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110th Congress                                            Rept. 110-558
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part I

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



 
     NATIONAL INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN OBSERVATION ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

                 March 31, 2008.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2342]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 2342) to direct the President to establish a 
National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the 
bill as amended do pass.

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. ENHANCING CLIMATE CHANGE PREDICTIONS.

  (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``National 
Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation Act of 2008''.
  (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this section are the following:
          (1) Establish a National Integrated Coastal and Ocean 
        Observation System comprised of Federal and non-Federal 
        components, coordinated at the national level by the National 
        Ocean Research Leadership Council and at the regional level by 
        a network of Regional Information Coordination Entities, that 
        includes in situ, remote, and other coastal and ocean 
        observations, technologies, and data management and 
        communication systems, to gather specific coastal and ocean 
        data variables and to ensure the timely dissemination and 
        availability of usable observation data--
                  (A) to support national defense, marine commerce, 
                energy production, scientific research, ecosystem-based 
                marine and coastal resource management, weather and 
                marine forecasting, public safety and public outreach 
                training and education; and
                  (B) to promote greater public awareness and 
                stewardship of the Nation's ocean, coastal, and Great 
                Lakes resources and the general public welfare.
          (2) Improve the Nation's capability to measure, track, 
        explain, and predict events related directly and indirectly to 
        weather and climate change, natural climate variability, and 
        interactions between the oceanic and atmospheric environments, 
        including the Great Lakes.
          (3) Authorize activities to promote basic and applied 
        research to develop, test, and deploy innovations and 
        improvements in coastal and ocean observation technologies, 
        modeling systems, and other scientific and technological 
        capabilities to improve our conceptual understanding of weather 
        and climate, ocean atmosphere dynamics, global climate change, 
        and physical, chemical, and biological dynamics of the ocean 
        and coastal and Great Lakes environments.
  (c) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Council.--The term ``Council'' means the National Ocean 
        Research Leadership Council referred to in section 7902 of 
        title 10, United States Code.
          (2) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration.
          (3) Federal assets.--The term ``Federal assets'' means all 
        relevant nonclassified civilian coastal and ocean observations, 
        technologies, and related modeling, research, data management, 
        basic and applied technology research and development, and 
        public education and outreach programs, that are managed by 
        member agencies of the Council.
          (4) Interagency working group.--The term ``Interagency 
        Working Group'' means the Interagency Working Group on Ocean 
        Observations as established by the U.S. Ocean Policy Committee 
        Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology pursuant to 
        Executive Order 13366 signed December 17, 2004.
          (5) Non-federal assets.--The term ``non-Federal assets'' 
        means all relevant coastal and ocean observations, 
        technologies, related basic and applied technology research and 
        development, and public education and outreach programs that 
        are integrated into the System and are managed through States, 
        regional organizations, universities, nongovernmental 
        organizations, or the private sector.
          (6) Regional information coordination entities.--
                  (A) In general.--The term ``Regional Information 
                Coordination Entity'', subject to subparagraphs (B) and 
                (C), means an organizational body that is certified or 
                established by the lead Federal agency designated in 
                subsection (d)(3)(C)(iii) and coordinating State, 
                Federal, local, and private interests at a regional 
                level with the responsibility of engaging the private 
                and public sectors in designing, operating, and 
                improving regional coastal and ocean observing systems 
                in order to ensure the provision of data and 
                information that meet the needs of user groups from the 
                respective regions.
                  (B) Included associations.--Such term includes 
                Regional Associations as described by the System Plan.
                  (C) Limitation.--Nothing in this section shall be 
                construed to invalidate existing certifications, 
                contracts, or agreements between Regional Associations 
                and other elements of the System.
          (7) System.--The term ``System'' means the National 
        Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System established 
        under subsection (d).
          (8) System plan.--The term ``System Plan'' means the plan 
        contained in the document entitled ``Ocean.US Publication No. 
        9, The First Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) 
        Development Plan''.
  (d) National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observing System.--
          (1) Establishment.--The President, acting through the 
        Council, shall establish a National Integrated Coastal and 
        Ocean Observation System to fulfill the purposes set forth in 
        subsection (b) and the System plan and to fulfill the Nation's 
        international obligations to contribute to the global earth 
        observation system of systems and the global ocean observing 
        system.
