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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-545

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



 
               SAN GABRIEL BASIN WATER QUALITY INITIATIVE

                                _______
                                

 March 23, 2000.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 910]

     [Including cost estimates of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 910) to authorize the Secretary of 
the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers and in 
coordination with other Federal agency heads, to participate in 
the funding and implementation of a balanced, long-term 
solution to the problems of groundwater contamination, water 
supply, and reliability affecting the San Gabriel groundwater 
basin in California, and for other purposes, 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 ``San Gabriel Basin Water Quality 
Initiative''.

SEC. 2. SAN GABRIEL BASIN RESTORATION.

  (a) San Gabriel Basin Restoration.--
          (1) Establishment of fund.--There shall be established within 
        the Treasury of the United States an interest bearing account 
        to be known as the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund (in this 
        section referred to as the ``Restoration Fund'').
          (2) Administration of fund.--The Restoration Fund shall be 
        administered by the Secretary of the Army, acting through the 
        Chief of Engineers (in this Act referred to as the 
        ``Secretary''). The Secretary shall administer the Fund in 
        cooperation with the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, 
        or its successor agency.
          (3) Purposes of fund.--
                  (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the 
                amounts in the Restoration Fund, including interest 
                accrued, shall be utilized by the Secretary--
                          (i) to design and construct water quality 
                        projects to be administered by the San Gabriel 
                        Basin Water Quality Authority and the Central 
                        Basin Water Quality Project to be administered 
                        by the Central Basin Municipal Water District; 
                        and
                          (ii) to operate and maintain any project 
                        constructed under this section for such period 
                        as the Secretary determines, but not to exceed 
                        10 years, following the initial date of 
                        operation of the project.
                  (B) Cost-sharing limitation.--The Secretary may not 
                obligate any funds appropriated to the Restoration Fund 
                in a fiscal year until the Secretary has deposited in 
                the Fund an amount provided by non-Federal interests 
                sufficient to ensure that at least 35 percent of any 
                funds obligated by the Secretary are from funds 
                provided to the Secretary by the non-Federal interests. 
                The San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority shall be 
                responsible for providing the non-Federal amount 
                required by the preceding sentence. The State of 
                California, local government agencies, and private 
                entities may provide all or any portion of such amount.
  (b) Compliance With Applicable Law.--In carrying out the activities 
described in this section, the Secretary shall comply with any 
applicable Federal and State laws.
  (c) Relationship to Other Activities.--Nothing in this section shall 
be construed to affect other Federal or State authorities that are 
being used or may be used to facilitate the cleanup and protection of 
the San Gabriel and Central groundwater basins. In carrying out the 
activities described in this section, the Secretary shall integrate 
such activities with ongoing Federal and State projects and activities. 
None of the funds made available for such activities pursuant to this 
section shall be counted against any Federal authorization ceiling 
established for any previously authorized Federal projects or 
activities.
  (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          (1) In general.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
        the Restoration Fund established under subsection (a) 
        $85,000,000. Such funds shall remain available until expended.
          (2) Set-aside.--Of the amounts appropriated under paragraph 
        (1), no more than $10,000,000 shall be available to carry out 
        the Central Basin Water Quality Project.

SEC. 3. PERCHLORATE.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary, in cooperation with Federal, State, 
and local government agencies, is authorized to participate in studies 
and other investigative activities and in the planning and design of 
projects determined by the Secretary to offer a long-term solution to 
the problem of groundwater contamination caused by perchlorates.
  (b) Investigations and Projects.--
          (1) Bosque and leon rivers.--The Secretary, in coordination 
        with other Federal agencies and the Brazos River Authority, 
        shall participate under subsection (a) in investigations and 
        projects in the Bosque and Leon River watersheds in Texas to 
        assess the impact of the perchlorate associated with the former 
        Naval ``Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant'' at McGregor, Texas.
          (2) Caddo lake.--The Secretary, in coordination with other 
        Federal agencies and the Northeast Texas Municipal Water 
        District, shall participate under subsection (a) in 
        investigations and projects relating to perchlorate 
        contamination in Caddo Lake, Texas.
          (3) Eastern santa clara basin.--The Secretary, in 
        coordination with other Federal, State, and local government 
        agencies, shall participate under subsection (a) in 
        investigations and projects related to sites that are sources 
        of perchlorates and that are located in the city of Santa 
        Clarita, California.
  (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--For the purposes of carrying 
out the activities authorized in this section, there is authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary $25,000,000, of which not to exceed 
$8,000,000 shall be available to carry out subsection (b)(1), not to 
exceed $3,000,000 shall be available to carry out subsection (b)(2), 
and not to exceed $7,000,000 shall be available to carry out subsection 
(b)(3).

