Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 730
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-363
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                     

                       RESTORING THE EVERGLADES,

                         AN AMERICAN LEGACY ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                              COMMITTEE ON

                      ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                              to accompany

                                S. 2797


                                     


                                     

                 July 27, 2000.--Ordered to be printed.


                               __________

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
79-010                     WASHINGTON : 2000


               COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS

                       ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS

                   BOB SMITH, New Hampshire, Chairman
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia             MAX BAUCUS, Montana
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN, New York
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming                FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri        HARRY REID, Nevada
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio            BOB GRAHAM, Florida
MICHAEL D. CRAPO, Idaho              JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah              BARBARA BOXER, California
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas          RON WYDEN, Oregon
LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island
                      Dave Conover, Staff Director
                  Tom Sliter, Minority Staff Director

                                  (ii)

  


                            C O N T E N T S

                               __________
                                                                   Page
Background.......................................................     1
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan....................     3
The Restoring the Everglades, an American Legacy Act.............     3
Section-by-section analysis:
    Section. 1. Short Title......................................     4
    Sec. 2. Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan............     5
        (a). Definitions.........................................     5
        (b). Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan...........     5
        (c).  Additional Program Authority.......................   113
        (d). Authorization of Future Projects....................    13
        (e). Cost Sharing........................................    14
        (f). Evaluation of Projects..............................    16
        (g). Exclusions and Limitations..........................    17
        (h). Assurance of Project Benefits.......................    18
        (i). Dispute Resolution..................................    24
        (j). Independent Scientific Review.......................    25
        (k). Outreach and Assistance.............................    26
        (l). Report to Congress..................................    26
Hearings.........................................................    26
Rollcall votes...................................................    26
Evaluation of regulatory impact..................................    28
Mandates assessment..............................................    28
Cost of legislation..............................................    28
Changes to existing law..........................................    29
Minority view of Senator Inhofe..................................    31
                                                       Calendar No. 730
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-363

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



 
            RESTORING THE EVERGLADES, AN AMERICAN LEGACY ACT

                                _______
                                

                 July 27, 2000.--Ordered to be printed.

   Mr. Smith, of New Hampshire from the Committee on Environment and 
                 Public Works, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2797]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2797) to authorize a comprehensive 
Everglades restoration plan, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that 
the bill, as amended, do pass.

                               Background

    In its natural state, the South Florida ecosystem was once 
connected by the flow of water south from Lake Okeechobee 
through vast freshwater marshes--known as the Everglades--to 
Florida Bay and on to the coral reefs of the Florida Keys. The 
Everglades covered approximately 18,000 square miles and were 
the heart of a unique and biologically productive region, 
supporting vast colonies of wading birds, a mixture of 
temperate and tropical plant and animal species, and teeming 
coastal fisheries. These superlative natural resources were 
nationally recognized with the establishment of Everglades 
National Park in 1947. Since that time, the Federal investment 
in preserving the Everglades has increased. Other significant 
federally designated conservation areas established since 1947 
include Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, 
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and 16 National 
Wildlife Refuges, including A.R.M. Loxahatchee National 
Wildlife Refuge. The State of Florida has actively participated 
in this effort and set aside additional lands for conservation 
purposes.
    In 1948, in response to a series of devastating floods that 
occurred in the region, Congress authorized the Central and 
Southern Florida (C&SF;) Project. The C&SF; Project authorized 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) to provide: flood 
control; regional water supply for agricultural and urban 
areas; prevention of salt water intrusion; water supply to 
Everglades National Park; preservation of fish and wildlife; 
recreation; and navigation.
    Unfortunately, the project has had unintended consequences 
on the unique natural environment which constitutes the 
Everglades and Florida Bay ecosystems. Water that flowed 
unimpeded through the southern half of the State, nearly 1.7 
billion gallons of water a day, has been redirected to the 
Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, disrupting the natural 
sheet flow through the South Florida ecosystem. As a result of 
the high volume of discharges of water, coastal estuaries are 
in peril, while water needed for the ecosystem and regional 
water supplies is wasted. In addition, runoff from cities and 
farms has resulted in high levels of phosphorus and other 
contaminants polluting the water. The C&SF; Project also has 
resulted in a 90-95 percent drop in the wading bird population, 
and more than 1.5 million acres of land are infested with 
invasive exotic plants. The South Florida ecosystem also is 
home to 68 threatened or endangered plant and animal species. 
The size of the historic Everglades has been reduced by half.
    For several decades, this committee and the Congress have 
taken steps to address many of the C&SF; Project's unintended 
harms to the natural system. The Water Resources Development 
Act (WRDA) of 1992 authorized a Comprehensive Review Study 
(Restudy) of the C&SF; Project. The purpose of the Restudy was 
to recommend modifications to the C&SF; Project to restore the 
Everglades and Florida Bay ecosystems while providing for the 
other water-related needs of the region.
    WRDA `96 provided further direction to the Restudy. It 
established the 50/50 cost share between the Federal Government 
and the State of Florida for construction of critical 
restoration projects; gave credit for lands acquired by the 
South Florida Water Management District (the local sponsor); 
and established the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task 
Force under the chairmanship of the Secretary of the Interior. 
The Task Force also includes the Secretaries of Commerce, the 
Army, Agriculture, and Transportation; the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Attorney General, a 
representative of the Miccosukee and the Seminole tribes, two 
representatives of the State of Florida, and a representative 
of the South Florida Water Management District. The Task Force 
is charged with coordinating the development of policies, 
strategies, plans, and activities that address the restoration, 
preservation, and protection of the South Florida ecosystem.
    Also, WRDA `96 spelled out the restoration activities that 
should be included in the Restudy, mainly: the restoration, 
preservation and protection of the South Florida ecosystem; the 
protection of water quality; and the reduction of the loss of 
fresh water from the Everglades, while providing the flood 
control and enhancement of water supply objectives served by 
the C&SF; Project. Furthermore, WRDA `96 mandated that the Army 
Corps present this Plan to Congress on July 1, 1999.
    A major provision of WRDA `96 provided for ``Critical 
Restoration Projects,'' ecosystem projects designated by the 
Secretary of the Army, the Task Force, and the local sponsor as 
having immediate and substantial restoration, preservation, and 
protection benefits. Federal expenditures for the projects were 
capped at $25 million per project, with a total of $75 million 
authorized for the period between fiscal years 1997 through 
1999. WRDA 1999 extended this authorization period through 
2003.

             The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan

    As required by WRDA `96, the Restudy or ``Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan'' (CERP or Plan) was submitted to 
Congress on July 1, 1999. The Plan defines the major project 
for ecosystem restoration, water supply, and other water-
related purposes, as well as defining a process for 
implementation. The keys to restoration include increasing the 
amount of water available by providing increased storage 
ability and capacity; improving the timing and distribution of 
water flows and levels; ensuring the quality of the water that 
is directed to the natural system; and restoring the 
connectivity of the system that was so severely 
compartmentalized by the original project.
    The Plan has 68 project components to be implemented over a 
35-year period. These components are expected to deliver the 
following benefits: improve the functioning of over 2.4 million 
acres of the South Florida ecosystem; stabilize Lake Okeechobee 
water levels for littoral zone health; improve urban and 
agricultural water supply; improve deliveries to Florida Bay, 
Biscayne Bay, and other coastal estuaries; and improve regional 
water quality conditions, while maintaining the existing levels 
of flood protection. In addition, the Plan will eliminate the 
damaging freshwater releases to the Caloosahatchee and St. 
Lucie estuaries.
    A key element of the Plan is adaptive assessment, an 
approach to monitoring the progress of the Plan, providing 
built-in flexibility, and giving the implementors of the Plan 
the opportunity to respond to unforeseen circumstances by 
making modifications, as necessary.
    Although the Plan contains a number of key components 
designed to benefit federally designated areas by improving the 
quantity, quality, timing and distribution of water, the Plan 
is interconnected, with each project component related to the 
other. Further, the Plan is to be implemented using the 
principles of adaptive assessment, recognizing that 
modifications will be made in the future based upon new 
information. Overall, the 68 individual project components of 
the Plan, to be implemented over a 35 year period, will improve 
the ecologic health and economic sustainability of over 2.4 
million acres of the South Florida ecosystem

          The Restoring the Everglades, an American Legacy Act

    The ``Restoring the Everglades, an American Legacy Act'' 
(REAL Act) was introduced on June 27, 2000, by Senators Smith, 
Voinovich, Baucus, Graham, and Mack. This bill approves the 
CERP as a framework and authorizes the first set of projects 
and implementation procedures. As such, the REAL Act represents 
the first stage of the restoration process.
    A project of this size is not without uncertainties. The 
REAL Act authorizes four pilot projects to address the 
effectiveness of some of the technologies being proposed. In 
addition, this bill authorizes an initial ten construction 
projects. These projects were carefully selected by the Army 
Corps and the South Florida Water Management District and 
included in the Plan as the projects that would, once 
constructed, have immediate benefits to the natural system. 
Almost right away, the Plan begins to restore the natural sheet 
flow that years of human interference has interrupted.
    S. 2797 authorizes so-called ``programmatic authority'' so 
that the Army Corps and the non-Federal sponsor can move 
forward with critical projects that will have immediate, 
independent, and substantial benefits to the natural system. 
Together, these components represent the first phase. The 
remaining projects will be submitted to Congress for 
authorization biennially, as part of future WRDAs.
    One of the key components of the CERP is the inherent 
flexibility provided by adaptive assessment. Under the adaptive 
assessment approach, the Plan can be modified, based on any new 
and improved information or modeling. With a project of this 
size and duration, it is inevitable that new technologies will 
emerge, modeling systems will be perfected, and monitoring of 
the ecosystem will continue to provide up-to-the-minute data on 
the effectiveness of project components. It is important that 
these factors be incorporated into the Plan, when the new and 
improved information will enhance the restoration effort.
    The REAL Act also contains a carefully balanced assurances 
provision that provides the mechanism to ensure that project 
benefits for the natural system are attained. The United States 
and the State of Florida will enter into an up-front, binding 
agreement that will ensure that water generated by the Plan 
will be available for the natural system. Furthermore, the 
Secretary of the Army, in concurrence with the Governor of the 
State of Florida and the Secretary of the Interior will 
promulgate programmatic regulations which will establish a 
process to ensure that the goals and purposes of the Plan are 
achieved.
    The total estimated cost of construction, including real 
estate costs, for the Plan is $7.8 billion dollars over the 35-
year implementation period, shared 50/50 between the federal 
government and the State of Florida. The State of Florida 
recently passed legislation that will enable them to pay for 
and carry out their share of the responsibilities over the next 
10 years. The average Federal cost is $200 million a year over 
the next 20 years. Annual operation and maintenance costs, 
which are also split 50/50, are estimated to be $172 million 
once all project components are complete.
    Restoration benefits not only Floridians, but the millions 
of people who visit Florida each year to behold this unique 
ecosystem. The committee views this effort to restore the 
Everglades ecosystem as our legacy to future generations.