          (2) Support of purposes.--The head of each agency that is a 
        member of the Interagency Working Group shall support the 
        purposes of this section.
          (3) Availability of data.--The head of each Federal agency 
        that has administrative jurisdiction over a Federal asset shall 
        make available data that are produced by that asset and that 
        are not otherwise restricted for integration, management, and 
        dissemination by the System.
          (4) Enhancing administration and management.--The head of 
        each Federal agency that has administrative jurisdiction over a 
        Federal asset may take appropriate actions to enhance internal 
        agency administration and management to better support, 
        integrate, finance, and utilize observation data, products, and 
        services developed under this section to further its own agency 
        mission and responsibilities.
          (5) Participation in regional information coordination 
        entity.--The head of each Federal agency that has 
        administrative jurisdiction over a Federal asset may 
        participate in regional information coordination entity 
        activities.
          (6) Non-federal assets.--Non-Federal assets shall be 
        coordinated by the Interagency Working Group or by Regional 
        Information Coordination Entities.
  (e) Policy Oversight, Administration, and Regional Coordination.--
          (1) National ocean research leadership council.--The National 
        Ocean Research Leadership Council shall be responsible for 
        establishing broad coordination and long-term operations plans, 
        policies, protocols, and standards for the System consistent 
        with the policies, goals, and objectives contained in the 
        System Plan, and coordination of the System with other earth 
        observing activities.
          (2) Interagency working group.--The Interagency Working Group 
        shall, with respect to the System, be responsible for--
                  (A) implementation of operations plans and policies 
                developed by the Council;
                  (B) development of and transmittal to Congress at the 
                time of submission of the President's annual budget 
                request an annual coordinated, comprehensive System 
                budget;
                  (C) identification of gaps in observation coverage or 
                needs for capital improvements of both Federal assets 
                and non-Federal assets;
                  (D) establishment of data management and 
                communication protocols and standards;
                  (E) establishment of required observation data 
                variables;
                  (F) development of certification standards for all 
                non-Federal assets or Regional Information Coordination 
                Entities to be eligible for integration into the 
                System;
                  (G) subject to the availability of appropriations, 
                establish through one or more participating Federal 
                agencies, in consultation with the System Advisory 
                Committee established under paragraph (5), a 
                competitive matching grant or other program to promote 
                research and development of innovative observation 
                technologies including testing and field trials; and
                  (H) periodically review and recommend to the Council 
                revisions to the System Plan.
          (3) Lead federal agency.--The Administrator shall function as 
        the lead Federal agency for the System. The Administrator may 
        establish an Interagency Program Coordinating Office to 
        facilitate the Administrator's responsibilities as the lead 
        Federal agency for System oversight and management. The 
        Administrator shall--
                  (A) implement policies, protocols, and standards 
                established by the Council and delegated by the 
                Interagency Working Group;
                  (B) promulgate regulations to integrate the 
                participation of non-Federal assets into the System and 
                enter into and oversee contracts and agreements with 
                Regional Information Coordination Entities to effect 
                this purpose;
                  (C) implement a competitive funding process for the 
                purpose of assigning contracts and agreements to 
                Regional Information Coordination Entities;
                  (D) certify or establish Regional Information 
                Coordination Entities to coordinate State, Federal, 
                local, and private interests at a regional level with 
                the responsibility of engaging private and public 
                sectors in designing, operating, and improving regional 
                coastal and ocean observing systems in order to ensure 
                the provision of data and information that meet the 
                needs of user groups from the respective regions;
                  (E) formulate a process by which gaps in observation 
                coverage or needs for capital improvements of Federal 
                assets and non-Federal assets of the System can be 
                identified by the Regional Information Coordination 
                Entities, the Administrator, or other members of the 
                System and transmitted to the Interagency Working 
                Group;
                  (F) be responsible for the coordination, storage, 
                management, and dissemination of observation data 
                gathered through the System to all end-user 
                communities;
                  (G) implement a program of public education and 
                outreach to improve public awareness of global climate 
                change and effects on the ocean, coastal, and Great 
                Lakes environment; and
                  (H) report annually to the Council through the 
                Interagency Working Group on the accomplishments, 
                operational needs, and performance of the System to 
                achieve the purposes of this title and the System Plan.