                          Summary and Purpose

    H.R. 910, the ``San Gabriel Basin Water Quality 
Initiative,'' authorizes the Secretary of the Army, acting 
through the Corps of Engineers, to participate in the funding 
and implementation of a balanced, long-term solution to the 
problems of groundwater contamination and water supply 
affecting the San Gabriel groundwater basin in California. The 
bill also authorizes the Corps to participate in the Central 
Basin Water Quality Project, and authorizes $25,000,000 for 
research into solutions to groundwater contamination caused by 
perchlorate.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The San Gabriel Basin covers more than 160 square miles in 
an area east of Los Angeles. The aquifer underlying the basin 
is the principal source of drinking water for approximately 1.4 
million people. In 1997, perchlorate, a chemical used in the 
production of solid rocket fuel, was first discovered in the 
groundwater. In high doses, perchlorate has been linked to 
thyroid disorders. This discovery has complicated the 
development of cleanup plans and has increased concerns over 
maintaining an adequate water supply for the San Gabriel 
Valley.
    In 1984, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added 
four areas of San Gabriel Valley to the list of national 
priority sites under Superfund. In 1992, the California State 
Legislature created the San Gabriel Water Quality Authority 
(WQA) to work with water producers, as well as affected parties 
and agencies, to coordinate groundwater cleanup projects in the 
San Gabriel Valley. To date, the WQA funded over $28 million 
worth of projects. Most of the projects funded through the WQA 
constitute ``early actions,'' taken in advance of EPA remedial 
activities.
    Recently, local officials discovered that groundwater 
contamination has spread from the San Gabriel Basin into the 
Central Basin, a 277 square mile aquifer that provides drinking 
water for over half of Los Angeles County. The rate of 
spreading varies. In some places it appears to be moving as 
fast as several miles per year. This discovery has caused the 
local officials to try to accelerate the development and 
financing of treatment projects far head of EPA's timeline.
    The bill addresses the contamination of the San Gabriel and 
Central Basin aquifers by establishing a ``San Gabriel Basin 
Restoration Fund'' in the U.S. Treasury. This Fund would be 
administered by the Secretary of the Army, and would be 
authorized to receive contributions from the State of 
California, local government agencies, and private entities. 
The bill authorizes the appropriation of $85,000,000 to the 
Restoration Fund for use by the Corps of Engineers to design 
and construct water quality projects administered by the San 
Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, as well as operate and 
maintain such projects for a period not to exceed 10 years. In 
addition, up to $10,000,000 of that amount may be used by the 
Corps for the Central Basin Water Quality Project.
    Because the Committee recognizes that the problem of 
perchlorate contamination is not limited to the San Gabriel 
region, the bill authorizes $25,000,000 for investigations 
across the country into solutions to groundwater contamination 
caused by perchlorate.

      Discussion of committee bill and section-by-section analysis

Section 1. Short title

    Provides that the Act may be cited as the ``San Gabriel 
Basin Water Quality Initiative.''

