Summary: H.R.266 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House (01/11/2019)

Highlights

This bill provides FY2019 appropriations for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and related agencies.

The bill provides annual appropriations for most of the Department of the Interior, including

  • the Bureau of Land Management,
  • the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
  • the National Park Service,
  • the U.S. Geological Survey,
  • the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,
  • the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement,
  • the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement,
  • the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program,
  • the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and
  • the Bureau of Indian Education.

The bill also provides appropriations for several related agencies, including

  • the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service,
  • the Department of Health and Human Service's Indian Health Service,
  • the Smithsonian Institution,
  • the National Endowment for the Arts, and
  • the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Full Summary

Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019

TITLE I--DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

This title provides appropriations to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for

  • Management of Lands and Resources;
  • Land Acquisition;
  • Oregon and California Grant Lands;
  • Range Improvements;
  • Service Charges, Deposits, and Forfeitures; and
  • Miscellaneous Trust Funds.

Funds provided by this bill may not be used for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the BLM or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.

The title provides appropriations to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for

  • Resource Management,
  • Construction,
  • Land Acquisition,
  • the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund,
  • the National Wildlife Refuge Fund,
  • the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund,
  • Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation,
  • the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, and
  • State and Tribal Wildlife Grants.

The title provides appropriations to the National Park Service (NPS) for

  • Operation of the National Park System,
  • National Recreation and Preservation,
  • the Historic Preservation Fund,
  • Construction,
  • Land Acquisition and State Assistance, and
  • the Centennial Challenge.

The title allows certain franchise fees to be available for expenditure without further appropriation for use at any unit within the NPS to extinguish or reduce liability for a possessory interest or leasehold surrender interest.

The NPS may retain specified funds authorized to be disbursed under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 for the costs of administration of the Land and Water Conservation Fund grants authorized by the Act.

NPS funds may be transferred to the Federal Highway Administration for the Federal Lands Access Program, which was established to improve transportation facilities that provide access to, are adjacent to, or are located within federal lands.

The title provides appropriations to

  • the U.S. Geological Survey for Surveys, Investigations, and Research;
  • the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for Ocean Energy Management;
  • the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for (1) Offshore Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and (2) Oil Spill Research; and
  • the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for (1) Regulation and Technology, and (2) the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.

The title provides appropriations to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) for

  • Operation of Indian Programs,
  • Contract Support Costs,
  • Construction,
  • Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements and Miscellaneous Payments to Indians, and
  • the Indian Guaranteed Loan Program Account.

The title also

  • permits the BIA to contract for services for the Power Division of the San Carlos Irrigation Project;
  • limits the use of funds for contracts, grants, compacts, or cooperative agreements with the BIA under the Indian Self-Determination Act or the Tribal Self-Governance Act of 1994;
  • permits tribes to return appropriated funds without diminishing the federal government's trust responsibilities, the government-to-government relationship with the tribe, or the tribe's ability to access future appropriations;
  • prohibits the use of BIE funds, other than funds provided for assistance to public schools, for the operation of elementary or secondary schools in Alaska;
  • limits the number of schools and the expansion of grade levels in individual schools in the BIE school system;
  • specifies the formula to be used to distribute indirect and administrative costs to certain tribes; and
  • prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to establish satellite locations of schools in the Bureau school system as of September 1, 1996, with specified exceptions.

The title provides appropriations for Departmental Offices, including

  • the Office of the Secretary,
  • Insular Affairs,
  • the Office of the Solicitor,
  • the Office of Inspector General, and
  • the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians.

The title provides appropriations for Department-Wide Programs, including

  • Wildland Fire Management,
  • the Central Hazardous Materials Fund,
  • the Natural Resources Damage Assessment Fund,
  • the Working Capital Fund, and
  • the Office of Natural Resources Revenue.

The title also (1) permits the Working Capital Fund to be used to acquire aircraft by donation, purchase or through available excess surplus property; and (2) permits the existing aircraft being replaced to be sold, with proceeds derived or trade-in value used to offset the purchase price for the replacement aircraft.

