Text: H.R.5589 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/13/2020)

 
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[H.R. 5589 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5589

 To establish an Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 13, 2020

Ms. Bonamici (for herself, Mr. Posey, Mr. Beyer, Mr. Mast, Mr. Huffman, 
 Mr. Lowenthal, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Case, Mr. Casten of Illinois, and 
 Ms. Brownley of California) introduced the following bill; which was 
referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the 
Committees on Science, Space, and Technology, and House Administration, 
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 an Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon, 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 ``Blue Carbon for Our Planet Act''.

SEC. 2. INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP.

    (a) Establishment.--The National Science and Technology Council 
Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology shall establish an 
Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon.
    (b) Purposes.--The Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon 
shall oversee the development of a national map of coastal blue carbon 
ecosystems, establish national coastal blue carbon ecosystem 
restoration priorities, assess the biophysical, social, and economic 
impediments to coastal blue carbon ecosystem restoration, study the 
effects of climate change, environmental, and human stressors on 
sequestration rates, and preserve the continuity of coastal blue carbon 
data.
    (c) Membership.--The Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue 
Carbon shall be comprised of senior representatives from the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection 
Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration, the United States Geological Survey, the United 
States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau 
of Indian Affairs, the Smithsonian Institution, the Army Corps of 
Engineers, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the 
Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, and the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    (d) Chair.--The Interagency Working Group shall be chaired by the 
Administrator.
    (e) Responsibilities.--The Interagency Working Group shall--
            (1) oversee the development, update, and maintenance of a 
        national map and inventory of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, 
        including habitat types with a regional focus in analysis that 
        is usable for local level protection planning and restoration;
            (2) develop a strategic assessment of the biophysical, 
        social, statutory, regulatory, and economic impediments to 
        protection and restoration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems;
            (3) develop a national strategy for foundational science 
        necessary to study, synthesize, and evaluate the effects of 
        climate change, environmental, and human stressors on 
        sequestration rates and capabilities of coastal blue carbon 
        ecosystems protection;
            (4) establish national coastal blue carbon ecosystem 
        protection and restoration priorities, including an assessment 
        of current Federal funding being used for restoration efforts; 
        and
            (5) ensure the continuity, use, and interoperability of 
        data assets through the Smithsonian Environmental Research 
        Center's Coastal Carbon Data Clearinghouse.
    (f) Reports to Congress.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than one year after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Interagency Working Group shall 
        provide to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
        the House of Representatives, the Committee on Natural 
        Resources of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on 
        Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report 
        containing the following:
                    (A) A summary of federally funded coastal blue 
                carbon ecosystem research, monitoring, preservation, 
                and restoration activities, including the budget for 
                each of these activities and describe the progress in 
                advancing the national priorities established in 
                section 4(a)(4)(A).
                    (B) An assessment of biophysical, social, and 
                economic impediments to coastal blue carbon ecosystem 
                restoration.
            (2) Strategic plan.--
                    (A) In general.--The Interagency Working group 
                shall create a strategic plan for Federal investments 
                in basic research, development, demonstration, long-
                term monitoring and stewardship, and deployment of 
                coastal blue carbon ecosystem projects for the 5-year 
                period beginning at the start of the first fiscal year 
                after the date on which the budget assessment is 
                submitted under paragraph (1). The plan shall include 
                an assessment of the use of existing Federal programs 
                to protect and preserve coastal blue carbon ecosystems.
                    (B) Timing.--The Interagency Working Group shall--
                            (i) submit the strategic plan under 
                        paragraph (A) to the Committee on Science, 
                        Space, and Technology of the House of 
                        Representatives, the Committee on Natural 
                        Resources of the House of Representatives, and 
                        the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                        Transportation of the Senate on a date that is 
                        not later than one year after the enactment of 
                        this Act and not earlier than the date on which 
                        the report under paragraph (1) is submitted to 
                        such committees of Congress; and
                            (ii) submit a revised version of such plan 
                        not less than quinquennially thereafter.
                    (C) Federal register.--Not later than 90 days 
                before the strategic plan under this paragraph, or any 
                revision thereof, is submitted under subparagraph (B), 
                the Interagency Working Group shall publish such plan 
                in the Federal Register and provide an opportunity for 
                submission of public comments for a period of not less 
                than 60 days.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL MAP OF COASTAL BLUE CARBON ECOSYSTEMS.