Section 2. San Gabriel Basin Restoration

    (a) San Gabriel Basin Restoration.--Establishes within the 
U.S. Treasury an interest bearing account known as the ``San 
Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund.'' The Fund is to be 
administered by the Secretary of the Army, acting through the 
Chief of Engineers, in cooperation with the San Gabriel Basin 
Water Quality Authority. The Secretary is authorized to use the 
Fund to design and construct water quality projects in the San 
Gabriel Basin to be administered by the San Gabriel Basin Water 
Quality Authority and the Central Basin Water Quality Project 
to be administered by the Central Basin Municipal Water 
District. The Secretary also is authorized to operate and 
maintain such projects for up to 10 years.
    Local sponsors are required to fund at least 35 percent of 
the cost of these projects. Accordingly, the Secretary may not 
obligate any funds appropriated to the Restoration Fund until 
the Secretary deposits funds provided by non-federal interests 
sufficient to ensure that at least 35 percent of any funds 
obligated by the Secretary are from funds provided by non-
federal interests. The San Gabriel Basin Water Quality 
Authority is the non-federal sponsor responsible for 
transmitting the non-federal share to the Secretary for deposit 
in the Fund. However, the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality 
Authority may collect contributions to such non-federal monies 
from the State of California, other local government entities, 
and private entities. Based on the emergency nature of the 
spread of contamination from the San Gabriel Basin into the 
Central Basin, if the Secretary determines that prior 
expenditures by non-federal entities are integral to and 
compatible with projects authorized under this Act, the 
Secretary may credit the Water Quality Authority with the value 
of such prior expenditures, as determined by the Secretary.
    (b) Compliance with Applicable Law.--Requires the Secretary 
to comply with applicable Federal and state laws.
    (c) Relationship to Other Activities.--Provides that 
nothing in this section shall be construed to affect other 
Federal or state authorities that are being used or may be used 
to facilitate the cleanup and protection of the San Gabriel and 
Central groundwater basins.
    The Committee is aware that four areas of the San Gabriel 
Valley have been listed on the Superfund National Priorities 
List and these areas have been divided into eight ``operable 
units'' or individual projects: Alhambra, Richmond, Suburban, 
Baldwin Park, El Monte, South El Monte, Puente Valley, and 
Whittier Narrows. The bill requires the Secretary to integrate 
its activities with ongoing federal and state projects and 
activities. The Committee expects the Secretary to coordinate 
with EPA so that the Secretary's activities complement remedial 
activities selected by EPA.
    The San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority has already 
received some federal funds from the Bureau of Reclamation 
under the 1992 ``Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study 
and Facilities Act'' for projects to improve water quality. The 
total federal share of the cost of projects under that Act may 
not exceed $20,000,000. H.R. 910 specifies that the amounts 
authorized to be appropriated to the Restoration Fund shall not 
be counted against that authorization ceiling.
    Nothing in H.R. 910 limits the authority of the United 
States under any other federal statute to pursue remedial 
actions and, where appropriate, to recover its costs from 
responsible parties, including the costs of work performed 
under this Act.
    (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--Authorizes 
$85,000,000 to be appropriated to the Restoration Fund. Of such 
amounts, up to $10,000,000 shall be available to carry out the 
Central Basin Water Quality Project.

Section 3. Perchlorate

    (a) In General.--Authorizes the Secretary, in cooperation 
with Federal, state, and local government agencies, to 
participate in studies and other investigative activities and 
in the planning and design of projects that may offer a long-
term solution to the problem of perchlorate groundwater 
contamination.
    (b) Investigations and Projects.--Requires the Secretary to 
participate in perchlorate contamination investigations and 
projects in the Bosque and Leon River Watersheds in Texas; in 
Caddo Lake, Texas; and in Santa Clarita, California.
    (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--Authorizes 
$25,000,000 for perchlorate contamination investigations and 
projects, of which not more than $8,000,000 shall be available 
for the Bosque and Leon River Watersheds, not more than 
$3,000,000 shall be available for Caddo Lake, and not more than 
$7,000,000 shall be available for Santa Clarita.

                                Hearings

    On September 29, 1999, the Subcommittee on Water Resources 
and Environment held a hearing on H.R. 910. Testimony was given 
by Representative David Dreier (CA), Representative Grace 
Napolitano (CA), Representative Matthew Martinez (CA), and 
Brigadier General Hans A. Van Winkle, U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, as well as representatives of local water supply 
agencies and the local community.