                       Section-by-Section Summary

Section. 1. Short Title
    This section designates the title of the bill as the 
``Restoring the Everglades, an American Legacy Act.''
Sec. 2. Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.
            (a). Definitions

                                Summary

    Subsections (a)(1) through (7) provide definitions for 
terms specific to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration 
Plan.
    Subsection (a)(1) defines the ``Central and Southern 
Florida Project'' as the Central and Southern Florida project 
authorized by section 203 of the Flood Control Act of 1948 and 
any subsequent amendments made to that section.
    Subsection (a)(2) defines the term ``Governor'' as the 
Governor of the State of Florida.
    Subsection (a)(3) defines the term ``natural system'' as 
including all the lands and water managed by the Federal 
Government or the State within the boundary of the South 
Florida Water Management District including, but not limited 
to, the water conservation areas, sovereign submerged lands, 
Everglades National Parks, Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress 
National Preserve, coral reefs, State and Federal lands that 
are designated for conservation purposes, and any tribal lands 
that the tribes designate for conservation purposes.
    Subsection (a)(4), defines the term ``Plan'' as the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan contained in the 
``Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Programmatic 
Environmental Impact Statement,'' dated April 1, 1999, as 
modified by this bill. This definition does not include the 
final report of the Chief of Engineers on the C&SF; Project 
Comprehensive Review Study dated June 22, 1999.
    Subsection (a)(5) defines the Secretary as the Secretary of 
the Army.
    Subsection (a)(6) defines the term ``South Florida 
ecosystem'' as the land and water within the boundary of the 
South Florida Water Management District in effect on July 1, 
1999. Included within the boundary is the Everglades, the 
Florida Keys and the contiguous near-shore coastal water of 
South Florida. The committee does not intend for the contents 
of section (a)(6)(B) to exclude other areas that meet the 
criteria of subsection (a)(6)(A) from the definition of the 
South Florida ecosystem.
    Subsection (a)(7) defines the term ``State'' as the State 
of Florida.
            (b). Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

                                Summary

    Subsection (b)(1)(A) approves the Plan, except as modified 
by this bill, as a framework for modifications and operational 
changes to the C&SF; Project that are needed to restore, 
preserve, and protect the South Florida ecosystem; provide for 
the protection of water quality in, and the reduction of the 
loss of fresh water from, the Everglades; provide for the 
water-related needs of the region, including flood control, the 
enhancement of water supplies, and other objectives served by 
the C&SF; Project.
    Subsection (b)(1)(B) directs the Secretary to integrate the 
activities described in subparagraph (A) with ongoing Federal 
and State projects and activities in accordance with section 
528(c) of WRDA `96 (110 Stat. 3769).
    Subsection (b)(2)(A) requires the Secretary of the Army to 
take into consideration State water quality standards, and 
include whatever features the Secretary believes are necessary 
to ensure that the ten projects and the four pilot projects 
authorized in this bill meet all relevant water quality 
standards.
    Subsection (b)(2)(B) authorizes the Secretary of the Army 
to construct four pilot projects at a total cost of 
$69,000,000, with a Federal cost of $34,500,000. In addition, 
the Secretary of the Army is required to provide an opportunity 
for the public to review and comment on each project in 
accordance with Federal law.
    Subsection (b)(2)(B)(i) authorizes the Caloosahatchee River 
(C-43) Basin Aquifer Storage and Recovery pilot project, at a 
total cost of $6,000,000, with a Federal cost of $3,000,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(B)(ii) authorizes the Lake Belt In-Ground 
Reservoir Technology pilot project, at a total cost of 
$23,000,000, with a Federal cost of $11,500,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(B)(iii) authorizes the L-31 Seepage 
Management pilot project, at a total cost of $10,000,000, with 
a Federal cost of $5,000,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(B)(iv) authorizes the Wastewater Reuse 
Technology pilot project, at a total cost of $30,000,000, with 
a Federal cost of $15,000,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C) authorizes the Secretary of the Army 
to construct ten initial projects, subject to a favorable Chief 
of Engineers report and approval by resolution of the Committee 
on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee 
on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives, at a total cost of $1,100,918,000, with a 
Federal cost of $550,459,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(i) authorizes construction of the C-44 
Basin Storage Reservoir, at a total cost of $112,562,000, with 
a Federal cost $56,281,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(ii) authorizes construction of the 
Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoirs, at a total 
cost of $233,408,000, with a Federal cost of $116,704,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(iii) authorizes the construction of 
the Site 1 Impoundment, at a total cost of $38,535,000, with a 
Federal cost $19,267,500.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(iv) authorizes the construction of 
Water Conservation Areas 3A/3B Levee Seepage Management, at a 
total cost of $100,335,000, with a Federal cost of $50,167,500.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(v) authorizes the construction of the 
C-11 Impoundment and Stormwater Treatment Area, at a total cost 
of $124,837,000, with a Federal cost of $62,418,500.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(vi) authorizes the construction of the 
C-9 Impoundment and Stormwater Treatment Area, at a total cost 
of $89,146,000, with a Federal cost of $44,573,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(vii) authorizes the construction of 
the Taylor Creek-Nubbin Slough Storage and Treatment Area, at a 
total cost of $104,027,000, with a Federal cost $52,013,500.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(viii) authorizes construction to raise 
and bridge the east portion of the Tamiami Trail and fill the 
Miami Canal within Water Conservation Area 3, at a total cost 
of $26,946,000, with a Federal cost of $13,473,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(ix) authorizes the construction of the 
North New River Improvements, at a total cost of $77,087,000, 
with a Federal cost of $38,543,500.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(x) authorizes the construction of the 
C-111 Spreader Canal, at a total cost of $94,035,000, with a 
Federal cost of $47,017,500.
    Subsection (b)(2)(C)(xi) authorizes a ten-year Adaptive 
Assessment and Monitoring program, at a total cost of 
$100,000,000, with a Federal cost $50,000,000.
    Subsection (b)(2)(D)(i) requires that before implementation 
of a project described in clauses (i) through (x) of 
subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall review and approve for 
the project a project implementation report prepared in 
accordance with subsections (f) and (h).
    Subsection (b)(2)(D)(ii) requires the Secretary to submit 
to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and 
Public Works of the Senate the project implementation report 
required by subsections (f) and (h) for each project under this 
paragraph (including all relevant data and information on all 
costs).
    Subsection (b)(2)(D)(iii) directs that no appropriation 
shall be made to construct any project under this paragraph if 
the project implementation report for the project has not been 
approved by resolutions adopted by the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works of the Senate.
    Subsection (b)(2)(D)(iv) directs that no appropriation 
shall be made to construct the Water Conservation Area 3 
Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow Enhancement Project or the 
Central Lakebelt Storage Project until the completion of the 
project to improve water deliveries to Everglades National Park 
authorized by section 104 of the Everglades National Park 
Protection and Expansion Act of 1989 (16 U.S.C. 410r-8).
    Subsection (b)(2)(E) restates that Section 902 of WRDA `86 
(33 U.S.C. 2280) shall apply to each project feature authorized 
under this subsection.

