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                                                       Calendar No. 33
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                     {      115-27

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



 
         TO ENHANCE TRIBAL ROAD SAFETY, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

    April 6 (legislative day, April 4), 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

           Mr. Hoeven, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 302]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 302) to enhance tribal road safety, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon, without amendment, and recommends that the bill do 
pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The bill, S. 302, would define certain parameters for a 
``tribal transportation safety project'' to be categorically 
excluded from certain requirements and allow permits and 
approvals to be processed more expeditiously by certain federal 
agencies. The bill also requires the Secretary of the Interior 
to enter into programmatic agreements with Indian tribes that 
establish procedures for carrying out environmental reviews for 
certain projects.

                               BACKGROUND

    Road and transportation safety is a critical issue in 
Indian communities. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause 
of death of Indian children according to the Centers for 
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Native American infants, 
under the age of one, are eight times more likely to die in a 
vehicle-related crash than non-Native infants. Motor vehicle 
crashes are also the leading cause of unintentional injury for 
Native adults.
    From 2004-2010, the CDC reported the following five states 
with the highest motor vehicle-related death rates for Native 
Americans:
           Wyoming (72 deaths per 100,000 population)
           South Dakota (59 deaths per 100,000 
        population)
           Montana and North Dakota (56 deaths per 
        100,000 population)
           Arizona (45 deaths per 100,000 population)
    The CDC estimated that the national rate was 10.7 deaths 
per 100,000 population, during the same time frame.
    Between 1975 and 2002, the number of fatal motor vehicle 
crashes on Indian reservations and in Alaska Native villages 
increased more than 50 percent. Meanwhile, fatal motor vehicle 
crashes for the rest of the United States declined 2 percent 
according to the Department of Transportation (DOT).
    In a 2004 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
(NHTSA) study, it was reported that of those individuals who 
died in motor vehicle crashes on reservations, 76 percent of 
them were not wearing a seat belt. In 2011, the NHTSA reported 
569 motor vehicle crash fatalities and 181 non-Native motor 
vehicle crash fatalities on reservation lands.

                             JOHN P. SMITH

    This bill, S. 302, is named in honor of a remarkable Native 
American who led efforts to change federal laws to save lives 
and provide better road and transportation safety in Indian 
communities. This bill is intended to memorialize those 
efforts. In prepared remarks, during the February 8, 2017 
Committee business meeting,\1\ Senator Barrasso, the sponsor of 
this legislation, stated the following:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Business Meeting before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, 
115th Cong. (2017) (statement of Senator John Barrasso).

          ``Big'' John Smith led the Department of 
        Transportation for the Eastern Shoshone and Northern 
        Arapaho Tribes of the Wind River Reservation for over 
        27 years. Under his leadership, Big John was able to 
        bring people from the tribal and state transportation 
        departments together to make roads and bridges safer.
          John testified before the Committee in 2015 to share 
        the dire need for transportation improvements in Indian 
        country. At the time, the Wind River Reservation in 
        Wyoming topped the charts for pedestrian deaths in 
        Indian country.
          John helped to inspired the TIRES Act [S. 1776] last 
        Congress, parts of which are now law.
          [. . .]
          Big John knew that working together, we could make 
        real improvements to road safety and save lives.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On February 3, 2017, Senator Barrasso, along with Senator 
Crapo, introduced S. 302. Senator Enzi was added as a co-
sponsor. On February 8, 2017, the Committee met at a business 
meeting to consider the bill. By voice vote, the Committee 
ordered the bill to be reported favorably to the Senate.
    In the 114th Congress, Senator Barrasso introduced similar 
language in S. 1776, the Tribal Infrastructure and Roads 
Enhancement and Safety Act (TIRES) along with Senator Crapo. On 
July 22, 2015, the Committee met at a duly called business 
meeting to consider the bill. By voice vote, the Committee 
ordered the bill, as amended, to be reported favorably, to the 
Senate. Various provisions of S. 1776 were included in the 
Senate-passed bill, S. 1647, Developing a Reliable and 
Innovative Vision for the Economy Act (DRIVE Act).

                 SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS FOR S. 302

Section 1. Short title

    The short title of this bill is the ``John P. Smith Act.''

Section 2. Definitions

    This section defines the term Secretary to mean the 
Secretary of the Interior.

Section 3. Application of categorical exclusions to certain tribal 
        transportation facilities

    This section defines the parameters for a ``tribal 
transportation safety project'' as including a project that 
addresses a road hazard or other safety problem and defines a 
number of projects eligible to be considered by the Secretary 
for categorical exclusion from the requirements of 
Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements 
under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
    This section also sets forth requirements for reviewing 
tribal transportation safety project applications. A federal 
agency must, within 45 days of receiving a complete tribal 
transportation safety project application, make a final 
determination on the application or provide the tribe a 
schedule for completion of the application review, including an 
identification of the federal agency that has jurisdiction over 
the project.
    This section also allows for expedited treatment for 
permits and approvals that may be required by federal agencies 
such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, etc. A federal agency would be required to make a 
determination on a tribal application for a permit, approval, 
or jurisdictional determination no later than 45 days after the 
federal agency has made its determination under NEPA or provide 
the tribe a schedule for completion of review for the 
applicable permit, approval, or jurisdictional determination.
    A federal agency may extend these review periods by an 
additional 30 days by providing the tribe a notice that 
includes a statement describing the need for an extension. If a 
federal agency fails to act or provide notice as required under 
this section, the federal agency shall notify the Committee on 
Indian Affairs in the Senate and the Committee on Natural 
Resources in the House of Representatives and provide an 
explanation of why it failed to meet the deadline.

Section 4. Programmatic agreements for categorical exclusions

    This section requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
enter into programmatic agreements, for a period of up to 5 
years, with tribes that establish procedures for carrying out 
environmental reviews for eligible projects. Tribes are 
required to maintain adequate personnel and other resources to 
carry out applicable processes and the agreements will allow 
the Secretary to monitor tribal compliance with that agreement. 
These agreements must also set forth tribal responsibilities 
for making and documenting determinations, as well as achieving 
acceptable quality control and quality assurance.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

                                                 February 24, 2017.
Hon. John Hoeven,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 302, the John P. 
Smith Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sarah Puro.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.
    S. 302 would revise environmental regulations that are 
applied to certain highway infrastructure projects on Indian 
reservations. Those projects are administered by the Department 
of the Interior and the Federal Highway Administration and are 
funded from the Highway Trust Fund. Specifically, the bill 
would permit certain projects that address the safety of roads 
and bridges to be eligible for a different standard of 
environmental review, known as a categorical exclusion. The 
bill also would permit the Department of Transportation to 
delegate the responsibility for determining whether projects 
are eligible for expedited review to the tribes.
    Because S. 302 would not change the amount of funds 
authorized for such projects nor impose any significant 
additional requirements on any agency, CBO estimates that 
implementing the legislation would have no significant cost.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 302 would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply. CBO also estimates that enacting S. 302 would not 
increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of 
the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 302 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 Sarah Puro. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no communication from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 302.

               REGULATORY AND PAPERWORK IMPACT STATEMENT

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires each report accompanying a bill to evaluate the 
regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that S. 302 will 
have a minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In accordance with Committee Rules, subsection 12 of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate is waived.

                                  [all]