Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

115th Congress    }                                {    Rept. 115-1038
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                {            Part 1

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



 
 INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN OBSERVATION SYSTEM ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2018

                                _______
                                

               November 20, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 237]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 237) to reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and 
Ocean Observation System Act of 2009, 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 ``Integrated Coastal and Ocean 
Observation System Act Amendments of 2018''.

SEC. 2. STAGGERED TERMS FOR NATIONAL INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN 
                    OBSERVATION SYSTEM ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

  Section 12304(d)(3)(B) of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean 
Observation System Act of 2009 (33 U.S.C. 3603(d)(3)(B)) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``Members'' and inserting the following:
                          ``(i) In general.--Except as provided in 
                        clause (ii), members''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following:
                          ``(ii) Staggered terms.--The Administrator 
                        may appoint or reappoint a member for a partial 
                        term of 1 or 2 years in order to establish a 
                        system of staggered terms. The Administrator 
                        may appoint or reappoint a member under this 
                        clause only once. A member appointed or 
                        reappointed to a partial term under this clause 
                        may not serve more than one full term.''.

SEC. 3. INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN OBSERVATION SYSTEM COOPERATIVE 
                    AGREEMENTS.

  Section 12305(a) of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation 
System Act of 2009 (33 U.S.C. 3604(a)) is amended by inserting 
``disburse appropriated funds to,'' after ``agreements, with,''.

SEC. 4. REAUTHORIZATION OF INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN OBSERVATION 
                    SYSTEM ACT OF 2009.

  Section 12311 of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System 
Act of 2009 (33 U.S.C. 3610) is amended by striking ``are authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for fiscal years 2009 
through 2013 such sums as are necessary'' and inserting ``is authorized 
to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for each of fiscal 
years 2019 through 2023 $42,000,000''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 237 is to reauthorize the Integrated 
Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is a national-
regional partnership that provides important data to improve 
safety, enhance the economy, and protect our environment. IOOS 
is a coordinated network of people and technology that 
generates and disseminates continuous data models and services 
on coastal waters, including oceans in the U.S. Exclusive 
Economic Zone, and the Great Lakes. Both near-real time and 
historical integrated ocean information is available.\1\ These 
data consist of standardized information on environmental 
variables such as temperature, salinity, currents, nutrient 
concentrations, and contaminant levels, as well as other 
critical ecological factors.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ IOOS. About Us. https://ioos.noaa.gov/about/about-us/:
    \2\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    IOOS is governed by the Integrated Coastal and Ocean 
Observation System Act of 2009 (ICOOS Act, Title XII, Subtitle 
C of Public Law 111-11). The ICOOS Act establishes NOAA as the 
agency responsible for implementation of the Act,\3\ and 
directs specific tasks and requirements, including preparing 
budgets and cost estimates, developing non-federal asset 
certification standards, and drafting a public-private use 
policy process.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ Public Law 111-11, Sec. 12304(3).
    \4\ Public Law 111-11, Sec. 12304.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NOAA's National Ocean Service provides support for 11 IOOS 
Regional Associations (RA) through a competitive merit-based 
grant process.\5\ The RAs fill critical ocean observing 
information gaps at the local and national levels.\6\ The 
demand for ocean, coastal and Great Lake region data is high. 
The IOOS Independent Cost Estimate determined that a total of 
approximately $534 million is needed to fulfill the nation's 
identified coastal observing needs.\7\ While IOOS needs to meet 
national objectives, each of the 11 regions also tailors its 
work to local needs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ Id. Sec. 12304(c)(3)(E).
    \6\ IOOS Association. Integrated Ocean Observing System: Saving 
Lives, Protecting Health & Promoting Commerce http://
www.ioosassociation.org/sites/nfra/files/documents/onepagers/
FY%2019%20IOOS%20Request%20-%20FINAL.pdf.
    \7\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The IOOS system collects data via surface-level and deep-
water gliders, which can be utilized for various situations 
from search-and-rescue missions to harmful algal bloom mapping 
near crucial water supplies.\8\ The Ocean Enterprise Study,\9\ 
in conjunction with high frequency shoreline radars, is used to 
measure current speed and direction up to 200 km offshore,\10\ 
aiding reliable maritime commerce.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, IOOS: 
Underwater Gliders. Retrieved from https://ioos.noaa.gov/project/
underwater-gliders/.
    \9\ Ocean Enterprise Study. Retrieved from https://ioos.noaa.gov/
project/ocean-enterprise-study/.
    \10\ About HF Radar. Retrieved from https://ioos.noaa.gov/project/
hf-radar/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    IOOS is critical to people who rely on this consistent and 
accurate data for their lives and livelihoods. The data IOOS 
collects helps federal agencies like NOAA, the Bureau of Ocean 
Energy Management, and the Environmental Protection Agency 
perform their everyday functions serving the public. Meanwhile, 
data collected by IOOS is also critical to our national and 
local economies. Ports, fishermen and seafood growers rely on 
this data, as well as emergency managers and researchers. The 
data collected by IOOS is utilized at all levels of our nation. 
From local fishermen to national agencies, IOOS provides 
taxpayers with the data required to support economies, 
research, and critical maritime safety.
    As ordered reported, H.R. 237 would reauthorize 
appropriations for the ICOOS Act through Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. 
Originally Congress did not limit the amount of money this 
program could receive. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 
2018 (Public Law 115-141) funded this program at $42.5 million 
for FY 2018, and as ordered reported H.R. 237 caps the 
authorization at $42 million. The bill would also revise the 
ICOOS Act to establish a system of staggered terms for members 
of the IOOS Advisory Committee. The bill also provides the 
Secretary of Commerce with additional discretion to distribute 
funds to States.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 237 was introduced on January 3, 2017, by Congressman 
Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred primarily to the 
Committee on Natural Resources and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans. The bill was 
additionally referred to the Committee on Science, Space and 
Technology. On September 27, 2018, the Natural Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee was 
discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman Don Young offered 
an amendment designated 161; it was adopted by unanimous 
consent. No additional amendments were offered, and the bill, 
as amended, was 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 and Congressional Budget Act

