H. Rept. 106-484, Part 2 - 106th Congress (1999-2000)

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House Report 106-484 - SMALL WATERSHED REHABILITATION AMENDMENTS OF 1999

[House Report 106-484]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]





106th Congress                                            Rept. 106-484
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 2

=======================================================================



 
           SMALL WATERSHED REHABILITATION AMENDMENTS OF 1999

                                _______
                                

 April 4, 2000.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

            Mr. Combest, from the Committee on Agriculture, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 728]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Agriculture, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 728) to amend the Watershed Protection and Flood 
Prevention Act to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to 
provide cost share assistance for the rehabilitation of 
structural measures constructed as part of water resource 
projects previously funded by the Secretary under such Act or 
related laws, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Small Watershed Rehabilitation 
Amendments of 1999''.

SEC. 2. REHABILITATION OF WATER RESOURCE STRUCTURAL MEASURES 
                    CONSTRUCTED UNDER CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 
                    PROGRAMS.

  The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (16 U.S.C. 1001 et 
seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``SEC. 14. REHABILITATION OF STRUCTURAL MEASURES NEAR, AT, OR PAST 
                    THEIR EVALUATED LIFE EXPECTANCY.

  ``(a) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
          ``(1) Rehabilitation.--The term `rehabilitation', with 
        respect to a structural measure constructed as part of a 
        covered water resource project, means the completion of all 
        work necessary to extend the service life of the structural 
        measure and meet applicable safety and performance standards. 
        This may include (A) protecting the integrity of the structural 
        measure or prolonging the useful life of the structural measure 
        beyond the original evaluated life expectancy, (B) correcting 
        damage to the structural measure from a catastrophic event, (C) 
        correcting the deterioration of structural components that are 
        deteriorating at an abnormal rate, or (D) upgrading the 
        structural measure to meet changed land use conditions in the 
        watershed served by the structural measure or changed safety 
        criteria applicable to the structural measure.
          ``(2) Covered water resource project.--The term `covered 
        water resource project' means a work of improvement carried out 
        under any of the following:
                  ``(A) This Act.
                  ``(B) Section 13 of the Act of December 22, 1944 
                (Public Law 78-534; 58 Stat. 905).
                  ``(C) The pilot watershed program authorized under 
                the heading `Flood Prevention' of the Department of 
                Agriculture Appropriation Act, 1954 (Public Law 156; 67 
                Stat. 214).
                  ``(D) Subtitle H of title XV of the Agriculture and 
                Food Act of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3451 et seq.; commonly 
                known as the Resource Conservation and Development 
                Program).
          ``(3) Structural measure.--The term `structural measure' 
        means a physical improvement that impounds water, commonly 
        known as a dam, which was constructed as part of a covered 
        water resource project. The term includes the resulting 
        immediate impoundment area and the immediate flood pool of the 
        physical improvement.
  ``(b) Cost Share Assistance for Rehabilitation.--
          ``(1) Assistance authorized.--The Secretary may provide 
        financial assistance to a local organization to cover a portion 
        of the total costs incurred for the rehabilitation of 
        structural measures originally constructed as part of a covered 
        water resource project. The total costs of rehabilitation 
        include the costs associated with all components of the 
        rehabilitation project, including acquisition of land, 
        easements, and rights-of-ways, rehabilitation project 
        administration, the provision of technical assistance, 
        contracting, and construction costs, except that the local 
        organization shall be responsible for securing all land, 
        easements, or rights-of-ways necessary for the project.
          ``(2) Amount of assistance; limitations.--The amount of 
        Federal funds that may be made available under this subsection 
        to a local organization for construction of a particular 
        rehabilitation project shall be equal to 65 percent of the 
        total rehabilitation costs, but not to exceed 100 percent of 
        actual construction costs incurred in the rehabilitation. 
        However, the local organization shall be responsible for the 
        costs of water, mineral, and other resource rights and all 
        Federal, State, and local permits.
          ``(3) Relation to land use and development regulations.--As a 
        condition on entering into an agreement to provide financial 
        assistance under this subsection, the Secretary, working in 
        concert with the affected unit or units of general purpose 
        local government, may require that proper zoning or other 
        developmental regulations are in place in the watershed in 
        which the structural measures to be rehabilitated under the 
        agreement are located so that--
                  ``(A) the completed rehabilitation project is not 
                quickly rendered inadequate by additional development; 
                and
                  ``(B) society can realize the full benefits of the 
                rehabilitation investment.
          ``(4) Prohibition on certain rehabilitation assistance.--The 
        Secretary shall not approve a rehabilitation request if the 
        Secretary determines that the need for rehabilitation of the 
        structure is the result of a lack of adequate maintenance by 
        the party responsible for the maintenance.
  ``(c) Technical Assistance for Watershed Project Rehabilitation.--The 
Secretary, acting through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, 
may provide technical assistance in planning, designing, and 
implementing rehabilitation projects should a local organization 
request such assistance. Such assistance may consist of specialists in 
such fields as engineering, geology, soils, agronomy, biology, 
hydraulics, hydrology, economics, water quality, and contract 
administration.
  ``(d) Prohibited Use.--
          ``(1) Performance of operation and maintenance.--
        Rehabilitation assistance provided under this section may not 
        be used to perform operation and maintenance activities 
        specified in the agreement for the covered water resource 
        project entered into between the Secretary and the local 
        organization responsible for the works of improvement. Such 
        operation and maintenance activities shall remain the 
        responsibility of the local organization, as provided in the 
        project work plan.
          ``(2) Renegotiation.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), as part 
        of the provision of financial assistance under subsection (b), 
        the Secretary may renegotiate the original agreement for the 
        covered water resource project entered into between the 
        Secretary and the local organization regarding responsibility 
        for the operation and maintenance of the project when the 
        rehabilitation is finished.
  ``(e) Application for Rehabilitation Assistance.--A local 
organization may apply to the Secretary for technical and financial 
assistance under this section if the application has also been 
submitted to and approved by the State agency having supervisory 
responsibility over the covered water resource project at issue or, if 
there is no State agency having such responsibility, by the Governor of 
the State. The Secretary shall request the State dam safety officer (or 
equivalent State official) to be involved in the application process if 
State permits or approvals are required. The rehabilitation of 
structural measures shall meet standards established by the Secretary 
and address other dam safety issues. At the request of the local 
organization, personnel of the Natural Resources Conservation Service 
of the Department of Agriculture may assist in preparing applications 
for assistance.
  ``(f) Justification for Rehabilitation Assistance.--In order to 
qualify for technical or financial assistance under this authority, the 
Secretary shall require the rehabilitation project to be performed in 
the most cost-effective manner that accomplishes the rehabilitation 
objective, however, the Secretary is not required to develop a cost-
benefit ratio analysis or a cost-benefit ratio. The benefits of, and 
the requirements for, the rehabilitation project shall be documented to 
ensure the wise and responsible use of Federal funds.
  ``(g) Ranking of Requests for Rehabilitation Assistance.--The 
Secretary shall establish a system for the timely consideration and 
approval of rehabilitation requests, recognizing that such requests 
will be received throughout the fiscal year and subject to the 
availability of funds to carry out this section. The Secretary shall 
ensure that the system provides for proper administration by the 
Department of Agriculture and is equitable for all local organizations. 
The approval process shall be in writing and shall be made known to all 
local organizations and appropriate State agencies.
  ``(h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary $60,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 
2000 through 2009 to provide financial and technical assistance under 
this section.
  ``(i) Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs.--Of the amount appropriated 
pursuant to subsection (h) for fiscal years 2000 and 2001, $5,000,000 
shall be used by the Secretary, in concert with the responsible State 
agencies, to conduct an assessment of the rehabilitation needs of 
covered water resource projects in all States in which such projects 
are located.
  ``(j) Recordkeeping and Reports.--
          ``(1) Secretary.--The Secretary shall maintain a data base to 
        track the benefits derived from rehabilitation projects 
        supported under this section and the expenditures made under 
        this section. On the basis of such data and the reports 
        submitted under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall prepare and 
        submit to Congress an annual report providing the status of 
        activities conducted under this section.
          ``(2) Grant recipients.--Not later than 90 days after the 
        completion of a specific rehabilitation project for which 
        assistance is provided under this section, the local 
        organization that received the assistance shall make a report 
        to the Secretary giving the status of any rehabilitation effort 
        undertaken using financial assistance provided under this 
        section.''.

