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106th Congress                                            Rept. 106-561
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

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



 
                    ESTUARY RESTORATION ACT OF 2000

                                _______
                                

 April 4, 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. 1775]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1775) to catalyze restoration of 
estuary habitat through more efficient financing of projects 
and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-Federal 
restoration programs, 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 ``Estuary Restoration Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

  The purposes of this Act are--
          (1) to promote the restoration of 1,000,000 acres of estuary 
        habitat by 2010;
          (2) to promote the restoration of fresh water estuary 
        habitat;
          (3) to develop strategies to obtain national and regional 
        objectives for estuary habitat restoration;
          (4) to foster coordination of Federal, State, and community 
        estuary habitat restoration programs, plans, and studies;
          (5) to establish effective estuary habitat restoration 
        partnerships among public agencies at all levels of government 
        and between the public and private sectors;
          (6) to promote efficient financing of estuary habitat 
        restoration activities; and
          (7) to develop and enhance monitoring and research 
        capabilities to ensure that estuary habitat restoration efforts 
        are based on sound scientific understanding.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act, the following definitions apply:
          (1) Council.--The term ``Council'' means the Estuary Habitat 
        Restoration Council established by section 5.
          (2) Degraded estuary habitat.--The term ``degraded estuary 
        habitat'' means estuary habitat where natural ecological 
        functions have been impaired and normal beneficial uses have 
        been reduced.
          (3) Estuary.--The term ``estuary'' means a part of a river or 
        stream or other body of water that has an unimpaired connection 
        with the open sea and where the sea water is measurably diluted 
        with fresh water derived from land drainage. The term also 
        includes a fresh water estuary.
          (4) Estuary habitat.--
                  (A) In general.--The term ``estuary habitat'' means 
                the physical, biological, and chemical elements 
                associated with an estuary, including the complex of 
                physical and hydrologic features and living organisms 
                within the estuary and associated ecosystems.
                  (B) Included habitat.--The term ``estuary habitat'' 
                includes salt and fresh water coastal marshes, coastal 
                forested wetlands and other coastal wetlands, maritime 
                forests, coastal grasslands, tidal flats, natural 
                shoreline areas, shellfish beds, sea grass meadows, 
                kelp beds, river deltas, river and stream banks under 
                tidal influence, and beds of submerged aquatic 
                vegetation.
          (5) Estuary habitat restoration activity.--
                  (A) In general.--The term ``estuary habitat 
                restoration activity'' means an activity that results 
                in improving degraded estuary habitat (including both 
                physical and functional restoration), with the goal of 
                attaining a self-sustaining system integrated into the 
                surrounding landscape.
                  (B) Included activities.--The term ``estuary habitat 
                restoration activity'' includes--
                          (i) the reestablishment of physical features 
                        and biological and hydrologic functions;
                          (ii) except as provided in section 4(b)(3), 
                        the cleanup of contamination related to the 
                        restoration of estuary habitat;
                          (iii) the control of nonnative and invasive 
                        species;
                          (iv) the reintroduction of native species; 
                        and
                          (v) other activities that improve estuary 
                        habitat.
          (6) Estuary habitat restoration project.--The term ``estuary 
        habitat restoration project'' means an estuary habitat 
        restoration activity under consideration or selected by the 
        Secretary, in accordance with this Act, to be carried out or 
        receive technical assistance under this Act.
          (7) Estuary habitat restoration strategy.--The term ``estuary 
        habitat restoration strategy'' means the estuary habitat 
        restoration strategy developed under section 7.
          (8) Estuary management or habitat restoration plan.--The term 
        ``estuary management or habitat restoration plan'' means any 
        plan for restoration of degraded estuary habitat that--
                  (A) was developed by, or in cooperation with, a 
                public body with the substantial participation of 
                appropriate public and private stakeholders; and
                  (B) reflects a community-based planning process.
          (9) Fresh water estuary.--The term ``fresh water estuary'' 
        means all or part of the mouth of a river or stream or other 
        body of water having unimpaired natural connection with the 
        Great Lakes and within which the Great Lakes water is 
        measurably diluted with water derived from land drainage.
          (10) Great lakes region.--The term ``Great Lakes region'' 
        means the region consisting of the States of Illinois, Indiana, 
        Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and 
        Wisconsin.
          (11) Gulf region.--The term ``Gulf region'' means the region 
        consisting of the States of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, 
        Louisiana, and Texas.
          (12) Middle atlantic region.--The term ``Middle Atlantic 
        region'' means the region consisting of the States of New 
        Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and the 
        District of Columbia.
          (13) Northeast region.--The term ``Northeast region'' means 
        the region consisting of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, 
        New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
          (14) Northwest region.--The term ``Northwest region'' means 
        the region consisting of the States of Oregon, Washington, and 
        Alaska.
          (15) Regional council.--The term ``Regional Council'' means a 
        Regional Council of the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council 
        established by section 6.
          (16) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Army.
          (17) Southeast region.--The term ``Southeast region'' means 
        the region consisting of the States of North Carolina, South 
        Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and the territories of Puerto 
        Rico and the Virgin Islands.
          (18) Southwest region.--The term ``Southwest region'' means 
        the region consisting of the States of California and Hawaii 
        and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern 
        Mariana Islands.
          (19) State.--The term ``State'' means a State, the District 
        of Columbia, or a territory in the Gulf, Great Lakes, Middle 
        Atlantic, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, or Southwest Region.