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, October 26, 2018.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 237, the 
Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act Amendments 
of 2018.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert Reese.
            Sincerely,
                                              Theresa Gullo
                                        (For Keith Hall, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 237--Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act 
        Amendments of 2018

    Summary: H.R. 237 would authorize the annual appropriation 
of $42 million to operate the Integrated Coastal and Ocean 
Observation System over the 2019-2023 period. CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 237 would cost $188 million over the 
2019-2023 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amounts.
    Enacting H.R. 237 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 237 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 237 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 effect of H.R. 237 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--
                                                              --------------------------------------------------
                                                                2019    2020    2021    2022    2023   2019-2023
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Authorization Level..........................................      42      42      42      42      42        210
Estimated Outlays............................................      27      36      41      42      42        188
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
237 will be enacted near the end of 2018 and that the necessary 
amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year beginning in 
2019. Estimated outlays follow historical spending patterns for 
the program.
    H.R. 237 would authorize the annual appropriation of $42 
million through 2023 to carry out activities under the 
Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act. That act 
requires the federal government to monitor ocean 
characteristics and perform other activities, including 
forecasting the weather, assessing water quality, and 
monitoring shipping operations. In 2018, the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration allocated $31 million to carry 
out those activities. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 237 
would cost $188 million over the 2019-2023 period and $22 
million after 2023.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 237 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    Mandates: H.R. 237 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Robert Reese; 
Mandates: Zach Byrum.
    Estimate reviewed by: Kim P. Cawley, Chief, Natural and 
Physical Resources Cost Estimates Unit; H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. 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 reauthorize the Integrated Coastal 
and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009.

                           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. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any 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.

                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 (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

      INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN OBSERVATION SYSTEM ACT OF 2009



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE XII--NOAA UNDERSEA RESEARCH PROGRAM ACT OF 2009

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle C--Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 12304. INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN OBSERVING SYSTEM.

