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                                                        Calendar No. 52

106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     106-25

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



 
        SUDBURY, ASSABET, AND CONCORD WILD AND SCENIC RIVER ACT

                                _______
                                

                 March 17, 1999.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 193]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the Act (H.R. 193) to designate a portion of the 
Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers as a component of the 
Natural Wild and Scenic Rivers System, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the Act do pass.

                         Purpose of the Measure

    The purpose of H.R. 193, as ordered reported, is to 
designate 29 miles of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers 
in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as components of the Wild 
and Scenic Rivers System.

                          Background and Need

    Local and State interest in a national wild and scenic 
river study for the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers date 
back to the mid 1980's when a proposal was discussed to 
reactivate the Sudbury Reservoir in order to supply water to 
the Boston metropolitan area. Fears developed over withdrawals 
from the reservoir that could create impacts on downstream 
areas; including prime wildlife habitat. At the same time, 
surging real estate values in the area triggered concerns about 
impacts of development along the rivers irreplaceable natural 
and cultural resources.
    In 1990, Public Law 101-628 designated segments of the 
Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers in Massachusetts for study 
as potential components of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. 
As a result of the study, 29 miles of the Sudbury, Assabet, and 
Concord Rivers were found eligible for inclusion in the Wild 
and Scenic Rivers System. The recommendation was based on the 
free-flowing character of the rivers and the presence of 
outstanding ecological, historical, literary, recreational, and 
scenic values. The eligible segments include 16.6 miles of the 
Sudbury River, 4.4 miles of the Assabet River, and 8 miles of 
the Concord River.
    The eligible segments of the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord 
Rivers are remarkably undeveloped, providing recreational 
opportunities in a natural setting less than an hour's drive 
from several million people living in the Boston area. Ten of 
the river miles lie within the boundaries of Great Meadows 
National Wildlife Refugee, established to protect the waterfowl 
habitat and associated riparian wetlands. The rivers also 
feature prominently in the works of nineteenth century authors 
Hawthorne, Emerson, and Thoreau.
    The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act provides for three possible 
classifications of eligible river segments: wild, scenic, and 
recreational. These classifications are based on the degree of 
human modification of the river and adjacent shorelands. Under 
these guidelines, 14.9 miles of the Sudbury, Assabet, and 
Concord Rivers as recreational. During the spring of 1995, 
eight towns along the study segments held meetings and each 
passed resolutions requesting Congress to designate the rivers 
as components of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
    A ``River Stewardship Council'' would coordinate the 
actions of the State, local, and Federal Governments, along 
with participation by local river protection groups. Under this 
partnership approach, the Federal Government would retain 
responsibility for ensuring that Federal water resource 
projects do not impair the rivers' free-flowing character or 
outstanding resources. The towns and State would retain their 
existing land use authorities, along with primary 
responsibility for recreation management. This arrangement 
would be formalized and funded through cooperative agreements 
between the National Park Service and other members of the 
Stewardship Council.

                          Legislative History

    The House of Representatives passed H.R. 193 on February 
23, 1999. The Subcommittee on Natural Parks, Historic 
Preservation and Recreation held a hearing on H.R. 193 on 
February 24, 1999.
    During the 105th Congress, a similar bill, S. 469 was 
introduced by Senators Kerry and Kennedy on March 18, 1997. The 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Historic Preservation and 
Recreation held a hearing on S. 469 on June 18, 1998.
    At its business meeting on September 9, 1998, the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 469, as amended, 
favorably reported. On October 2, 1998, S. 469 passed the 
Senate by voice vote. The House of Representatives passed S. 
469, as amended on October 10, 1998. No further action was 
taken.
    At its business meeting on March 4, 1999, the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources ordered H.R. 193, favorably 
reported.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on March 4, 1999, by a unanimous voice vote of 
a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 193, as 
described herein.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 designates the bill's short title as the 
``Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.''
    Section 2 (a) contains Congressional findings.
    Subsection (b) designates 29 miles of the river segments as 
follows: 14.9-mile segment of the Sudbury River a scenic river; 
1.7-mile segment of the Sudbury River as a recreational river; 
4.4-mile segment of the Assabet River as a recreational river; 
8-mile segment of the Concord River as a recreational river. 
This subsection also directs that the rivers be administered by 
the Secretary of the Interior in cooperation with the SUASCO 
River Stewardship Council through cooperative agreements with 
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its relevant political 
subdivisions. The March 16, 1995 ``Sudbury, Assabet, and 
Concord Wild and Scenic River Study, River Conservation Plan'' 
is deemed to satisfy the requirement for a comprehensive 
management plan.
    Subsection (c) designates the Director of the National Park 
Service or the Director's designee as representative of the 
Secretary of the Interior in the implementation of the plan. 
Cooperative agreements may include provisions for financial or 
other Federal assistance, not to exceed $100,000 each fiscal 
year, to facilitate the protection, conservation and 
enhancement of the river segments.
    Subsection (d) directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
consider the extent to which a water resource project is 
consistent with the plan.
    Subsection (e) deems that local zoning bylaws in effect on 
the date of enactment of this Act are deemed to satisfy the 
standards and requirements under section 6(c) of the Wild and 
Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1277(c)). This subsection also 
provides that the United States shall not acquire title to 
land, easements, or other interests in land along the river 
segments.
    Subsection (f) authorizes appropriations not to exceed 
$100,000 for each fiscal year for the Secretary to carry out 
this section.
    Subsection (g) amends section 3(a) of the Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1274(a)) to make conforming changes.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of the cost of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