SEC. 4. ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION PROGRAM.

  (a) Establishment.--There is established an estuary habitat 
restoration program under which the Secretary may carry out estuary 
habitat restoration projects in accordance with the requirements of 
this Act.
  (b) Selection of Projects.--
          (1) Factors to be taken into account.--In selecting estuary 
        habitat restoration projects to be carried out under this Act, 
        the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Council, take 
        into account the following factors:
                  (A) The recommendations of the Council.
                  (B) Whether the project meets the criteria specified 
                in the estuary habitat restoration strategy.
                  (C) The technical merit and feasibility of the 
                project.
                  (D) Whether the non-Federal interests proposing the 
                project provide satisfactory assurances that they will 
                have adequate personnel, funding, and authority to 
                carry out and properly maintain the project.
                  (E) Whether the project will encourage increased 
                coordination and cooperation among Federal, State, and 
                local government agencies.
                  (F) Whether the project fosters public-private 
                partnerships and uses Federal resources to encourage 
                increased private sector involvement, including 
                consideration of the amount of private funds or in-kind 
                contributions for an estuary habitat restoration 
                activity.
                  (G) Whether the project includes a monitoring plan 
                that is consistent with standards for monitoring 
                developed under section 9 to ensure that short-term and 
                long-term restoration goals are achieved.
                  (H) Other factors that the Secretary determines to be 
                reasonable and necessary for consideration.
          (2) Priority.--In selecting estuary habitat restoration 
        projects to be carried out under this Act, the Secretary shall 
        give priority consideration to a project if, in addition to 
        meeting the selection criteria under paragraph (1)--
                  (A) the project is part of an estuary management or 
                habitat restoration plan; or
                  (B) the project occurs within a watershed in which 
                there is a program being carried out that addresses 
                sources of pollution and other activities that 
                otherwise would re-impair the restored habitat.
          (3) Excluded projects.--An estuary habitat restoration 
        project shall not be eligible to be carried out under this Act 
        if the project--
                  (A) constitutes mitigation required under any Federal 
                or State law for the adverse effects of an activity 
                regulated or otherwise governed by Federal or State 
                law; or
                  (B) constitutes restoration for natural resource 
                damages required under any Federal or State law.
  (c) Cost Sharing.--
          (1) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of an 
        estuary habitat restoration project carried out under this Act 
        shall not exceed 65 percent of such cost.
          (2) Non-federal share.--The non-Federal share of the cost of 
        an estuary habitat restoration project carried out under this 
        Act shall include lands, easements, rights-of-way, and 
        relocations and may include services, or any other form of in-
        kind contribution determined by the Secretary to be an 
        appropriate contribution equivalent to the monetary amount 
        required for the non-Federal share of the activity.
  (d) Interim Actions.--
          (1) In general.--Pending completion of the estuary habitat 
        restoration strategy to be developed under section 7, the 
        Secretary may take interim actions to carry out an estuary 
        habitat restoration activity.
          (2) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of an 
        estuary habitat restoration activity before the completion of 
        the estuary habitat restoration strategy shall not exceed 25 
        percent of such cost.
  (e) Cooperation of Non-Federal Partners.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall not select an estuary 
        habitat restoration project until a non-Federal interest has 
        entered into a written agreement with the Secretary in which 
        the non-Federal interest agrees to provide all lands, 
        easements, rights-of-way, and relocations and any other 
        elements the Secretary determines appropriate under subsection 
        (c)(2).
          (2) Nonprofit entities.--Notwithstanding section 221 of the 
        Flood Control Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 1962d-5b(b)), for any 
        project undertaken under this Act, the Secretary may, after 
        coordination with the appropriate State and local officials 
        responsible for the political jurisdiction in which a project 
        would occur, allow a nonprofit entity to serve as the non-
        Federal interest.
          (3) Maintenance and monitoring.--A cooperation agreement 
        entered into under paragraph (1) shall provide for maintenance 
        and monitoring of the estuary habitat restoration project to 
        the extent the Secretary determines necessary.
  (f) Delegation of Project Implementation.--In carrying out this Act, 
the Secretary may delegate project implementation to another Federal 
department or agency on a reimbursable basis if the Secretary 
determines such delegation is appropriate.

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION COUNCIL.