SEC. 3. NONINTERFERENCE WITH STATE AND LOCAL FLOOD DEBRIS REMOVAL 
                    EFFORTS.

  The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (16 U.S.C. 1001 et 
seq.) is amended by inserting after section 14, as added by section 2 
of this Act, the following new section:

``SEC. 15. NONINTERFERENCE WITH STATE AND LOCAL FLOOD DEBRIS REMOVAL 
                    EFFORTS.

  ``The Secretary of Agriculture and other executive branch officials 
and employees may not prohibit or condition the ability of a State or 
local government to remove from land or waters any rocks, vegetation, 
soil, or other debris deposited by flood waters when the primary 
purpose of the removal operation is to reduce the risk and severity of 
subsequent flooding.''.

SEC. 4. PRIVACY OF PERSONAL DATA RECEIVED BY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 
                    AND DATA GATHERING LOCATIONS.

  The Food Security Act of 1985 is amended by inserting after section 
1243 (16 U.S.C. 3843) the following new section:

``SEC. 1244. PRIVACY OF PERSONAL DATA RELATING TO NATURAL RESOURCES 
                    CONSERVATION PROGRAMS.

  ``(a) Information and Data Received for Technical and Financial 
Assistance.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as 
provided in paragraph (c), information and data provided to, or 
developed by, the Secretary of Agriculture (including a contractor of 
the Secretary) for the purpose of providing technical or financial 
assistance to a landowner or operator with respect to any natural 
resources conservation program administered by the Natural Resources 
Conservation Service or the Farm Service Agency shall not be released 
or disclosed to any agency or person outside the Department of 
Agriculture.
  ``(b) Inventory, Monitoring, and Site Specific Data.--Notwithstanding 
any other provision of law and except as provided in paragraph (c), in 
order to maintain the personal privacy, confidentiality, and 
cooperation of landowners and operators, and to maintain the integrity 
of sample sites, the specific geographic locations of the National 
Resources Inventory of the Department of Agriculture data gathering 
sites and the information and data generated by such sites are not 
public information and shall not be subject to mandatory disclosure or 
released to any local, tribal, State, or Federal agency outside the 
Department of Agriculture.
  ``(c) Exceptions.--
          ``(1) Release and disclosure for enforcement.--The Secretary 
        of Agriculture may release or disclose information or data 
        covered by subsection (a) or (b) to the extent necessary to 
        enforce the natural resources conservation programs referred to 
        in subsection (a).
          ``(2) Limited disclosure to cooperating persons and 
        agencies.--The Secretary may release or disclose information or 
        data covered by subsection (a) or (b) to a person or a local, 
        tribal, State, or Federal agency working in cooperation with 
        the Secretary of Agriculture in providing technical and 
        financial assistance described in subsection (a) or collecting 
        information and data from National Resources Inventory data 
        gathering sites. However, the person or local, tribal, State, 
        or Federal agency that receives the information or data may 
        release the information or data only for the purpose of 
        assisting the Secretary in providing the requested technical or 
        financial assistance or in collecting information and data from 
        National Resources Inventory data gathering sites.
          ``(3) Limited exception for statistical and aggregate data.--
        The Secretary may release information or data covered by 
        subsection (b), if the information or data has been transformed 
        into a statistical or aggregate form that does not allow 
        identification of the individual landowner, operator, or 
        specific data gathering site.
  ``(d) Violations.--Section 1770(c) of the Food Security Act of 1985 
(7 U.S.C. 2276) shall apply to any person who releases or causes to be 
released information or data in violation of this section.''.