  (a) Establishment.--The President, acting through the 
Council, shall establish a National Integrated Coastal and 
Ocean Observation System to fulfill the purposes set forth in 
section 12302 of this subtitle 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.
  (b) System Elements.--
          (1) In general.--In order to fulfill the purposes of 
        this subtitle, the System shall be national in scope 
        and consist of--
                  (A) Federal assets to fulfill national and 
                international observation missions and 
                priorities;
                  (B) non-Federal assets, including a network 
                of regional information coordination entities 
                identified under subsection (c)(4), to fulfill 
                regional observation missions and priorities;
                  (C) data management, communication, and 
                modeling systems for the timely integration and 
                dissemination of data and information products 
                from the System;
                  (D) a research and development program 
                conducted under the guidance of the Council, 
                consisting of--
                          (i) basic and applied research and 
                        technology development to improve 
                        understanding of coastal and ocean 
                        systems and their relationships to 
                        human activities and to ensure 
                        improvement of operational assets and 
                        products, including related 
                        infrastructure, observing technologies, 
                        and information and data processing and 
                        management technologies; and
                          (ii) large scale computing resources 
                        and research to advance modeling of 
                        coastal and ocean processes.
          (2) Enhancing administration and management.--The 
        head of each Federal agency that has administrative 
        jurisdiction over a Federal asset shall support the 
        purposes of this subtitle and 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.
          (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) Non-federal assets.--Non-Federal assets shall be 
        coordinated, as appropriate, by the Interagency Ocean 
        Observing Committee or by regional information 
        coordination entities.
  (c) Policy Oversight, Administration, and Regional 
Coordination.--
          (1) Council functions.--The Council shall serve as 
        the policy and coordination oversight body for all 
        aspects of the System. In carrying out its 
        responsibilities under this subtitle, the Council 
        shall--
                  (A) approve and adopt comprehensive System 
                budgets developed and maintained by the 
                Interagency Ocean Observation Committee to 
                support System operations, including operations 
                of both Federal and non-Federal assets;
                  (B) ensure coordination of the System with 
                other domestic and international earth 
                observing activities including the Global Ocean 
                Observing System and the Global Earth Observing 
                System of Systems, and provide, as appropriate, 
                support for and representation on United States 
                delegations to international meetings on 
                coastal and ocean observing programs; and
                  (C) encourage coordinated intramural and 
                extramural research and technology development, 
                and a process to transition developing 
                technology and methods into operations of the 
                System.
          (2) Interagency ocean observation committee.--The 
        Council shall establish or designate an Interagency 
        Ocean Observation Committee which shall--
                  (A) prepare annual and long-term plans for 
                consideration and approval by the Council for 
                the integrated design, operation, maintenance, 
                enhancement and expansion of the System to meet 
                the objectives of this subtitle and the System 
                Plan;
                  (B) develop and transmit to Congress at the 
                time of submission of the President's annual 
                budget request an annual coordinated, 
                comprehensive budget to operate all elements of 
                the System identified in subsection (b), and to 
                ensure continuity of data streams from Federal 
                and non-Federal assets;
                  (C) establish required observation data 
                variables to be gathered by both Federal and 
                non-Federal assets and identify, in 
                consultation with regional information 
                coordination entities, priorities for System 
                observations;
                  (D) establish protocols and standards for 
                System data processing, management, and 
                communication;
                  (E) develop contract certification standards 
                and compliance procedures for all non-Federal 
                assets, including regional information 
                coordination entities, to establish eligibility 
                for integration into the System and to ensure 
                compliance with all applicable standards and 
                protocols established by the Council, and 
                ensure that regional observations are 
                integrated into the System on a sustained 
                basis;
                  (F) identify gaps in observation coverage or 
                needs for capital improvements of both Federal 
                assets and non-Federal assets;
                  (G) subject to the availability of 
                appropriations, establish through one or more 
                participating Federal agencies, in consultation 
                with the System advisory committee established 
                under subsection (d), a competitive matching 
                grant or other programs--
                          (i) to promote intramural and 
                        extramural research and development of 
                        new, innovative, and emerging 
                        observation technologies including 
                        testing and field trials; and
                          (ii) to facilitate the migration of 