               congressional budget office cost estimate

H.R. 193--Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic River Act

    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 193 would not have a 
significant impact on the federal budget. Because H.R. 193 
would not affect direct spending or receipts, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply. H.R. 193 contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would have no significant 
impact on the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 193 would designate 29 miles of river segments in 
Massachusetts as scenic and recreational rivers. The segments 
would be administered by the Secretary of the Interior in 
cooperation with the SUASCO River Stewardship Council, as 
provided for in a conservation plan prepared by the National 
Park Service (NPS) and the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord River 
Study Committee. The act would authorize the NPS to provide 
financial and other assistance to the state and relevant local 
governments under cooperative agreements to facilitate the 
management of the newly designated river segments.
    The act would authorize the appropriation of up to $100,000 
each year to implement the river conservation plan, including 
financial assistance to the state and local governments. For 
purposes of this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 193 will be 
enacted by the end of fiscal year 1999 and that the authorized 
funding will be appropriated for fiscal year 2000 and each 
subsequent year. We estimate that outlays to implement the plan 
would total about $500,000 over the 2000-2004 period, assuming 
appropriations of the authorized amounts.
    On February 4, 1999, CBO prepared a cost estimate for H.R. 
193 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Resources on 
February 3, 1999. The two versions of H.R. 193 are similar, and 
the estimated costs are the same.
    The CBO staff contact is Victoria Heid Hall. This estimate 
was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out H.R. 193. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from 
enactment of H.R. 193, as ordered reported.

                        Executive Communications

    A representative of the National Park Service testified in 
support of H.R. 193, on February 28, 1999 at a hearing before 
the Subcommittee on National Parks, Historic Preservation, and 
Recreation.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the Act H.R. 193, as ordered 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):

                  (Public Law 90-542, October 2, 1968)

    Sec. 3. (a) The following rivers and the land adjacent 
thereto are hereby designated as components of the national 
wild and scenic rivers system:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    ``(  ) Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers, 
Massachusetts--The 29 miles of river segments in Massachusetts, 
as follows:
          ``(A) The 14.9 mile segment of the Sudbury River 
        beginning at the Danforth Street Bridge in the town of 
        Framington, downstream to the Route 2 Bridge in 
        Concord, as a scenic river;
          ``(B) The 1.7 mile segment of the Sudbury River from 
        the Route 2 Bridge downstream to its confluence with 
        the Assabet River at Egg Rock, as a recreational river;
          ``(C) The 4.4 mile segment of the Assabet River 
        beginning 1,000 feet downstream from the Damon Mill Dam 
        in the town of Concord, to its confluence with the 
        Sudbury River at Egg Rock in Concord, as a recreational 
        river;
          ``(D) The 8.0 mile segment of the Concord River from 
        Egg Rock at the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet 
        Rivers downstream to the Route 3 bridge in the town of 
        Billerica, as a recreational river.''
    The segments shall be administered by the Secretary of the 
Interior in cooperation with the SUASCO River Stewardship 
Council provided for in the plan through cooperative agreements 
under section 10(e) between the Secretary and the Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts and its relevant political subdivisions 
(including the towns of Framingham, Wayland, Sudbury, Lincoln, 
Concord, Carlisle, Bedford, and Billerica). The segments shall 
be managed in accordance with the plan entitled `Sudbury, 
Assabet and Concord Wild and Scenic River Study, River 
Conservation Plan' dated March 16, 19995. The plan is deemed to 
satisfy the requirement for a comprehensive management plan 
under section 3(d)''.