(Sec. 101) This section permits the transfer of funds within bureaus and offices for specified emergencies when all other emergency funds have been exhausted.

(Sec. 102) This section provides for the department-wide expenditure or transfer of funds by Interior in the event of specified emergencies.

(Sec. 103) Interior may use appropriations provided in this title for

  • employing temporary or intermittent experts and consultants;
  • purchasing and replacing motor vehicles;
  • hiring, maintenance, and operation of aircraft;
  • hiring of passenger motor vehicles;
  • purchasing reprints;
  • telephone services in private residences in the field; and
  • certain library memberships.

(Sec. 104) Funds provided by this bill may be transferred between the BIA, the BIE, and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians for Indian trust management and reform activities, provided that total funding for historical accounting activities does not exceed funding provided by this bill for that purpose.

(Sec. 105) Interior may redistribute Tribal Priority Allocation funds, including tribal base funds, to alleviate funding inequities to address identified unmet needs, dual enrollment, overlapping service areas, or inaccurate distribution methodologies. No tribe may receive a reduction in Tribal Priority Allocation funds of more than 10% in FY2019, except in the cases of dual enrollment, overlapping service areas, or inaccurate distribution methodologies.

(Sec. 106) This section authorizes the acquisition of lands and waters for the purpose of operating and maintaining facilities that support visitors to Ellis, Governors, and Liberty Islands in New Jersey and New York.

(Sec. 107) This section requires Interior to collect specified Outer Continental Shelf inspection fees.

(Sec. 108) Interior may transfer funds to implement a reorganization of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, subject to reprogramming guidelines.

(Sec. 109) Interior may enter into multiyear cooperative agreements and contracts with nonprofits and other entities for the long-term care and maintenance of excess wild free roaming horses and burros on private land.

(Sec. 110) The USFWS, in carrying out responsibilities to protect threatened and endangered species of salmon, must implement a system of mass marking of salmonid stocks intended for harvest that are released from federally operated or financed hatcheries.

(Sec. 111) The BIA and the BIE, in carrying out work involving cooperation with state, local, and tribal governments, may record obligations against accounts receivable from the entities, provided that total obligations at the end of the fiscal year do not exceed total budgetary resources.

(Sec. 112) Interior may transfer excess wild horses or burros that have been removed from the public lands to other federal, state, and local agencies for use as work animals. Any animal transferred loses its status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro. Any agency receiving the animals may not (1) destroy, sell, or otherwise transfer them in a way that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products; or (2) euthanize the horses or burros except upon the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian, in cases of severe injury, illness, or advanced age.

(Sec. 113) This section permits Interior to make grants to, or enter into cooperative agreements with, certain nonprofit organizations to use the talents of older Americans in Interior programs under the Department of the Interior Experienced Services Program. It also specifies requirements for the agreements.

(Sec. 114) This section provides FY2019 funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

(Sec. 115) This section prohibits funds from being used to write or issue certain rules for the sage-grouse pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

(Sec. 116) This section extends the authorities for Interior to make grants or provide assistance for

  • the Tennessee Civil War Heritage Area,
  • the August Canal National Heritage Area, and
  • the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.

(Sec. 117) This section requires Interior to report to Congress regarding Interior facilities and related infrastructure damaged by a volcanic eruption covered by a major disaster declared by the President in 2018.

(Sec. 118) This section provides additional appropriations to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education Operation of Indian Programs account for hiring staff for tribal detention facilities, including addressing the needs of newly funded tribal detention facilities. It also reduces the appropriations provided by this bill for Interior's Working Capital Fund.

TITLE II--ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

This title provides appropriations to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for

  • Science and Technology,
  • Environmental Programs and Management,
  • the Office of Inspector General,
  • Buildings and Facilities,
  • Hazardous Substance Superfund,
  • the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Program,
  • Inland Oil Spill Programs,
  • State and Tribal Assistance Grants, and
  • the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program Account.

