsibilities of cooperating agencies 
                under applicable laws and regulations;
                    (B) the resources available to the cooperating 
                agencies and the non-Federal qualifying project 
                sponsor, as applicable;
                    (C) the overall size and complexity of the 
                qualifying project;
                    (D) the overall schedule for and cost of the 
                qualifying project; and
                    (E) the sensitivity of the natural and historic 
                resources that may be affected by the qualifying 
                project.
            (4) Environmental compliance.--Prepare a unified 
        environmental review document for each qualifying project 
        application, incorporating a single environmental record on 
        which all cooperating agencies with authority to issue 
        approvals for a given qualifying project shall base project 
        approval decisions. Help ensure that cooperating agencies make 
        necessary decisions, within their respective authorities, 
        regarding Federal approvals in accordance with the following 
        timelines:
                    (A) Not later than 1 year after acceptance of a 
                completed project application when an environmental 
                assessment and finding of no significant impact is 
                determined to be the appropriate level of review under 
                the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
                U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
                    (B) Not later than 1 year and 30 days after the 
                close of the public comment period for a draft 
                environmental impact statement under the National 
                Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
                seq.), when an environmental impact statement is 
                required under the same.
            (5) Consolidated administrative record.--Maintain a 
        consolidated administrative record of the information assembled 
        and used by the cooperating agencies as the basis for agency 
        decisions.
            (6) Project data records.--To the extent practicable and 
        consistent with Federal law, ensure that all project data is 
        submitted and maintained in generally accessible electronic 
        format, compile, and where authorized under existing law, make 
        available such project data to cooperating agencies, the 
        qualifying project applicant, and to the public.
            (7) Project manager.--Appoint a project manager for each 
        qualifying project. The project manager shall have authority to 
        oversee the project and to facilitate the issuance of the 
        relevant final authorizing documents, and shall be responsible 
        for ensuring fulfillment of all Bureau responsibilities set 
        forth in this section and all cooperating agency 
        responsibilities under section 5.

SEC. 5. COOPERATING AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.

    (a) Adherence to Bureau Schedule.--
            (1) Timeframes.--On notification of an application for a 
        qualifying project, the head of each cooperating agency shall 
        submit to the Bureau a timeframe under which the cooperating 
        agency reasonably will be able to complete the authorizing 
        responsibilities of the cooperating agency.
            (2) Schedule.--
                    (A) Use of timeframes.--The Bureau shall use the 
                timeframes submitted under this subsection to establish 
                the project schedule under section 4.
                    (B) Adherence.--Each cooperating agency shall 
                adhere to the project schedule established by the 
                Bureau under subparagraph (A).
    (b) Environmental Record.--The head of each cooperating agency 
shall submit to the Bureau all environmental review material produced 
or compiled in the course of carrying out activities required under 
Federal law, consistent with the project schedule established by the 
Bureau under subsection (a)(2).
    (c) Data Submission.--To the extent practicable and consistent with 
Federal law, the head of each cooperating agency shall submit all 
relevant project data to the Bureau in a generally accessible 
electronic format, subject to the project schedule established by the 
Bureau under subsection (a)(2).

SEC. 6. FUNDING TO PROCESS PERMITS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary, after public notice in accordance 
with subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5, United 
States Code (commonly known as the ``Administrative Procedure Act''), 
may accept and expend funds contributed by a non-Federal public entity 
to expedite the evaluation of a permit of that entity related to a 
qualifying project.
    (b) Effect on Permitting.--
            (1) In general.--In carrying out this section, the 
        Secretary shall ensure that the use of funds accepted under 
        subsection (a) will not substantively or procedurally impact 
        impartial decisionmaking with respect to permits.
            (2) Evaluation of permits.--In carrying out this section, 
        the Secretary shall ensure that the evaluation of permits 
        carried out using funds accepted under this section shall--
                    (A) be reviewed by the Regional Director of the 
                Bureau of the region in which the qualifying project or 
                activity is located (or a designee); and
                    (B) use the same procedures for decisions that 
                would otherwise be required for the evaluation of 
                permits for similar projects or activities not carried 
                out using funds authorized under this section.
            (3) Impartial decisionmaking.--In carrying out this 
        section, the Secretary and the head of each cooperating agency 
        receiving funds under this section for a qualifying project 
        shall ensure that the use of the funds accepted under this 
        section for the qualifying project shall not--
                    (A) substantively or procedurally impact impartial 
                decisionmaking with respect to the issuance of permits; 
                or
                    (B) diminish, modify, or otherwise affect the 
                statutory or regulatory authorities of the cooperating 
                agency.
    (c) Limitation on Use of Funds.--None of the funds accepted under 
this section shall be used to carry out a review of the evaluation of 
permits required under subsection (b)(2)(A).
    (d) Public Availability.--The Secretary shall ensure that all final 
permit decisions carried out using funds authorized under this section 
are made available to the public, including on the Internet.
                                 <all>

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