                           Brief Explanation

    H.R. 728, the Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 
1999, adds a new section to the Watershed Protection and Flood 
Prevention Act of 1954 (PL-566), the small watershed program 
administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service 
(NRCS).
    The bill authorizes a new, 10-year program to rehabilitate 
aging floodwater retention projects; $60 million is authorized 
to be appropriated in each of the fiscal years 2000 through 
2009. In addition, the Secretary of Agriculture in concert with 
responsible state agencies is required to use $5 million of the 
total appropriation during fiscal years 2000 and 2001 to assess 
the rehabilitation needs in states where these dams and small 
watershed projects are located.
    The Secretary may provide up to 65 percent of the total 
costs of the rehabilitation project but may not provide more 
than 100 percent of the actual construction costs. A local 
organization seeking financial assistance must assume all costs 
of water, mineral and other resource rights and all permits 
involved in the rehabilitation work.
    The Secretary may require zoning or development regulations 
to be put in place prior to entering into an agreement with a 
local organization so that the rehabilitation work will not 
become inadequate by subsequent development in the project 
area. The Secretary, acting through NRCS, may provide all 
required technical assistance for planning, designing and 
implementing the rehabilitation project, but the assistance may 
not be used for operation and maintenance activities.
    The local organization may apply for this assistance if an 
application has also been made to the state agency having 
jurisdiction over the project or the Governor of the State. The 
Secretary shall request that the state dam safety officer or 
equivalent state official will be involved in the application 
process if state permits or other approval are required.
    The Secretary shall establish an approval process that 
provides for a proper administration of funds, recognizing that 
applications will be made throughout a fiscal year and 
approvals may be limited by funds availability. That process 
will be in writing and made known to local organizations and 
state.
    Although the Secretary is not required to conduct a 
benefit-cost analysis, the Secretary will maintain a database 
to track the benefits of the rehabilitation projects. Local 
organizations must report to the Secretary within 90 days of 
receiving assistance, providing a status report of the 
rehabilitation effort.

                            Purpose and Need

    Beginning in 1948, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began 
the construction of floodwater retention and diversion dams and 
stream channelizations in upland areas of small watersheds 
throughout the midsection of the country. Eleven larger pilot 
projects were built in as many states under authority of the 
Flood Control Act of 1944. PL-566 small watershed projects now 
account for a majority of the approximately 10,500 dams that 
were constructed from 1948 onward.
    Generally, these structures, mostly earthen dams, were 
engineered for a useful lifespan of 50 years. Several hundred 
of these dams have now been in place for more than 45 years, 
and additional thousands are older than 30 years. Thus, 
spillways, slide gates and stems have deteriorated; though 
properly designed and maintained, sediment basins in many of 
the impoundments have filled in, providing less water storage, 
especially during storm events.
    The small watershed program still yields annual benefits of 
$800 million on an investment so far of about $8.5 billion. 
There is currently a $1.5 billion backlog of applications for 
new technical and financial assistance, and NRCS estimates 
about 2,000 dams need rehabilitation work soon totaling more 
than $500 million.
    Local sponsors are critical to the successful operation of 
the small watershed program. They secure land rights and 
easements for the project area. NRCS provides the technical and 
financial assistance for the actual construction. Once 
completed, the local sponsors assume full responsibility for 
maintenance and operation of the structures.
    Some dams do not meet current state dam safety regulations 
even though maintenance has met all operational requirements. 
NRCS does not have authority to rehabilitate these structures, 
and sponsoring organizations do not have the funds for the 
necessary renovation work.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1.--Short title

    Section 1 of the bill provides that the legislation may be 
cited as ``The Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 
1999''.