                               Discussion

    This subsection approves the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan, as modified by this bill, as a framework to 
make changes to the C&SF; Project. Changes to the project are 
intended to restore the South Florida ecosystem, and in 
particular the Everglades, by improving water quality and 
reducing the amount of fresh water lost from within the system. 
In addition, the project modifications are intended to provide 
for the water related needs of the region. The water related 
needs of the region are defined to include providing flood 
control and enhancing water supplies. In undertaking these 
activities, the Secretary must integrate them with ongoing 
Federal and State projects and activities in accordance with 
section 528(c) of WRDA `96 (110 Stat. 3769).
    The Plan contains a general outline of the quantities of 
water to be produced by each project. According to the Army 
Corps, 80 percent of the water generated by the Plan is needed 
for the natural system in order to attain restoration goals, 
and 20 percent of the water generated for use in the human 
environment. The committee recognizes the levels of uncertainty 
involved in the Plan and fully intends for the adaptive 
assessment and monitoring process to account for such as the 
Plan is executed. Subject to future authorizations by Congress, 
the committee fully expects that the water necessary for 
restoration, currently estimated at 80 percent of the water 
generated by the Plan, will be reserved or allocated for the 
benefit of the natural system.
    Endorsement of the Plan as a restoration framework is not 
intended as an artificial constraint on innovation in its 
implementation. The committee does not expect rigid adherence 
to the Plan as it was submitted to Congress. This result would 
be inconsistent with the adaptive assessment principles in the 
Plan. Restoration of the Everglades is the goal, not adherence 
to the modeling on which the April, 1999 Plan was based. 
Instead, the committee expects that the agencies responsible 
for project implementation report formulation and Plan 
implementation will seek continuous improvement of the Plan 
based upon new information, improved modeling, new technology 
and changed circumstances. Further, the committee expects that 
the implementing agencies will make every effort to accelerate 
the delivery of Plan benefits to the natural system to the 
extent practicable. It is estimated that 3 to 5 acres of land 
in the South Florida ecosystem are lost per day under current 
conditions. Time is of the essence in this restoration effort.
    In implementing the Plan, the Secretary of the Army is 
required to take into consideration State water quality 
standards, and include such features the Secretary determines 
are necessary to ensure that all ground water and surface water 
discharges from any project feature authorized in this bill 
meet all applicable water quality standards and applicable 
permitting requirements.
    The pilot projects. There are six pilot projects described 
in the Plan, two of which were authorized in WRDA `99 and four 
which are authorized in this bill. The pilot projects are 
necessary to address uncertainties associated with some of the 
physical features that are proposed in the Plan. These pilot 
projects include aquifer storage and recovery in the 
Caloosahatchee River Basin; in-ground reservoir technology in 
the Lake Belt region of Miami-Dade County; levee seepage 
management technology adjacent to Everglades National Park; and 
advanced wastewater reuse technology to determine the 
feasibility of reusing wastewater for ecological restoration. 
The authorized funding level for the design, construction, and 
monitoring of the pilot projects is $69,000,000, to be equally 
cost shared between the Federal Government and the State of 
Florida. The Plan's concept of adaptive assessment allows for 
future changes to be made in the Plan. This includes 
consideration of the results of the pilot projects. The 
committee directs the Army Corps to ensure that the overall 
benefits described in the Plan are maintained and any necessary 
changes incorporated in the event any pilot project 
demonstrates technical infeasibility.
    Three aquifer storage and recovery pilot projects were 
proposed in the Plan, and one of those aquifer storage and 
recovery pilots, the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) Basin Aquifer 
Storage and Recovery, is included in this bill. This pilot 
project and the two aquifer storage and recovery projects 
authorized in WRDA `99 are necessary to identify the most 
suitable sites for the aquifer storage and recovery wells, and 
determine the water quality necessary for injections into the 
well and the water quality of the receiving aquifer. In 
addition, the pilot projects will provide information on the 
hydrogeological and geotechnical characteristics of the upper 
Floridian Aquifer System within the regions, and the ability of 
the upper Floridian Aquifer System to store injected water for 
future recovery. The Army Corps expects to design the 
Caloosahatchee project between November 2000 and October 2001, 
construct the project between October 2001 through October 
2002, and monitor the results between October 2002 through 
October 2005.
    The second pilot project authorized by this bill is the 
Lake Belt In-Ground Reservoir Technology project. This project 
utilizes areas to store water where lime rock mining has 
occurred. The pilot project is necessary in order to assure 
that the mine retains water and also includes subterranean 
seepage barriers around the perimeter in order to enable 
drawdown during dry periods, prevent seepage losses, and 
protect water quality. The Army Corps expects to complete 
design in June 2001, will construct the project between June 
2001 through December 2005, and will monitor the results 
between December 2005 through December 2011.
    The third pilot project authorized by this bill is the L-31 
Seepage Management project. The purpose of this project is to 
investigate seepage management technologies to control seepage 
from Everglades National Park. Hydrologic modeling performed by 
the Army Corps have shown that controlling seepage from the 
Everglades results in desirable hydrologic conditions. However, 
the proposed technologies could have unintended results 
elsewhere. The pilot project will provide the necessary 
information to determine the appropriate amount of wet season 
groundwater flow to return to Everglades National Park while 
minimizing potential impacts to Miami-Dade County's West 
Wellfield and freshwater flows to Biscayne Bay. The Army Corps 
of Engineers expects to design the project between November 
2000 and October 2001, construct the project between October 
2001 through October 2002, and monitor the results between 
October 2000 through October 2003.
    The fourth pilot project authorized by this bill is the 
Wastewater Reuse Technology project. This pilot project will 
address water quality issues associated with discharging 
reclaimed water into natural areas such as West Palm Beach's 
Catchment Area, Biscayne National Park, and the Bird Drive 
Basin, as well as determining the level of superior treatment 
and the appropriate methodologies for that treatment. After 
treatment to remove nitrogen and phosphorus, the water will be 
used to restore 1,500 acres of wetlands and to recharge 
wetlands surrounding the City of West Palm Beach's wellfield. A 
portion of the treated water will be used to recharge a 
residential lake system surrounding the City's wellfield and a 
Palm Beach County wellfield. In addition, this project will 
reduce the City's dependence on surface water from Lake 
Okeechobee during dry or drought events, and create or restore 
approximately 2,000 acres of wetlands. The Army Corps expects 
to complete design in September 2003, will construct the 
project between September 2003 through September 2005, and will 
monitor the result between September 2003 through December 
2007.
    The ten initial construction projects. This subsection also 
authorizes the Secretary of the Army to construct ten initial 
projects. These projects were carefully chosen by the Army 
Corps and the South Florida Water Management District because 
they were viewed as the projects that would provide the most 
immediate system-wide improvements in water quantity, quality 
and flow distribution. Prior to beginning construction on the 
ten initial projects, the Secretary of the Army must approve 
the project implementation report in accordance with the 
requirements of this bill, and submit the reports to the 
Committee on Environment and Public Works in the Senate and the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the House of 
Representatives. Funding cannot be appropriated for 
construction of the ten initial projects until the Committee on 
Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives approve the project implementation report for a 
project by resolution. In order to ensure against cost 
overruns, if the cost of constructing the projects exceeds 20 
percent of the authorized amount, after allowance for inflation 
as measured by appropriate cost indexes, the Army Corps must 
seek from Congress an authorization for the additional amount 
required.
    The C-44 Basin Storage Reservoir project is a 40,000 acre-
feet water storage reservoir. This component will provide 
significant regional water quality benefits though the 
reduction of nutrients entering the St. Lucie River and the 
Indian River Lagoon by reducing damaging water releases from 
Lake Okeechobee. In addition, this project will moderate 
damaging releases to the St. Lucie estuary from Lake Okeechobee 
and the surrounding basin.
    The Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir project 
will result in approximately 300,000 acre-feet of water storage 
and will improve the timing of the environmental water releases 
to the Water Conservation Areas, reduce damaging freshwater 
releases to the estuaries, and meet supplemental water supply 
for agricultural demands in the Everglades Agricultural Area 
(EAA). Phase I of the project included in the initial 
authorization will further enhance the performance of 
Stormwater Treatment Areas 3 and 4, thereby improving the 
overall water quality of EAA water releases into the 
Everglades. Lands for the construction of this component have 
been acquired by the South Florida Water Management District 
through the purchase and exchange of the Talisman Sugar 
Corporation properties through funds provided by the Department 
of the Interior.
    The Army Corps should maximize use of the lands acquired 
through the Talisman purchase and exchange, as well as other 
EAA lands held by the non-Federal sponsor, in the design and 
construction of Phase 1 of this project feature. Further, the 
Corps should seek to take full advantage of the Talisman lands 
by maximizing the depth of water stored in the Talisman Water 
Storage Reservoir. The lands are presently leased for 
agricultural production, which is a sound land management 
practice that should last only until the lands are needed for 
restoration. As such, the Army Corps and the non-Federal 
sponsor are expected to provide the necessary notification to 
the lessors so the acquired lands can be used for Everglades 
restoration purposes as promptly as possible, consistent with 
the anticipated expiration dates in 2005 and 2007 of the 
current leases. It is expected that the lands will be needed in 
2005 as required by the Plan. As a result, the Corps of 
Engineers will be required to notify the lessees by October 1, 
2002, if the lands are to be used for restoration beginning in 
2005.
    The Site 1 Impoundment project consists of a 15,000 acre-
feet water storage reservoir. This reservoir will be located 
adjacent to Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and will 
capture water, currently sent to tide, to supplement water 
deliveries to the Hillsboro Canal during dry periods, thereby 
reducing water demands on Lake Okeechobee and Loxahatchee 
National Wildlife Refuge. Much of the land that is required for 
this feature has already been acquired by the South Florida 
Water Management District.
    The Water Conservation Areas 3A/3B levee Seepage Management 
project will control seepage from Water Conservation Areas 3A 
and 3B by improving groundwater elevations, and will provide 
flood protection for the C-11 Basin.
    The C-11 Impoundment and Stormwater Treatment Area project 
consists of a 6,400 acre-feet impoundment and stormwater 
treatment area, located in western Broward County. This project 
will divert and treat runoff from the western C-11 Basin that 
is currently discharged into Water Conservation Areas 3A and 
3B. After treatment, the water will then supply either Water 
Conservation Area 3A, the C-9 Stormwater Treatment Area, or the 
North Lake Belt Storage Area. This project is necessary because 
the original C&SF; Project design provides that the Western C-11 
Basin drainage be pumped into Water Conservation Area 3. Once 
completed, this project will provide the necessary facilities 
to maintain flood protection within the Basin, while reducing 
flows through the S-9 pump station to Water Conservation Area 
3.
    The C-9 Impoundment and Stormwater Treatment Area project 
consists of a 10,000 acre-feet impoundment and stormwater 
treatment area to enhance groundwater recharge in the western 
C-9 Basin in Broward County, provide seepage control for Water 
Conservation Area 3 and buffer areas to the west, provide flood 
protection, and provide treatment of runoff in the North Lake 
Belt Storage Area.
    The Taylor Creek-Nubbin Slough Storage and Treatment Area 
project consists of a 50,000 acre-feet water storage reservoir 
and 20,000 acre-feet stormwater treatment area that will allow 
flows to Lake Okeechobee to be attenuated when lake levels are 
high or rising, and improve water quality treatment flows from 
Taylor Creek and Nubbin Slough basin, which currently 
contribute to the highest phosphorus inflow concentrations to 
Lake Okeechobee.
    The project to raise and bridge the east portion of the of 
the Tamiami Trail and fill the Miami Canal within Water 
Conservation Area 3 consists of modifying or removing water 
control structures in Water Conservation Areas 3A and 3B to 
enhance sheetflow within the remaining natural system areas 
within the Everglades, thereby reestablishing the ecological 
and hydrological connections between Water Conservation Areas 
3A and 3B, Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National 
Preserve. The first phase of enhancing sheetflow necessitates 
elevating eastern portions of Tamiami Trail and backfilling 
portions of the Miami Canal within Water Conservation Area 3.
    The project to construct the North New River Improvements 
will improve the North New River Canal and southern conveyance 
system in order to handle increased water flows resulting from 
the backfilling of the Miami Canal within Water Conservation 
Area 3 to allow for continued water supply deliveries to Miami-
Dade County.
    The C-111 Spreader Canal project will improve water 
deliveries and enhance the connectivity and sheetflow in the 
Model Lands and Southern Glades areas, reduce wet season flows 
in C-111 and decrease potential flood risk in the lower south 
Miami-Dade County area. Existing C-111 Project design features 
are enhanced through the construction of a stormwater treatment 
area, enlarging the S-332E pump station, and extending the 
canal under U.S. Highway 1 and Card Sound Road into the Model 
Lands. This feature also results in filling the Southern 
portion of the C-111 Canal and removal of S-18C and S-197 
structures.
    Adaptive Assessment and Monitoring. The Adaptive Assessment 
and Monitoring program provides an organized process for 
adapting the Plan as new information becomes available, 
ensuring that long-term implementation of the Plan delivers the 
benefits intended. In addition to the inevitable uncertainties, 
natural and human systems will at times respond in ways that 
are not anticipated or predicted by any existing hypothesis. 
Adaptive assessment should moderate these responses by 
providing an in-place process for early detection and 
interpretation of the unexpected.
    Conditions. Prior to implementation of any of the ten 
initial construction projects authorized in this bill, the 
Secretary shall review and approve for the project a project 
implementation report, prepared in accordance with subsections 
(f) and (h). This project implementation report is to be 
submitted to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 
of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Environment and Public Works of the Senate for approval by 
committee resolution. No appropriation shall be made to 
construct any of the ten initial projects authorized in this 
bill until the project implementation report for the project is 
approved.
    Modified Water Deliveries Project. The Modified Water 
Deliveries to Everglades National Park Project, authorized by 
section 104 of the Everglades National Park Protection and 
Expansion Act of 1989, is an important element in Everglades 
restoration since it provides for increased and more natural 
water deliveries to Everglades National Park through the Shark 
River Slough. Completion of the project will enhance the 
recovery of the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow and 
environmental restoration north of Everglades National Park. 
The completion of the Modified Water Deliveries project has 
been delayed because of controversy over flood mitigation to 
the adjacent 8.5 square mile area. The committee is encouraged 
by recent progress in reaching a resolution of the issues on 
the project, and urges the Secretary of the Interior, Secretary 
of Army, South Florida Water Management District and the 
Governor of Florida to continue to cooperate in implementing 
this critical project as soon as possible. To emphasize the 
committee's concern, the bill includes a provision to preclude 
construction appropriations for projects in the Plan that are 
dependent on the completion of the Modified Water Deliveries 
Project, specifically the Water Conservation Area 3 
Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow Enhancement Project and 
the Central Lakebelt Storage Project, until completion of the 
Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park Project.
            (c) Additional Program Authority

