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                                                       Calendar No. 68
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                     {      115-55

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



 
   LOWER FARMINGTON RIVER AND SALMON BROOK WILD AND SCENIC RIVER ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 9, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 617]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 617) to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers 
Act to designate certain segments of the Farmington River and 
Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut as components of the 
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 617 is to amend the Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Farmington 
River and Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut as 
components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

                          Background and Need

    The lower Farmington River, fed by the Salmon Brook 
tributaries, flows through Connecticut from the upper 
Farmington River into the Connecticut River. The Farmington 
River is considered to support natural, cultural, and 
recreational values, including biodiversity, prehistoric 
archaeological sites, and multiple outdoor recreational 
opportunities.
    In 1994, Public Law 103-313 designated 14 miles of the 
upper Farmington River as a recreational river in the National 
Wild and Scenic Rivers System. In 2005, Public Law 109-370 
authorized a study of the lower Farmington River and the east 
and west Salmon Brook tributaries for potential inclusion into 
the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The study area 
begins downstream from the 1994 designation, includes the main 
Salmon Brook tributaries, and terminates at the Connecticut 
River.
    In November 2011, the National Park Service (NPS) released 
the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic 
River Study, which recommended ``recreational'' designation of 
63.4 miles of the lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook that 
were found eligible for designation into the National Wild and 
Scenic Rivers System. The study determined that a 2.9 mile 
segment of the Lower Farmington River, including the Upper and 
Lower Collinsville dams, as unsuitable for designation, and the 
river segment that includes the Rainbow Dam and reservoir as 
ineligible.
    Concurrently with the preparation of the study, the Lower 
Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Study 
Committee developed the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook 
Management Plan (June 2011) as part of the overall study 
effort. The plan serves as the comprehensive plan required of 
all Wild and Scenic Rivers, and functions as a blueprint for 
conservation actions and management practices whether the 
rivers are designated as Wild and Scenic or not.
    S. 617 would complete the Wild and Scenic River designation 
of the Farmington River in Connecticut by designating all of 
the mainstem Farmington River segments found to meet the 
criteria of eligibility and suitability. At the same time, S. 
617 would affirm the compatibility of the Rainbow Dam and 
Reservoir with the proposed wild and scenic designations.

                          Legislative History

    Senator Murphy introduced S. 617 on March 14, 2017.
    On March 15, 2017 a related bill, H.R. 1535, was introduced 
in the House of Representatives by Representatives Esty and 
Larson.
    In the 114th Congress, S. 329 was introduced by Senators 
Murphy and Blumenthal on February 2, 2015. The Senate 
Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S. 329 on June 
10, 2015. At its business meeting on November 19, 2015, the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 329 
favorably reported as amended (S. Rept. 114-182). A companion 
bill, H.R. 646, was introduced in the House of Representatives 
by Representatives Esty and Larson on February 2, 2015.
    In the 113th Congress, Senators Murphy and Blumenthal 
introduced a similar measure, S. 1253, on June 27, 2013. The 
Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on the bill on 
July 31, 2013. A companion bill, H.R. 2555, was introduced in 
the House of Representatives by Representatives Esty and Larson 
on June 27, 2013.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on March 30, 2017, and ordered S. 617 
favorably reported.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on March 30, 2017, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
617.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 contains the short title, the ``Lower Farmington 
River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act.''
    Section 2 contains Congressional findings.
    Section 3 designates approximately 62 miles of the 
Farmington River and its tributary, Salmon Brook, as components 
of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
    Section 4(a) and (b) directs the Secretary of the Interior 
to manage the new river segments in accordance with the 
management plan and to coordinate management responsibilities 
with the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and 
Scenic Committee.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the Secretary to enter into 
cooperative agreements to provide for the long-term protection, 
preservation, and enhancement of the rivers.
    Subsection (d) deems certain local zoning ordinances to 
satisfy the standards and requirements of the Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act. It further prohibits land acquisition by Federal 
condemnation in the designated river segments and limits such 
acquisitions to those by donation or from a willing seller.
    Subsection (e) clarifies that the designation does not 
affect future licensing of the Rainbow Dam and Reservoir or 
impact the operation of the unlicensed hydroelectric facility 
at Rainbow Dam and Reservoir, although the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission may establish reasonable terms and 
conditions in a hydropower license to reduce impacts to the 
scenic, recreational, and fish and wildlife values of the new 
river segments. The newly designated river segments will not be 
administered as part of the National Park System.
    Section 5 extends the existing Farmington National Wild and 
Scenic River designation by 1.1 miles.
    Section 6 contains definitions.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.