Section 2.--Rehabilitation of water resource structural measures

    This section adds a new section 14 to the Watershed 
Protection and Flood Prevention Act (16 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), 
commonly called the PL-566 program.
    Subsection (a)(1) of new Section 14 defines 
``rehabilitation'' to mean all work necessary to extend the 
service life of the structural measure and meet applicable 
safety and performance standards. This may include prolonging 
the useful life of the structure beyond its original life 
expectancy, correcting damage or deterioration of the 
structure, or upgrading the structural measure to meet changed 
last use conditions or safety needs within the watershed.
    Subsection (a)(2) defines ``covered water resource 
project'' to mean works of improvement under PL-566, PL78-534 
projects, pilot watershed projects under the Department of 
Agriculture Appropriations Act of 1954; and resource 
conservation and development program projects.
    Subsection (a)(3) defines ``structural measure'' to mean a 
dam that impounds water and was constructed as part of a small 
watershed project, and includes the resulting impoundment area 
and flood pool of the physical structure. The impoundment area 
and flood pool are considered a part of the physical structure 
of the dam because rehabilitation work may need to be done both 
above and below the dam. For example, as a result of normal and 
expected flow of sediment into the impoundment behind the dam, 
some of these water bodies have been filled in to an extent 
they no longer act as flood retarding structures. Thus, 
rehabilitation work may need to be done in the impoundment 
area.
    Likewise, severe erosion or deterioration of the physical 
landscape immediately below the dam caused by catastrophic 
weather events may require rehabilitation work to be done 
there, as well. It is necessary to include impoundment area and 
flood pool within the meaning of a structural measure covered 
under the bill.
    Subsection (b)(1) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture 
to provide assistance to cover part of the total costs of 
rehabilitating structural measures. These costs may include 
land acquisition, easements, and rights-of-way; rehabilitation 
administration, technical assistance, and contracting and 
construction costs. The local organization is responsible for 
securing all land rights necessary for the project.
    Subsection (b)(2) requires federal funds to equal 65 
percent of the total rehabilitation costs but not to exceed 100 
percent of the actual construction costs. The local 
organization is responsible for the costs of water, mineral and 
other resource rights and all required permits.
    Subsection (b)(3) authorizes the Secretary, working with 
the local organization, to ensure proper zoning and other 
development regulations are secured before entering into a 
rehabilitation agreement with the sponsoring organization.
    Subsection (b)(4) makes projects and local organizations 
ineligible for assistance if the rehabilitation needs were 
caused by a lack of inadequate maintenance by the responsible 
party.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the Natural Resources 
Conservation Service to provide technical assistance in all 
phases of the rehabilitation project if the assistance is 
requested by the local organization.
    Subsection (d)(1) prohibits assistance under new Section 14 
to be used for operational or maintenance activities, and these 
normal operating and maintenance activities will remain the 
responsibility of the local organization.
    Subsection (d)(2) authorizes the Secretary to renegotiate 
with the local organization the original agreement for the 
project regarding responsibility for operation and maintenance 
when the rehabilitation is completed. The Committee intends 
that any renegotiation the Secretary may enter with a local 
organization must consider the private property rights of all 
landowners, whose property may be affected by the terms of a 
rehabilitation.
    Subsection (e) requires an appropriate state agency or the 
Governor of the state to approve the local organization's 
application for assistance for technical and financial 
assistance under new Section 14. The Secretary also is required 
to get assistance from the state dam safety officer or 
equivalent state official to be involved in the application 
process if state permits are required for the rehabilitation 
project. The rehabilitation project must meet standards 
established by the Secretary, and the NRCS may assist in 
preparing applications if the local organization requests. The 
Committee intends that when the Secretary establishes standards 
for the rehabilitation project these standards should to the 
extent practicable accord with existing state standards. The 
Committee believes the Secretary to the maximum extent possible 
should seek the concurrence of the state dam official or that 
official's equivalent agency head in setting the standards for 
the application process.
    Subsection (f) requires the Secretary to ensure the 
rehabilitation project is performed in the most cost effective 
manner that accomplishes the objective in order to qualify for 
assistance. Since the projects are generally required for 
public health or safety concerns, no benefit-cost analysis will 
be conducted and no benefit-cost analysis greater than one will 
be required. Appropriate documentation is required to ensure 
the wise use of funds. The Committee intends that the local 
organization, working with the Natural ResourcesConservation 
Service, will provide that documentation to the Secretary in a timely 
manner.
    Subsection (g) requires the Secretary to establish a system 
for approving rehabilitation requests that are equitable for 
all local organizations considering that requests will be 
received throughout a fiscal year and will be approved on the 
availability of funds. The approval process must be in writing 
and made known to all applicants. The Committee also notes that 
the approval process should be limited so that all applications 
are processed in a timely manner. All local organizations 
applying for assistance should know that their applications 
will be processed efficiently so that funding responsibilities 
of the local organization may be concluded with a minimum of 
cost to the local organization.
    Subsection (h) authorizes appropriations of $60 million in 
each of the fiscal years 2000 through 2009 for technical and 
financial assistance.
    Subsection (i) requires the use of $5 million in fiscal 
years 2000 and 2001 of any funds appropriated for the Secretary 
to assess the rehabilitation needs in all states where such 
small watershed projects are located.
    Subsection (j) requires the Secretary to track the benefits 
of the rehabilitation projects under new Section 14 and to 
report annually to Congress. Local organization are required to 
report to the Secretary on the status of the rehabilitation 
project within 90 days after completion of the project.

Section 3.--Noninterference with State and local flood debris removal 
        efforts

    This section adds a new Section 15 to the Watershed 
Protection and Flood Prevention Act that forbids the Secretary 
of Agriculture and other executive branch officials from 
prohibiting or conditioning the ability of a state or local 
government to remove from land or waters any debris that may 
have been deposited by flood waters when the primary purpose of 
such operation is to reduce the risk and severity of subsequent 
flooding.

Section 4.--Privacy of personal data received by Department of 
        Agriculture and data gathering locations

    This section of the bill adds a new section to the Food 
Security Act of 1985. This new section prohibits the release or 
disclosure of information and data provided to, or developed 
by, the Secretary of Agriculture for the provision of technical 
or financial assistance to a landowner or farm or ranch 
operator under conservation programs administered by the 
Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Farm Service 
Agency. This prohibition extends to any person the Secretary 
may contract to provide these kinds of services. This 
information and data also may not be released under the terms 
of the Freedom of Information Act.
    The Secretary may disclose information and data to a person 
or a government agency working in cooperation with the 
Secretary to provide technical and financial assistance. 
Persons or agencies that receive the information or data may 
release such information only to the extent it is used in 
conjunction with assisting the Secretary in providing such 
assistance.
    Specific geographic locations of the Natural Resources 
Inventory of the Department of Agriculture's data gathering 
sites and the information and data collected are not public 
information and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. 
The information and data and the gathering locations also may 
not be released to any governmental agency outside of the 
Department of Agriculture. The Secretary may release 
information and data from the Natural Resources Inventory so 
long as it is in a statistical or aggregated form that does not 
allow for identification of individual landowners, farm or 
ranch operators or individual information gathering sites.
    Finally, this new section provides that violators may be 
fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than one 
year, or both, for releasing or causing the release of 
information or data subject to this section.

                        Committee Consideration


                              I--Hearings

    On April 15, 1999, the Subcommittee on General Farm 
Commodities, Resource Conservation and Credit held a public 
hearing in Washington, D.C., on H.R. 728, the Small Watershed 
Rehabilitation Amendments of 1999. Testimony was heard from Mr. 
Danny D. Sells, Associate Chief, Natural Resources Conservation 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Mr. Bill R. Wilson, 
past president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation 
Districts, Kinta, Oklahoma; and the Honorable Frank D. Lucas, a 
Representative in Congress from the State of Oklahoma.
    The witnesses supported adoption of the bill and pointed 
out the problems arising from deteriorating small watershed 
dams and impoundment areas.