  (a) Council.--There is established a council to be known as the 
``Estuary Habitat Restoration Council''.
  (b) Duties.--The Council shall be responsible for--
          (1) reviewing project proposals forwarded to the Council from 
        the Regional Councils and making recommendations concerning 
        such proposals in accordance with section 8(c);
          (2) developing a national strategy for restoration of estuary 
        habitat; and
          (3) periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the national 
        strategy in meeting the purposes of this Act and, as necessary, 
        updating the national strategy.
  (c) Membership.--The Council shall be composed of 13 members as 
follows:
          (1) The Secretary (or the Secretary's designee).
          (2) The Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the 
        Department of Commerce (or the Under Secretary's designee).
          (3) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency 
        (or the Administrator's designee).
          (4) The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the 
        Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (or the 
        Secretary's designee).
          (5) The Secretary of Agriculture (or the Secretary's 
        designee).
          (6) The Secretary of Transportation (or the Secretary's 
        designee).
          (7) One representative from each of the 7 Regional Councils, 
        selected by the Regional Council and appointed by the 
        Secretary.
  (d) Appointment and Terms.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), members 
        of the Council under subsection (c)(7) shall be appointed for a 
        term of 3 years.
          (2) Initial members.--Of the members first appointed under 
        subsection (c)(7)--
                  (A) 3 shall be appointed for a term of 1 year;
                  (B) 2 shall be appointed for a term of 2 years; and
                  (C) 2 shall be appointed for a term of 3 years.
          (3) Vacancies.--Whenever a vacancy occurs among members of 
        the Council appointed under subsection (c)(7), the Secretary 
        shall appoint an individual in accordance with such subsection 
        to fill that vacancy for the remainder of the applicable term.
  (e) Prohibition of Compensation.--Members of the Council may not 
receive compensation for their service as members of the Council.
  (f) Chairperson.--The chairperson shall be elected by the Council 
from among its members for a 3-year term, except that the first elected 
chairperson may serve a term of fewer than 3 years.
  (g) Convening of Council.--
          (1) First meeting.--The Secretary shall convene the first 
        meeting of the Council not later than 60 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act for the purpose of electing a 
        chairperson.
          (2) Additional meetings.--The chairperson shall convene 
        additional meetings of the Council as often as appropriate to 
        ensure that this Act is fully carried out, but not less often 
        than annually.
  (h) Council Procedures.--The Council shall establish procedures for 
voting, the conduct of meetings, and other matters, as necessary.
  (i) Public Participation.--Meetings of the Council shall be open to 
the public. The Council shall provide notice to the pubic of such 
meetings.
  (j) Coordinator.--The Secretary shall appoint a Coordinator who 
shall--
          (1) be educated and experienced in estuary protection, 
        restoration, and program management;
          (2) be responsible, with assistance from the Secretary, for 
        facilitating consideration of estuary habitat restoration 
        projects by the Council and Regional Councils and otherwise 
        assisting the Council and Regional Councils in carrying out 
        their responsibilities under this Act; and
          (3) be compensated with funds available under section 10(b).

SEC. 6. ESTABLISHMENT OF REGIONAL COUNCILS.

  (a) Regional Councils.--There are established 7 Regional Councils of 
the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council. Each Regional Council shall 
represent a different one of the following regions:
          (1) The Gulf region.
          (2) The Great Lakes region.
          (3) The Middle Atlantic region.
          (4) The Northeast region.
          (5) The Northwest region.
          (6) The Southeast region.
          (7) The Southwest region.
  (b) Membership.--The Governor of each State in the region represented 
by the Regional Council may appoint one representative to the Regional 
Council. The Regional Council also may include such other members as 
the Governors shall jointly designate.
  (c) Nonvoting Membership.--A Regional Council may appoint nonvoting 
members of the Regional Council from relevant agencies, programs, and 
organizations, including--
          (1) relevant State agencies and regional and field staff of 
        relevant Federal agencies; and
          (2) representatives of relevant coastal and estuary programs, 
        such as those developed under the Coastal Zone Management 
        Program or the National Estuary Program.
  (d) Chairperson.--A Regional Council shall select a chairperson from 
among its members.
  (e) Duties.--A Regional Council shall be responsible for--
          (1) developing a regional strategy that is consistent with 
        the national strategy for the review of project proposals 
        within the region;
          (2) establishing technical criteria for project proposals, 
        which are consistent with the goals and priorities of the 
        regional and national strategies;
          (3) soliciting, evaluating, and forwarding to the Council 
        proposals for estuary habitat restoration projects;
          (4) periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the regional 
        strategy toward meeting the goals and objectives of the 
        national strategy and recommending and implementing 
        improvements; and
          (5) selecting from among the voting membership a person to 
        represent the Regional Council on the Council.
  (f) Technical Support.--Technical support may be provided to a 
Regional Council by regional and field staff of the Corps of Engineers, 
the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, the United States Fish and Wildlife 
Service, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of 
Transportation. The Secretary shall coordinate the provision of such 
assistance.
  (g) Administrative Support Services.--Upon the request of a Regional 
Council, the Secretary may provide to the Regional Council the 
administrative support services necessary for the Regional Council to 
carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

SEC. 7. ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION STRATEGY.

