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                                                       Calendar No. 544
104th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     104-338
_______________________________________________________________________


 
TO REAUTHORIZE THE INDIAN ENVIRONMENTAL GENERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ACT 
                    OF 1992, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

                 July 29, 1996.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


    Mr. McCain, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1834]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 1834) to reauthorize the Indian Environmental General 
Assistance Program Act of 1992, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 1834 is to amend the Indian Environmental 
General Assistance Program Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-497, 106 Stat. 
3258, 42 U.S.C. 4368b) to authorize such sums as may be 
necessary to implement the Act.

                               Background

    The Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Act was 
enacted on October 4, 1992 and amended on November 24, 1993 
(P.L. 103-155 Stat. 1523) to extend the authorization of the 
Act to fiscal year 1998. The Indian Environmental General 
Assistance Program Act authorizes the appropriation of 
$15,000,000 per fiscal year to the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) to award general assistance grants to 
Indian tribal governments and tribal consortia to enhance their 
capacity to administer environmental programs on Indian lands.
    The Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Act 
responds to the needs identified by Indian tribes for increased 
Federal assistance to improve environmental protection on 
Indian lands. The Act authorizes the EPA to award multimedia 
grants, at a minimum level of $75,000 per year, to Indian 
tribes to develop the necessary technical, legal and 
administrative infrastructure for effective environmental 
regulation. The strength of the General Assistance Program 
(GAP) is the flexibility provided to Indian tribes to plan and 
develop a reservation specific approach to environmental 
protection, consistent with tribally-identified environmental 
priorities.
    Since its enactment, the Congress has appropriated 
approximately $7.5 million in fiscal year 1994, $8.5 million in 
fiscal year 1995 and the full authorization level of $15 
million in fiscal year 1996 to implement the GAP program. 
According to estimates by the EPA, approximately 100 of the 557 
Federally-recognized Indian tribes have received GAP funding 
since its enactment. However, the demonstrated need by Indian 
tribes far exceeds the existing level of funding provided under 
the Act. Under the current authorization language, EPA has 
expressed concern that it would not be able to assist the vast 
majority of Indian tribes in developing environmental programs.
    During Committee hearings on the fiscal year 1997 budget, 
EPA presented testimony to the Committee in favor of amendments 
to the Act which would authorize greater flexibility to the EPA 
to implement the Act. The Committee supports the efforts by EPA 
to strengthen public health and environmental protection in 
Indian country, consistent with the Federal policies of Tribal 
Self-Determination and Self-Governance and EPA's 1984 Indian 
Policy Statement. The Committee notes that the General 
Assistance Program is regarded by the EPA and Indian tribes as 
one of the Agency's most effective and successful programs to 
assist tribal governments in developing environmental programs. 
The Committee has long recognized that Indian tribal 
governments are the appropriate authority to manage 
environmental programs on Indian reservations.
    The Committee recognizes that the GAP program represents an 
important first step in developing tribal environmental 
regulatory capacity to protect environmental quality on Indian 
reservations. With GAP grants, Indian tribes are able to 
develop comprehensive and integrated tribal environmental 
programs in the areas of solid and hazardous waste management, 
water quality, air quality, pesticide management or similar 
multi-media programs. Through the Indian Environmental General 
Assistance Program, the EPA has assisted Indian tribes across 
the country, including such states as Maine, Arizona, New York, 
Mississippi, Alaska, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nebraska, 
Oklahoma, Washington, South Dakota, Utah, California, and 
Oregon.
    For example, the GAP assistance, several Indian tribes have 
made significant progress in addressing a variety of 
environmental problems on Indian lands. Two such tribes have 
implemented innovative approaches to developing a tribal 
environmental program. The Penobscot Indian Nation of Maine has 
established an award-winning Water Resources Program, which is 
nationally recognized as a highly successful model of State-
Tribal-Federal cooperation to protect traditional waterways on 
the Penobscot watershed. The White Mountain Apache Tribe of 
Arizona used GAP funding to help create a Tribal Environmental 
Planning Office to train tribal personnel in water quality 
management and develop tribal capacity in solid waste planning 
and management activities, natural resource management and 
ecosystem management.
    Other Indian tribes have used GAP funding to conduct 
environmental clean-up activities for existing solid and 
hazardous waste contamination on their lands. The Mississippi 
Bank of Choctaw Indians are able to protect their reservation 
by conducting a variety of environmental monitoring and 
protection activities such as site assessments, wetlands and 
mitigation activities and non-point source discharge 
activities. The Bad River Tribe of Wisconsin has established, 
as a national pilot project under the GAP, environmental 
infrastructure to address a multitude of environmental problems 
on its reservation. Some of the activities conducted under the 
GAP program include the closure of open dump sites, the 
establishment of a per-capita recycling program, identification 
of existing leaking underground storage tanks and investigation 
of potential Superfund sites. The Hoopa Valley Tribe of 
California has utilized funding from GAP to identify and 
address existing hazardous waste sites on its reservation. The 
tribe was able to identify and package hazardous waste for 
removal and transportation to a regulated storage facility.