                        committee consideration

    On March 8, 2000, the Water Resources and Environment 
Subcommittee marked up H.R. 910. The Subcommittee adopted an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute. This amendment (a) 
addressed the spread of contamination into the Central Basin by 
authorizing an additional $10 million for the Corps of 
Engineers to participate in the Central Basin Water Quality 
Project, and (b) addressed the need to investigate perchlorate 
contamination from former Department of Defense (DOD) 
facilities or DOD contractor facilities in Texas and California 
by directing the Corps of Engineers to focus part of the 
$25,000,000 authorization for perchlorate investigations on 
these areas. The Subcommittee reported H.R. 910, as amended, 
favorably to the Full Committee by unanimous voice vote.
    On March 16, 2000, the Full Committee met in open session 
and reported the bill, as amended by the Subcommittee, by 
unanimous voice vote.

                             rollcall votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each roll call vote on a motion 
to report and on any amendment offered to the measure or 
matter, and the names of those members voting for and against. 
There were no recorded votes taken in connection with ordering 
H.R. 910 reported.

                      committee oversight findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of Rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          cost of legislation

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    compliance with house rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 910.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 910 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

H.R. 910--San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Initiative

    Summary: CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 910 would 
increase discretionary spending by $122 million over the 2001-
2005 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. 
The bill could affect direct spending because it would 
authorize the Corps of Engineers (Corps) to collect and spend 
funds from nonfederal sources; thus, pay-as-you-go procedures 
would apply. CBO estimates, however, that the net impact on 
direct spending would not be significant in any year.
    H.R. 910 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
Contributions by state or local governments to the restoration 
fund that would be established by this legislation would be 
voluntary.
    H.R. 910 would authorize the Corps, in coordination with 
the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality, to implement projects to 
improve water quality in the San Gabriel groundwater basin. The 
bill would establish and authorize the appropriation of $85 
million to the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund, and would 
authorize the appropriation of any interest earned on balances 
in that fund. The Corps could use amounts appropriated to that 
fund as well as interest earnings for water quality projects. 
The bill also would authorize the Corps to conduct research on 
groundwater contamination caused by the perchlorates (a primary 
ingredient in solid rocket fuel) and would authorize the 
appropriate of $25 million for that purpose.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 910 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       By fiscal year in millions of dollars--
                                                                    --------------------------------------------
                                                                       2001     2002     2003     2004     2005
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated authorization level......................................       43       18       20       20       21
Estimated outlays..................................................       23       31       25       21       22
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: H.R. 910 would authorize the 
appropriation of $85 million to an interest-bearing fund and 
authorize the Corps, in coordination with the San Gabriel Basin 
Water Quality Authority, to use amounts in that fund, including 
interest earnings, to implement water quality projects. CBO 
estimates that allowing the Corps to spend interest earned on 
the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund would increase the total 
authorization of appropriations under H.R. 910 by $12 million 
over the 2001-2005 period. For the purpose of this estimate, 
CBO assumes that the Congress would appropriate both the 
principle amount of $85 million and any interest earned as 
needed for each year.
    The bill would require that nonfederal entities provide at 
least 35 percent of the funding for water quality projects 
before the Corps could spend appropriations. Based on 
information from the authority, CBO estimates that the projects 
would cost $18 million in each of fiscal years 2001 and 2002, 
$20 million in each of fiscal years 2003 and 2004, and $21 
million in fiscal year 2005, assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts for each of those years.
    The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $25 
million to the Corps for research on groundwater contamination 
caused by perchlorates. Based on information from the Corps, 
CBO estimates that the activities authorized under this 
provision would cost $25 million over the 2001-2005 period, 
assuming appropriation of the authorized amount in 2001.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act sets up pay-as-you-go procedures 
for legislation affecting direct spending or receipts. Enacting 
this legislation would increase offsetting receipts and direct 
spending because the Corps could collect and spend 
contributions from nonfederal sources for the costs of water 
quality projects. Thus, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply, 
but CBO estimates that any net impact would not be significant 
over the next 10 years.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 910 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. Contributions by state or local governments to 
the restoration fund would be voluntary.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll. Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Marjorie Miller. 
Impact on the Private Sector: Jean Wooster.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts 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.)

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were 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.)