  (a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Council, in consultation with State and other non-Federal 
entities, including nonprofit entities, as appropriate, shall develop 
an estuary habitat restoration strategy designed to ensure a 
comprehensive approach to maximize benefits derived from estuary 
habitat restoration projects and to foster the coordination of Federal 
and non-Federal activities related to restoration of estuary habitat.
  (b) Integration of Estuary Habitat Restoration Plans, Programs, and 
Partnerships.--In developing the estuary habitat restoration strategy, 
the Council shall--
          (1) conduct a review of--
                  (A) estuary management or habitat restoration plans; 
                and
                  (B) Federal programs established under other laws 
                that authorize funding for estuary habitat restoration 
                activities;
          (2) develop a set of proposals to maximize the incentives for 
        the creation of new public-private partnerships to carry out 
        estuary habitat restoration projects and to use Federal 
        resources to encourage increased private sector involvement in 
        estuary habitat restoration activities; and
          (3) ensure that the estuary habitat restoration strategy is 
        developed and will be implemented in a manner that is 
        consistent with the estuary management or habitat restoration 
        plans.
  (c) Elements To Be Considered.--Consistent with the requirements of 
this section, the Council in the development of the estuary habitat 
restoration strategy, shall consider--
          (1) the contributions of estuary habitat to--
                  (A) providing healthy ecosystems in order to 
                support--
                          (i) wildlife, including endangered and 
                        threatened species, migratory birds, and 
                        resident species of an estuary watershed; and
                          (ii) fish and shellfish, including commercial 
                        and recreational fisheries;
                  (B) surface and ground water quality and quantity, 
                and flood control;
                  (C) outdoor recreation and other direct and indirect 
                values; and
                  (D) other areas of concern that the Council 
                determines to be appropriate for consideration;
          (2) the estimated historic losses, estimated current rate of 
        loss, and extent of the threat of future loss or degradation of 
        each type of estuary habitat; and
          (3) the most appropriate method for selecting a balance of 
        smaller and larger estuary habitat restoration projects.
  (d) Advice.--The Council shall seek the advice of experts in 
restoration of estuary habitat to assist in the development of an 
estuary habitat restoration strategy.
  (e) Public Review and Comment.--Before the Council adopts a final 
estuary habitat restoration strategy, the Secretary shall publish in 
the Federal Register a draft of the estuary habitat restoration 
strategy and provide an opportunity for public review and comment.
  (f) Periodic Revision.--Using data and information developed through 
project monitoring and management, and other relevant information, the 
Council may periodically review and update, as necessary, the estuary 
habitat restoration strategy.

SEC. 8. ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION PROJECT PROPOSALS.

  (a) In General.--A proposed estuary habitat restoration project shall 
originate from a non-Federal interest, including States or other non-
Federal entities, consistent with State or local laws.
  (b) Review by Regional Councils.--
          (1) In general.--A non-Federal interest may submit a proposed 
        estuary habitat restoration project to the appropriate Regional 
        Council for review.
          (2) Technical assistance.--A Regional Council receiving a 
        proposal from a non-Federal interest under paragraph (1) shall 
        provide, as necessary, technical assistance to the non-Federal 
        interest to ensure that the proposal is complete.
          (3) Review.--A Regional Council shall select for each fiscal 
        year those proposals for estuary habitat restoration projects 
        that the Regional Council determines are eligible to be carried 
        out under this Act under the factors specified in section 
        4(b)(1) and shall transmit such proposals to the Council for 
        further review.
  (c) Consideration by Council.--The Council shall review the proposed 
estuary habitat restoration projects transmitted to the Council by a 
Regional Council under subsection (b) and, based on the factors 
specified in section 4(b)(1), shall recommend to the Secretary a 
priority order for carrying out such projects. The 
Council'srecommendation shall include a recommendation as to whether a 
project should be carried out by the Secretary or by another Federal 
department or agency under section 4(f).

SEC. 9. MONITORING AND MAINTENANCE OF ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION 
                    PROJECTS.

  (a) Database of Restoration Project Information.--The Under Secretary 
for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department of Commerce, in 
consultation with the Secretary, shall develop and maintain an 
appropriate database of information concerning estuary habitat 
restoration projects carried out under this Act, including information 
on project techniques, project completion, monitoring data, and other 
relevant information.
  (b) Monitoring Data Standards.--The Under Secretary for Oceans and 
Atmosphere of the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the 
Secretary, shall develop standard data formats for monitoring projects, 
along with requirements for types of data collected and frequency of 
monitoring.
  (c) Report.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary, in consultation with the 
        Council, shall submit a report to Congress at the end of the 
        third and fifth fiscal years following the date of enactment of 
        this Act on the results of activities carried out under this 
        Act.
          (2) Contents of report.--A report under paragraph (1) shall 
        include--
                  (A) data on the number of acres of estuary habitat 
                restored under this Act, including the number of 
                projects approved and completed that comprise those 
                acres;
                  (B) the percentage of restored estuary habitat 
                monitored under a plan to ensure that short-term and 
                long-term restoration goals are achieved;
                  (C) an estimate of the long-term success of varying 
                restoration techniques used in carrying out estuary 
                habitat restoration projects;
                  (D) a review of how the information described in 
                subparagraphs (A) through (C) has been incorporated in 
                the selection and implementation of estuary habitat 
                restoration projects;
                  (E) a review of efforts made to maintain an 
                appropriate database of restoration projects carried 
                out under this Act; and
                  (F) a review of the measures taken to provide the 
                information described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) 
                to persons with responsibility for assisting in the 
                restoration of estuary habitat.

SEC. 10. FUNDING.

  (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          (1) Estuary habitat restoration projects.--There is 
        authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for estuary 
        habitat restoration projects--
                  (A) $40,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;
                  (B) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2002; and
                  (C) $75,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2003 through 
                2005.
          Such amounts shall remain available until expended.
          (2) Monitoring.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
        the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department 
        of Commerce for the acquisition, maintenance, and management of 
        monitoring data on restoration projects carried out under this 
        Act, $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2005. 
        Such amounts shall remain available until expended.
  (b) Set-Aside for Administrative Expenses of the Council and Regional 
Councils.--Not to exceed 3 percent of the amounts appropriated for a 
fiscal year under subsection (a)(1) or $2,000,000, whichever is 
greater, may be used by the Secretary for administration and operation 
of the Council and Regional Councils.

SEC. 11. GENERAL PROVISIONS.