S. 617--Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River 
        Act

    S. 617 would designate segments of the Lower Farmington 
Rivers and Salmon Brook in Connecticut as components of the 
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Under the legislation, 
the National Park Service (NPS) would administer the river 
segments in partnership with an advisory committee composed of 
local representatives. Based on the cost of similar management 
partnerships in the region, CBO estimates that the NPS would 
provide about $170,000 annually to the advisory committee to 
manage the river segments. Thus, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost about $1 million over the 
2018-2022 period; such spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    Enacting S. 617 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 617 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year period beginning in 2028.
    S. 617 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 Jon Sperl. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 617. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 617, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 617, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    Because S. 617 is similar to legislation considered by the 
Committee in the 114th Congress, the Committee did not request 
Executive Agency views. The testimony provided by the NPS at 
the hearing before the Subcommittee on National Parks hearing 
on June 10, 2015, follows:

Statement of Victor Knox, Associate Director, Park Planning, Facilities 
      and Lands, National Park Service, Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear 
before your committee today to present the views of the 
Department of the Interior on S. 329, a bill to amend the Wild 
and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the 
Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut 
as components of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for 
other purposes.
    The Department supports enactment of S. 329 with an 
amendment that is described later in this statement. The 
National Park Service's study of the Lower Farmington River and 
Salmon Brook, transmitted to Congress on October 17, 2013, 
determined that the segments proposed for designation under 
this bill are eligible for inclusion into the National Wild and 
Scenic Rivers System.
    S. 329 would designate 35.3 miles of the Farmington River 
and the entire 26.4 miles of its major tributary, Salmon Brook, 
as part of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, to be 
administered by the Secretary of the Interior. The segments 
would be managed in accordance with the Lower Farmington River 
and Salmon Brook Management Plan (June 2011) with the Secretary 
coordinating administration and management with a locally based 
management committee, as specified in the plan. The bill would 
authorize the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements 
with the State of Connecticut, the adjoining communities, and 
appropriate local planning and environmental organizations. S. 
329 would also make an adjustment to the upper Farmington Wild 
and Scenic River, which was designated in 1994, by adding 1.1 
miles to the lower end of that 14-mile designation.
    S. 329 would complete the wild and scenic river designation 
of the Farmington River in Connecticut by designating all of 
the mainstem Farmington River segments found to meet the 
criteria of eligibility and suitability. At the same time, S. 
329 would provide for the continued operation of one existing 
hydroelectric facility--Rainbow Dam in Windsor--and allow for 
potential hydroelectric development of existing dams in the 
Collinsville stretch of the river, which is currently the 
subject of an active Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
(FERC) licensing proceeding sponsored by the Town of Canton.
    P.L. 109-370, the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook 
Study Act of 2005, authorized the study of the segments 
proposed for designation in S. 329. The National Park Service 
conducted the study in close cooperation with the adjoining 
communities, the State of Connecticut, the Farmington River 
Watershed Association, the Stanley Black & Decker Corporation 
(owner of Rainbow Dam) and other interested local parties.
    Although the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act requires the 
development of a comprehensive river management plan within 
three years of the date of designation, it has become the 
practice of the National Park Service to prepare this plan as 
part of a study of potential wild and scenic rivers when much 
of the river runs through private lands. This allows the 
National Park Service to consult widely with local landowners, 
federal and state land management agencies, local governments, 
river authorities, and other groups that have interests related 
to the river prior to any recommendation for designation. Early 
preparation of the plan also assures input from these entities 
as well as users of the river on the management strategies that 
would be needed to protect the river's resources.
    Technical assistance provided as a part of the study made 
possible the development of the Lower Farmington River and 
Salmon Brook Management Plan (June 2011). This plan is based 
primarily around local partner actions designed to guide the 
management of the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook with 
or without a National Wild and Scenic River designation.
    The study concluded that the proposed segments of the Lower 
Farmington River and Salmon Brook are eligible and suitable for 
inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System because 
of their free-flowing nature and outstandingly remarkable 
geology, water quality, biological diversity, cultural 
landscape, recreation values and local authority to protect and 
enhance these values. These findings substantiate the widely 
held view of the Farmington River as Connecticut's premier, 
free-flowing river resource for a diversity of natural and 
cultural values, including one of New England's most 
significant whitewater boating runs, regionally unique 
freshwater mussel populations, and outstanding examples of 
archaeological and historical sites and districts spanning 
Native American, colonial and early manufacturing periods. 
Salmon Brook is, in its own right, highly significant for 
outstanding water quality and significant cold water fishery.
    If S. 329 is enacted, the Lower Farmington River and Salmon 
Brook would be administered as a partnership wild and scenic 
river, similar to several other designations in the Northeast, 
including the upper Farmington River and the Eightmile River in 
Connecticut. This approach emphasizes local and state 
management solutions, and has proven effective as a means of 
protecting outstandingly remarkable natural, cultural and 
recreational resource values without the need for direct 
federal management or land acquisition.
    We recommend amending S. 329 to ensure that if operations 
of the Rainbow Dam were to be changed, wild and scenic river 
values upstream and downstream of the hydro project would be 
protected. We would be pleased to work with the sponsor and the 
committee on the appropriate language for that purpose.
    Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be happy 
to answer any questions you or other committee members may have 
regarding this bill.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the original 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):