                          Legislative History

    S. 1834 was introduced on June 4, 1996 by Senator McCain 
for himself and Senators Inouye, Domenici and Simon and was 
referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.

            Committee Recommendation and Tabulation of Vote

    In open business session on July 18, 1996, the Committee on 
Indian Affairs ordered the bill reported with the 
recommendation that the Senate pass the bill as reported.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

                       section 1. reauthorization

    Section 1 amends Section 502(h) of the Indian Environmental 
General Assistance Program Act by striking $15,000,000 and 
inserting in lieu thereof ``such sums as may be necessary''.

                    Cost and Budgetary Consideration

    The cost estimate for S. 1934 as calculated by the 
Congressional Budget Office is set forth below:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 26, 1996.
Hon. John McCain,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed S. 1834, a bill to reauthorize the Indian 
Environmental General Assistance Program Act of 1992, and for 
other purposes, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on 
Indian Affairs on July 18, 1996. The bill would change an 
existing authorization of appropriations for fiscal years 1997 
and 1998 from $15 million a year to such sums as may be 
necessary.
    Because the appropriated level for fiscal year 1996 is $15 
million, and the current authorization level for 1997 and 1998 
is also $15 million, changing the specified authorization to 
such sums as may be necessary would allow for increases above 
the amount provided for 1996. For example, the President 
requested a total of $28 million for the General Assistance 
Program (GAP) for fiscal year 1997. CBO has no basis for 
estimating whether appropriations for GAP would be increased as 
a result of enacting this bill.
    Enacting S. 1834 would not affect direct spending for 
receipts: therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. 
S. 1834 contains no private-sector or intergovernmental 
mandates as defined in Public Law 104-4 and would impose no 
costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Rachel 
Robertson.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires each report accompanying a bill to evaluate the 
regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that S. 1834 will 
have no regulatory or paperwork impact.

                        Executive Communications

    The Committee received the following executive 
communication from the Environmental Protection Agency which is 
set out as follows:

                        United States Environmental
                                         Protection Agency,
                                     Washington, DC, July 16, 1996.
Hon. John McCain,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman McCain: Thank you for your June 21, 1996, 
letter to Administrator Browner informing her that you have 
introduced legislation, S. 1834, which would authorize such 
sums as are necessary to the EPA for awarding multimedia grants 
to Indian Tribal governments for developing Tribal capacity to 
establish environmental management programs. In your June 21 
letter, you also requested that EPA provide a report to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs on the current status and 
implementation of the Indian Environmental General Assistance 
Program Act of 1992 to assist you in your efforts to move this 
legislation expeditiously.
    I support S. 1834 and I want to work with you and the 
Congress to strengthen public health and environmental 
protection in Indian Country. I am pleased to provide you with 
the enclosed report. If you have any questions, please do not 
hesitate to call me.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert Perciasepe,
                                           Assistant Administrator.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that 
enactment of S. 1834 will result in the following changes in 42 
U.S.C. 4368b(h) with existing language which is to be deleted 
are in black brackets and the new language which is to be added 
is in italics:

                        42 U.S.C. Sec. 4368b(h)

    ``(h) Authorization
    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be 
necessary to carry out the provisions of this section 
[$15,000,000] for each of the fiscal years 1993, 1994, 1995, 
1996, 1997, and 1998.''