  (a) Estuary Habitat Restoration Mission.--The Secretary shall ensure 
that restoration of estuary habitat is included as a primary mission of 
the Corps of Engineers under section 306 of Water Resources Development 
Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2316).
  (b) Agency Consultation and Coordination.--In carrying out this Act, 
the Secretary shall, as necessary, consult with, cooperate with, and 
coordinate its activities with the activities of other Federal 
departments and agencies.
  (c) Cooperative Agreements; Memoranda of Understanding.--In carrying 
out this Act, the Secretary may--
          (1) enter into cooperative agreements with Federal, State, 
        and local government agencies and other entities; and
          (2) execute such memoranda of understanding as are necessary 
        to reflect the agreements.
  (d) Federal Agency Facilities and Personnel.--Federal agencies may 
cooperate in carrying out scientific and other programs necessary to 
carry out this Act, and may provide facilities and personnel, for the 
purpose of assisting the Council in carrying out its duties under this 
Act.
  (e) Application of Federal Advisory Committee Act.--The Council and 
Regional Councils shall not be considered advisory committees under the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
  (f) Identification and Mapping of Dredged Material Disposal Sites.--
In consultation with appropriate Federal and non-Federal public 
entities, the Secretary shall undertake, and update as warranted by 
changed conditions, surveys to identify and map sites appropriate for 
beneficial uses of dredged material for the protection, restoration, 
and creation of aquatic and ecologically related habitats, including 
wetlands, in order to further the purposes of this Act.
  (g) Study of Bioremediation Technology.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental 
        Protection Agency, with the full participation of the estuarine 
        scientific community, shall begin a 2-year study on the 
        efficacy of bioremediation products.
          (2) Requirements.--The study shall--
                  (A) evaluate and assess bioremediation technology--
                          (i) on low-level petroleum hydrocarbon 
                        contamination from recreational boat bilges;
                          (ii) on low-level petroleum hydrocarbon 
                        contamination from stormwater discharges;
                          (iii) on nonpoint petroleum hydrocarbon 
                        discharges; and
                          (iv) as a first response tool for petroleum 
                        hydrocarbon spills; and
                  (B) recommend management actions to optimize the 
                return of a healthy and balanced ecosystem in response 
                to improvements in the quality and character of 
                estuarine waters.

                          purpose and summary

    On May 12, 1999, Representative Gilchrest (MD) and others 
introduced H.R. 1775, the Estuary Habitat Restoration 
Partnership Act of 1999, which was referred to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the 
Committee on Resources.
    The purpose of H.R. 1775 is to promote the restoration of 
one million acres of estuary habitat by 2010 by further 
improving partnerships among Federal, state, local, private and 
non-profit interests, and by developing a national estuary 
restoration strategy. The bill authorizes $315 million over 
five years for the Secretary of the Army to carry out estuary 
habitat restoration projects. The bill creates a National 
Estuary Habitat Restoration Council (the Council), and seven 
Regional Councils. The Council, with Federal and regional 
representation, will develop a coordinated national estuary 
restoration strategy, to be followed by the development of 
regional strategies by the Regional Councils. The Council 
forwards eligible estuary habitat restoration projects, as 
determined by the Regional Councils, and makes priority 
recommendations to the Secretary of the Army for 
implementation. The bill also authorizes an additional $10 
million over five years for the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop and create 
monitoring information on restoration of estuaries.

                  background and need for legislation

Overview of estuaries and coastal areas

    Estuaries are partially enclosed water bodies where 
freshwater from land drainage through rivers or streams flows 
into an open sea or the ocean. Estuaries are also called 
inlets, bays, harbors, or sounds, and their habitats include 
shallow open waters, fresh and saltwater marshes, beaches, 
tidal pools, and wooded swamps, among others. In recent years, 
Congress, NOAA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
have recognized that the Great Lakes include areas with 
habitats and characteristics similar to saltwater estuaries.
    Estuaries and their surrounding coastal areas provide some 
of the most diverse and ecologically and economically 
productive habitat in the country. Many wildlife populations, 
such as migratory birds, commercially valuable fish species, 
shellfish and other species depend on estuarine environments. 
Estuaries also support important commercial activities, provide 
the primary water supply for many areas, and perform many other 
essential ecological and economic functions for the U.S. For 
example, estuaries provide habitat for more than 75 percent of 
America's commercial fish catch at some point during their life 
cycle, and fisheries dependent on coastal waters were worth 
more than $1.9 billion in 1990 (excluding Alaska). Coastal 
industries, including fishing, boating and tourism, provide 
more than 28 million jobs, and coastal recreation and tourism 
generate approximately $8 to $12 billion annually. More than 70 
percent of Americans visit the coast every year. In addition, 
more than 110 million people currently live in coastal regions, 
and this number is expected to reach 127 million by 2010.
    Increasing population growth and development have imposed 
significant stress on our estuaries. Competing and increasing 
demands on estuaries have led to water quality problems arising 
from increased nonpoint source pollution from stormwater and 
agricultural runoff, wastewater discharges, industrial 
pollution, and commercial and recreational waste. The nation's 
estuaries must overcome increasing eutrophication from over-
enrichment of nutrients, contamination from toxic substances 
and pathogens, loss of habitat, declines in fish and wildlife 
populations, and intrusion by non-native species. The 1996 
National Water Quality Inventory reported that almost 40 
percent of the surveyed estuaries are impaired (i.e. not fully 
meeting one or more designated uses).

