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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     112-658

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



 
              NASHUA RIVER WILD AND SCENIC RIVER STUDY ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 10, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5319]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5319) to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to 
designate segments of the mainstem of the Nashua River and its 
tributaries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for study for 
potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers 
System, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Nashua River Wild and Scenic River 
Study Act''.

SEC. 2. DESIGNATION FOR STUDY.

  Section 5(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1276(a)) is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
          ``(___) Nashua river, massachusetts.--(A) The approximately 
        19-mile segment of the mainstem of the Nashua River from the 
        confluence of the North and South Nashua Rivers in Lancaster, 
        Massachusetts, north to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire State 
        line, and its tributaries, except the approximately 4.8-mile 
        segment of the mainstem of the Nashua River from the Route 119 
        bridge in Groton, Massachusetts downstream to its confluence 
        with the Nissitissit River in Pepperell, Massachusetts.
          ``(B) The 10-mile segment of the Squannacook River from its 
        headwaters at Ash Swamp downstream to its confluence with the 
        Nashua River in Shirley/Ayer, Massachusetts.
          ``(C) The 3.5-mile segment of the Nissitissit River from the 
        Massachusetts/New Hampshire State line downstream to its 
        confluence with the Nashua River in Pepperell, 
        Massachusetts.''.

SEC. 3. STUDY AND REPORT.

  Section 5(b) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1276(b)) is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
          ``(__) Study and report.--Not later than 3 years after the 
        date on which funds are made available to carry out this 
        paragraph, the Secretary of the Interior shall complete the 
        study of the Nashua River in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, 
        as described in subsection (a)(___), and submit a report 
        describing the results of that study to the Committee on 
        Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the 
        Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.''.

SEC. 4. REPORT REQUIREMENTS.

   The report required under section 3 of this Act shall--
          (1) include a discussion of the effect of the designation of 
        the area to be studied under this Act under the Wild and Scenic 
        Rivers Act on--
                  (A) existing commercial and recreational activities, 
                such as hunting, fishing, trapping, recreational 
                shooting, motor boat use, or bridge construction;
                  (B) the authorization, construction, operation, 
                maintenance, or improvement of energy production and 
                transmission infrastructure; and
                  (C) the authority of State and local governments to 
                manage those activities encompassed in subparagraphs 
                (A) and (B); and
          (2) identify--
                  (A) all authorities that will authorize or require 
                the Secretary of the Interior to influence local land 
                use decisions (such as zoning) or place restrictions on 
                non-Federal land if the area studied under this Act is 
                designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act;
                  (B) all authorities that the Secretary of the 
                Interior may use to condemn property if the area 
                studied under this Act is designated under the Wild and 
                Scenic Rivers Act; and
                  (C) all private property located in the area to be 
                studied under this Act.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 5319, as ordered reported, is to amend 
the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the 
mainstem of the Nashua River and its tributaries in the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts for study for potential addition 
to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Typically, rivers that may be included into the Wild and 
Scenic Rivers program operated by the National Park Service 
(NPS) are first studied for their suitability. H.R. 5319 
authorizes a study of 32.5 miles of the Nashua, Squannacook and 
Nissitissit Rivers and their tributaries, but would except a 
4.8-mile segment that is currently the subject of a Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission licensing proceeding for an 
existing hydroelectric facility. The rivers will be evaluated 
on their ``free-flowing'' condition and classified as wild, 
scenic or recreational depending on the amount of development 
on and near the river segment.
    The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 was intended to put 
a development freeze on rivers to preserve their ``free-
flowing'' values against the influx of manmade dams being 
constructed at the time. Temporary restrictions of actions 
involving federal participation accompany the designation of a 
river during the study period.
    During markup of H.R. 5319, the Natural Resources Committee 
adopted an amendment offered by Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) 
to add several requirements to the study that will be 
undertaken by the NPS. NPS is required to consider the effect 
of designation on commercial and recreational uses, such as 
hunting, fishing and boating. Also, the study must look at the 
impact on construction and maintenance of energy production and 
transmission. Finally, the amendment requires that the study 
identify private property within the study area and identify 
all authorities that could be utilized to condemn land.
    Concerns have been raised that the Wild and Scenic Rivers 
Act contains several authorities allowing the condemnation of 
private property. As Wild and Scenic Rivers are purported to be 
locally driven projects, the Committee sees no reason why 
property owners should be left in the dark regarding the 
inclusion of their property in a federal designation. For the 
study process to be authentically derived from the community, 
the facts and limitations on property rights that may result 
from a designation must be revealed.
    Finally, the study will identify those authorities that 
compel NPS to involve itself in local zoning. While federal 
designation of the Nashua, Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers 
may be appealing to some, the community should be aware that 
the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act requires local zoning to conform 
to the dictates of the Act. Representatives of the federal 
government would have a role in the development of local zoning 
ordinances. It should be noted that the study not only includes 
the Nashua, Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers, but their 
tributaries as well. The size and scope of the resulting 
designation could be well beyond what is currently anticipated 
in the impacted towns.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 5319 was introduced on April 27, 2012, by 
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. On 
June 28, 2012, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and 
Public Lands held a hearing on the bill. On August 1, 2012, the 
Full Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands was 
discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) 
offered an amendment designated #1 to the bill; the amendment 
was adopted by unanimous consent. The bill, as amended, was 
then adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

            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.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) 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)(2)(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. 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. 5319--Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act

    H.R. 5319 would require the National Park Service (NPS) to 
study segments of the Nashua River in Massachusetts and New 
Hampshire for potential addition to the Wild and Scenic Rivers 
System. Based on information provided by the NPS, CBO estimates 
that implementing the legislation would cost about $300,000 
over the next three years, assuming availability of 
appropriated funds. Enacting H.R. 5319 would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply.
    H.R. 5319 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von 
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of 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, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures. Based on information provided by 
the National Park Service, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost about $300,000 over the next three 
years, assuming availability of appropriated funds.
    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, as ordered reported, is to amend the 
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the 
mainstem of the Nashua River and its tributaries in the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts for study for potential addition 
to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance with Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

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

         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 (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                       WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS ACT




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
  Sec. 5. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (___) Nashua river, massachusetts.--(A) The 
        approximately 19-mile segment of the mainstem of the 
        Nashua River from the confluence of the North and South 
        Nashua Rivers in Lancaster, Massachusetts, north to the 
        Massachusetts/New Hampshire State line, and its 
        tributaries, except the approximately 4.8-mile segment 
        of the mainstem of the Nashua River from the Route 119 
        bridge in Groton, Massachusetts downstream to its 
        confluence with the Nissitissit River in Pepperell, 
        Massachusetts.
          (B) The 10-mile segment of the Squannacook River from 
        its headwaters at Ash Swamp downstream to its 
        confluence with the Nashua River in Shirley/Ayer, 
        Massachusetts.
          (C) The 3.5-mile segment of the Nissitissit River 
        from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire State line 
        downstream to its confluence with the Nashua River in 
        Pepperell, Massachusetts.
  (b)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (__) Study and report.--Not later than 3 years after 
        the date on which funds are made available to carry out 
        this paragraph, the Secretary of the Interior shall 
        complete the study of the Nashua River in Massachusetts 
        and New Hampshire, as described in subsection (a)(___), 
        and submit a report describing the results of that 
        study to the Committee on Natural Resources of the 
        House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy 
        and Natural Resources of the Senate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *