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108th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     108-676
======================================================================
 
  EXTEND AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN BASIN

                                _______
                                

 September 13, 2004.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4470]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 4470) to amend the Federal Water 
Pollution Control Act to extend the authorization of 
appropriations for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration 
Program from fiscal year 2005 to 2010, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
that the bill do pass.

                       Purpose of the Legislation

    The purpose of H.R. 4470 is to amend section 121 of the 
Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) to extend 
the authorization of appropriations for the Lake Pontchartrain 
Basin Restoration Program within the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA).

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Lake Pontchartrain Basin is a 5,000 square mile 
watershed encompassing 16 parishes in southeast Louisiana and 
four counties in Mississippi. Almost 1.5 million people live 
around Lake Pontchartrain, the 630 square mile lake at the 
center of the basin, making it the most densely populated area 
in Louisiana. The basin also includes Lake Borgne and Lake 
Maurepas. The three contiguous waterbodies comprise the largest 
estuary in the Gulf Coast region and one of the largest 
estuaries in the United States. The Basin supports numerous 
species of fish, birds, mammals, and plants.
    Since the 1940s, increased population, urbanization, and 
land use changes have negatively affected the Basin, leading to 
mounting environmental problems and declining health of the 
watershed. Increasing population growth and development coupled 
with inadequate wastewater treatment, stormwater and 
agricultural runoff, saltwater intrusion, and land subsidence 
contributed to degraded water quality, shore erosion, and 
wetland losses. By the mid-1980s, most rivers, tributaries, and 
lakes in the watershed failed to meet applicable water quality 
standards under the Clean Water Act. Recently, progress has 
been made on improving the quality of the water in Lake 
Pontchartrain. In 2003, Lake Pontchartrain's south shore beach 
was reopened.
    In 2000, in P.L. 106-457, the Estuaries and Clean Waters 
Act of 2000, Congress added section 121 to the Clean Water Act 
to establish a Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program 
within EPA. Section 121 authorizes $20 million for each of 
fiscal years 2001 through 2005 for restoration projects and 
studies and public education projects relating to restoring the 
ecological health of the Basin.

                       Summary of the Legislation

    H.R. 4470 amends section 121 of the Clean Water Act to 
extend the authorization of appropriations of $20 million per 
year in support for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration 
Program through fiscal year 2010.

            Legislative History and Committee Consideration

    The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee held a 
hearing on H.R. 4470 and other pending legislation on July 8, 
2004. Testimony was presented by Representative Vitter and a 
representative of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.
    The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee met on 
July 15, 2004, to consider H.R. 4470 and other legislation. The 
Subcommittee reported the bill without amendment favorably to 
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, by voice 
vote. The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure met in 
open session on July 21, 2004, and ordered the bill reported 
without amendment to the House by voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with ordering H.R. 
4470 reported. A motion to order H.R. 4470 reported to the 
House was agreed to by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

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

                          Cost of Legislation

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

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objective of this legislation are to 
restore and protect the Lake Pontchartrain Basin ecosystem 
through the cooperative efforts of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin 
Restoration Program.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
4470 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 27, 2004.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4470, a bill to 
amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to extend the 
authorization of appropriations for the Lake Pontchartrain 
Basin Restoration Program from fiscal year 2005 to 2010.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Susanne S. 
Mehlman (for federal costs), and Gregory Waring (for the state 
and local impact).
            Sincerely,
                                         Elizabeth Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4470--A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to 
        extend the authorization of appropriations for the Lake 
        Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program from fiscal year 2005 
        to 2010

    Summary: H.R. 4470 would extend the authorization of 
appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency's 
(EPA's) Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program through 
2010. Under current law, $20 million is authorized to be 
appropriated each year through 2005, and enacting this 
legislation would maintain the same annual authorized funding 
level for subsequent years. Such funding would be used to 
support efforts, such as public education projects and 
restoration projects, aimed at restoring the ecological health 
of the basin. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4470 would 
cost $64 million over the next five years, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts. (The additional 
amounts authorized would be spent after 2009.)
    Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or 
revenues. H.R. 4470 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: For this 
estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted this year 
and that the amounts authorized will be appropriated for each 
fiscal year, beginning with fiscal year 2006. Estimated outlays 
are based on historical spending patterns for similar and 
ongoing activities. The estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 4470 
is shown in the following table. The costs of this legislation 
fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and the 
environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Spending Under Current Law for the Lake Pontchartrain
 Basin Restoration Program:
    Authorization Level \1\...............................        2       20        0        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        1        9        9        3        0        0
Proposed Changes:
    Authorization Level...................................        0        0       20       20       20       20
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        0        0        8       17       19       20
Spending Under H.R. 4470 for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin
 Restoration Program:
    Authorization Level \1\...............................        2       20       20       20       20       20
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        1        9       17       20       19      20
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2004 level is the amount appropriated for that year to EPA to implement the Lake Pontchartrain Basin
  Program. The 2005 amount is the level authorized to be appropriated under current law for the program.

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 4470 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. Louisiana and Mississippi, and local 
governments in those states that participate in the Lake 
Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program, would benefit from the 
bill's extension of grants, research, and restoration 
activities for the watershed area. The governments would incur 
costs voluntarily.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Susanne S. Mehlman; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Gregory Waring; 
and Impact on the Private Sector: Amina Masood.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

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

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 4470 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

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

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

         SECTION 121 OF THE FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT


SEC. 121. LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN BASIN.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          (1) In general.--There is authorized to be 
        appropriated to carry out this section $20,000,000 for 
        each of fiscal years 2001 through [2005] 2010. Such 
        sums shall remain available until expended.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *