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                                                       Calendar No. 433
107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     107-169

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



 
               UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN PROTECTION 
                              ACT OF 2001

                                _______
                                

                 June 21, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Jeffords, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [to accompany H.R. 3480]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (H.R. 3480) to promote Department of the 
Interior efforts to provide a scientific basis for the 
management of sediment and nutrient loss in the Upper 
Mississippi River Basin, having considered the same reports 
favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    Nutrient runoff and soil erosion in the Upper Mississippi 
River Basin (UMRB) account for the loss of more than $300 
million in applied nitrogen and the degradation of valuable 
agricultural lands. Excess nutrients degrade water quality, 
increasing costs for treating drinking water and threatening 
fish and wildlife resources that support the Basin's 
economically significant recreation and tourism industries. The 
UMRB contributes 22 percent of the water flowing into the Lower 
Mississippi River, yet it contributes 31 percent of the 
nitrogen. These excess nutrients have been linked to degraded 
water quality and oxygen depletion in the Gulf of Mexico, 
resulting in what is known as Gulf hypoxia Sediment accumulates 
in the main shipping channel of the Mississippi River, 
resulting in over $100 million each year of dredging costs. 
Sediment also fills wetlands and backwaters throughout the 
entire Mississippi River Basin, resulting in habitat decline 
and loss.
    The need for enhanced sediment and nutrient monitoring in 
the UMRB is widely recognized. State and Federal agencies 
participating in the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed 
Nutrient Task Force have called for ``increasing the scale and 
frequency of monitoring of both the extent of the hypoxic zone 
and the sources of nutrients and conditions of waters 
throughout the basin.'' At present, there is inadequate 
scientific data on the amounts and sources of sediments and 
nutrients flowing into the UMRB. Local, State, and Federal 
water quality monitoring and modeling efforts are not 
sufficiently coordinated or standardized.

                     Objectives of the Legislation

    Relying on existing Federal, State and local programs, H.R. 
3480 establishes a sediment and nutrient monitoring network and 
an integrated computer modeling program. These monitoring and 
modeling efforts will provide the baseline data needed to make 
scientifically sound and cost-effective decisions aimed at 
improving water quality, restoring habitat, and improving 
voluntary best management practices by landowners.
    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be responsible for 
establishing the sediment and nutrient monitoring network, 
utilizing existing and newly established gauges and monitoring 
stations. USGS will develop guidelines and an electronic system 
for data collection and storage. Using this data, USGS will 
also create computer models to assess sediment and nutrient 
sources, mobilization, and transport. Supplementary information 
on land use, soil use, elevation, and nutrient reduction 
efforts will also be collected in a GIS format to accompany the 
modeling work. The findings of the monitoring network and the 
modeling system will be used to assist with the implementation 
of public and private sediment and nutrient reduction efforts.
    This bill also directs the National Research Council of the 
National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive water 
resources assessment of the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
    $6.25 million is authorized to carry out this program and 
$650,000 is authorized for the National Research Council 
assessment.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short Title: Table of Contents
    This section cites the Act as the ``Upper Mississippi River 
Basin Protection Act of 2001'' and provides a table of contents 
for the bill.
Section 2. Definitions
    This section defines several terms used throughout the 
bill.
Section 3. Reliance on Sound Science
    This section states the policy of Congress that Federal 
investments in the Upper Mississippi River Basin must be guided 
by sound science. Sound Science is defined in section 2, 
paragraph (3).