                                Summary

    Subsection (c)(1) authorizes the Secretary to expedite the 
implementation of modifications to the C&SF; Project that are 
described in and consistent with the Plan and that will produce 
independent and substantial benefits to the restoration, 
preservation and protection of the South Florida ecosystem.
    Subsection (c)(2) requires that before implementation of 
any project feature authorized by this subsection, the 
Secretary shall review and approve for the project feature a 
project implementation report, prepared in accordance with 
subsections (f) and (h).
    Subsection (c)(3) caps the total Federal cost of each 
project carried out under this subsection at $12,500,000, with 
the overall project cost not to exceed $25,000,000. The total 
Federal cost of all projects carried out under this subsection 
shall not exceed $206,000,000.

                               Discussion

    WRDA `96 authorized Everglades Ecosystem Restoration 
Projects, or ``critical projects,'' as they are more commonly 
known. These projects are defined as those which would produce 
independent and substantial benefits to the restoration, 
preservation and protection of the South Florida ecosystem. A 
programmatic authority is included in subsection (c), which 
provides an authority similar to the ``critical projects'' 
authorized in section 528(b)(3) of WRDA `96. Prior to 
implementation, the Secretary must review and approve a project 
implementation report for each project, which must be 
consistent with subsections (f) and (h). The total Federal cost 
for each project shall not exceed $12,500,000 and the aggregate 
Federal costs of all projects authorized under this authority 
shall not exceed $206,000,000. There are 21 such projects in 
the Plan that meet the criteria set forth in this bill.
            (d). Authorization of Future Projects

                                Summary

    Subsection (d)(1) directs that each project except those 
projects authorized by subsections (b) and (c) require a 
specific authorization of Congress.
    Subsection (d)(2) requires that before seeking 
Congressional authorization for a project under paragraph (1), 
the Secretary shall submit to Congress a description of the 
project and a project implementation report prepared in 
accordance with subsections (f) and (h).

                               Discussion

    This subsection provides the mechanism by which future 
projects are authorized. The recommended components of the Plan 
that are not authorized by this bill or eligible under the 
program authority subsection require a specific authorization 
by Congress. These future projects are expected to be 
authorized for construction in subsequent WRDAs.
    Prior to the authorization of any project not authorized in 
subsections (b) or (c) of this bill, the Secretary must 
transmit a project implementation report to Congress. This 
allows the Secretary to complete the additional studies 
necessary to propose future authorizations to the Congress for 
the elements of the Plan not authorized in subsections (b) and 
(c), as well as studies related to the improvement of the 
performance of the features of the Plan. Such future 
authorizations shall be consistent with subsections (f) and (h) 
of this bill.
            (e). Cost Sharing

                                Summary

    Subsection (e)(1) directs the Federal share of the cost of 
implementing the projects authorized in subsections (b), (c), 
and (d) to be 50 percent.
    Subsection (e)(2) directs the non-Federal sponsor to be 
responsible for the acquisition of all lands, easements and 
rights-of-way, and relocations, and provides credit for such 
acquisitions toward the non-Federal share regardless of the 
date of acquisition.
    Subsection (e)(3)(A) provides that the non-Federal sponsor 
may accept Federal funding for the purchase of any necessary 
land, easement, right-of-way, or relocation, provided that the 
funds are credited toward the Federal share of the cost of the 
project.
    Subsection (e)(3)(B) provides that funds appropriated to 
the non-Federal sponsor under U.S. Department of Agriculture 
programs may be credited toward the non-Federal share of the 
cost of the Plan, if the Secretary of Agriculture certifies 
that the funds provided may be used for that purpose.
    Subsection (e)(4) directs that, notwithstanding section 
528(e)(3) of WRDA `96 (110 Stat. 3770), the cost share for 
operations and maintenance will be split 50/50 between the 
Federal and non-Federal sponsor.
    Subsection (e)(5)(A) authorizes the Army Corps to provide 
credit to the non-Federal sponsor, regardless of the date of 
acquisition, for the value of lands or interests in lands and 
incidental costs for land acquired by the non-Federal sponsor 
in accordance with a project implementation report.
    Subsection (e)(5)(B) authorizes the Army Corps to provide 
credit to the non-Federal sponsor for work performed on 
implementation of the Plan, if the credit is provided for work 
completed during the applicable period of the project, as 
defined in the respective agreement between the Secretary and 
the non-Federal sponsor for that stage of the project. The 
Secretary must also make a determination that the work is 
integral to the project.
    Subsection (e)(5)(C) authorizes credit to be carried over 
between authorized projects.
    Subsection (e)(5)(D) directs periodic monitoring at both 
the preconstruction engineering and design phase and the 
construction phase to ensure that the non-Federal sponsor's 
contributions comprise the appropriate percentage share for the 
cost of projects in the Plan.

                               Discussion

    Responsibilities for implementing the Plan will be shared 
50/50 by the Army Corps and the South Florida Water Management 
District. As is standard with Army Corps projects, the non-
Federal sponsor is responsible for all land, easements, rights-
of-way, and relocations necessary to implement the Plan. The 
non-Federal sponsor will be afforded credit for providing these 
lands, easements, rights-of-way, and relocations. The non-
Federal sponsor may use Federal funds for the purchase of such 
lands, easements, rights-of-way, and relocations necessary to 
carry out the project, so long as those funds are credited 
toward the Federal share of the cost of the project. The 
exception is that funds provided to the non-Federal sponsor by 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture shall be credited toward the 
non-Federal share of the cost of the Plan, if the Secretary of 
Agriculture certifies that the funds provided may be used for 
that purpose.
    The majority of the Plan's projects accomplish restoration 
of the South Florida ecosystem and directly benefit Everglades 
National Park, Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress National 
Preserve, and Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Therefore, 
notwithstanding Section 528 (e)(3) of WRDA `96, the cost of 
operating and maintaining the projects in the Plan will also be 
shared equally between the Federal and non-Federal sponsors. 
While the committee supports the traditional non-Federal 
operation and maintenance responsibility, the unique nature of 
this project and the Federal benefits from the restoration Plan 
warrants the sharing of operation and maintenance costs. 
Approximately half the lands that comprise the natural system 
in the South Florida ecosystem are Federally-managed lands, and 
these Federal lands will realize substantial benefits through 
the implementation of the CERP.
    Notwithstanding section 528(e)(4) of WRDA `96 (110 Stat. 
3770) and regardless of the date of acquisition, the value of 
lands or interest in lands and incidental costs for land 
acquired by the non-Federal sponsor in accordance with a 
project implementation report for any project included in the 
Plan and authorized by Congress shall be included in the total 
cost of the project and credited toward the non-Federal share 
of the cost of the project.
    The Secretary may also provide credit, including in-kind 
credit, toward the non-Federal share for the reasonable cost of 
any work performed in connection with a study, preconstruction 
engineering and design, or construction that is necessary for 
the implementation of the Plan. The credit is conditioned upon: 
the work being completed during the period of design, as 
defined in a design agreement between the Secretary and the 
non-Federal sponsor; the credit being provided for work 
completed during the period of construction, as defined in a 
project cooperation agreement between the Secretary and the 
non-Federal sponsor; the design agreement or project 
cooperation agreement prescribing the terms and condition of 
the credit; and the Secretary determining that the work 
performed by the non-Federal sponsor is integral to the 
project.
    Any credit provided may be carried over to another 
authorized project, in accordance with the periodic monitoring 
performed by the Secretary. The periodic monitoring, which 
shall be assessed for each project on a 5-year basis, will 
ensure that the contributions of the non-Federal sponsor equal 
a 50 percent proportionate share for projects in the Plan. The 
Secretary will monitor the preconstruction engineering and 
design phase and the construction phase separately. Credit or 
work provided shall be subject to audit by the Secretary.
            (f). Evaluation of Projects