                            II--Subcommittee

    The Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities, Resource 
Conservation, and Credit met on July 20, 1999 to consider H.R. 
728, the Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 1999, and 
other pending business.
    Chairman Barrett called the meeting to order and made 
opening comments and indicated that a large number of small 
flood prevention dams, originally funded by the Federal 
government, played a vital role in the economies of rural areas 
and are currently in desperate need of repair. Chairman Barrett 
further noted the lack of available resources needed for 
rehabilitation at this time.
    Mr. Minge was also recognized for a opening statement and 
expressed that he wanted to include Works Progress 
Administration structures in the legislation.
    Mr. Smith was recognized and he questioned the necessity of 
the legislation. Discussion occurred between the sponsor of the 
bill, Mr. Lucas and Mr. Smith. Mr. Lucas noted that under this 
legislation, the Federal government would provide financial 
assistance for at least sixty-five percent of the total cost to 
local communities for making project improvements. He also 
indicated that if action to rehabilitate were not taken, the 
government would be left with the cost of removing the aging 
structures.
    Mr. Minge was then recognized to offer and explain an 
amendment to add the Works Progress Administration to the list 
of eligible structures. Discussion occurred and Mr. Lucas 
expressed his opposition to the amendment. Mr. Thune associated 
himself with Mr. Minge in support of the amendment. By a voice 
vote the amendment failed.
    Mr. Lucas was then recognized and he pledged to work with 
Mr. Minge prior to the bill's consideration before the Full 
Committee.
    Mr. Minge then moved that H.R. 728, be reported to the Full 
Committee with the recommendation that it pass. By a voice 
vote, the motion was approved in the presence of a quorum.

                          III--Full Committee

    The Committee on Agriculture met, pursuant to notice, with 
a quorum present, on October 27, 1999, to consider H.R. 728, as 
approved by the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities, 
Resource Conservation, and Credit.
    After brief opening remarks, the Chairman offered an 
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. Without objection, the 
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute was placed before the 
Committee and considered as original text for purposes of 
amendment.
    Discussion occurred, and Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage was recognized 
and expressed her concern over the lack of clear definitions of 
certain terms in the bill and renegotiations of contracts. Mrs. 
Chenoweth-Hage also expressed her concern that the Federal 
government would not overwhelm the responsibilities of the 
State flood control offices in each State.
    Mr. Goodlatte was recognized to offer and explain an 
amendment that would mandate noninterference with State and 
local flood debris removal efforts by the Secretary of 
Agriculture and other Federal agencies.
    Mrs. Clayton and Mr. Etheridge asked Mr. Goodlatte if his 
amendment would prohibit an individual from accepting help from 
the Federal government. Mr. Goodlatte responded that his 
amendment would not preclude this help at all, but it would 
allow those individuals who wanted to do some of the work 
themselves not be delayed by the Federal government to begin 
work. Mr. Goode expressed his support for the amendment and by 
a voice vote, the Goodlatte amendment was adopted.
    Mr. Stenholm was then recognized to offer and explain an 
amendment that would amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to 
ensure privacy regarding information producers and land owners 
supply to the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the 
Farm Service Agency. Mr. Stenholm further noted that the 
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the 
American Farm Bureau Federation, and the National Association 
of Conservation Districts supported the amendment.
    Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage was recognized and she expressed her 
concern about the amendment and the authority given to the 
Secretary of Agriculture to release certain materials to other 
agencies to enforce national resources conservation programs.
    Discussion occurred, and Mr. Boehner expressed his support 
for the Stenholm privacy protection amendment. Mr. Pombo asked 
if the Stenholm amendment would prohibit producers' information 
from being released by other agencies? Mr. Stenholm replied 
that it was the intent of his amendment to clarify that other 
agencies were to have the same restrictions as the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture as to the release of information. Mr. 
Stenholm indicated that his amendment could be under the 
jurisdiction of other committees, but that if his amendment 
were to cause a problem that he would withdraw it.
    Counsel explained that the Stenholm amendment would 
restrict and tighten the authority of the Secretary of 
Agriculture and other agencies to release information.
    Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage questioned the germaneness of the 
Stenholm amendment because it amended the Food Security Act 
rather than the Watershed Protection Flood Prevention Act.
    Chairman Combest ruled that the Stenholm Amendment was 
germane in that it related to the same subject matter of H.R. 
728. The Chairman noted however, that the Stenholm Amendment 
could trigger the referral to other committees of jurisdiction.
    Mr. Lucas announced his support for the Stenholm amendment 
and expressed his appreciation to Mr. Stenholm for his 
willingness to work to move the bill forward. By a voice vote, 
the Stenholm amendment was adopted. Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage 
requested a recorded vote and by a vote of 37 yeas, 1 nay and 
12 not voting, the amendment was adopted. See Rollcall No. 1.
    Messrs. Fletcher, Pomeroy, and Holden asked that the record 
note that had they been present when the recorded vote was 
taken on the Stenholm amendment that they would have voted in 
the affirmative.
    Discussion occurred, and by a voice vote, the Combest 
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute, as amended, was 
adopted.
    Mr. Stenholm stated that there was a proposal in another 
committee to ensure that H.R. 728 includes the option of 
decommissioning a watershed structure as a choice for 
rehabilitation. Mr. Stenholm indicated his hope that the 
Committee would work with other committees of jurisdiction on 
this issue.
    By voice vote and in the presence of a quorum, H.R. 728, as 
amended, was ordered favorably reported.
    Mr. Stenholm moved that pursuant to clause 1 of rule XX 
that the Committee authorize the Chairman to offer such motions 
as may be necessary in the House to go to conference with the 
Senate on the bill H.R. 728, or any similar Senate bill. By 
voice vote, the Stenholm motion was adopted.
    Without objection, the usual instructions were given to 
staff to make any technical, clarifying, or conforming changes 
as were appropriate without changing the substance of the 
legislation and the meeting was adjourned.

                   Reporting the Bill--Rollcall Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee sets forth the record of the 
following rollcall votes taken with respect to H.R. 728.

