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Calendar No. 351
108th Congress Report
1st Session 108-177
REPLACEMENT OF MAP FROM UNIT T-07 (TEXAS) IN THE JOHN H. CHAFEE COASTAL
October 29, 2003.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Inhofe, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[to accompany S. 1066]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was
referred a bill (S. 1066) to correct a technical error to the
T-07 unit of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources
System, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon
with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do
General Statement and Background
Coastal barriers are unique land areas that form the bridge
between low-lying coastal areas and seawater. They perform
functions supporting fragile ecosystems and serve as prized
recreational areas for the public. Because of their inherent
beauty and hydrological values, coastal barriers are under
significant development pressures. However, coastal barriers
are composed of unstable elements and are susceptible to storm
damage and chronic erosion.
Recognizing the environmental and economic risks associated
with developing coastal barriers, Congress enacted the Coastal
Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) in 1982. The law established a
prohibition against Federal spending, primarily Federal flood
insurance assistance and Federal infrastructure spending, in
areas denoted in designated CBRA units. No prohibitions exist
against private expenditures in CBRA units and individuals who
chose to build and invest in these hazard-prone areas will
incur the full cost of that risk. Approximately 590,000 acres
were established as CBRA units along the Atlantic and Gulf
coasts of the United States.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) manages the CBRA
program and provides information to the public, as well as
city, State, and local officials on questions pertaining to the
delineations of CBRA units. The Service also maintains the
official maps outlining the individual units. Congress enacts
periodic revisions to official unit maps that replace previous
In 1990, Congress passed the Coastal Barrier Improvement
Act, which extended CBRA units into the Great Lakes, Puerto
Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 1990 statute also
established designations of ``otherwise protected areas''
(OPAs) into the unit system. Properties located within an OPA
unit are ineligible for Federal flood insurance.
The 2000 Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act made
a series of programmatic changes to the USFWS operation of the
program. The statute also renamed the unit system as the ``John
H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System.''
The original CBRA adopted by Congress in September 1982
incorrectly designated the Matagorda Dunes Homes subdivision
located in Matagorda County, Texas, as ``undeveloped coastal
barrier.'' This designation under CBRA prohibits individuals
living on these lots from qualifying for Federal funding,
including flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance
Based on research of the administrative record, the USFWS
believes that the subdivision should not have been included in
the original T-07 unit map because a full complement of
infrastructure--roads, potable water, wastewater, and
electricity--was available in the subdivision before the T-07
unit map was adopted by Congress. The subdivision exceeded the
infrastructure criterion used to designate ``undeveloped
coastal barriers'' as part of the John H. Chafee Coastal
Barrier Resources System.
Additionally, when the USFWS finds a technical mapping
error in one part of a System map, it reviews all other nearby
boundaries to ensure they are mapped accurately. However, due
to a disagreement between the State and County over land
ownership, the USFWS was unable to comprehensively revise the
boundaries of the entire T-07/T-07P area.
The USFWS supports S. 1066, as amended, that adopts a new
official map for T-07/T-07P that excludes the Matagorda Dunes
Homesites Subdivision from T-07 and accurately depicts the T-07
and T-07P boundaries of the southern portion of the map to
follow the shoreline.
Objectives of the Legislation
This legislation will correct a technical error within Unit
T-07 of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System to
reflect the original intent of Congress. It will remove the 19-
acre Matagorda Dunes Homesites Subdivision from the T-07 unit
map, (making the subdivision eligible for flood insurance). S.
1066, as amended, will direct the USFWS to replace the
official, outdated map with a new official map that reflects
Section 1. Replacement of John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources
This section replaces the original official map with a new
official map that reflects the technical correction that
excludes the Matagorda Dunes Homesites Subdivision from the
John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System.
S. 1066 was introduced on May 14, 2003, by Senators
Hutchison and Cornyn and referred to the Committee on
Environment and Public Works. The committee met on October 15,
2003 to consider the bill.
The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to
consider S. 1066 on October 15, 2003. The committee agreed to
an amendment by Senator Crapo that will conform the language to
the format regularly used in CBRA revision bills. The committee
favorably reported the bill by voice vote.
Regulatory Impact Statement
In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 1066
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of
In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 1066 would
impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State,
local, or tribal governments.
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:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, October 27, 2003.
Hon. James M. Inhofe, 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 S. 1066, a bill to
correct a technical error from Unit T-7 of the John H. Chafee
Coastal Barrier Resources System.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis
who can be reached at 226-2860.
S. 1066, A bill to correct a technical error from Unit T-07 of the John
H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System, as ordered reported
by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on
October 15, 2003
CBO estimates that enacting S. 1066 would not have any
significant impact on the Federal budget over the next 5 years.
The bill could affect direct spending, but we expect that net
changes would be negligible.
S. 1066 would modify the boundaries of the Matagorda
Peninsula Unit (in Texas) of the Coastal Barriers Resource
System to exclude about 45 lots or houses on 19 acres of
private land. This change would enable the owners of these
properties to obtain Federal flood insurance. CBO estimates
that, once insurance policies have been written on all
properties, premium collections into the national flood
insurance fund would increase by less than $100,000 annually.
Collections would be partially offset each year by new
mandatory spending for underwriting and administrative
expenses. The Federal Government may also incur additional
costs for losses associated with any future floods that might
affect the newly insured properties, but CBO has no basis for
predicting such events.
The bill 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.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis.
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
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will replace a
map entitled ``John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System
Matagorda Peninsula Unit T07/T07P,'' authorized by the Coastal
Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982 [16 U.S.C. 3503(a)], as