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113th Congress                                            Rept. 113-453
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

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



 
         CHESAPEAKE BAY ACCOUNTABILITY AND RECOVERY ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

  May 19, 2014.--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. 739]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 739) to require the Office of Management and 
Budget to prepare a crosscut budget for restoration activities 
in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, to require the Environmental 
Protection Agency to develop and implement an adaptive 
management plan, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 739 is to require the Office of 
Management and Budget to prepare a crosscut budget for 
restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and to 
require the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and 
implement an adaptive management plan.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Chesapeake Bay supports more than 3,600 species of 
fish, plants and wildlife, and more than $1 billion in economic 
activity is generated from it, one of the largest estuaries in 
the world.
    A number of federal agencies are involved in restoration 
activities in and around the Chesapeake Bay including the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA), the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers. Because multiple federal and State agencies take 
part in various aspects of Chesapeake Bay restoration, 
coordination on projects and funding is not always apparent. In 
addition, while millions of tax dollars have been spent to 
improve the quality of the Bay, these funds are distributed 
among many agencies and departments. According to the Fiscal 
Year 2012 Progress Report, Chesapeake Bay restoration projects 
and programs funded by the federal government totaled more than 
$460 million in Fiscal Year 2012 alone. The many federal and 
State Chesapeake Bay restoration programs lack a single 
comprehensive reporting system for the funding of these 
activities. This legislation would bring transparency to 
federal funding of all restoration activities.
    The primary components of H.R. 739 are: 1) a requirement 
that a cross-cut budget be submitted to Congress; 2) a 
requirement that EPA, in consultation with other federal and 
state agencies, develop an adaptive management plan for 
restoration activities; and 3) a requirement for the 
appointment of an independent evaluator to review restoration 
activities and to report to Congress.
    This legislation would institute measurable objectives to 
ensure that both federal and state dollars spent on restoration 
are producing positive results. In addition, it would bring 
more transparency to federal Chesapeake Bay restoration 
funding.
    While some of these objectives from H.R. 739 are included 
in the President's Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay Protection 
and Restoration issued in May 2009, progress has been slow and 
EPA has not fully implemented all of the requirements of the 
Executive Order. Moreover, the Executive Order contains a 
requirement for reporting on the proposed federal budget for 
Chesapeake Bay restoration activities; however, the 
Administration's budget requests still do not provide adequate 
transparency and the Executive Order does not require that the 
cross-cut budget requests be submitted to Congress. H.R. 739 
would codify the requirement that a cross-cut budget be 
submitted to Congress.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 739 was introduced on February 14, 2013, by 
Congressman Robert J. Wittman (R-VA). The bill was referred to 
the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to 
the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular 
Affairs. The bill was also referred to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure. On April 24, 2013, the Full 
Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular 
Affairs was discharged by unanimous consent. No amendments were 
offered, and the bill was then adopted and ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This section designates the short title of the bill as the 
``Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act of 2013.''

Section 2. Chesapeake Bay crosscut budget

    This section requires the Director of the Office of 
Management and Budget, in consultation with the Chesapeake Bay 
Council, the chief executive of each of the Chesapeake Bay 
States, and the Chesapeake Bay Commission to submit a financial 
report to Congress, no later than 30 days after the President 
submits his annual budget request, that contains a crosscutting 
budget displaying: the proposed funding for any federal 
restoration activity (equal to or greater than $100,000) for 
each federal agency for the succeeding year; to the extent the 
information is available an estimated funding for State 
restoration activities (equal to or greater than $50,000) for 
the succeeding year; all federal restoration expenditures from 
the preceding two years, the current year and the succeeding 
year; and all expenditures for State restoration activities 
during the preceding two years, the current year and the 
succeeding year.
    The Director would also be required to submit to Congress 
in the report a detailed accounting of all funds received and 
obligated by all federal agencies for restoration activities 
during the current and preceding years, including funds that 
were transferred to a Chesapeake Bay State for restoration 
activities.
    The report must also contain, to the extent the information 
is available, a detailed accounting from each State of all 
funds received and obligated from a federal agency for 
restoration activities during the current and preceding years.
    The report must contain a description of each proposed 
federal and state restoration activity to be carried out in the 
succeeding year and include: a project description; the current 
status of the project; the federal, state statutory or 
regulatory authority, program, or responsible agencies; 
authorization levels for appropriations; project time lines 
including benchmarks; references to project documents; 
descriptions of risks and uncertainties of project 
implementation; adaptive management actions or frameworks; 
coordinating entities; funding history; and alignment with the 
Chesapeake Bay Agreement and the Chesapeake Bay Executive 
Council goals and priorities.

Section 3. Adaptive management plan

    This section requires EPA, in consultation with other 
federal and state agencies, to develop an adaptive management 
plan for the Chesapeake Bay Program and restoration activities 
that includes: definitions of specific and measurable 
objectives to improve water quality, habitat and fisheries; a 
process for stake holder involvement; monitoring, modeling, 
experimentation and other evaluation practices; a process for 
the modification of restoration activities that have not met 
objectives; and a process for prioritizing restoration 
activities for which adaptive management principles shall be 
applied.
    The section requires that EPA implement the adaptive 
management plan using the criteria cited above and would 
require EPA to update the adaptive management plan every two 
years.
    Lastly, the section requires EPA to report to Congress, no 
later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, on the 
implementation of the adaptive management plan and any 
programmatic and project level changes implemented through the 
adaptive management plan.

Section 4. Independent evaluator for the Chesapeake Bay Program

    This section requires that an Independent Evaluator be 
appointed by the EPA Administrator from among nominees 
submitted by the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council. The 
Independent Evaluator would be required to review and report on 
restoration activities, the use of adaptive management in 
restoration activities, and on other related topics suggested 
by the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council.
    The section also requires the Independent Evaluator to 
submit a report to Congress every two years on the findings and 
recommendations.

Section 5. Definitions

    This section provides definitions for terms used in the 
bill.

            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. 739--Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act of 2013

    H.R. 739 would require the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) to develop, no later than one year after the bill's 
enactment, a management plan for the Chesapeake Bay Program and 
restoration activities related to the bay. EPA would be 
required to update the management plan every two years. The 
legislation would require new financial reports on the 
Chesapeake Bay Program from the Office of Management and Budget 
and would require EPA to appoint an independent evaluator, who 
would review and report to the Congress on the plan.
    Based on information from EPA, CBO estimates that 
implementing this legislation would cost about $1 million 
annually over the 2014-2018 period, subject to the availability 
of appropriated funds. Enacting the bill would not affect 
direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 739 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 Susanne S. 
Mehlman. This 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 from EPA, 
CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost 
about $1 million annually over the 2014-2018 period, subject to 
the 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 is to require the Office of Management 
and Budget to prepare a crosscut budget for restoration 
activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, to require the 
Environmental Protection Agency to develop and implement an 
adaptive management plan.

                           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.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. While this bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another federal program, it does 
require reporting of financial expenditures for programs of the 
federal government known to be duplicative of another federal 
program. Such program was included in a report from the 
Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139 or identified in the most 
recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance published 
pursuant to the Federal Program Information Act (Public Law 95-
220, as amended by Public Law 98-169) as relating to other 
programs. By requiring a financial report and cross-cut budget, 
it is hoped that duplicative programs can be identified and 
eliminated or modified as needed to produce more effective 
results.

                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.