                        new, innovative, and emerging 
                        scientific and technological advances 
                        from research and development to 
                        operational deployment;
                  (H) periodically review and recommend to the 
                Council, in consultation with the 
                Administrator, revisions to the System Plan;
                  (I) ensure collaboration among Federal 
                agencies participating in the activities of the 
                Committee; and
                  (J) perform such additional duties as the 
                Council may delegate.
          (3) Lead federal agency.--The National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration shall function as the lead 
        Federal agency for the implementation and 
        administration of the System, in consultation with the 
        Council, the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee, 
        other Federal agencies that maintain portions of the 
        System, and the regional information coordination 
        entities, and shall--
                  (A) establish an Integrated Ocean Observing 
                Program Office within the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration utilizing to the 
                extent necessary, personnel from member 
                agencies participating on the Interagency Ocean 
                Observation Committee, to oversee daily 
                operations and coordination of the System;
                  (B) implement policies, protocols, and 
                standards approved by the Council and delegated 
                by the Interagency Ocean Observing Committee;
                  (C) promulgate program guidelines to certify 
                and integrate non-Federal assets, including 
                regional information coordination entities, 
                into the System to provide regional coastal and 
                ocean observation data that meet the needs of 
                user groups from the respective regions;
                  (D) have the authority to enter into and 
                oversee contracts, leases, grants or 
                cooperative agreements with non-Federal assets, 
                including regional information coordination 
                entities, to support the purposes of this 
                subtitle on such terms as the Administrator 
                deems appropriate;
                  (E) implement a merit-based, competitive 
                funding process to support non-Federal assets, 
                including the development and maintenance of a 
                network of regional information coordination 
                entities, and develop and implement a process 
                for the periodic review and evaluation of all 
                non-Federal assets, including regional 
                information coordination entities;
                  (F) provide opportunities for competitive 
                contracts and grants for demonstration projects 
                to design, develop, integrate, deploy, and 
                support components of the System;
                  (G) establish efficient and effective 
                administrative procedures for allocation of 
                funds among contractors, grantees, and non-
                Federal assets, including regional information 
                coordination entities in a timely manner, and 
                contingent on appropriations according to the 
                budget adopted by the Council;
                  (H) develop and implement a process for the 
                periodic review and evaluation of regional 
                information coordination entities;
                  (I) formulate an annual process by which gaps 
                in observation coverage or needs for capital 
                improvements of Federal assets and non-Federal 
                assets of the System are identified by the 
                regional information coordination entities, the 
                Administrator, or other members of the System 
                and transmitted to the Interagency Ocean 
                Observing Committee;
                  (J) develop and be responsible for a data 
                management and communication system, in 
                accordance with standards and protocols 
                established by the Council, by which all data 
                collected by the System regarding ocean and 
                coastal waters of the United States including 
                the Great Lakes, are processed, stored, 
                integrated, and made available to all end-user 
                communities;
                  (K) 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;
                  (L) report annually to the Interagency Ocean 
                Observing Committee on the accomplishments, 
                operational needs, and performance of the 
                System to contribute to the annual and long-
                term plans developed pursuant to subsection 
                (c)(2)(A)(i); and
                  (M) develop a plan to efficiently integrate 
                into the System new, innovative, or emerging 
                technologies that have been demonstrated to be 
                useful to the System and which will fulfill the 
                purposes of this subtitle and the System Plan.
          (4) Regional information coordination entities.--
                  (A) In general.--To be certified or 
                established under this subtitle, a regional 
                information coordination entity shall be 
                certified or established by contract or 
                agreement by the Administrator, and shall agree 
                to meet the certification standards and 
                compliance procedure guidelines issued by the 
                Administrator and information needs of user 
                groups in the region while adhering to national 
                standards and shall--
                          (i) demonstrate an organizational 
                        structure capable of gathering required 
                        System observation data, supporting and 
                        integrating all aspects of coastal and 
                        ocean observing and information 
                        programs within a region and that 
                        reflects the needs of State and local 
                        governments, commercial interests, and 
                        other users and beneficiaries of the 