Current efforts to restore and maintain estuaries

    Among the various federal, state, local and private efforts 
that support habitat restoration, several focus specifically on 
estuaries, including the National Estuary Program (NEP).
    In 1987, Congress authorized the creation of the NEP to 
promote comprehensive planning for long-term protection of our 
estuaries through collaborative voluntary efforts of federal, 
state, local, non-profit and private interests. Stakeholders 
involved include local governments, federal officials, private 
and non-profit interests, industrial, recreational or other 
user groups, and academic or scientific experts. The goal is 
for the stakeholders, as equal partners, to develop and 
implement long-term management plans, called Comprehensive 
Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs), with technical 
assistance and grants provided by EPA.
    Of the roughly 130 estuaries in the U.S., 28 have been 
incorporated into the NEP. Of these 28, 21 have begun 
implementation, and seven are still in the development stage. 
An estimated $50 billion will be needed to implement all 28 
CCMPs. Although authorization for the NEP expired in FY 1991, 
Congress has continued to appropriate funds (approximately $225 
million to date). Additional Clean Water Act funding is 
available for implementation of CCMPs through the Clean Water 
State Revolving Fund loans, non-point source grants under 
Section 319, and state water program grants under Section 
104(b)(3).

      discussion of committee bill and section-by-section analysis

Section 1. Short title

    This bill may be cited as the ``Estuary Restoration Act of 
2000.''

Section 2. Purposes

    This section establishes the purposes of the Act which are: 
to promote the restoration of one million acres of estuary 
habitat by 2010, as well as the restoration of fresh water 
estuary habitat; to develop strategies to obtain national and 
regionalobjectives for restoring estuary habitat; to foster 
coordination of Federal, state, and community estuary habitat 
restoration efforts; to establish restoration partnerships among public 
agencies at all levels of government and between the public and private 
sectors; to promote more efficient financing of restoration activities; 
and, to develop and enhance monitoring and research capabilities to 
ensure that restoration efforts are based on sound scientific 
understanding.

Section 3. Definitions

    This section defines the following key terms in the bill: 
Council, degraded estuary habitat, estuary, estuary habitat, 
estuary habitat restoration activity, estuary habitat 
restoration project, estuary habitat restoration strategy, 
estuary management or habitat restoration plan, fresh water 
estuary, Great Lakes region, Gulf region, Middle Atlantic 
region, Northeast region, Northwest region, Regional Council, 
Secretary, Southeast region, Southwest region, and State.
    In order to increase the geographic scope and types of 
projects eligible to be implemented, an amendment in the nature 
of a substitute was adopted by the Subcommittee on Water 
Resources and Environment that made definitional changes to the 
introduced bill. The definition of estuary now includes fresh 
water estuaries, and the Great Lakes region was added, thereby 
allowing Great Lakes estuary restoration projects to be 
implemented. In addition, the U.S. Territories and the District 
of Columbia were added to the appropriate regions.

Section 4. Estuary Habitat Restoration Program

    This is a new section from the introduced bill that was 
added to modify and clarify the process by which estuary 
habitat restoration projects are selected and implemented. The 
introduced bill required the seven Regional Councils to forward 
eligible projects to the Council, where the Council would 
select and provide financial assistance to projects. The bill 
as reported out of Committee, however, modified this decision-
making process in order to address a constitutional issue 
regarding the Appointments Clause, and to further clarify how 
projects are reviewed, recommended, selected and implemented.
    In the introduced bill, the Council, composed of Federal 
and non-federal members, had significant decision-making and 
voting authority regarding determining eligibility for funds, 
and thus may have violated the Appointments Clause. The non-
federal Council members were to be appointed by the Secretary 
of the Army, who is not a ``head of a department'' (in contrast 
to the Secretary of Defense), and the Executive's appointment 
authority may have been unduly restricted as the selection of 
the non-federal members was limited to representatives from the 
Regional Councils only.
    To address the Appointments Clause issue and to clarify the 
decision-making process, this section was included to provide 
the Secretary of the Army with the authority to select and 
carry out estuary habitat restoration projects. However, 
language is included to ensure the Secretary not only consults 
with the Council, but also takes into account the Council's 
recommendations for the priority order of selecting and 
implementing projects, as well as if the project should be 
delegated to another agency for implementation.
    The Secretary of the Army is directed to take into account 
other recommended factors, as well, when selecting projects, 
including if the project: meets criteria specified in the 
national estuary habitat restoration strategy developed by the 
Council; has technical merit and is feasible; increases 
coordination and cooperation of federal, state, and local 
government agencies, as well as fosters public-private 
partnerships; and, includes a monitoring plan that will help 
achieve restoration goals. Additional factors for consideration 
are if the non-federal interests proposing the project will 
have the resources and authority needed to carry out and 
maintain the project, and any other factors that the Secretary 
determines are reasonable and necessary.
    To promote improved coordination of estuary habitat 
restoration and efficiency of financing projects, the Secretary 
of the Army is directed to give higher priority to those 
projects that are already part of an existing estuary 
management or habitat restoration plan, or to projects in 
watersheds in which programs are being carried out to address 
sources of pollution or other activities that may re-impair the 
restored habitat. Finally, the Secretary may not select a 
project if it constitutes mitigation required under any federal 
or state law for the adverse effects of an activity regulated 
or otherwise governed by federal or state law, or restoration 
for natural resource damages required under any federal or 
state law. The Secretary has authority to take interim actions 
to implement projects, pending completion of the national 
estuary habitat restoration strategy.
    This section also establishes the cost-sharing required for 
each project. The non-federal share of a project must include 
necessary lands, easements, rights-of-way and relocations, and 
may include services or any other form of in-kind contribution 
that the Secretary determines to be an appropriate contribution 
equal to the monetary amount required for the non-federal 
share. A non-profit entity may serve as the non-federal 
interest for a project.