           TITLE I--SEDIMENT AND NUTRIENT MONITORING NETWORK

Section 101. Establishment of Monitoring Network
    This section directs the Secretary of Interior to establish 
a sediment and nutrient monitoring network for the Upper 
Mississippi River Basin for the purposes of identifying and 
evaluating significant sources of sediment and nutrients in the 
Upper Mississippi River Basin; quantifying the processes 
affecting mobilization, transport, and fate of those sediments 
and nutrients on land and in water; quantifying the transport 
of those sediments and nutrients to and through the Upper 
Mississippi River Basin; recording changes to sediment and 
nutrient loss over time; providing coordinated data to be used 
in computer modeling of the Basin, pursuant to section 201; and 
identifying major sources of sediment and nutrients within the 
Basin for the purpose of targeting resources to reduce sediment 
and nutrient loss.
    This section further directs the Secretary to carry out 
Title 1 acting through the office of the Director of the United 
States Geological Survey, and establishes that the sediment and 
nutrient monitoring network shall be headquartered at the Upper 
Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) near La Crosse, 
Wisconsin. The UMESC includes state-of-the-art facilities, and 
has extensive experience in water quality analysis and data 
management in the region. The UMESC administers the Long Term 
Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP). As the nation's largest 
program for river ecosystem monitoring, LTRMP includes research 
and monitoring activities currently being conducted on water 
levels and quality, sedimentation, biological indicators, and 
land cover/use. It also represents an information-management 
partnership between six States, the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, USGS, and USFWS. H.R. 3480 would build on the 
existing program capacities, expanding the monitoring system 
beyond the main stems of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to 
the broader UMR basin.
Section 102. Data Collection and Storage Responsibilities
    This section provides that guidelines shall be established 
by the Secretary of Interior for the effective design of data 
collection activities regarding sediment and nutrient 
monitoring, for the use of suitable and consistent methods for 
data collection, and for consistent reporting, data storage, 
and archiving practices. The data that is collected shall be 
released to the public using generic station identifiers and 
hydrologic unit codes. In the case of a monitoring station 
located on private lands, information regarding the location of 
the station shall not be disseminated without the landowner's 
permission.
    The privacy protections included in this section are meant 
to enhance data collection efforts by protecting the anonymity 
of willing, private land-owners that participate in the data 
collection activities anticipated in this act. These 
protections are in place to ensure that monitoring data 
collected for the purposes of this act is not to be used by 
Federal agencies in the administration of their regulatory 
programs.
Section 103. Relationship to Existing Sediment and Nutrient Monitoring
    Inventory of the sediment and nutrient monitoring efforts 
of Federal, State, local, and non-governmental entities, shall 
be conducted by the Secretary of Interior in order to create a 
baseline understanding of overlap, data gaps, and redundancies. 
Based on the inventory the Secretary shall integrate existing 
sediment and nutrient monitoring efforts, to the maximum extent 
practicable, into the sediment and nutrient monitoring network 
required by section 101.
    The Secretary is also directed to coordinate with the Lower 
Estuary Assessment Group (LEAG) of Louisiana in carrying out 
this section. For many purposes, the entire Mississippi River 
Basin can be addressed as one ecosystem. However, H.R. 3480 
focuses only on the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
Section 104. Collaboration with Other Public and Private Monitoring 
        Efforts
    Collaboration and coordination shall be done by the 
Secretary in conjunction with Federal, State, tribal, local, 
and private sediment and nutrient monitoring programs.
Section 105. Cost Share Requirements
    The non-Federal sponsors of the monitoring network shall be 
responsible for at least twenty-five percent of the costs of 
maintaining the network. Up to 80 percent of these non-Federal 
costs can be provided by in-kind contributions. A monitoring 
effort that is being performed by a State or local entity, 
which is in existence upon enactment of the Act, is eligible to 
meet cost share requirements.
Section 106. Reporting Requirements
    The Secretary must report to Congress on the development of 
the monitoring network within 180 days of the enactment of the 
Act.
Section 107. National Research Council Assessment
    The National Research Council of the National Academy of 
Sciences shall conduct a comprehensive water resources 
assessment of the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