Rollcall No. 1

    Summary: To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to ensure 
privacy regarding information producers supply to the Natural 
Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency.
    Offered by: Mr. Stenholm.
    Results: Adopted by a vote of 37 yeas/1 nay/12 not voting.
    Yeas: Mr. Combest, Mr. Barrett, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Goodlatte, 
Mr. Pombo, Mr. Everett, Mr. Lucas, OK, Mr. Hostettler, Mr. 
Chambliss, Mr. Moran, Mr. Schaffer, Mr. Thune, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. 
Calvert, Mr. Gutknecht, Mr. Riley, Mr. Walden, Mr. Simpson, Mr. 
Ose, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Stenholm, Mr. Condit, Mr. Peterson, Mr. 
Dooley, Mrs. Clayton, Mr. Minge, Mr. Hilliard, Mr. Berry, Mr. 
Goode, Mr. McIntyre, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Etheridge, Mr. Boswell, 
Mr. Phelps, Mr. Lucas, KY, Mr. Thompson, CA, and Mr. Hill.
    Nays: Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage.
    Not Voting: Mr. Ewing, Mr. Canady, Mr. Smith, Mr. LaHood, 
Mr. Cooksey, Mr. Fletcher, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. Holden, Mr. Bishop, 
Mr. Thompson, MS, Mr. Baldacci, and Mr. John.

           Budget Act Compliance (Sections 308, 402, and 423)

    The provisions of clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 308(a)(1) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (relating to estimates of new 
budget authority, new spending authority, new credit authority, 
or increased or decreased revenues or tax expenditures) are not 
considered applicable. The estimate and comparison required to 
be prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and sections 402 and 423 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974 submitted to the Committee prior to the 
filing of this report are as follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, November 3, 1999.
Hon. Larry Combest,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional, Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 728, the Small 
Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 1999.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Megan 
Carroll (for federal costs), and Marjorie Miller (for the 
impact on state, local, and tribal governments).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

H.R. 728--Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 1999

    Summary: Based on information from the Natural Resources 
Conservation Service (NRCS), CBO estimates that implementing 
H.R. 728 would cost $270 million over the 2000-2004 period, 
assuming appropriation of the amounts specified in the bill. 
The bill would not affect direct spending or receipts; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. H.R. 728 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). State and 
local governments would probably incur some costs to match the 
grants authorized by this bill, but these costs would be 
voluntary.
    Local watershed project sponsors, assisted by the NRCS, 
have constructed over 10,000 watershed projects under the Small 
Watershed Program. H.R. 728 would authorize the Secretary of 
Agriculture, acting through the NRCS, to assist local project 
sponsors in rehabilitating those projects. The bill would 
authorize the appropriation of $60 million a year over the 
2000-2009 period for the Secretary to provide financial and 
technical assistance to eligible local organizations for 
planning, designing, and implementing watershed rehabilitation 
projects. H.R. 728 would require the Secretary to assess the 
need for watershed rehabilitation in all states in which 
eligible water projects exist, establish a process for 
approving requests for assistance, monitor the benefits of 
rehabiltiaiton efforts, and submit an annual report to the 
Congress on the status of rehabilitation projects.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: For purposes of 
this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 728 will be enacted early 
in fiscal year 2000 and that funding will be provided as 
authorized by the bill. Estimates of outlays are based on 
historical spending patterns for similar programs. In 2000, no 
funds have been appropriated to NRCS to provide technical 
assistance for the rehabilitation of small watershed projects. 
The estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 728 is shown in the 
following table. The cost of this legislation fall within 
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                               -------------------------------------------------
                                                                  2000      2001      2002      2003      2004
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level...........................................        60        60        60        60        60
Estimated Outlays.............................................        42        51        57        60        60
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Estimated impact on State, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 728 contains no governmental mandates as defined in UMRA. 
State and local governments would probably incur some costs to 
match the grants authorized by this bill, but these costs would 
be voluntary. The bill would require recipients to fund at 
least 35 percent of the total costs of assisted projects.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: This bill contains 
no new private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Megan Carroll. Impact 
on State, local, and tribal governments: Marjorie Miller.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee report incorporates the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to sections 402 and 423 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation in Article I, 
clause 8, section 18, that grants Congress the power to make 
all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the powers 
vested by Congress in the Constitution of the United States or 
in any department or officer thereof.

                          Oversight Statement

    No summary of oversight findings and recommendations made 
by the Committee on Government Reform, as provided for in 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, was available to the Committee with reference 
to the subject matter specifically addressed by H.R. 728.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee on Agriculture's 
oversight findings and recommendations are reflected in the 
body of this report.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committee within the meaning of section 5(b) of 
the Federal Advisory Committee Act was created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopted as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

             WATERSHED PROTECTION AND FLOOD PREVENTION ACT


  AN ACT To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to cooperate with 
States and local agencies in the planning and carrying out of works of 
       improvement for soil conservation, and for other purposes.

  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That 
erosion, floodwater, and sediment damages in the watersheds of 
the rivers and streams of the United States, causing loss of 
life and damage to property, constitute a menace to the 
national welfare; and that it is the sense of Congress that the 
Federal Government should cooperate with States and their 
political subdivisions, soil or water conservation districts, 
flood prevention or control districts, and other local public 
agencies for the purpose of preventing such damages, of 
furthering the conservation, development, utilization, and 
disposal of water, and the conservation and utilization of land 
and thereby of preserving, protecting, and improving the 
Nation's land and water resources and the quality of the 
environment.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 14. REHABILITATION OF STRUCTURAL MEASURES NEAR, AT, OR PAST THEIR 
                    EVALUATED LIFE EXPECTANCY.

