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                                                       Calendar No. 25
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                               SENATE  
 1st Session       }                                     {      115-14                                                    
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                                        


                           DIGITAL COAST ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 110

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                 March 30, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

69-010                         WASHINGTON : 2017                  
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred fifteenth congress
                             first session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
 JIM INHOFE, Oklahoma                 TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 MIKE LEE, Utah                       GARY PETERS, Michigan
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
 SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West           TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
    Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               MARGARETWOODHASSAN,NewHampshire
 TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Nevada
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
           
           
           
           
           
           
           


                                                       Calendar No. 25
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                               SENATE  
 1st Session       }                                     {      115-14   
======================================================================



 
                           DIGITAL COAST ACT

                                _______
                                

                 March 30, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 110]

    [Including the cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 110) to require the Secretary 
of Commerce, acting through the Administrator of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to establish a 
constituent-driven program to provide a digital information 
platform capable of efficiently integrating coastal data with 
decision-support tools, training, and best practices and to 
support collection of priority coastal geospatial data to 
inform and improve local, State, regional, and Federal 
capacities to manage the coastal region, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 110 is to require the Secretary of 
Commerce (Secretary), acting through the Administrator of the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to 
establish a constituent-driven program to provide a digital 
information platform capable of efficiently integrating coastal 
data with decision-support tools, training, and best practices 
to support the collection of priority coastal geospatial data 
to inform local, State, regional, and Federal capacities to 
manage the coastal region, and for other purposes.

                          Background and Needs

    Thirty-nine percent of the population lives in shoreline-
adjacent counties. These coastal cities account for $7.6 
trillion, or 46 percent, of the total United States Gross 
Domestic Product.\1\ The size of the population residing in 
coastal communities is projected to continue rising, with an 
additional 12 million individuals anticipated to move to 
coastal communities in the next decade alone.\2\ Recent extreme 
weather has highlighted the particular vulnerability of these 
regions to the devastating effects of natural disasters. In 
order to ensure these communities remain safe and continue to 
prosper economically, planners in coastal regions need access 
to high-quality, accurate data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
``Coastal Economic Packet Guide 2016,'' 2016, at http://
www.ppi.noaa.gov/wp-content/uploads/Coastal-Economic-Packet-Guide-
2016.pdf.
    \2\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Digital Coast Program (Program) helps coastal 
communities better prepare for storms, cope with varying water 
levels, and strengthen coastal economic development planning 
efforts. NOAA's Office for Coastal Management currently 
assembles and hosts the web-based Program, a collaborative 
online database of the most up-to-date coastal information 
available to both the public and private sectors. The Program 
provides tools for coastal communities to decipher and use 
high-tech mapping data to make accurate decisions and smart 
investments. Some tools the Program provides include a 
historical hurricane tracker, which allows users to search 
storms by name, latitude and longitude, or geographic region, 
as well as a sea level rise viewer, which allows users to 
examine how tidal flooding may impact a given region.
    The Committee intends that this bill would support further 
development of the current Program, including increasing access 
to uniform up-to-date data to help communities get the coastal 
data they need to respond to emergencies, plan for long-term 
coastal resilience, and manage their water resources. 
Additionally, the bill would provide for documentation, 
dissemination, and archiving of data, and require NOAA to focus 
on filling data needs and gaps and enter into financial 
agreements to support the Program.
    From its inception in fiscal year (FY) 2007 through the end 
of FY 2012, costs associated with the Program totaled $5.4 
million: $4.5 million from the NOAA Coastal Services Center and 
nearly $1 million from Program partners. Appropriations for the 
core Program were just over $1 million in FY 2010 and FY 2011. 
Since then, costs have increased more modestly and are 
projected to remain constant, at just over $1.4 million 
annually, which was the FY 2012 level.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\NOAA Coastal Services Center. 2012. ``Benefits and Costs of the 
Digital Coast.'' Charleston, SC: NOAA Coastal Services Center, accessed 
April 18, 2016, at https://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/_/pdf/
Benefits_and_Costs_of_the_Digital_Coast.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Program has a wide-range of Federal, State, and local 
government, as well as non-governmental, private, and academic 
partners. These include the American Planning Association, 
Ayres Associates, Association of State Floodplain Managers, 
Coastal States Organization, Continental Mapping Consultants, 
Inc., The National Association of Counties, The Nature 
Conservancy, Management Association for Private Photogrammetric 
Surveyors, National Society of Professional Surveyors, National 
States Geographic Information Council, 1000 Friends of 
Wisconsin, and Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department.

