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                                                        Calendar No. 83
114th Congress     }                                    {        Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                    {        114-47

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



 
   GRASSROOTS RURAL AND SMALL COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEMS ASSISTANCE ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 18, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Inhofe, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 611]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 611) 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 without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    S. 611 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 for $15 million per year 
through fiscal year 2020.

                     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

    This section provides that the Act may be cited as the 
``Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance 
Act''.

Section 2. Findings

    This section establishes findings related to the Safe 
Drinking Water Act's technical assistance program.

Section 3. Sense of Congress

    This section 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

    This section 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 2020.
    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. It also prohibits the use of funds for litigation 
pursuant to section 1449.

                          Legislative History

    S. 611 was introduced by Sen. Wicker along with 15 
cosponsors on February 27, 2015. The Committee on Environment 
and Public Works met to consider S. 611 on April 29, 2015. The 
bill was approved by voice vote.

                                Hearings

    No committee hearings were held on S. 611.

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 611 on April 29, 2015. The bill was ordered 
favorably reported 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. 611 
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. 611 contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in 
UMRA.''

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                       Washington, DC, May 8, 2015.
Hon. Jim Inhofe,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 611, 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,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

S. 611--Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance 
        Act

    Summary: S. 611 would authorize the appropriation of $15 
million annually over the 2016-2020 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, but the program 
received an appropriation of $13 million for fiscal year 2015. 
CBO estimates that implementing S. 611 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. 
611 because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 611 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. 611 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--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2016     2017     2018     2019     2020   2016-2020
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  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. 
611 will be enacted by the end of fiscal year 2015, that the 
specified amounts will be appropriated in each year starting in 
2016, 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. 611 
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: Jon Sperl; 
Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, 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] 2015 through 2020.
          (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.

                                  [all]