          (4) Regional information coordination entity.--To be 
        certified or established under paragraph (3)(D), a Regional 
        Information Coordination Entity must be certified or 
        established by contract or agreement by the Administrator, and 
        must agree to--
                  (A) gather required System observation data and other 
                requirements specified under this section and the 
                System plan;
                  (B) identify gaps in observation coverage or needs 
                for capital improvements of Federal assets and non-
                Federal assets of the System, and transmit such 
                information to the Interagency Working Group via the 
                Administrator;
                  (C) demonstrate an organizational structure and 
                strategic operational plan to ensure the efficient and 
                effective administration of programs and assets to 
                support daily data observations for integration into 
                the System;
                  (D) comply with all financial oversight requirements 
                established by the Administrator, including 
                requirements relating to audits; and
                  (E) demonstrate a capability to work with other 
                governmental and nongovernmental entities at all levels 
                to identify and provide information products of the 
                System for multiple users within the service area of 
                the Regional Information Coordination Entities and 
                otherwise.
          (5) System advisory committee.--
                  (A) In general.--The Administrator shall establish a 
                System Advisory Committee, which shall provide advice 
                as may be requested by the Administrator or the 
                Interagency Working Group.
                  (B) Purpose.--The purpose of the System Advisory 
                Committee is to advise the Administrator and the 
                Interagency Working Group on--
                          (i) administration, operation, management, 
                        and maintenance of the System, including 
                        integration of Federal and non-Federal assets 
                        and data management and communication aspects 
                        of the System, and fulfillment of the purposes 
                        specified under subsection (b);
                          (ii) expansion and periodic modernization and 
                        upgrade of technology components of the System;
                          (iii) identification of end-user communities, 
                        their needs for information provided by the 
                        System, and the System's effectiveness in 
                        disseminating information to end-user 
                        communities and the general public; and
                          (iv) any other purpose identified by the 
                        Administrator or the Interagency Working Group.
                  (C) Members.--
                          (i) In general.--The System Advisory 
                        Committee shall be composed of members 
                        appointed by the Administrator. Members shall 
                        be qualified by education, training, and 
                        experience to evaluate scientific and technical 
                        information related to the design, operation, 
                        maintenance, or use of the System, or use of 
                        data products provided through the System.
                          (ii) Terms of service.--Members shall be 
                        appointed for 3-year terms, renewable once. A 
                        vacancy appointment shall be for the remainder 
                        of the unexpired term of the vacancy, and an 
                        individual so appointed may subsequently be 
                        appointed for 2 full 3-year terms if the 
                        remainder of the unexpired term is less than 
                        one year.
                          (iii) Chairperson.--The Administrator shall 
                        designate a chairperson from among the members 
                        of the System Advisory Committee.
                          (iv) Appointment.--Members of the System 
                        Advisory Committee shall be appointed as 
                        special Government employees for purposes of 
                        section 202(a) of title 18, United States Code.
                  (D) Administrative provisions.--
                          (i) Reporting.--The System Advisory Committee 
                        shall report to the Administrator and the 
                        Interagency Working Group, as appropriate.
                          (ii) Administrative support.--The 
                        Administrator shall provide administrative 
                        support to the System Advisory Committee.
                          (iii) Meetings.--The System Advisory 
                        Committee shall meet at least once each year, 
                        and at other times at the call of the 
                        Administrator, the Interagency Working Group, 
                        or the chairperson.
                          (iv) Compensation and expenses.--Members of 
                        the System Advisory Committee shall not be 
                        compensated for service on that Committee, but 
                        may be allowed travel expenses, including per 
                        diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with 
                        subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United 
                        States Code.
                          (v) Expiration.--Section 14 of the Federal 
                        Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall 
                        not apply to the System Advisory Committee.
          (6) Civil liability.--For purposes of determining liability 
        arising from the dissemination and use of observation data 
        gathered pursuant to this section, any non-Federal asset or 
        Regional Information Coordination Entity that is certified 
        under paragraph (3)(D) and that is participating in the System 
        shall be considered to be part of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration. Any employee of such a non-Federal 
        asset or Regional Information Coordination Entity, while 
        operating within the scope of his or her employment in carrying 
        out the purposes of this section, with respect to tort 
        liability, is deemed to be an employee of the Federal 
        Government.