                                Summary

    Subsection (f)(1) requires that prior to implementing any 
project authorized in subsections (c) and (d) or any of the 
clauses (i) through (x) of subsection (b)(2)(C), the Secretary, 
in cooperation with the non-Federal sponsor and after notice 
and opportunity for public comment, shall complete a project 
implementation report for each project to address its cost-
effectiveness, engineering feasibility, and potential 
environmental impacts. This section requires that the project 
implementation report for each project be consistent with 
subsection (h).
    Subsection (f)(2)(A) states that in carrying out any 
activity authorized under this section or any other provision 
of law to restore, preserve or protect the South Florida 
ecosystem, the Secretary may determine that the activity is 
justified by the environmental benefits derived by the South 
Florida ecosystem and no further economic justification for the 
activity is required, if the Secretary determines the activity 
is cost effective.
    Subsection (f)(2)(B) provides that (f)(2)(A) shall not 
apply to any separable element intended to produce benefits 
that are predominantly unrelated to the restoration, 
preservation, and protection of the natural system.

                               Discussion

    Subsection (f) describes the mechanism for the evaluation 
of projects. Prior to implementation of any projects authorized 
by this bill, the Secretary, in cooperation with the non-
Federal sponsor, and after notice and opportunity for public 
comment, shall complete a project implementation report for the 
project.
    The project implementation report is a new type of 
reporting document, similar to a General Reevaluation Report in 
that it will contain additional project formulation and 
evaluation. The project implementation report also will contain 
General Design Memorandum level of detail, or higher, for 
engineering and design. Some of the tasks associated with the 
preparation of the project implementation report will include: 
surveys and mapping; geotechnical analyses; flood damage 
assessment; real estate analyses; and preparation of 
supplemental National Environmental Policy Act documents. The 
project implementation reports will bridge the gap between the 
programmatic-level design contained in the Plan and the 
detailed design necessary to proceed to construction. 
Furthermore, each project implementation report will be 
accompanied by a project Management Plan, which will detail 
schedules, funding requirements, and resource needs for final 
design and construction of the project.
            (g). Exclusions and Limitations

                                Summary

    Subsection (g) directs that some components of the Plan are 
not approved for implementation subject to certain exclusions 
and limitations.
    Subsection(g)(1) directs that any project designed to 
implement the capture and use of the approximately 245,000 
acre-feet of water described in section 7.7.2 of the Plan shall 
not be implemented until the project-specific feasibility study 
on the need for and physical delivery of the approximately 
245,000 acre-feet of water, conducted by the Secretary, in 
cooperation with the non-Federal sponsor, is completed; the 
project is favorably recommended in a final report of the Chief 
of Engineers; and the project is authorized by an Act of 
Congress. The project-specific feasibility study shall include 
a comprehensive analysis of the structural facilities proposed 
to deliver the approximately 245,000 acre-feet of water to the 
natural system; an assessment of the requirements to divert and 
treat the water; an assessment of delivery alternatives; an 
assessment of the feasibility of delivering the water 
downstream while not substantially reducing authorized levels 
of service for flood protection to affected properties; and any 
other assessments that are determined by the Secretary to be 
necessary to complete the study.
    Subsection (g)(2) directs that upon completion and 
evaluation of the wastewater reuse pilot project, the Secretary 
in an appropriately timed 5-year report, shall describe the 
results of the evaluation of advanced wastewater reuse in 
meeting, in a cost effective manner, the requirements of the 
natural system. This report shall be submitted to the Congress 
before Congressional authorization is sought for advanced 
wastewater reuse projects.
    Subsection (g)(3) directs that the Federal share for land 
acquisition to enhance existing wetland systems along the 
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, including the Stazzulla 
tract, should be funded through the budget of the Department of 
the Interior, and that the Southern Corkscrew regional 
ecosystem watershed addition should be accomplished outside the 
scope of the Plan.

                               Discussion

    Certain components of the Plan are excluded from the 
overall approval of the Plan or are included with conditions or 
limitations as follows:
      245,000 acre-feet of water. Section 7.7.2 of the 
Plan describes the potential capture and use of approximately 
245,000 acre-feet of additional water. The Plan concluded that 
this additional water would substantially improve the 
performance of the Plan in meeting restoration goals for 
Everglades and Biscayne National Parks but had the potential to 
have adverse impacts elsewhere in the system and, therefore, 
required additional study before being incorporated into the 
Plan. The bill provides that any project that is designed to 
implement the capture and use of the approximately 245,000 
acre-feet of water shall not proceed until a project-pecific 
feasibility study on the need for and physical delivery of the 
additional water is completed, favorably recommended to the 
Congress in a final report of the Chief of Engineers, and 
authorized by an Act of Congress.
      Wastewater Reuse. The Plan includes a wastewater 
treatment plant expansion at the existing South District 
Wastewater Treatment plant in Miami-Dade County and at a future 
West Miami Dade Wastewater Treatment Plant to produce superior, 
advanced treatment of wastewater for reuse in Everglades 
National Park and Biscayne Bay restoration. The plant upgrades 
will potentially produce a combined 230 million gallons of 
water per day. The combined cost of the upgrades is about $800 
million in construction costs and $85 million in operation and 
maintenance costs. There is concern about the high cost of 
treating this water, and whether the treatment system will be 
capable of treating the wastewater to appropriate levels for 
reuse in the natural system. The results of the wastewater 
reuse pilot project will be carefully reviewed in considering 
the ability of the treatment system to meet water quality 
requirements.
    Additional water is needed to meet the requirements of 
restoration of the natural system including Biscayne Bay. 
Therefore, subsection (g) directs that the Secretary, in 
consultation with the Department of the Interior, the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Florida and local 
governments to investigate in conjunction with the 
implementation of the Wastewater Reuse Technology Pilot 
project, potential sources of water other than reuse for 
providing freshwater flows to Biscayne Bay focusing on lower 
cost alternatives; defining target freshwater flows for 
Biscayne Bay based on the quality, timing, and distribution of 
flows needed to provide and maintain the estuarine functions of 
Biscayne Bay, Biscayne National Park and associated coastal 
wetlands; and performing further evaluations to determine 
whether restoration targets can be better achieved. These 
evaluations are to be included in an appropriate 5-year report 
to the Congress before any authorization is sought for advanced 
treatment and reuse of wastewater.
      Land Acquisition projects. Two of the projects 
included in the Plan are primarily land acquisition. While 
these projects have merit, they are not appropriate for 
implementation under the program of the Army Corps. 
Accordingly, the bill provides that the Federal share for land 
acquisition in the project to enhance existing wetlands systems 
along the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, including the 
Stazzulla tract, should be funded through the budget of the 
Department of Interior and that the Southern Corkscrew regional 
eco-system watershed addition should be accomplished outside 
the scope of the Plan.
            (h). Assurance of Project Benefits