The title permits the EPA to

  • award cooperative agreements to Indian tribes or intertribal consortia to carry out the agency's function to implement federal environmental programs required or authorized by law in the absence of an acceptable tribal program;
  • collect and spend pesticide registration service fees;
  • transfer funds from the Environmental Programs and Management account to other federal agencies to support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative;
  • enter into interagency agreements and provide grants to certain entities to support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative;
  • use specified funds for the construction, alteration, repair, rehabilitation, and renovation of facilities;
  • use funds to make grants to Indian tribes notwithstanding certain provisions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act);
  • use funds provided for Environmental Programs and Management to provide grants to implement the Southeastern New England Watershed Restoration Program; and
  • collect and spend fees in accordance with specified provisions of the Solid Waste Disposal Act.

This title rescinds specified funds from the State and Tribal Assistance Grants account.

EPA must use funds provided by this title to implement the recommendations in the EPA Office of Inspector General report titled "Management Weakness Delayed Response to Flint Water Crisis" to ensure clean and safe water compliance under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

TITLE III--RELATED AGENCIES

This title provides appropriations to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Office of the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.

The title provides appropriations to USDA for the Forest Service, including for

  • Forest and Rangeland Research;
  • State and Private Forestry;
  • the National Forest System;
  • Capital Improvement and Maintenance;
  • Land Acquisition;
  • the Range Betterment Fund;
  • Gifts, Donations, and Bequests for Forest and Rangeland Research;
  • Management of National Forest Lands for Subsistence Uses; and
  • Wildland Fire Management.

The title rescinds specified land acquisition funds from projects with cost savings or failed or partially failed projects that had funds returned.

Forest Service appropriations may be used for

  • the purchase and use of motor vehicles and aircraft;
  • employment of temporary or intermittent personnel;
  • purchase, erection, and alteration of buildings and other public improvements;
  • acquisition of land and waters;
  • expenses pursuant to the Volunteers in the National Forest Act of 1972;
  • uniforms; and
  • debt collection contracts.

This title specifies authorities and requirements for transferring funds to or from the Wildland Fire Management account.

Forest Service appropriations may be used for forest and rangeland research, technical information, and related forestry and natural resources activities in foreign countries.

Forest Service appropriations may be transferred to the BLM for removal, preparation, and adoption of excess wild horses and burros from National Forest System lands, and for surveys to designate the boundaries of the lands.

Forest Service appropriations may not be transferred using authority provided in several specified statutory provisions.

Forest Service appropriations may not be reprogrammed except with prior approval of Congress and in accordance with procedures contained in the report accompanying this bill.

This title limits transfers to the USDA Working Capital Fund and to USDA for Department Reimbursable Programs (commonly referred to as Greenbook charges).

Specified funds may be used for projects to be carried out by the Youth Conservation Corps under the authority of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993.

The Chief of the Forest Service may use specified funds for official reception and representation expenses.

Specified funds may be used to provide matching funds to aid conservation projects of the National Forest Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Funds may be used to provide technical assistance to rural communities and natural resource-based businesses for sustainable rural development purposes.

Forest Service appropriations may be used for payments to counties within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Forest Service appropriations may be used to meet the non-federal share requirement included in a provision of the Older Americans Act of 1965 related to the older American community service employment program.

The Forest Service may not assess funds for the purpose of performing fire, administrative, and other facilities maintenance and decommissioning.

Specified funds may be used to reimburse the USDA Office of the General Counsel for travel and related expenses incurred as a result of assistance or participation requested by the Forest Service at meetings, training sessions, management reviews, land purchase negotiations, and similar non-litigation related matters.

The title permits an individual employed under any project funded under title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 to be considered a federal employee.

The Forest Service must provide quarterly reports to Congress regarding unobligated balances.

The title provides appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the Indian Health Service (IHS) including

  • Indian Health Services,
  • Contract Support Costs, and
  • Indian Health Facilities.

