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                                                        Calendar No. 33
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     109-22

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



 
                UPPER CONNECTICUT RIVER PARTNERSHIP ACT

                                _______
                                

                 March 8, 2005.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 301]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 301) to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to provide assistance in implementing cultural 
heritage, conservation, and recreational activities in the 
Connecticut River watershed of the States of New Hampshire and 
Vermont, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do 
pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    In section 5, strike ``for each fiscal year'' and insert 
``for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2015''.

                         PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE

    The purpose of S. 301 is to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to provide assistance in implementing cultural 
heritage, conservation, and recreational activities in the 
Connecticut River watershed of the States of New Hampshire and 
Vermont.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The Connecticut River is New England's largest river 
ecosystem and one of the Nation's 14 American Heritage Rivers. 
Its watershed encompasses over 11,000 square miles of wild, 
rural, and urban lands in parts of four states--Connecticut, 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The Connecticut 
River Valley's rich history, economic vitality, and renewed 
environmental integrity are at the heart of the region's 
quality of life and sense of place.
    Known to Native Americans as Quenticut, ``the long tidal 
river,'' the Connecticut carves a sinuous, shimmering pathway 
south from Fourth Connecticut Lake at the Canadian border--past 
forested mountains and small hamlets, through rich farmlands 
and large cities--to empty 410 miles later into Long Island 
Sound.
    Dammed and dumped in over the past 150 years, the 
Connecticut gained the reputation by the mid-twentieth century 
of being the Nation's ``best landscaped sewer.'' People and 
communities turned their backs to it. Spring runs of Atlantic 
salmon and American shad disappeared.
    Following passage of the Federal Clean Water Act in 1972, 
communities and businesses stopped using the River as a dump. 
Today the water quality in the River and its tributaries is 
dramatically improved. Salmon and shad are returning, and 
community riverfronts are being revitalized.
    The rich natural diversity and special qualities of the 
Connecticut and its watershed have gained both national and 
international recognition. It was designated an American 
Heritage River in 1998, the entire watershed is a National Fish 
and Wildlife Refuge, and its tidal wetlands are of 
international importance. Additional Federal assistance through 
a grants program within the watershed will allow the recovery 
processes to continue with enhanced community participation.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 301 was introduced by Senators Leahy, Judd, Sununu and 
Jeffords on February 7, 2005. During the 108th Congress, the 
Committee considered identical legislation, S. 1433, sponsored 
by Senators Leahy, Jeffords and Gregg. S. 1433 was discharged 
from the Committee and passed the Senate by unanimous consent, 
on October 10, 2004. The House of Representatives did not 
consider the bill prior to the sine die adjournment of the 
108th Congress.
    At its business meeting on February 16, 2005, the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 301 favorably 
reported, as amended.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an open 
business session on February 16, 2005, by a unanimous voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
301, if amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During its consideration of S. 301, the Committee adopted 
an amendment to limit appropriations to $1 million for each of 
fiscal years 2006 through 2015.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 entitles the bill ``Upper Connecticut River 
Partnership Act.''
    Section 2 sets forth congressional findings.
    Section 3 defines key terms in the Act.
    Section 4 establishes the Connecticut River Grants and 
Technical Assistance Program.
    Section 4(b) directs the Secretary and Connecticut River 
Joint Commissions to develop criteria for the grants and 
technical assistance program.
    Section 4(c) defines the cost sharing percentage for 
projects to be carried out under the grant program as not to 
exceed 75 percent for the Federal share, and allows for the 
non-Federal share to include in-kind contributions of services 
and materials.
    Section 5 authorizes appropriations to carry out S. 301 at 
$1 million for each of the fiscal years 2006-2015.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

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

S. 301--Upper Connecticut River Partnership Act

    Summary: S. 301 would authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to establish the Connecticut River Grants and 
Technical Assistance program to provide such assistance to the 
states of New Hampshire and Vermont as well as to local 
governments, nonprofit organizations, and private-sector 
organizations within those states. The grants and technical 
assistance would help those groups conduct projects for 
conservation, restoration, and interpretation of historic and 
cultural resources within the Connecticut River watershed. The 
bill would authorize the appropriation of $1 million annually 
over the 2006-2015 period for these purposes. S. 301 would 
limit the Federal share of the cost of such projects to 75 
percent.
    Assuming appropriations of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 301 would cost $4 million over 
the 2006-2010 period and an additional $6 million after that 
period. Enacting S. 301 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    S. 301 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. The federal assistance authorized by this act 
would benefit the states of New Hampshire and Vermont and local 
governments in those states.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 301 is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level.............................        0        1        1        1        1        1
Estimated Outlays.........................................        0        *        1        1        1        1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.-- * = less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
301 will be enacted before the end of the fiscal year 2005 and 
that the necessary amounts will be appropriated in each fiscal 
year starting in 2006. Based on historical spending patterns of 
similar programs, CBO estimates that implementing the bill 
would cost $4 million over the 2006-2010 period and an 
additional $6 million after that period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 301 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. The Federal assistance authorized by this 
act would benefit the states of New Hampshire and Vermont and 
local governments in those states.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Julie Middleton; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Marjorie 
Miller; and Impact on the Private Sector: Jean Talarico.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 301.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 301.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    On February 16, 2005, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of 
Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting forth 
executive views on S. 301. These views had not been received at 
the time this report was filed. When the reports become 
available, the Chairman will request that they be printed in 
the Congressional Record for the advice of the Senate.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 301 as ordered 
reported.