Section 5. Establishment of Estuary Habitat Restoration Council

    This section establishes the national Estuary Habitat 
Restoration Council. The Council's purpose is to review project 
proposals forwarded by the Regional Councils and make 
recommendations on projects and priorities to the Secretary, 
and to develop, periodically review, and update as necessary a 
national strategy to restore estuary habitat. The Council has 
13 members including the Secretaries of the Army, the Interior 
(acting through the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service), 
Agriculture, Transportation, the Department of Commerce's 
Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, the Administrator of 
the EPA, and one representative from each of the seven Regional 
Councils.
    This section also delineates the Council members' 
appointment and terms of service, specifies how to handle 
vacancies, prohibits members from receiving compensation, 
establishes a chairperson, authorizes the Council to convene 
and establish operating procedures, and requires Council 
meetings to be open to the public.

Section 6. Establishment of regional councils

    This section establishes seven Regional Councils under the 
National Council. The Regional Councils are to represent the 
Gulf, Great Lakes, Middle Atlantic, Northeast, Northwest, 
Southeast, and Southwest regions of the United States.
    The Regional Councils' primary duties are to develop, 
review, and update as necessary, regional estuary habitat 
restoration strategies consistent with the national strategy 
developed by the Council, and to solicit, evaluate and forward 
eligible projects to the Council.

Section 7. Estuary habitat restoration strategy

    This section directs the Council, in consultation with 
state and other non-federal entities, to develop an estuary 
habitat restoration strategy that will serve as the national 
framework for restoring estuaries. The strategy is intended to 
help maximize the benefits derived from estuary habitat 
restoration projects selected for implementation, and to foster 
coordination of federal and non-federal efforts to restore 
estuary habitat.

Section 8. Estuary habitat restoration project proposals

    This section incorporates Subcommittee changes that clarify 
the process by which projects are developed, reviewed, and 
forwarded to the Secretary of the Army for selection. 
Specifically, a project proposal must originate from a non-
federal interest, such as a state or other non-federal entity, 
and be submitted to the appropriate Regional Council for 
review. The Regional Councils will review projects and forward 
those that are eligible to receive assistance (based on the 
factors the Secretary uses to select projects) to the Council 
for further review. The Regional Councils are also directed to 
provide technical assistance to non-Federal interests that 
propose projects.
    The Council reviews projects forwarded by the Regional 
Councils and recommends a priority order for selection to the 
Secretary. The Council also should include recommendations as 
to whether the Secretary or another federal agency should carry 
out a project.

Section 9. Monitoring and maintenance of estuary habitat restoration 
        projects

    This section directs the Undersecretary for Oceans and 
Atmosphere of the Department of Commerce, in consultation with 
the Secretary of the Army, to develop and maintain a database 
with information on estuary habitat restoration projects 
carried out under this bill. The Undersecretary also will 
develop monitoring standards for data types and format, as well 
as for monitoring frequency.
    The Secretary of the Army is also directed to work with the 
Council and submit reports to Congress on the results of 
activities carried out under this bill.

Section 10. Funding

    This section authorizes $315 million total over five years 
for the Secretary of the Army to carry out estuary habitat 
restoration projects, or $40 million for fiscal year 2001, $50 
million for fiscal year 2002, and $75 million a year for fiscal 
years 2003 through 2005. Of the annual authorizations, the 
Secretary may use no more than 3 percent, or $2 million, 
whichever is greater, for administration and operation of the 
Council and Regional Councils.
    This section also authorizes $10 million total through 
fiscal years 2001 through 2005, or $2 million a year, for NOAA 
to acquire, maintain, and manage monitoring data on projects 
implemented under this bill.

Section 11. General provisions

    This section directs the Secretary of the Army: to ensure 
that restoration of estuary habitat is included as part of its 
environmental protection mission as directed in section 306 of 
the Water Resources Development Act of 1990: to consult, 
cooperate, and coordinate with other federal agencies in 
carrying out this legislation; and, to enter into cooperative 
agreements and memoranda of understanding with other federal, 
state, and local agencies, as necessary, to implement this 
bill. It also authorizes federal agencies to provide facilities 
and personnel to the Council, and clarifies that the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act does not apply to any councils 
established by this bill.
    This section also includes language adopted at the full 
Committee markup that requires the Secretary of the Army to 
undertake surveys to identify and map sites appropriate for 
beneficial uses of dredged material for habitat restoration, 
and language that requires the EPA Administrator to conduct a 
study on bioremediation in the cleanup of oil spills in 
estuaries.
    The Committee is concerned that bioremediation technology, 
particularly that which has the combined characteristics of a 
biodegradable, buoyant absorbent as well as a bioremediant, has 
received minimal support in the federal research effort for 
combating oil spills and hydrocarbon discharges from marine 
vessels and non-point sources. Consequently, little federal 
data are available to support informed decisions on the 
application of this relatively inexpensive but valuable 
technology in combating hydrocarbon releases into our nation's 
waters.
    The Administrator shall consider for this study those 
products that are listed on EPA's National Contingency Plan 
(NCP) Product Schedule under the Bioremediation Agents category 
that have already completed the required testing for the NCP 
listing.
    Through directing this study, the Committee is hopeful that 
the federal agencies can develop the data necessary to make 
appropriate decisions in this important arena as well as 
develop policies that support informed stewardship of the 
environment via the use of bioremediation technology.