It also provides appropriations to HHS for (1) the National Institutes of Health for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and (2) the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

The title provides appropriations to Other Related Agencies, including

  • the Executive Office of the President for the Council on Environmental Quality and Office of Environmental Quality;
  • the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board;
  • the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation;
  • the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development;
  • the Smithsonian Institution;
  • the National Gallery of Art;
  • the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts;
  • the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars;
  • the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities;
  • the Commission of Fine Arts;
  • the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation;
  • the National Capital Planning Commission;
  • the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum;
  • the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission;
  • the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission; and
  • the World War I Centennial Commission.

TITLE IV--GENERAL PROVISIONS

(Sec. 401) This section prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to promote public support or opposition to any legislative proposal before Congress, other than to communicate with Congress as permitted under current law.

(Sec. 402) This section prohibits any appropriation contained in this bill from remaining available for obligation beyond the current fiscal year unless expressly permitted in this bill.

(Sec. 403) This section requires specified administrative expenses to be presented in annual budget justifications and approved by Congress.

(Sec. 404) This section prohibits funds from being used to accept or process applications for a patent for any mining or mill site claim located under the general mining laws, subject to exceptions.

Interior must report to Congress regarding actions taken by the department under the plan submitted regarding a processing schedule for certain applications for patents that were filed on or before September 30, 1994.

Upon the request of a patent applicant, Interior must allow a qualified third-party contractor to conduct a mineral examination of the mining claims or mill sites contained in a patent application. The BLM must be responsible for selecting and paying the third-party contractor.

(Sec. 405) This section extends limits on the use of FY1994-FY2013 and FY2014 funds for contract support costs on Indian contracts.

(Sec. 406) This section limits the use of FY2019 funds for contract support costs on Indian contracts.

(Sec. 407) This section permits Forest Service land management plans that are more than 15 years old if USDA is acting in good faith to update the plans.

(Sec. 408) This section prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to conduct preleasing, leasing, and related activities under either the Mineral Leasing Act or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act within the boundaries of a National Monument, as the boundary existed on January 20, 2001. It includes an exception for activities allowed under the presidential proclamation establishing the monument.

(Sec. 409) This section restricts land acquisition funds provided by this bill from being used for the filing of declarations of taking or complaints in condemnation without the approval of Congress. It includes an exception for funds provided to implement the Everglades National Park Protection and Expansion Act of 1989, or for Florida to acquire lands for Everglades restoration.

(Sec. 410) This section sets forth requirements regarding the sale of timber from a specified region in Alaska.

(Sec. 411) This section prohibits no-bid contracts and grants except under certain circumstances where a contract is authorized by federal law or was awarded prior to the date of enactment of this bill.

(Sec. 412) This section requires agencies receiving funds in this bill to post on their public websites any report required to be submitted by Congress if it serves the national interest. The requirement does not apply if (1) the public posting of the report comprises national security, or (2) the report contains proprietary information.

(Sec. 413) This section establishes grant guidelines for the NEA.

(Sec. 414) This section establishes priorities for programs administered by the NEA.

(Sec. 415) This section directs Interior, the EPA, the Forest Service, and the IHS to provide Congress with quarterly reports on the status of balances of appropriations.

(Sec. 416) This section prohibits funds from being used to promulgate or implement any regulation requiring the issuance of permits under the Clean Air Act for carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, water vapor, or methane emissions resulting from biological processes associated with livestock production.

(Sec. 417) This section prohibits funds from being used to implement any provision in a rule that requires mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems.

(Sec. 418) This section prohibits funds from being used to regulate the lead content of ammunition, ammunition components, or fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act or any other law.

(Sec. 419) This section extends a provision that permits USDA and Interior, in awarding contracts for certain activities on public lands, to give consideration to certain local contractors who provide employment and training for dislocated and displaced workers in an economically disadvantaged rural community.