                         Summary of Provisions

    If enacted, S. 110 would do the following:
           Ensure that the Program provides data 
        integration, tool development, training, documentation, 
        and archiving via the Program website.
           Ensure that activities carried out under the 
        Program are coordinated with coastal managers and 
        decision makers from coastal States and local 
        governments; representatives of academia, the private 
        sector, and non-governmental agencies; and that Federal 
        agencies are also consulted.
           Maximize the use of remote sensing and other 
        geospatial data collection activities.
           Allow the Secretary to enter into financial 
        agreements to carry out the Program.
           Direct the Secretary to develop a best 
        practices document for carrying out the Program that 
        can be given to other Federal agencies, such as United 
        States Geological Survey and the United States Army 
        Corps of Engineers.
           Allow the Secretary to establish publicly 
        available tools that track ocean and Great Lakes 
        economy data for each coastal State.
           Authorize the Program through FY 2022.

                          Legislative History

    S. 110 was introduced by Senator Baldwin on January 13, 
2017, with Senators Murkowski, Sullivan, and Booker as 
cosponsors. A similar bill, S. 2325, was reported out of 
Committee and passed in the Senate in the 114th Congress.
    On January 24, 2017, the Committee met in open Executive 
Session and, by voice vote, ordered S. 110 to be reported 
favorably without amendment.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 110--Digital Coast Act

    S. 110 would authorize the appropriation of $4 million a 
year over the 2018-2022 period to continue the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Digital Coast program. 
Under that program, NOAA makes geospatial data, decision-
support tools, and best practices regarding the management of 
coastal areas available on a public website. (In 2016, NOAA 
used $4 million of appropriated funds to carry out the Digital 
Coast program.) CBO estimates that implementing the bill would 
cost $20 million over the 2018-2022 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts.
    S. 110 also would authorize NOAA to collect and spend fees, 
without further appropriation, for training, workshops and 
conferences related to the Digital Coast program; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that the 
net effect of such collections and spending would not be 
significant in any year and over the 2017-2027 period. Enacting 
the bill would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 110 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 110 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would benefit state, local, and tribal governments by 
authorizing federal financial and technical assistance for 
coastal communities. Any costs incurred by those entities, 
including matching contributions, would result from 
participation in a voluntary federal program
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Jacob Fabian 
(for federal costs) and Jon Sperl (for state and local 
effects). The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 110, as reported, does not create any new programs or 
impose any new regulatory requirements, and therefore would not 
subject any individuals or businesses to new regulations.

                            economic impact

    The legislation is not expected to have a negative impact 
on the Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    The reported bill is not expected to impact the personal 
privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    S. 110 would require the Secretary to develop a best 
practices document that sets out the best practices used in 
carrying out the Program and provide such document to the 
United States Geological Survey, the United States Army Corps 
of Engineers, and other relevant Federal agencies.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide the short title of the bill, 
``Digital Coast Act.''

Section 2. Findings.

    This section would list findings regarding the Program and 
data on coastal population size, density, and the number of 
coastal construction permits in the United States. 
Specifically, more than half of the U.S. population, 
153,000,000 people, lives on the coast; coastal counties in the 
United States average 300 persons per square mile; and more 
than 1,540 permits for construction of single-family homes are 
issued in coastal counties per day.

Section 3. Definitions.

    This section would define ``coastal region,'' ``Federal 
geographic data committee,'' ``remote sensing and other 
geospatial,'' and ``Secretary.'' It also would define ``coastal 
State'' as it is defined in section 304 of the Coastal Zone 
Management Act of 1992 (16 U.S.C. 1453), which means a State of 
the United States in, or bordering on, the Atlantic, Pacific, 
or Arctic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, or one 
or more of the Great Lakes, and includes certain territories.

Section 4. Establishment of the Digital Coast.

    This section would establish and designate a constituent-
driven program. It also would provide program requirements and 
designate the Secretary to coordinate the activities carried 
out under the program. This section would require the Secretary 
to fill certain needs and gaps, and would allow the Secretary 
to enter into financial agreements to carry out the program. It 
also would direct the Secretary to develop and maintain a best 
practices document that would provide guidance to other Federal 
agencies interested in establishing a similar program or 
contributing data to the program. The Committee believes that 
inland areas would benefit if the applicable Federal agencies 
made certain data, such as flood plain maps, more accessible 
and that the lessons learned under the program could provide 
valuable insight.
    This section also would allow the Secretary to establish 
publicly available tools that track ocean and Great Lakes 
economy data for each coastal State. This section would 
authorize to be appropriated to the Secretary $4 million to 
carry out the program in each of FYs 2018 through 2022.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.

                                  [all]