                                hearings

    On July 13, 1999, the Subcommittee on Water Resources and 
Environment held a hearing on ``Estuaries and Coastal Water 
Quality Legislation,'' which included H.R. 1775, and several 
other coastal and estuary bills. The hearing included testimony 
from Members of Congress, including Representative Saxton (NJ), 
Representative Shays (CT), Representative Lowey (NY), 
Representative DeLauro (CT), Representative Lazio (NY), 
Representative Ackerman (NY), Representative Deutsch (FL), 
Representative Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Representative Johnson (CT), 
Representative Shaw (FL), and Representative Forbes (NY). 
Testimony was heard from federal agencies, including Mr. 
Michael Davis of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ms. Dana 
Minerva of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Ms. 
Sally Yozell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration. Testimony was also heard from several non-
profit organizations, including Restore America's Estuaries, 
The Nature Conservancy, Coast Alliance and Coastal States 
Organization.

                        Committee Consideration

    On November 8, 1999, the Subcommittee on Water Resources 
and Environment adopted an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute offered by Representative Boehlert, and favorably 
reported the amended bill by voice vote. The amendment amended 
Title I to authorize the Secretary of the Army, in consultation 
with the Council, to select and carry out habitat restoration 
projects (or delegate authority to other federal agencies to 
carry out projects), with a 35 percent local cost share. The 
amendment clarified the roles of the national and regional 
councils in reviewing and recommending estuary habitat 
restoration projects. The amendment expanded the scope of the 
bill to include the Great Lakes and U.S. Territories. The 
amendment deleted Title II of the bill that reauthorized the 
Chesapeake Bay Program, because of the Committee's intent to 
address the reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Program 
through additional legislation.
    On March 16, 2000, the Committee adopted an en bloc 
amendment, and ordered the bill reported to the House by voice 
vote. The en bloc amendment made technical and clarifying 
changes, required the Secretary of the Army to undertake 
surveys to identify and map sites appropriate for beneficial 
uses of dredged material for habitat restoration, and required 
the EPA Administrator to conduct a study on bioremediation in 
the cleanup of oil spills in estuaries.

                             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 rollcall 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. 
1775 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. 1775.
    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. 
1775 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 27, 2000.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1775, the Estuary 
Restoration Act of 2000.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

H.R. 1775--Estuary Restoration Act of 2000

    Summary: H.R. 1775 would establish the Estuary Habitat 
Restoration Council, consisting of representatives from 
multiple federal agencies, that would develop a strategy for 
restoring estuary habitats and provide financial assistance to 
nonfederal entities for restoration projects. The bill would 
authorize the appropriation of $315 million over the 2001-2005 
period to the Corps of Engineers (Corps) for that purpose. In 
addition, the bill would authorize the appropriation of $10 
million over the five-year period to the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to collection information to 
monitor the effectiveness of estuary restoration projects. 
Assuming appropriation of the specified amounts, CBO estimates 
that implementing the new program would increase federal 
spending by $235 million over the 2001-2005 period. In 
addition, CBO estimates that directing the Environmental 
Protection Agency to conduct a study on bioremediation 
technology would cost $1 million, assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amount. The bill would not affect direct spending or 
receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 1775 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
Any expenditures made by state and local governments to satisfy 
the matching requirements of grants authorized by this bill 
would be voluntary.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: CBO estimates 
that implementing the bill would result in additional outlays 
of $236 million over the 2001-2005 period, assuming 
appropriation of the amounts authorized for each year. No 
amounts were provided to the Corps or to NOAA in 2000 for 
funding or monitoring estuary restoration projects. The pattern 
of spending under this bill was estimated based onhistorical 
spending patterns for similar activities. The estimated budgetary 
impact of H.R. 1775 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--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2000     2001     2002     2003     2004     2005
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Estimated Authorization Level.............................        0       43       52       77       77       77
Estimated Outlays.........................................        0        8       22       52       72       82
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: This bill 
would impose no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. Any expenditures made by state and local 
governments to satisfy the matching requirements of grants 
authorized by this bill would be voluntary.
    Previous CBO estimate: On October 13, 1999, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for S. 835, the Estuary Habitat Restoration 
Partnership Act of 1999, as ordered reported by the Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works on September 29, 
1999. In addition to authorizing a program for restoring 
estuary habitats that is similar to the program authorized 
under this legislation, S. 835 would reauthorize the Chesapeake 
Bay program for five years. Differences in the two estimates 
reflect the cost of implementing that additional provision of 
S. 835.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll and 
Susanne S. Mehlman; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal 
Governments: Shelley Finlayson; Impact on the Private Sector: 
Patrice Gordon.
    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.)