    (a) National Map.--The Interagency Working Group shall--
            (1) produce, update, and maintain a national level map and 
        inventory of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, including--
                    (A) the types of habitats and species in the 
                ecosystem;
                    (B) the condition of such habitats including 
                whether a habitat is degraded, drained, eutrophic, or 
                tidally restricted;
                    (C) the size of the ecosystem;
                    (D) the salinity boundaries;
                    (E) the tidal boundaries;
                    (F) an assessment of carbon sequestration 
                potential, methane production, and net greenhouse gas 
                reductions;
                    (G) an assessment of cobenefits of ecosystem and 
                carbon sequestration;
                    (H) the potential for landward migration as a 
                result of sea level rise;
                    (I) any upstream restrictions detrimental to the 
                watershed process and conditions such as dams, dikes, 
                and levees;
                    (J) the conversion of coastal blue carbon 
                ecosystems to other land uses and the cause of such 
                conversion; and
                    (K) a depiction of the effects of climate change, 
                including sea level rise, environmental stressors, and 
                human stressors on the sequestration rate, carbon 
                storage, and potential of coastal blue carbon 
                ecosystems; and
            (2) in carrying out paragraph (1)--
                    (A) incorporate, to the extent possible, existing 
                data collected through federally funded research and by 
                a Federal agency, State agency, local agency, Tribe, 
                including data collected from the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration Coastal Change Analysis 
                Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National 
                Wetlands Inventory, United States Geological Survey 
                LandCarbon program, and Department of Agriculture 
                National Coastal Blue Carbon Assessment; and
                    (B) engage regional technical experts in order to 
                accurately account for regional differences in coastal 
                blue carbon ecosystems.
    (b) Use.--The Interagency Working Group shall use the national map 
and inventory--
            (1) to assess the carbon sequestration potential of 
        different coastal blue carbon habitats, and account for any 
        regional differences;
            (2) to assess and quantify emissions from degraded and 
        destroyed coastal blue carbon ecosystems;
            (3) to develop regional assessments and to provide 
        technical assistance to regional, State, Tribal, and local 
        government agencies, and regional information coordination 
        entities as defined in section 123030(6) of the Integrated 
        Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act (33 U.S.C. 3602);
            (4) to assess degraded coastal blue carbon ecosystems and 
        their potential for restoration, including developing scenario 
        modeling to identify vulnerable land areas where management, 
        protection, and restoration efforts should be focused; and
            (5) produce future predictions of coastal blue carbon 
        ecosystems and carbon sequestration rates in the context of 
        climate change, environmental stressors, and human stressors.

SEC. 4. RESTORATION AND PROTECTIONS FOR EXISTING COASTAL BLUE CARBON 
              ECOSYSTEMS.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator shall--
            (1) lead the Interagency Working Group in implementing the 
        strategic plan under section 2(e)(2);
            (2) coordinate monitoring and research efforts among 
        Federal agencies in cooperation with State, local, and Tribal 
        government and international partners and nongovernmental 
        organizations;
            (3) assess the feasibility and potential of establishing a 
        national goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the ocean 
        and coastal blue carbon ecosystems within the territory of the 
        United States by 2030, including the effects of climate change 
        and sea level rise on such goal, and as appropriate setting 
        targets for restoration of degraded coastal blue carbon 
        ecosystems;
            (4) in coordination with the Interagency Working Group and 
        as informed by the report under section 2(e) on current Federal 
        expenditures on coastal blue carbon ecosystem restoration, 
        identify--
                    (A) national coastal blue carbon ecosystem 
                protection and restoration priorities that would 
                produce the highest rate of carbon sequestration and 
                greatest ecosystem benefits such as flood protection, 
                soil and beach retention, erosion reduction, 
                biodiversity, water purification, and nutrient cycling 
                in the context of other environmental stressors and 
                climate change; and
                    (B) ways to improve coordination and to prevent 
                unnecessary duplication of effort among Federal 
                agencies and departments with respect to research on 
                coastal blue carbon ecosystems through existing and new 
                coastal management networks; and
            (5) in coordination with State, local, and Tribal 
        governments and coastal stakeholders, develop integrated pilot 
        programs to restore degraded coastal blue carbon ecosystems in 
        accordance with subsection (b).
    (b) Integrated Pilot Programs To Restore Degraded Coastal Blue 
Carbon Ecosystems.--In carrying out subsection (a)(5), the 
Administrator shall--
            (1) establish integrated pilot programs that develop best 
        management practices, including design criteria and performance 
        functions for coastal blue carbon ecosystem restoration, 
        nature-based adaptation strategies, restoration areas that 
        intersect with the built environments as green-gray 
        infrastructure projects, management practices for landward 
        progression or migration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, and 
        identify potential barriers to restoration efforts;
            (2) ensure that the pilot programs cover geographically and 
        ecologically diverse locations with significant ecological, 
        economic, and social benefits, such as flood protection, soil 
        and beach retention, erosion reduction, biodiversity, water 
        purification, and nutrient cycling to reduce hypoxic 
        conditions, and maximum potential for greenhouse gas emission 
        reduction;
            (3) establish a procedure for reviewing applications for 
        the pilot program;
            (4) ensure, through consultation with the Interagency 
        Working Group, that the goals and metrics for the pilot 
        programs are communicated to the appropriate State, Tribe, and 
        local governments, and to the general public; and
            (5) coordinate with relevant Federal agencies on the 
        Interagency Working Group to prevent unnecessary duplication of 
        effort among Federal agencies and departments with respect to 
        restoration programs.