  (f) Interagency Financing, Grants, Contracts, and Agreements.--
          (1) In general.--The member departments and agencies of the 
        Council, subject to the availability of appropriations, may 
        participate in interagency financing and share, transfer, 
        receive, obligate, and expend funds appropriated to any member 
        agency for the purposes of carrying out any administrative or 
        programmatic project or activity to further the purposes of 
        this section, including support for the Interagency Working 
        Group, the Interagency Coordinating Program Office, a common 
        infrastructure, and integration to expand or otherwise enhance 
        the System.
          (2) Joint centers and agreements.--Member Departments and 
        agencies of the Council shall have the authority to create, 
        support, and maintain joint centers, and to enter into and 
        perform such contracts, leases, grants, and cooperative 
        agreements as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of 
        this section and fulfillment of the System Plan.
  (g) Application With Other Laws.--Nothing in this section supersedes 
or limits the authority of any agency to carry out its responsibilities 
and missions under other laws.
  (h) Report to Congress.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than two years after the date of 
        enactment of this section, the Administrator through the 
        Council shall submit to Congress a report that describes the 
        status of the System and progress made to achieve the purposes 
        of this section and the goals identified under the System Plan.
          (2) Contents.--The report shall include discussion of the 
        following:
                  (A) Identification of Federal and non-Federal assets 
                as determined by the Council that have been integrated 
                into the System, including assets essential to the 
                gathering of required observation data variables 
                necessary to meet the respective missions of Council 
                agencies.
                  (B) A review of procurements, planned or initiated, 
                by each Council agency to enhance, expand, or modernize 
                the observation capabilities and data products provided 
                by the System, including data management and 
                communication subsystems.
                  (C) An assessment regarding activities to integrate 
                Federal and non-Federal assets, nationally and on the 
                regional level, and discussion of the performance and 
                effectiveness of Regional Information Coordination 
                Entities to coordinate regional observation operations.
                  (D) An evaluation of progress made by the Council to 
                achieve the purposes of this section and the goals 
                identified under the System Plan.
                  (E) Recommendations for operational improvements to 
                enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and overall 
                capability of the System.
          (3) Biennial update.--Two years after the transmittal of the 
        initial report prepared pursuant to this subsection and 
        biennially thereafter, the Administrator, through the Council, 
        shall submit to Congress an update of the initial report.
  (i) Public-Private Use Policy.--The Council shall develop a policy 
within 6 months after the date of the enactment of this section that 
defines processes for making decisions about the roles of the Federal 
Government, the States, Regional Information Coordination Entities, the 
academic community, and the private sector in providing to end-user 
communities environmental information, products, technologies, and 
services related to the System. The Council shall publish the policy in 
the Federal Register for public comment for a period not less than 60 
days. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require changes 
in policy in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
  (j) Independent Cost Estimate.--The Interagency Working Group, 
through the Administrator and the Director of the National Science 
Foundation, shall obtain within one year after the date of the 
enactment of this section an independent cost estimate for operations 
and maintenance of existing Federal assets of the System, and planned 
or anticipated acquisition, operation, and maintenance of new Federal 
assets for the System, including operation facilities, observation 
equipment, modeling and software, data management and communication, 
and other essential components. The independent cost estimate shall be 
transmitted unabridged and without revision by the Administrator to 
Congress.
  (k) Intent of Congress.--It is the intent of Congress that funding 
provided to agencies of the Council to implement this section shall 
supplement, and not replace, existing sources of funding for other 
programs. It is the further intent of Congress that agencies of the 
Council shall not enter into contracts or agreements for the 
development or procurement of new Federal assets for the System that 
are estimated to be in excess of $250,000,000 in life-cycle costs 
without first providing adequate notice to Congress and opportunity for 
review and comment.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2342 is to direct the President to 
establish a National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation 
System, and for other purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the emergence of new 
observation platforms and information management technologies, 
as well as a growing recognition among decision-makers that 
more accurate, timely and widely available scientific 
information about the ocean and coastal environments was 
desperately needed, stimulated federal agencies, the states, 
the university community and the private sector to initiate a 
joint effort to develop an integrated ocean observation system. 