                        System and other requirements specified 
                        under this subtitle and the System 
                        Plan;
                          (ii) identify gaps in observation 
                        coverage needs for capital improvements 
                        of Federal assets and non-Federal 
                        assets of the System, or other 
                        recommendations to assist in the 
                        development of the annual and long-term 
                        plans created pursuant to subsection 
                        (c)(2)(A)(i) and transmit such 
                        information to the Interagency Ocean 
                        Observing Committee via the Program 
                        Office;
                          (iii) develop and operate under a 
                        strategic operational plan that will 
                        ensure the efficient and effective 
                        administration of programs and assets 
                        to support daily data observations for 
                        integration into the System, pursuant 
                        to the standards approved by the 
                        Council;
                          (iv) work cooperatively with 
                        governmental and non-governmental 
                        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
                          (v) comply with all financial 
                        oversight requirements established by 
                        the Administrator, including 
                        requirements relating to audits.
                  (B) Participation.--For the purposes of this 
                subtitle, employees of Federal agencies may 
                participate in the functions of the regional 
                information coordination entities.
  (d) System Advisory Committee.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator shall establish or 
        designate a System advisory committee, which shall 
        provide advice as may be requested by the Administrator 
        or the Interagency Ocean Observing Committee.
          (2) Purpose.--The purpose of the System advisory 
        committee is to advise the Administrator and the 
        Interagency Ocean Observing Committee on--
                  (A) 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 
                set forth in section 12302;
                  (B) expansion and periodic modernization and 
                upgrade of technology components of the System;
                  (C) 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
                  (D) any other purpose identified by the 
                Administrator or the Interagency Ocean 
                Observing Committee.
          (3) Members.--
                  (A) 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.
                  (B) Terms of service.-- [Members]
                          (i) In general._Except as provided in 
                        clause (ii), 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 1 year.
                          (ii) Staggered terms.--The 
                        Administrator may appoint or reappoint 
                        a member for a partial term of 1 or 2 
                        years in order to establish a system of 
                        staggered terms. The Administrator may 
                        appoint or reappoint a member under 
                        this clause only once. A member 
                        appointed or reappointed to a partial 
                        term under this clause may not serve 
                        more than one full term.
                  (C) Chairperson.--The Administrator shall 
                designate a chairperson from among the members 
                of the System advisory committee.
                  (D) 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.
          (4) Administrative Provisions.--
                  (A) Reporting.--The System advisory committee 
                shall report to the Administrator and the 
                Interagency Ocean Observing Committee, as 
                appropriate.
                  (B) Administrative support.--The 
                Administrator shall provide administrative 
                support to the System advisory committee.
                  (C) Meetings.--The System advisory committee 
                shall meet at least once each year, and at 
                other times at the call of the Administrator, 
                the Interagency Ocean Observing Committee, or 
                the chairperson.
                  (D) 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.
                  (E) Expiration.--Section 14 of the Federal 
                Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall 
                not apply to the System advisory committee.
  (e) 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 incorporated into the 
System by contract, lease, grant, or cooperative agreement 
under subsection (c)(3)(D) 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 subtitle, with respect to tort 
liability, is deemed to be an employee of the Federal 
Government.
  (f) Limitation.--Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed 
to invalidate existing certifications, contracts, or agreements 
between regional information coordination entities and other 
elements of the System.

SEC. 12305. INTERAGENCY FINANCING AND AGREEMENTS.

  (a) In general.--To carry out interagency activities under 
this subtitle, the Secretary of Commerce may execute 
cooperative agreements, or any other agreements, with, disburse 
appropriated funds to, and receive and expend funds made 
available by, any State or subdivision thereof, any Federal 
agency, or any public or private organization, or individual.
  (b) Reciprocity.--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 subtitle and 
fulfillment of the System Plan.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 12311. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There [are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of 
Commerce for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 such sums as are 
necessary] is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of 
Commerce for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 $42,000,000 
to fulfill the purposes of this subtitle and support activities 
identified in the annual coordinated System budget developed by 
the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee and submitted to 
the Congress.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]