                TITLE II--COMPUTER MODELING AND RESEARCH

Section 201. Computer Modeling and Research of Sediment and Nutrient 
        Sources
    This section directs the Director of the United States 
Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a modeling program to 
identify significant sources of sediment and nutrients to the 
Upper Mississippi River Basin. The sources shall be identified 
using computer modeling, which shall also be available for 
public and private sediment and nutrient reduction efforts.
    The sediment and nutrient models for the UMRB shall include 
three different models. The first and second respectively, are 
to relate nutrient and sediment loss to landscape, land use, 
and land management practices. The third is to define river 
channel nutrient transformation processes.
    All ancillary information that is gathered shall be 
collected in a GIS format to support modeling and management 
use of modeling results for land use data, soils data, 
elevation data, information on sediment and nutrient reduction 
improvement actions, and remotely sense data.
    The information, which is developed by computer modeling 
shall be headquartered at the Upper Midwest Environmental 
Sciences Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Section 202. Use of Electronic Means To Distribute Information
    Within 90 days of the enactment of the Act, the Director of 
the USGS shall provide information on the Internet regarding 
public and private programs designed to reduce sediment and 
nutrient loss in the UMRB, sediment and nutrient levels in the 
UMRB and its tributaries, and successful sediment and nutrient 
reduction projects.
Section 203. Reporting Requirements
    One year after the enactment of the Act, the Director of 
the USGS shall provide to Congress and make available to 
public, a progress report regarding monitoring activities of 
the UMRB. The Director shall then every 3 years provide 
additional progress reports to Congress and the public, 
regarding modeling activities.

               TITLE III--AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

Section 301. Authorization of Appropriations
    The Secretary is authorized $6,250,000 each fiscal year to 
carry out this Act. The National Research Council shall be 
appropriated $650,000 to perform the assessment required by 
section 107.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 3480 was introduced on December 13, 2001, by 
Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI), and was referred to the House 
Committee on Resources. On December 19, 2001, it was referred 
within the committee to the Subcommittee on Water and Power. A 
subcommittee hearing was conducted on March 7, 2002. On March 
20, 2002, the Committee on Resources met to consider the bill. 
By unanimous consent, the subcommittee was discharged from 
further consideration of the bill and ordered the bill 
favorably reported tot he House of Representatives by unanimous 
consent. The bill passed under suspension of the rules on April 
9, 2002 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and 
Public Works.

                             Rollcall Votes

    On April 25, 2002, the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works met to consider H.R. 3480. The committee unanimously 
approved the bill by a voice vote.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds the bill does 
not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it cause 
any adverse impact on the personal privacy of individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that H.R. 3480 would 
not impose some Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on 
State, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 3480 contains intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), but CBO estimates that 
the costs to comply with those mandates would fall below the 
threshold established by that act ($50 million in 1996, 
adjusted annually for inflation). The bill contains no new 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 30, 2002.

Hon. James M. Jeffords, Chairman,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has prepared 
the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3480, the Upper Mississippi 
River Basin Protection Act of 2001.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Julie 
Middleton, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                            Dan L. Crippen.
                              ----------                              


               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

H.R. 3480, Upper Mississippi River Basin Protection Act of 2001, as 
        ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and 
        Public Works on April 25, 2002
    H.R. 3480 would establish a sediment and nutrient 
monitoring network as part of the Upper Mississippi River 
Stewardship Initiative. This new monitoring network would 
identify and evaluate significant sources of sediment and 
nutrients in the Upper Mississippi River watershed. H.R. 3480 
would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, through the U.S. 
Geological Survey, to establish guidelines for data collection, 
storage, and analysis--as well as the integration of the new 
data into current monitoring programs and coordination with 
other public and private monitoring programs. In addition, the 
act would authorize the National Research Council of the 
National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive water 
resources assessment of the Upper Mississippi River watershed.
    The Act would authorize the appropriation of $6.25 million 
a year to implement its provisions, plus additional amounts for 
the required report. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3480 
would cost $31 million over the 2003-2007 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts. CBO assumes that most 
of these funds would be allocated for salaries and expenses 
related to developing, implementing, and maintaining the new 
monitoring network. H.R. 3480 would not affect direct spending 
or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not 
apply.
    H.R. 3480 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal governments. 
Any costs incurred by State or local governments to participate 
in the program authorized by this bill would be voluntary. On 
April 4, 2002, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 3480 as 
ordered reported by the House Committee on Resources. The two 
cost estimates are identical.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Julie Middleton. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate, provides that reports to the Senate should show changes 
in existing law made by the bill as reported. Passage of this 
bill will not make changes to existing law.