                                Summary

    Subsection (h)(1) is a general statement of Congressional 
purpose and intent to guide the implementation of authorized 
Plan activities, including the agreement between the President 
and Governor required by subsection (h)(2), programmatic 
regulations required by subsection (h)(3), and the project-
specific assurances required by subsection (h)(4).
    With the exception of the pilot projects, subsection 
(h)(2)(A) provides that no appropriation shall be made for 
construction of a project contained in the Plan until the 
President and the Governor enter into a binding agreement under 
which the State will ensure, by regulation or other appropriate 
means, that water made available under the Plan for the 
restoration of the natural system is available as specified in 
the Plan. The committee expects this agreement to be executed 
early in the Plan implementation process. Subsection 
(h)(2)(B)(i) establishes a Federal cause of action to enforce a 
failure by Federal or State officials to comply with any 
provision of the agreement. This section provides for 
injunctive relief directing an official, found to be in 
noncompliance with the agreement, to comply. Subsection 
(h)(2)(B)(ii) requires sixty-day notification to the Secretary 
prior to commencement of an action under clause (i), and bars a 
civil action under clause (i) if the United States has 
commenced and is diligently prosecuting an action for the 
failure to comply in either Federal or State court.
    Subsection (h)(3)(A) requires the Secretary of the Army to 
issue programmatic regulations within 2 years of the date of 
enactment. The purpose of the programmatic regulations is to 
ensure, over the life of the Central and South Florida Project, 
that the goals and purposes of the Plan are achieved. The 
Governor and the Secretary of Interior must concur on the 
regulations prior to issuance; additionally, consultation with 
the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians 
of Florida, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department 
of Commerce, and other Federal, State and local agencies is 
required.
    The content of the programmatic regulations is specified in 
subsection (h)(3)(B). Programmatic regulations will be the 
basis for determining the content and sufficiency of project-
specific assurance documents required by subsection (h)(4). The 
regulations shall establish a process to: provide guidance for 
the development of project implementation reports, project 
cooperation agreements, and operating manuals to ensure that 
the goals and objectives of the Plan are achieved; ensure that 
new information resulting from changed or unforeseen 
circumstances, new scientific or technical information or 
information that is developed through the principles of 
adaptive assessment contained in the Plan, or future authorized 
changes to the Plan are integrated into the implementation of 
the Plan; and ensure the protection of the natural system 
consistent with the goals and purposes of the Plan.
    It is possible that projects authorized for construction in 
this bill may be ready to proceed to construction prior to 
issuance of the programmatic regulations. Subsection 
(h)(3)(C)(i) provides a transition rule, and requires that all 
project implementation reports approved before the date of 
promulgation of the programmatic regulations shall be 
consistent with the Plan. Subsection (h)(3)(C)(ii) further 
provides that, once issued, the preamble of the programmatic 
regulations shall include a statement concerning the 
consistency with the programmatic regulations of any project 
implementation reports that were approved before the date of 
promulgation of the regulations.
    Subsection (h)(3)(D) establishes an ongoing duty for the 
Secretary to ensure that the programmatic regulations will 
result in attainment of Plan goals and purposes. Review of the 
regulations not less often than every 5 years is the minimum 
requirement, however this duty may require review and revision 
more frequently than the minimum five-year interval. Under 
subsection (h)(3)(B)(ii), the initial programmatic regulations 
themselves must include a process to account for new 
information, changed or unforeseen circumstances, or 
Congressionally-authorized changes to Plan elements (such as a 
decision not to proceed with certain projects or unproven 
technologies).
    Subsection (h)(4) establishes requirements for the three 
project-specific documents that ultimately deliver Plan 
benefits--project implementation reports (``PIRs''); project 
cooperation agreements (``PCAs''); and operating manuals. 
Subsection (h)(4)(A) states the procedures and requirements 
governing PIRs. Development of a PIR is a joint responsibility 
of the Secretary and non-Federal project sponsor. The PIR is 
developed in accordance with section 10.3.1 of the Plan, as 
modified by the additional requirements in this bill 
((h)(4)(A)(i)). The Secretary and non-Federal sponsor must 
coordinate with appropriate Federal, State, tribal and local 
officials when developing a PIR ((h)(4)(A)(ii)).
    Subsection (h)(4)(B) references and incorporates the 
existing process under which PCAs are executed on Army Corps 
construction projects. PCAs are a final check on assuring 
project benefits. PCAs are essentially a contract for each 
specific project. This subsection requires execution of a PCA 
for each authorized project. Further, the Secretary may not 
sign a PCA until water for the natural system identified in the 
project implementation report is actually reserved or allocated 
under State law.
    Subsection (h)(4)(C) governs development of project 
operating manuals. The Secretary and the non-Federal sponsor 
shall develop and issue, for each project or group of projects, 
an operating manual that is consistent with the water 
reservation or allocation for the natural system described in 
the PIR and the PCA for the project or group of projects 
((h)(4)(C)(i)). Any significant modification by the Secretary 
and the non-Federal sponsor to an operating manual after the 
operating manual is issued shall only be carried out subject to 
notice and opportunity for public comment ((h)(4)(C)(ii)).
    Subsection (h)(5) is a savings clause that is designed to 
preserve the existing legal rights of persons and entities 
served by the Central and South Florida project and potentially 
affected by implementation of the Plan. Subsection (h)(5)(A) 
addresses the rights of existing legal water users. The 
subsection states that the Secretary shall ensure that the 
implementation of the Plan, including physical or operational 
modifications to the C&SF; Project, does not cause significant 
adverse impact on existing legal water users.
    Subsection (h)(5)(B) establishes a condition upon project 
implementation that prohibits elimination of existing legal 
sources of water due to Plan implementation until a new source 
of water supply of comparable quantity and quality is available 
to replace the water to be lost.
    Subsection (h)(5)(C) states the rule for maintenance of 
flood projection. The provision is intended to ensure that 
persons legally entitled to flood protection are not harmed by 
implementation of the Plan. The provision provides that in 
implementing the Plan, the Secretary shall maintain authorized 
levels of flood protection in existence on the date of 
enactment of this bill, in accordance with applicable law.
    Subsection (h)(5)(D) states that nothing in this bill 
prevents the State from allocating or reserving water, as 
provided under State law, to the extent consistent with this 
bill.
    Subsection (h)(5)(E) is a savings clause designed to 
specifically protect a compact between the State, the South 
Florida Water Management District and the Seminole Tribe of 
Florida defining the scope and use of water rights of the 
Seminole Tribe of Florida, as codified by section 7 of the 
Seminole Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1987 (25 U.S.C. 
1772e).

                               Discussion

    Assurances Generally. The predominant Federal interest in 
this bill is the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem. 
Subsection (h) provides the assurance that the considerable 
Federal investment made in this bill, and additional 
investments expected in subsequent Acts of Congress 
implementing the Plan, will result in the restoration of the 
Everglades.
    Subsection (h) does more than provide the necessary 
assurances. It also defines the relation among the various 
Federal, State and local governmental entities charged with 
Plan implementation responsibilities. The subsection places 
procedural and substantive requirements on both the Federal 
Government and the State of Florida. Most importantly, 
subsection (h) strikes a careful balance between the Federal 
interest in ensuring that predicted Plan benefits, including 
benefits to Federal lands, are attained, and the State's 
interest in: ensuring that State-owned or managed lands also 
receive predicted Plan benefits; and preserving its traditional 
sovereignty over the reservation and allocation of water within 
the State's boundaries.
    Subsection (h)(1) of the bill restates and codifies the 
purpose of the Plan, as stated on page ii of the Plan summary. 
In conjunction with section 2(b), which approves the Plan as a 
framework for modifications to the existing C&SF; Project, this 
subsection provides overall guidance in reconciling the changes 
made to the C&SF; Project by WRDA `96 with implementation of the 
Plan. Sections 2(b) and 2(h) clearly specify that the purpose 
of Federal involvement in this project is to restore, preserve, 
and protect the Southern Florida ecosystem, which was damaged 
by past authorized Federal actions carried out to implement the 
original, more limited purposes of the C&SF; Project. \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ While section 2(b)(1) of the bill expressly approves the Plan 
as the framework for restoration, many parties have testified that 
additional assurances were needed, especially assurances that the 
natural system would receive the intended benefits when the Plan is 
implemented. The bill also contains additional requirements that are 
not included in the Plan. The bill therefore does modify the Plan, and 
any inconsistency between the bill and the Plan must be resolved in 
favor of the bill.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There are three key elements in how the bill provides the 
needed assurances while creating a partnership between the 
Federal and State governments. The first element is a 
requirement that the President and Governor execute a binding, 
enforceable agreement that the water generated by the Plan will 
in fact be available for restoration when needed. This 
agreement is intended to answer concerns that the water needed 
for the restoration of the natural system will be available for 
that purpose as individual projects are completed. The second 
element is the programmatic regulations. These regulations, 
issued by the Secretary of the Army, require the concurrence of 
both the Governor and the Secretary of Interior. This 
relationship between the principal State and Federal trustees 
for the resources that will benefit from implementation of the 
Plan is unique in Federal environmental law, and is intended to 
create a true Federal-State partnership. The third elements are 
the project-specific documents which provide enforceable 
project-specific quantification of the appropriate amount, 
timing and distribution of water for the natural system and for 
other Plan purposes.
    Assurances Agreement. In testimony before the committee and 
during the negotiations on subsection (h), concerns were 
expressed that the State's permitting process could result in 
the over allocation of new water to be derived from the 
implementation of the Plan. The State of Florida raised 
concerns that this bill not federalize State water law, and 
that Plan implementation instead rely upon State law and 
processes in reserving or allocating water. Subsection (h)(2) 
balances both of these important concerns.
    Subsection (h)(2) does not specify in detail the contents 
of the agreement. The committee intends that the agreement 
between the Governor and the President result in a binding 
requirement for the State to manage its consumptive use 
permitting process in such a manner that does not infringe upon 
the ability of the State to deliver the water made available 
under the Plan for the restoration of the natural system as 
projects come on-line in later years. The agreement is not 
intended to create a mechanism for the Federal Government to 
become involved, on a permit-by-permit basis, in the State's 
consumptive use permitting decisions. Rather, the agreement 
will attest that the State will not pre-allocate any water 
generated by the Plan. Actual allocation and reservation of 
water generated by implementation of Plan projects is governed 
by subsection (h)(4). Under subsection (h)(4), any allocation 
and reservation of Plan water is identified under a cooperative 
Federal-State partnership and executed under State water law. 
The President and Governor should execute the agreement 
required by subsection (h)(2) as soon as is practicable.
    Subsection (h)(2)(B) makes the agreement enforceable by 
establishing a cause of action in Federal courts for injunctive 
relief in case the Federal or State officials fail to comply 
with the agreement. This provision, which allows any person or 
entity aggrieved by a failure to comply to bring a cause of 
action, is narrowly tailored to remain consistent with United 
States Supreme Court jurisprudence on State sovereign immunity 
under the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution. \2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ Although the Eleventh Amendment prohibits Congress from making 
the State of Florida capable of being sued in Federal court, an 
exception is provided by the doctrine of Ex Parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 
(1908). Ex Parte Young provides that Congress may authorize suits 
against State officers to enforce Federal law. The cause of action here 
fully comports with Ex Parte Young.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Programmatic Regulations. Subsection (h)(3) requires the 
issuance of programmatic regulations. The purpose of the 
programmatic regulations are to ensure, over the life of the 
C&SF; Project, that the goals and purposes of the Plan are 
achieved. Further, the programmatic regulations guide the 
implementation of the project implementation reports, and they 
must be periodically reviewed not less often than every 5 years 
to ensure that new information is integrated into 
implementation of the Plan. The programmatic regulations are 
therefore a central component in the adaptive assessment and 
management process on which success of the Plan, and this bill, 
depends.
    The process for developing the programmatic regulations 
recognizes the stewardship responsibilities of governmental 
entities with trustee relationships for the resources that will 
benefit from Plan implementation. As the Secretary of the 
Interior and the State of Florida share, in approximately equal 
proportions, responsibility for most of the remaining natural 
system areas to benefit from the Plan, and further recognizing 
that the State will share equally in the cost of Plan 
implementation with the Federal Government, subsection (h)(3) 
requires that the Secretary issue the programmatic regulations 
only with the concurrence of the Secretary of the Interior and 
the Governor of Florida. This unique Federal-State partnership 
will allow for improved up-front planning during the 
implementation of the Plan and should improve coordination 
among the affected agencies, each with varying missions and 
responsibilities. In developing the programmatic regulations, 
the Federal and State partners should establish interim goals--
expressed in terms of restoration standards--to provide a means 
by which the restoration success of the Plan may be evaluated 
throughout the implementation process. The restoration 
standards should be quantitative and measurable at specific 
points in the Plan implementation. The Secretary and the 
Secretary of the Interior are required to report on the 
progress toward these goals as part of the required reporting 
process.
    Project-Specific Assurances. Project-specific assurances 
are included requiring the project-specific implementation 
reports to be consistent with the Plan and the programmatic 
regulations. The PIRs are the documents that will identify and 
quantify the water that is necessary to attain the restoration 
of the natural system. The State, using its own State water 
law, will execute the reservations or allocations for the 
natural system that are specified in the PIR before the 
Secretary can execute the PCA, which is the contract between 
the Secretary and non-Federal sponsor that is the prerequisite 
for construction of Plan projects. Finally, subsection 
(h)(4)(C) requires consistency between the operating manuals 
and the water reservations or allocations for the natural 
system.
    Savings Clause. Subsection (h)(5) requires the Secretary to 
ensure that implementation of the Plan does not cause 
substantial adverse impacts on existing legal uses of water, 
including water allocated to the Seminole Tribe of Florida as 
codified under Federal and State law, the Miccosukee Tribe of 
Indians of Florida, water for Everglades National Park, water 
for the preservation of fish and wildlife in the natural 
system, agricultural water supply and other legal uses as of 
the date of enactment of this bill. Elimination of existing 
sources of water supply is barred until new sources of 
comparable quantity and quality of water are available; 
existing authorized levels of flood protection are maintained; 
and the water compact among the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the 
State, and the South Florida Water Management District is 
specifically preserved.
    With respect to flood control, the committee intends that 
implementation of the Plan will not result in significant 
adverse impact to any person with an existing, legally 
recognized right to a level of protection against flooding. The 
committee does not intend that, consistent with benefits 
included in the Plan, this bill create any new rights to a 
level of protection against flooding that is not currently 
recognized under applicable Federal or State law.
            (i). Dispute Resolution