This effort continues today. The Integrated Ocean Observing 
System (IOOS), as presently configured, incorporates the 
technological assets of federal programs and non-federal 
partners to efficiently link information and data across 
federal and state agencies, the private sector, and academic 
institutions to address the data needs of user communities. The 
IOOS functions as a loosely linked system of assorted 
observation technologies (e.g., satellites, buoys, tide gauges, 
etc.) that routinely and continuously provides quality-
controlled environmental data and information on current and 
future conditions of the ocean, coastal and Great Lakes 
environment, on scales ranging from local watersheds to global 
ocean basins. The IOOS is multidisciplinary by design (e.g., 
physical, chemical, biological, etc.), providing data in forms 
and at rates required by multiple stakeholders (e.g., 
government, industry, research, non-governmental, etc.) to 
address multiple needs, including climate change predictions, 
maritime safety, natural hazards mitigation, homeland security, 
public health threats, and coastal ecosystem protection.
    H.R. 2342 addresses a key recommendation of the Joint Ocean 
Commission Initiative to establish a National Integrated 
Coastal Ocean Observation System (NICOOS) to gather real-time 
data on the ocean environment (i.e., temperature, salinity, 
currents, etc.), to refine and enhance predictive capabilities, 
and to provide other immediate societal benefits, such as 
better fisheries management and safe navigation. The bill would 
formally authorize in statute the President to establish and 
develop a genuine NICOOS to:
           Measure, track, explain, and predict events 
        related to climate change, natural climate variability, 
        and interactions between the oceans and atmosphere 
        including the Great Lakes;
           Promote basic and applied science research; 
        and
           Institutionalize coordinated public 
        outreach, education, and training.
    The bill authorizes an administrative and oversight 
framework which principally mirrors the oversight structure 
that has evolved during the collaborative development of 
NICOOS. As the lead federal agency, NOAA would be responsible 
for day-to-day operations and information coordination. The 
bill also clearly defines both the federal and non-federal 
assets that comprise NICOOS.
    Importantly, the bill also carries forward the existing 
regional operations concept by authorizing NOAA to enter into 
agreements with Regional Information Coordination Entities, or 
RICEs.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2342 was introduced on May 16, 2007 by Congressman Tom 
Allen (D-ME). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans. The bill was also referred to 
the Committee on Science and Technology, and within that 
Committee to the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.
    The Fisheries Subcommittee did not formally hear the bill. 
The bill was included verbatim, however, in a provision in 
Chairman Rahall's energy legislation (H.R. 2337, Title IV, 
Subtitle E, Section 464) which was heard before the Natural 
Resources Committee on May 23, 2007. The Administration 
testified in enthusiastic support for the provision in H.R. 
2337 mirroring H.R. 2342. H.R. 2337 was marked up and 
subsequently reported by the Natural Resources Committee on 
August 3, 2007. A non-controversial amended version of section 
464 which was agreed to by the House Science and Technology 
Committee was subsequently incorporated into Speaker Pelosi's 
energy legislation (H.R. 3221, Title VII, Subtitle D, Chapter 
5, Section 7473) which passed the House on August 4, 2007. 
Ultimately, this provision was one of many that were not 
included in the final energy legislation that was passed by the 
Congress.
    On February 13, 2008, the Subcommittee met to mark up H.R. 
2342. Chairwoman Bordallo (D-GU) offered an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute to strike the bill language and replace 
it verbatim with the language taken from section 7473 of H.R. 
3221. It was adopted by unanimous consent. The Fisheries, 
Wildlife and Oceans Subcommittee forwarded the bill as amended 
to the Full Committee by unanimous consent. On March 12, 2008, 
the Full Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. 
The bill as amended was then ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Enhancing climate change prediction

    Subsection (a) of section 1 cites this Act as the 
``National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation Act of 
2008.''
    Subsection (b) states that the purpose of the Act is to 
establish a National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation 
System, to improve measurement and prediction of weather, 
climate and ocean-atmosphere interactions, and to promote 
research and development of ocean observing technologies.
    Subsection (c) defines key terms included within the text 
of the proposed legislation.
    Subsection (d) establishes a National Integrated Coastal 
and Ocean Observation System comprised of federal and non-
federal components which are coordinated through an Interagency 
Working Group and Regional Information Coordination Entities. 
This system would be more collaborative, participatory, and 
would have enhanced data sharing of coastal and ocean 
observation, technologies, and education.
    Subsection (e) identifies the responsibilities of the 
National Ocean Research Leadership Council, the Interagency 
Working Group, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, the Regional Information 
Coordination Entities, and the System Advisory Committee.