SEC. 5. COASTAL CARBON DATA CLEARINGHOUSE.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of the Smithsonian, in coordination 
with the Administrator and members of the Interagency Working Group, 
shall provide for the long-term stewardship of, and access to, data 
relating to coastal blue carbon ecosystems and national mapping, by 
supporting the maintenance of the Coastal Carbon Data Clearinghouse.
    (b) Coastal Carbon Data Clearinghouse Duties.--Acting through the 
Coastal Carbon Data Clearinghouse, the Secretary of the Smithsonian in 
coordination with the Administrator and members of the Interagency 
Working Group shall process, store, archive, provide access to, and 
incorporate to the extent possible, all data collected through 
federally funded research by a Federal agency, State, local agency, 
Tribe, academic scientist, or any other relevant entity.
    (c) Global and National Data Assets.--The Secretary of the 
Smithsonian in coordination with the Administrator and members of the 
Interagency Working Group shall ensure that existing global and 
national data assets are incorporated into the Coastal Carbon Data 
Clearinghouse to the greatest extent possible.
    (d) Establishment of Standards, Protocols, and Procedures.--The 
Secretary of the Smithsonian in coordination with the Administrator and 
members of the Interagency Working Group, shall establish standards, 
protocols, and procedures for the processing, storing, archiving, and 
providing access to data in the Coastal Carbon Data Clearinghouse and 
best practices for sharing such data with State, local, and Tribal 
governments, coastal stakeholders, non-Federal resource managers, and 
academia. The Administrator shall work to disseminate such data to the 
greatest extent practicable.
    (e) Digital Tools and Resources.--The Secretary of the Smithsonian, 
in coordination with the Administrator and members of the Interagency 
Working Group, shall develop digital tools and resources to support the 
public use of the Coastal Carbon Data Clearinghouse.

SEC. 6. NAS ASSESSMENT OF CONTAINMENT OF CARBON DIOXIDE IN DEEP 
              SEAFLOOR ENVIRONMENT.

    Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Administrator shall seek to enter into an agreement with the 
National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive assessment on 
the long-term effects of containment of carbon dioxide in a deep 
seafloor environment on marine ecosystems and the integrity of existing 
storage technologies.

SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration to carry out this Act $15,000,000 for each 
of the fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

SEC. 8. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere in the 
        Under Secretary's capacity as the Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
            (2) Coastal blue carbon ecosystem.--The term ``coastal blue 
        carbon ecosystem'' refers to vegetated coastal habitats 
        including mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrasses, kelp forests, 
        and other tidal or salt-water wetlands, and their ability to 
        sequester carbon from the atmosphere, accumulate it in biomass 
        for years to decades, and store it in soils for centuries to 
        millennia. Coastal blue carbon ecosystems include both 
        autochthonous carbon and allochthonous carbon.
            (3) State.--The term ``State'' means each State of the 
        United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
        Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the 
        Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands of the United 
        States, and any other territory or possession of the United 
        States.
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