                                Summary

    Subsection (i)(1) directs the Governor and the Secretary, 
within 180 days of enactment of this bill, to develop an 
agreement for resolving disputes between the Army Corps and the 
South Florida Water Management District. Subsections (i)(1)(A), 
(i)(1)(B), and (i)(1)(C) describe what must be included in the 
mechanism for the timely and efficient resolution of disputes.
    Subsection (i)(2) directs that the Secretary shall not 
approve a project implementation report under this bill until 
the agreement established under this subsection has been 
executed.
    Subsection (i)(3) states that nothing in the agreement 
established under this subsection shall alter or amend any 
existing Federal or State law.

                               Discussion

    This bill provides a mechanism by which disputes between 
the Secretary and the Governor are resolved. Within 180 days 
from the date of enactment, the Secretary and the Governor 
shall develop an agreement on how to resolve disputes between 
the Army Corps and the State, related to the implementation of 
the Plan. This agreement will establish a mechanism for the 
resolution of disputes, including: a preference for the 
resolution of disputes between the Jacksonville District of the 
Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management 
District; a mechanism for the Jacksonville District of the 
Corps of Engineers or the South Florida Water Management 
District to initiate the dispute resolution process for 
unresolved issues; the establishment of appropriate time-frames 
and intermediate steps for the elevation of disputes to the 
Governor and the Secretary; and a mechanism for the final 
resolution of disputes, within 180 days from the date that the 
dispute resolution process is initiated.
            (j) Independent Scientific Review

                                Summary

    Subsection (j)(1) directs the Secretary of the Army, the 
Secretary of the Interior, and the State of Florida, in 
consultation with the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task 
Force, to establish an independent scientific review panel, 
convened by a body such as the National Academy of Sciences, to 
review the Plan's progress toward achieving the natural 
system's restoration goals of the Plan.
    Subsection (j)(2) directs the panel described in paragraph 
(1) to produce a biennial report to Congress, the Secretary of 
the Army, the Secretary of Interior, and the State of Florida 
that includes an assessment of ecological indicators and other 
measures of progress in restoring the ecology of the natural 
system, based on the Plan.

                               Discussion

    Subsection (j) directs the Secretary, the Secretary of the 
Interior, and the State, in consultation with the South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, to establish an independent 
scientific panel to conduct on-going review of the progress 
achieved by the Plan's execution in attaining the restoration 
goals of the Plan. The panel is to be convened by a body, such 
as the National Academy of Sciences, with expertise in 
assembling panels for the purpose of conducting independent 
scientific reviews.
    The committee expects the body convening the review panel 
to use established practices for assuring the independence of 
members employed in this instance. This includes assuring that 
neither panel members, nor the institutions they represent, 
have a vested interest in the outcome of the scientific review 
or the execution of the Plan. The committee also expects the 
review panel to contain individuals reflecting a balance of the 
knowledge, training, and experience suitable to comprehensively 
review and assess the Plan's progress toward achieving 
restoration goals. The committee believes that members of the 
review panel should have expertise in applicable scientific 
disciplines and include individuals possessing specific 
scientific experience with, and knowledge of, the South Florida 
ecosystem. This subsection is not intended to necessarily 
preclude the National Research Council's Committee on 
Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, either in part 
or in full, from assuming the specified duties of the 
independent scientific review panel.
    The panel is directed to produce a biennial report and 
submit its findings to Congress, the Secretary, the Secretary 
of the Interior, and the State of Florida. The committee 
intends for these reports to address the Plan's progress toward 
achieving the restoration goals of the Plan on a biennial 
basis. The panel is directed to include in each report an 
assessment of ecological indicators and other measures of 
progress in restoring the ecology of the natural system, based 
on the Plan.
            (k). Outreach and Assistance

                                Summary

    Subsection (k)(1) directs the Secretary, in executing the 
Plan, to ensure that small business concerns owned and 
controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged 
individuals are provided opportunities to participate under 
section 15(g) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(g)).
    Subsection (k)(2) requires the Secretary to ensure that 
impacts on socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, 
including individuals with limited English proficiency, and 
communities are considered during implementation of the Plan, 
and that such individuals have opportunity to review and 
comment on the Plan's implementation. The Secretary shall also 
ensure that public outreach and educational opportunities are 
provided to the individuals of South Florida, including 
individuals with limited English proficiency, and in particular 
for socially and economically disadvantaged communities.

                               Discussion

    This subsection directs the Secretary to ensure that small 
businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically 
disadvantaged individuals have an opportunity to participate in 
the Plan. Under section 15(g) of the Small Business Act, 
Federal agencies are required to establish goals for awarding 
contracts to small businesses, including socially and 
economically disadvantaged businesses. This provision 
reiterates that requirement for purposes of carrying out the 
Plan.
    The Secretary is also directed to consider the impacts of 
implementing the Plan on socially and economically 
disadvantaged individuals, including those with limited English 
proficiency. Recognizing that a large percentage of the 
population of the South Florida ecosystem is made up of 
minority groups (e.g., 20.5 percent Hispanic), this provision 
ensures that the individuals have opportunities to review and 
comment on the implementation of the Plan. In addition, the 
Secretary shall ensure that public outreach and educational 
opportunities are provided to these same individuals.
    The Plan must be adequately explained to the people of 
South Florida, in particular to those in socially and 
economically disadvantaged communities. The Secretary should 
work closely with the non-Federal sponsor to identify local 
partners for these efforts, such as existing non-profit 
institutions with experience in researching and exhibiting 
South Florida ecosystems for the general public and conducting 
outreach programs for socially and economically disadvantaged 
communities and individuals with limited English proficiency. 
Because of the large number of individuals in the area with 
limited English proficiency, the Secretary should ensure that 
the outreach and education programs are communicated so that 
these individuals can understand the Plan and implementation 
process.
            (l). Report to Congress.
    Subsection (l) requires the Secretary and the Secretary of 
the Interior, in consultation with the Environmental Protection 
Agency, the Department of Commerce and the State of Florida to 
submit a report to Congress on the implementation of the Plan. 
The report shall be submitted on October 1, 2005, and not less 
than every 5 years thereafter. The report shall include: a 
description of planning, design, and construction work 
completed; the amount of funds expended during the period 
covered by the report, including an analysis of funds expended 
for adaptive assessment; the work anticipated over the next 5-
year period; a determination by each Secretary and the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency concerning 
the benefits to the natural system and the human environment 
achieved by the date of the report and whether the completed 
projects are being operated consistent with the assurances 
provisions in subsection (h); and a review of the activities 
required under the outreach and assistance provisions of 
subsection (k). The role of the Environmental Protection Agency 
in this determination helps to ensure that water quality 
benefits, an essential component of the restoration effort, 
will be achieved, and that an ecosystem-wide perspective will 
be maintained.