  (a) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
          (1) Rehabilitation.--The term ``rehabilitation'', 
        with respect to a structural measure constructed as 
        part of a covered water resource project, means the 
        completion of all work necessary to extend the service 
        life of the structural measure and meet applicable 
        safety and performance standards. This may include (A) 
        protecting the integrity of the structural measure or 
        prolonging the useful life of the structural measure 
        beyond the original evaluated life expectancy, (B) 
        correcting damage to the structural measure from a 
        catastrophic event, (C) correcting the deterioration of 
        structural components that are deteriorating at an 
        abnormal rate, or (D) upgrading the structural measure 
        to meet changed land use conditions in the watershed 
        served by the structural measure or changed safety 
        criteria applicable to the structural measure.
          (2) Covered water resource project.--The term 
        ``covered water resource project'' means a work of 
        improvement carried out under any of the following:
                  (A) This Act.
                  (B) Section 13 of the Act of December 22, 
                1944 (Public Law 78-534; 58 Stat. 905).
                  (C) The pilot watershed program authorized 
                under the heading ``Flood Prevention'' of the 
                Department of Agriculture Appropriation Act, 
                1954 (Public Law 156; 67 Stat. 214).
                  (D) Subtitle H of title XV of the Agriculture 
                and Food Act of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3451 et seq.; 
                commonly known as the Resource Conservation and 
                Development Program).
          (3) Structural measure.--The term ``structural 
        measure'' means a physical improvement that impounds 
        water, commonly known as a dam, which was constructed 
        as part of a covered water resource project. The term 
        includes the resulting immediate impoundment area and 
        the immediate flood pool of the physical improvement.
  (b) Cost Share Assistance for Rehabilitation.--
          (1) Assistance authorized.--The Secretary may provide 
        financial assistance to a local organization to cover a 
        portion of the total costs incurred for the 
        rehabilitation of structural measures originally 
        constructed as part of a covered water resource 
        project. The total costs of rehabilitation include the 
        costs associated with all components of the 
        rehabilitation project, including acquisition of land, 
        easements, and rights-of-ways, rehabilitation project 
        administration, the provision of technical assistance, 
        contracting, and construction costs, except that the 
        local organization shall be responsible for securing 
        all land, easements, or rights-of-ways necessary for 
        the project.
          (2) Amount of assistance; limitations.--The amount of 
        Federal funds that may be made available under this 
        subsection to a local organization for construction of 
        a particular rehabilitation project shall be equal to 
        65 percent of the total rehabilitation costs, but not 
        to exceed 100 percent of actual construction costs 
        incurred in the rehabilitation. However, the local 
        organization shall be responsible for the costs of 
        water, mineral, and other resource rights and all 
        Federal, State, and local permits.
          (3) Relation to land use and development 
        regulations.--As a condition on entering into an 
        agreement to provide financial assistance under this 
        subsection, the Secretary, working in concert with the 
        affected unit or units of general purpose local 
        government, may require that proper zoning or other 
        developmental regulations are in place in the watershed 
        in which the structural measures to be rehabilitated 
        under the agreement are located so that--
                  (A) the completed rehabilitation project is 
                not quickly rendered inadequate by additional 
                development; and
                  (B) society can realize the full benefits of 
                the rehabilitation investment.
          (4) Prohibition on certain rehabilitation 
        assistance.--The Secretary shall not approve a 
        rehabilitation request if the Secretary determines that 
        the need for rehabilitation of the structure is the 
        result of a lack of adequate maintenance by the party 
        responsible for the maintenance.
  (c) Technical Assistance for Watershed Project 
Rehabilitation.--The Secretary, acting through the Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, may provide technical 
assistance in planning,designing, and implementing 
rehabilitation projects should a local organization request such 
assistance. Such assistance may consist of specialists in such fields 
as engineering, geology, soils, agronomy, biology, hydraulics, 
hydrology, economics, water quality, and contract administration.
  (d) Prohibited Use.--
          (1) Performance of operation and maintenance.--
        Rehabilitation assistance provided under this section 
        may not be used to perform operation and maintenance 
        activities specified in the agreement for the covered 
        water resource project entered into between the 
        Secretary and the local organization responsible for 
        the works of improvement. Such operation and 
        maintenance activities shall remain the responsibility 
        of the local organization, as provided in the project 
        work plan.
          (2) Renegotiation.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), as 
        part of the provision of financial assistance under 
        subsection (b), the Secretary may renegotiate the 
        original agreement for the covered water resource 
        project entered into between the Secretary and the 
        local organization regarding responsibility for the 
        operation and maintenance of the project when the 
        rehabilitation is finished.
  (e) Application for Rehabilitation Assistance.--A local 
organization may apply to the Secretary for technical and 
financial assistance under this section if the application has 
also been submitted to and approved by the State agency having 
supervisory responsibility over the covered water resource 
project at issue or, if there is no State agency having such 
responsibility, by the Governor of the State. The Secretary 
shall request the State dam safety officer (or equivalent State 
official) to be involved in the application process if State 
permits or approvals are required. The rehabilitation of 
structural measures shall meet standards established by the 
Secretary and address other dam safety issues. At the request 
of the local organization, personnel of the Natural Resources 
Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture may 
assist in preparing applications for assistance.
  (f) Justification for Rehabilitation Assistance.--In order to 
qualify for technical or financial assistance under this 
authority, the Secretary shall require the rehabilitation 
project to be performed in the most cost-effective manner that 
accomplishes the rehabilitation objective, however, the 
Secretary is not required to develop a cost-benefit ratio 
analysis or a cost-benefit ratio. The benefits of, and the 
requirements for, the rehabilitation project shall be 
documented to ensure the wise and responsible use of Federal 
funds.
  (g) Ranking of Requests for Rehabilitation Assistance.--The 
Secretary shall establish a system for the timely consideration 
and approval of rehabilitation requests, recognizing that such 
requests will be received throughout the fiscal year and 
subject to the availability of funds to carry out this section. 
The Secretary shall ensure that the system provides for proper 
administration by the Department of Agriculture and is 
equitable for all local organizations. The approval process 
shall be in writing and shall be made known to all local 
organizations and appropriate State agencies.
  (h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary $60,000,000 for each of the 
fiscalyears 2000 through 2009 to provide financial and 
technical assistance under this section.
  (i) Assessment of Rehabilitation Needs.--Of the amount 
appropriated pursuant to subsection (h) for fiscal years 2000 
and 2001, $5,000,000 shall be used by the Secretary, in concert 
with the responsible State agencies, to conduct an assessment 
of the rehabilitation needs of covered water resource projects 
in all States in which such projects are located.
  (j) Recordkeeping and Reports.--
          (1) Secretary.--The Secretary shall maintain a data 
        base to track the benefits derived from rehabilitation 
        projects supported under this section and the 
        expenditures made under this section. On the basis of 
        such data and the reports submitted under paragraph 
        (2), the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress 
        an annual report providing the status of activities 
        conducted under this section.
          (2) Grant recipients.--Not later than 90 days after 
        the completion of a specific rehabilitation project for 
        which assistance is provided under this section, the 
        local organization that received the assistance shall 
        make a report to the Secretary giving the status of any 
        rehabilitation effort undertaken using financial 
        assistance provided under this section.