(Sec. 420) This section extends the authority of the Forest Service to renew certain grazing permits.

(Sec. 421) This section prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to maintain or establish a computer network unless the network blocks access to pornography websites. It includes an exception for a law enforcement agency or other entity carrying out criminal investigations, prosecution, or adjudication activities.

(Sec. 422) This section extends the authority for conveyances of certain Forest Service administrative sites.

(Sec. 423) This section prohibits any funds made available by a state water pollution control revolving fund authorized by the Safe Drinking Water Act from being used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public water system or treatment works unless all of the iron and steel products used in the project are produced in the United States, subject to specified exceptions and waiver procedures.

(Sec. 424) This section prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to destroy any buildings or structures on Midway Island that have been recommended by the U.S Navy for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

(Sec. 425) This section authorizes FY2019 appropriations for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

(Sec. 426) This section authorizes Interior to (1) enter into grants and cooperative agreements with volunteer fire departments, rural fire departments, rangeland fire protection associations, and similar organizations to provide for wildland fire training and equipment, including supplies and communication devices; and (2) transfer title to excess Interior firefighting equipment to the organizations.

(Sec. 427) This section provides additional appropriations to the EPA for

  • Hazardous Substance Superfund,
  • State and Tribal Assistance Grants, and
  • the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program Account.

(Sec. 428) This section requires the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the EPA to jointly ensure that federal policy relating to forest bioenergy (1) is consistent across all department and agencies, and (2) recognizes the full benefits of the use of forest biomass for energy, conservation, and responsible forest management.

It also requires DOE, USDA, and the EPA to establish clear and simple policies for the use of forest biomass as an energy solution, including policies that

  • reflect the carbon-neutrality of forest bioenergy and recognize biomass as a renewable energy source, provided the use of forest biomass for energy production does not cause conversion of forests to non-forest use;
  • encourage private investment throughout the forest biomass supply chain;
  • encourage forest management to improve forest health; and
  • recognize state initiatives to produce and use forest biomass.

(Sec. 429) This section prohibits the EPA from using funds to require a permit under the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material for certain agricultural activities.

(Sec. 430) This section prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to implement or enforce certain EPA regulations for commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units with respect to small remote incinerators located in Alaska.

(Sec. 431) This section extends the authority of federal agencies to establish, collect, and retain fees on federal recreational lands and waters.

(Sec. 432) This section prohibits specified agencies from using funds provided by this bill to acquire telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation or a high-impact or moderate-impact information system unless the agency acquiring the system meets certain requirements for reviews, assessments, reports, and mitigation strategies for risks.

(Sec. 433) This section requires the Government Accountability Office to report to Congress on efforts by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the EPA relating to the removal of lead-based paint and other hazardous materials.

(Sec. 434) This section requires the Forest Service to conduct and submit to Congress an inventory and evaluation of land depicted on the map titled "Flatside Wilderness Adjacent Inventory Areas" and dated November 30, 2017, to determine the suitability of the land for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

(Sec. 435) This section requires HHS to use funds provided for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to report to Congress on the geographic variation in pediatric cancer incidence in the United States.

HHS must use specified funds to conduct public outreach activities to improve awareness of possible contributing factors to pediatric cancer.

HHS must ensure that all patient information in the reports under this section is de-identified and protects personal privacy of the patients in accordance with privacy laws.

(Sec. 436) This section specifies that the explanatory statement printed in the Congressional Record regarding division A (Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019) of H.R. 21 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019) has the same effect, with respect to this bill, as if it were a joint explanatory statement of a conference committee.

(Sec. 437) This section compensates federal employees furloughed as a result of a lapse in appropriations that began on or about December 22, 2018, and ended upon the enactment of this bill. It also ratifies and approves certain obligations incurred in anticipation of the appropriations made and the authority granted by this bill.

(Sec. 438) This section reimburses or compensates certain states, federal grantees, and furloughed state employees for any period in FY2019 in which a lapse in appropriations occurs.