                                Hearings

    On January 7, 2000, the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works held a field hearing in Naples, Florida, to receive 
testimony on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. 
Witnesses who testified were: the Honorable Carol Browner, 
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the 
Honorable Joseph Westphal, Assistant Secretary of the Army 
(Civil Works); Mary Doyle, Counselor to the Secretary and Chair 
of the South Florida Ecosystem Task Force, U.S. Department of 
the Interior; the Honorable David Struhs, Secretary of the 
Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Captain Mike 
Collins, Chairman of the South Florida Water Management 
District; Jim Shore, Counsel to the Seminole Tribe of Florida; 
Dexter Lehtinen, representing the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians; 
the Honorable Nora Williams, Commissioner of Monroe County, 
Florida; Malcolm S. ``Bubba'' Wade, Senior Vice President of 
U.S. Sugar Corporation; and the Honorable Nathaniel Reed, 
former Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
    On May 11, 2000, the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works met to consider the Administration's legislative proposal 
for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, included in 
S. 2437. The committee received testimony from the Honorable 
Jeb Bush, Governor of the State of Florida; Patricia Power, 
representing the Seminole Tribe of Florida; Dexter Lehtinen, 
representing the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians; Captain Mike 
Collins, Chairman of the South Florida Water Management 
District; the Honorable Joseph Westphal, Assistant Secretary of 
the Army (Civil Works); Gary Guzy, General Counsel of the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency; Mary Doyle, Acting Assistant 
Secretary for Water and Science, and the Chair of the South 
Florida Ecosystem Task Force, Department of the Interior; Mr. 
Ken Keck, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, 
Florida Citrus Mutual; and Dr. David Guggenheim, President, The 
Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Co-Chair, the Everglades 
Coalition.

                          Legislative History

    On April 13, 2000, Senators Smith and Baucus introduced by 
request the Administration's proposal for the Water Resources 
Development Act of 2000 (S. 2437). Section 3 of that bill 
contained the Administration's proposal for approval and 
authorization of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. 
On June 27, 2000, Senators Smith, Voinovich, Baucus, Graham, 
and Mack introduced the Restoring the Everglades, an American 
Legacy Act (S. 2797). On that same day, Senator Voinovich, 
Smith and Baucus introduced the Water Resources Development Act 
of 2000 (S. 2796).
    S. 2797, as amended, was reported by the Committee on 
Environment and Public Works on June 28, 2000. In addition, S. 
2796 was amended to include S. 2797, as reported by the 
committee, as Title VI of the bill.

                             Rollcall Votes

    On June 28, 2000, the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works met to consider S. 2797, the Restoring the Everglades, an 
American Legacy Act. An amendment offered by Senators Smith of 
New Hampshire, Baucus, Voinovich and Graham was agreed to by 
voice vote. An amendment offered by Senator Graham on a Dispute 
Resolution Mechanism was adopted by voice vote. An amendment 
offered by Senator Warner on operation and maintenance was 
defeated by 10 nays to 8 ayes. Voting in favor were Senators 
Bennett, Bond, Crapo, Hutchison, Inhofe, Thomas, Voinovich, and 
Warner. Voting against were Senators Baucus, Boxer, Chafee, 
Graham, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Moynihan, Reid, Smith of New 
Hampshire, and Wyden. A motion to report the bill as amended 
was agreed to by rollcall vote of 17 ayes and 1 nay. Voting in 
favor were Senators Bennett, Baucus, Bond, Boxer, Chafee, 
Crapo, Graham, Hutchison, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Moynihan, 
Reid, Smith of New Hampshire, Thomas, Voinovich, Warner, and 
Wyden. Voting against was Senator Inhofe.

                    Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires publication of the report of the committee's 
estimate of the regulatory impact made by the bill as reported. 
No regulatory impact is expected by the passage of S. 2797. The 
bill will not affect the personal privacy of others.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(P.L. 104-4), the committee finds that this bill would impose 
no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, local, 
or tribal governments. All of its governmental directives are 
imposed on Federal agencies. The bill does not directly impose 
any private sector mandates.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act 
requires each report to contain a statement of the cost of a 
reported bill prepared by the Congressional Budget Office. 
Senate Rule XXVI paragraph 11(a)(3) allows the report to 
include a statement of the reasons why compliance by the 
committee is impracticable. The committee is unable to include 
a statement of the cost at this time because the Congressional 
Budget Office has not finished an analysis of the bill.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
require changes in existing law to be indicated in the report. 
No changes to existing law will occur with the passage of this 
bill
               MINORITY VIEWS OF SENATOR JAMES M. INHOFE

    Mr. Chairman, I would like to outline my objections to S. 
2797, the ``Restoring the Everglades, An American Legacy Act.'' 
As my vote indicates, I have strong objections to this 
legislation. While I recognize the Everglades as a national 
treasure, S. 2797 sets precedents, which I can not, in good 
conscious, condone. My five major concerns with this 
legislation are: (1) the new precedent which requires the 
federal government to pay for a portion of operations and 
maintenance costs; (2) the violation of Committee on the 
Environment and Public Works' policy concerning the need for a 
Chief of the Army Corps of Engineer's report before project 
authorization; (3) the basis of the restoration project on 
unproven technology; (4) the open-ended nature of costs of this 
project; and (5) the strong possibility that the Restoring the 
Everglades, An American Legacy Act will not be considered as a 
stand alone bill.
    First, S. 2797 sets a terrible precedent on operations and 
maintenance. S. 2797 will result in $20 million per year in 
operations and maintenance costs. Furthermore, when the entire 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is up and running, 
operations and maintenance costs are estimated to be $172 
million every year. These are enormous, neverending costs!
    Though federal funds are used to construct Water 
Development Projects, since 1986, the cost of operations and 
maintenance of the projects has been the non-federal entities 
(usually state or local governments) responsibility. The 
Committee should not forget that this critical cost-share 
policy was a key factor in breaking a 16 year stalemate on 
Water Resources Development Authorization (WRDA) legislation. 
The Everglades Restoration Act splits the cost of operations 
and maintenance of the Everglades \1/2\ to the federal 
government and \1/2\ to the state of Florida. Not only is this 
provision unprecedented, it is also going to cost the federal 
government a great deal of money. Furthermore, because the 
federal government has not paid for operations and maintenance 
costs, states and localities have enormous backlogs of 
operations and maintenance costs due to lack of funding. The 
precedent, which the Everglades legislation sets, could open a 
pandora's box having the federal government take on expenses 
for the operations and maintenance of many projects. There are 
a number of Oklahoma projects, which I would consider national 
treasures, that could use federal funds for operations and 
maintenance costs.
    Second, by allowing Everglades projects to go forward 
without a Chief of the Army Corps of Engineer's report, S. 2797 
is a serious departure from committee policy. S. 2797 
authorizes 10 projects at a cost of $1.1 billion with no 
reports of the Chief of Engineers on these projects. Since 
1986, it has been the policy of the Committee on Environment 
and Public Works to require projects to have undergone full and 
final engineering, economic and environmental review by the 
Chief of Engineers prior to project approvals by the Committee.
    Normally, the Corps of Engineers water resources project 
study process can be initiated when either of the two Public 
Works Committees of the Congress approves a committee 
resolution requesting that the study of a potential project 
area be undertaken. Once such a resolution is approved by 
either committee, the Corps is authorized to proceed with a 
reconnaissance study of the proposed project at 100 percent 
federal cost. The purpose of a reconnaissance study is to 
determine whether or not there is a federal interest in the 
project. Authorization of a reconnaissance study may also be 
provided by statute. Army Corps policy now requires all 
reconnaissance studies to be completed within 12 months and at 
a cost of no greater than $100,000.
    If, after completion of the reconnaissance study, a project 
is deemed to be in the federal interest, the federal government 
and a non-federal sponsor may enter into an equally cost-shared 
feasibility study. The feasibility study includes a more 
detailed set of engineering, economic and environmental 
analyses to determine whether a project is justified to advance 
to the construction phase. When the feasibility study is 
completed, the Corps District Engineer reviews the results and 
forwards a recommendation on the project to the Division 
Engineer. The Division Engineer issues a Division Engineer's 
notice and then submits the report to Corps Headquarters. Corps 
Headquarters performs a final review and submits the report for 
the mandatory (33 U.S.C. 701 1(a)) 30-day State and federal 
agency review period. After these reviews are complete and the 
report is found favorable, a report is prepared for the final 
recommendation of the Chief of Engineers. The report of the 
Chief of Engineers is forwarded to the Assistant Secretary of 
the Army (Civil Works) for Administration review and submission 
to the Congress.
    This process was established to protect taxpayer dollars by 
ensuring the soundness of all projects. Therefore, all 
projects, which are a part of the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan, should and must be subject to this same 
process.
    Third, I have serious concerns about the wisdom of a 
federal investment in unproven technologies--particularly a 
$7.8 billion investment. The project approval process, 
described above, was established to prevent exactly what is 
happening with S. 2797--a gamble with the American taxpayers 
money. Because of the many unproven technologies, which the 
Corp is planning to use to restore the Everglades, the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is gambling with tax 
dollars. A great example of why Congress should follow the 
normal process for approving projects and wait for reports of 
the Chief of Engineers on the Everglades projects.
    Fourth, the total cost of the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan is estimated at $7.8 billion over 38 years. 
This is the current estimate. I have serious concerns about 
this potential for cost over runs associated with this project. 
As with almost all federal programs, this project will probably 
cost much more at the end of the day. For example, in 1967, 
when the Medicare program was passed by Congress, the program 
was estimated to cost $3.4 billion. In 2000, the costs of the 
program are estimated to $232 billion. No one could have 
foreseen this exponential growth! A cost cap on the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan must be considered. 
However, the future costs of project of this magnitude must be 
taken into consideration by Congress.
    Finally, I object to the Committee's action to attach the 
Restoring the Everglades, An American Legacy Act to the Water 
Resources Development Act of 2000. Because of the scale and 
departure from existing law and policy of S. 2797, this 
legislation should be considered as a stand alone bill--not a 
provision in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. 
Proponents of the legislation want to have their cake and eat 
it to. On one hand, they want a special process, breaking 
Committee policies, for authorizing Everglades projects. On the 
other hand, they are willing to consider the Restoring the 
Everglades, An American Legacy Act not on its own merits, but 
rather hide the bill in the popular Water Resources Development 
Act. This is an attempt to provide legitimacy to an otherwise 
illegitimate process.
    Again, I recognize the Everglades as a national treasure as 
I do many places in Oklahoma. As Congress considers Everglades 
restoration legislation, all I ask is that Congress play by the 
rules.