SEC. 15. NONINTERFERENCE WITH STATE AND LOCAL FLOOD DEBRIS REMOVAL 
                    EFFORTS.

  The Secretary of Agriculture and other executive branch 
officials and employees may not prohibit or condition the 
ability of a State or local government to remove from land or 
waters any rocks, vegetation, soil, or other debris deposited 
by flood waters when the primary purpose of the removal 
operation is to reduce the risk and severity of subsequent 
flooding.
                              ----------                              


             SECTION 1244 OF THE FOOD SECURITY ACT OF 1985

SEC. 1244. PRIVACY OF PERSONAL DATA RELATING TO NATURAL RESOURCES 
                    CONSERVATION PROGRAMS.

  (a) Information and Data Received for Technical and Financial 
Assistance.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law and 
except as provided in paragraph (c), information and data 
provided to, or developed by, the Secretary of Agriculture 
(including a contractor of the Secretary) for the purpose of 
providing technical or financial assistance to a landowner or 
operator with respect to any natural resources conservation 
program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation 
Service or the Farm Service Agency shall not be released or 
disclosed to any agency or person outside the Department of 
Agriculture.
  (b) Inventory, Monitoring, and Site Specific Data.--
Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as 
provided in paragraph (c), in order to maintain the personal 
privacy, confidentiality, and cooperation of landowners and 
operators, and to maintain the integrity of sample sites, the 
specific geographic locations of the National Resources 
Inventory of the Department of Agriculture data gathering sites 
and the information and data generated by such sites are not 
public information and shall not be subject to mandatory 
disclosure or released to any local, tribal, State, or Federal 
agency outside the Department of Agriculture.
  (c) Exceptions.--
          (1) Release and disclosure for enforcement.--The 
        Secretary of Agriculture may release or disclose 
        information or data covered by subsection (a) or (b) to 
        the extent necessary to enforce the natural resources 
        conservation programs referred to in subsection (a).
          (2) Limited disclosure to cooperating persons and 
        agencies.--The Secretary may release or disclose 
        information or data covered by subsection (a) or (b) to 
        a person or a local, tribal, State, or Federal agency 
        working in cooperation with the Secretary of 
        Agriculture in providing technical and financial 
        assistance described in subsection (a) or collecting 
        information and data from National Resources Inventory 
        data gathering sites. However, the person or local, 
        tribal, State, or Federal agency that receives the 
        information or data may release the information or data 
        only for the purpose of assisting the Secretary in 
        providing the requested technical or financial 
        assistance or in collecting information and data from 
        National Resources Inventory data gathering sites.
          (3) Limited exception for statistical and aggregate 
        data.--The Secretary may release information or data 
        covered by subsection (b), if the information or data 
        has been transformed into a statistical or aggregate 
        form that does not allow identification of the 
        individual landowner, operator, or specific data 
        gathering site.
  (d) Violations.--Section 1770(c) of the Food Security Act of 
1985 (7 U.S.C. 2276) shall apply to any person who releases or 
causes to be released information or data in violation of this 
section.

                        Committee Correspondence

                          House of Representatives,
                                  Committee on Agriculture,
                                    Washington, DC, March 30, 2000.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources, Longworth House Office Building, 
        Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing with regard to H.R. 728, 
the ``Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 1999''. As 
you know, this bill was primarily referred to the Committee on 
Agriculture, and in addition to the Committees on Resources, 
and Transportation and Infrastructure.
    On November 18, 1999, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure reported the bill (see House Report 106-484 pt. 
1), and on November 19, 1999 the Committee on Agriculture 
ordered reported the bill, as amended.
    Please find enclosed a copy of the report to accompany H.R. 
728 that the Committee intends to file. In order to allow the 
timely consideration, I am requesting that you waive your 
Committee's referral of H.R. 728.
    I understand that such an action is not intended to waive 
your Committee's jurisdiction over this matter or any similar 
matter and look forward to working with you on matters of 
mutual interest.
            Sincerely,
                                             Larry Combest,
                                                          Chairman.
    Enclosure.

                          House of Representatives,
                                    Committee on Resources,
                                     Washington, DC March 31, 2000.
Hon. Larry Combest,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, Longworth House Office Building, 
        Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter regarding H.R. 
728, the Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of 1999. As 
you note, this bill was primarily referred to your Committee 
and additionally to the Committee on Resources (as well as the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure).
    After reviewing your report on the bill and knowing that 
the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has already 
acted on the measure, I will agree to allow the Committee on 
Resources to be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 
728. I do so with the understanding that this action is not 
intended to waive the Committee on Resources' jurisdiction over 
this or any similar matter, and I ask that you include a copy 
of this letter in your report on the bill.
    Thank you for your attention to Congressman Lucas' bill.
            Sincerely,
                                                 Don Young,
                                                          Chairman.