    Subsection (f) allows for interagency financing to carry 
out administrative or programmatic activities that further the 
purpose of the Act.
    Subsection (g) clarifies that nothing in this Act affects 
the authority of any agency to carry out its responsibilities.
    Subsection (h) requires the Administrator to submit to 
Congress no later than 2 years after the implementation of the 
Act, and biennially thereafter, a status and progress report on 
the System.
    Subsection (i) requires the Council to develop a policy 
within six months of enactment to define decision-making 
processes between federal and non-federal groups related to 
providing end-use information, products, technologies, and 
services.
    Subsection (j) directs the Interagency Working Group to 
obtain an independent cost estimate for operations and 
maintenance of existing or anticipated federal assets of the 
System.
    Subsection (k) emphasizes that funding provided from 
Congress would supplement, not replace existing sources and 
that contracts in excess of $250 million need Congressional 
review and comment.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                  FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    The functions of the proposed advisory committee authorized 
in the bill are not currently being nor could they be performed 
by one or more agencies, an advisory committee already in 
existence or by enlarging the mandate of an existing advisory 
committee.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to direct the President to establish 
a National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 2342--National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation Act of 
        2008

    Summary: H.R. 2342 would direct the National Ocean Research 
Leadership Council to develop and operate an integrated coastal 
and ocean observation system, including ocean monitoring, data 
analysis, and research. The council, which was established in 
1996, includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), the Navy, the National Science 
Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other federal 
agencies.
    The costs of carrying out the requirements of H.R. 2342 are 
difficult to predict because the parameters of the observation 
system have not been determined by the council. It is also 
possible that some aspects of the system would be funded and 
implemented in the absence of this legislation. Based on 
available information and assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the bill 
would require funding of about $1.8 billion over the 2009-2013 
period and about $600 million annually thereafter. We estimate 
that enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    H.R. 2342 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: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2342 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 050 
(national defense), 250 (general science, space, and 
technology), 300 (natural resources and environment), and 400 
(transportation).


------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      By fiscal year, in millions of
                                                 dollars--
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   2009    2010    2011    2012    2013
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level...     100     250     350     500     600
Estimated Outlays...............      70     155     260     380     485
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
amounts necessary to carry out H.R. 2342 will be appropriated 
for each fiscal year and that outlays will follow historical 
spending patterns for similar activities. This estimate is 
based on information provided by NOAA, the U.S. Commission on 
Ocean Policy, and other federal agencies and nonprofit 
organizations.
    Based on projections and timetables developed by the U.S. 
Commission on Ocean Policy, CBO estimates that developing the 
infrastructure for a fully integrated coastal and ocean 
observation system would require about $200 million over the 
next two years. This amount would be used to improve existing 
systems operated by federal agencies such as NOAA, establish 
regional observing systems, and develop new sensor 
technologies, forecasting models, and other system products. 
CBO expects that initial system operations would commence in 
2010; once fully operational (by 2013), the system would 
require annual funding of $600 million.
    CBO expects that much of the spending to develop and 
operate the coastal and ocean observation system could occur 
even in the absence of this legislation. For fiscal year 2008, 
the Congress appropriated more than $25 million to NOAA for 
activities similar to those authorized by H.R. 2342, including 
ocean observing and assessment projects. Other agencies such as 
the Navy and the NSF also receive appropriations for ongoing 
programs related to ocean observing.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2342 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimate: On November 9, 2007, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for H.R. 3221, the Renewable Energy and 
Conservation Tax Act of 2007, as passed by the House of 
Representatives on August 4, 2007. On July 13, 2007, we 
transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 2337, the Energy Policy 
Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007, as ordered reported by 
the House Committee on Natural Resources on June 13, 2007. Both 
H.R. 3221 and H.R. 2337 contained provisions that are very 
similar to those of H.R. 2342, and the estimated costs of those 
provisions in the three versions of the legislation are 
identical. CBO also transmitted a cost estimate for S. 950, the 
Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2007, as ordered 
reported by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation on June 27, 2007. S. 950 is also similar to H.R. 
2342, but, as reflected in the cost estimate for that 
legislation, it contained specified authorization levels and 
included additional programs.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Neil Hood; Impact on 
the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    H.R. 2342 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.