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                                                       Calendar No. 340
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-142

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



 
   GRASSROOTS RURAL AND SMALL COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEMS ASSISTANCE ACT

                                _______
                                

                 April 1, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 864]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 864) to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act 
to reauthorize technical assistance to small public water 
systems, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that 
the bill, as amended, do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    S. 864 reauthorizes section 1442 (e) of the Safe Drinking 
Water Act (SDWA), which was enacted as part of 1996 amendments 
to the SDWA. The program provides funding to third-party 
organizations that carry out on-site training and technical 
assistance for small public water systems to help such systems 
achieve and maintain compliance with the SDWA.
    The bill provides additional criteria for selecting 
organizations to receive funding to ensure that resources are 
targeted to the most effective organizations that are most 
beneficial for small and rural communities.
    The bill reauthorizes the program through fiscal year 2019.

                     Objectives of the Legislation

    The Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems 
Assistance Act reauthorizes a Safe Drinking Water Act program 
to provide technical assistance to small public water systems.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that the Act may be cited as the 
Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance 
Act''.

Section 2. Findings

    Section 2 establishes findings related to the Safe Drinking 
Water Act's technical assistance program.

Section 3. Sense of Congress

    Section 3 states that it is the sense of Congress that the 
Environmental Protection Agency should prioritize technical 
assistance that is most beneficial to communities being served 
and that local support is key to successful assistance.

Section 4. Funding priorities

    Section 4 amends section 1442 (e) of the Safe Drinking 
Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j-1(e)).
    Paragraph (2) extends the authorization of appropriations 
through fiscal year 2019.
    Paragraph (3) authorizes the Administrator to provide 
grants or cooperative agreements to nonprofit organizations to 
provide assistance to small public water systems. Preference is 
given to organizations that are the most qualified and 
experienced in providing training and technical assistance to 
small public water systems and that small community water 
systems in the State find to be the most beneficial and 
effective.
    Paragraph (3) prohibits the use of funds for litigation 
pursuant to section 1449.

                          Legislative History

    S. 864 was introduced by Sen. Wicker along with 15 
cosponsors on May 6, 2013. The Committee on Environment and 
Public Works met to consider S. 864 on February 6, 2014. An 
amendment in the nature of a substitute was offered by Senator 
Boxer and Vitter and was adopted by voice vote. The amendment 
clarified the types of organizations that are eligible to 
receive funding, modified the criteria for awarding grants and 
cooperative agreements, and clarified that funding cannot be 
used for litigation purposes. The bill, as amended, was 
approved by voice vote.

                                Hearings

    No committee hearings were held on S. 864.

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 864 on February 6, 2014. An amendment in the nature 
of a substitute was adopted by voice vote. The bill was ordered 
favorably reported, as amendment, by voice vote. No roll call 
votes were taken.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 864 
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it 
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee notes that the Congressional 
Budget Office found that, ``S. 864 contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in 
UMRA.''

                                                 February 12, 2014.
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 864, the Grassroots 
Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susanne S. 
Mehlman.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 864--Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance 
        Act

    Summary: S. 864 would authorize the appropriation of $15 
million annually over the 2015-2019 period for the 
Environmental Protection Agency's program that provides 
technical assistance to small public water systems. The 
authorization for this program expired in 2003. CBO estimates 
that implementing S. 864 would cost $67 million over the next 
five years, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts. 
Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to S. 864 because it 
would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 864 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 864 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--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2015     2016     2017     2018     2019   2015-2019
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level.....................................       15       15       15       15       15        75
Estimated Outlays.......................................        8       14       15       15       15        67
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
864 will be enacted by the end of fiscal year 2014, that the 
specified amounts will be appropriated in each year starting in 
2015, and that outlays will follow historical spending patterns 
for the technical assistance program. The legislation would 
authorize funding for nonprofit organizations to help small 
public water systems achieve and maintain compliance with 
national regulations and to support training and engineering 
evaluations of those water systems.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 864 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. Activities authorized in the bill would assist 
public water systems to comply with national standards for 
primary drinking water.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Susanne S. Mehlman; 
Impact on state, local, and tribal governments: Lisa Ramirez-
Branum; Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill 
as reported are shown as follows: Existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in [black brackets], new matter is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman:

SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  Sec. 1400. This title may be cited as the ``Safe Drinking 
Water Act''.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  Sec. 1442. (a)(1) The Administrator may conduct research, 
studies, and demonstrations relating to the causes, diagnosis, 
treatment, control, and prevention of physical and mental 
diseases and other impairments of man resulting directly or 
indirectly from contaminants in water, or to the provision of a 
dependably safe supply of drinking water, including--
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Technical Assistance.--
          (1) The Administrator may provide technical 
        assistance to small public water systems to enable such 
        systems to achieve and maintain compliance with 
        applicable national primary drinking water regulations.
          (2) Such assistance may include circuit-rider and 
        multi-State regional technical assistance programs, 
        training, and preliminary engineering evaluations.
          (3) The Administrator shall ensure that technical 
        assistance pursuant to this subsection is available in 
        each State.
          (4) Each nonprofit organization receiving assistance 
        under this subsection shall consult with the State in 
        which the assistance is to be expended or otherwise 
        made available before using assistance to undertake 
        activities to carry out this subsection.
          (5) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Administrator to be used for such technical assistance 
        $15,000,000 for each of the fiscal years [1997 through 
        2003] 2014 through 2019.
          (6) No portion of any State loan fund established 
        under section 1452 (relating to State loan funds) and 
        no portion of any funds made available under this 
        subsection may be used for lobbying expenses.
          (7) Of the total amount appropriated under this 
        subsection, 3 percent shall be used for technical 
        assistance to public water systems owned or operated by 
        Indian Tribes.
          (8) Nonprofit organizations.--
                  (A) In general.--The Administrator may use 
                amounts made available to carry out this 
                section to provide grants or cooperative 
                agreements to nonprofit organizations that 
                provide to small public water systems onsite 
                technical assistance, circuit-rider technical 
                assistance programs, multistate, regional 
                technical assistance programs, onsite and 
                regional training, assistance with implementing 
                source water protection plans, and assistance 
                with implementing monitoring plans, rules, 
                regulations, and water security enhancements.
                  (B) Preference.--To ensure that technical 
                assistance funding is used in a manner that is 
                most beneficial to the small and rural 
                communities of a State, the Administrator shall 
                give preference under this paragraph to 
                nonprofit organizations that, as determined by 
                the Administrator, are the most qualified and 
                experienced in providing training and technical 
                assistance to small public water systems and 
                that the small community water systems in that 
                State find to be the most beneficial and 
                effective.
                  (C) Limitation.--No grant or cooperative 
                agreement provided or otherwise made available 
                under this section may be used for litigation 
                pursuant to section 1449.