                       Wild and Scenic Rivers Act


Public Law 90-542, as amended

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 3. COMPONENT RIVERS AND ADJACENT LANDS.

    (a) Designation.--The following rivers and the land 
adjacent thereto are hereby designated as components of the 
national wild and scenic rivers system:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (156) Farmington river, connecticut.--The [14-mile] 
        15.1 mile segment of the West Branch and mainstem 
        extending from immediately below the Goodwin Dam and 
        Hydroelectric Project in Hartland, Connecticut, [to the 
        downstream end of the New Hartford-Canton, Connecticut, 
        town line] to the confluence with the Nepaug River 
        (hereinafter in this paragraph referred to as the 
        ``segment''), as a recreational river, to be 
        administered by the Secretary of the Interior through 
        cooperative agreements between the Secretary of the 
        Interior and the State of Connecticut and its relevant 
        political subdivisions, namely the Towns of Colebrook, 
        Hartland, Barkhamsted, New Hartford, and Canton and the 
        Hartford Metropolitan District Commission, pursuant to 
        section 10(e) of this Act. The segment shall be managed 
        in accordance with the Upper Farmington River 
        Management Plan, dated April 29, 1993, and such 
        amendments thereto as the Secretary of the Interior 
        determines are consistent with this Act. Such plan 
        shall be deemed to satisfy the requirement for a 
        comprehensive management plan pursuant to section 3(d) 
        of this Act

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (213) Lower farmington river and salmon brook, 
        connecticut.--Segments of the main stem and its 
        tributary, Salmon Brook, totaling approximately 62 
        miles, to be administered by the Secretary of the 
        Interior as follows:
                  (A) The approximately 27.2-mile segment of 
                the Farmington River beginning 0.2 miles 14 
                below the tailrace of the Lower Collinsville 
                Dam and extending to the site of the Spoonville 
                Dam in Bloomfield and East Granby as a 
                recreational river.
                  (B) The approximately 8.1-mile segment of the 
                Farmington River extending from 0.5 miles below 
                the Rainbow Dam to the confluence with the 
                Connecticut River in Windsor as a recreational 
                river.
                  (C) The approximately 2.4-mile segment of the 
                main stem of Salmon Brook extending from the 
                confluence of the East and West Branches to the 
                confluence with the Farmington River as a 
                recreational river.
                  (D) The approximately 12.6-mile segment of 
                the West Branch of Salmon Brook extending from 
                its headwaters in Hartland, Connecticut to its 
                confluence with the East Branch of Salmon Brook 
                as a recreational river.
                  (E) The approximately 11.4-mile segment of 
                the East Branch of Salmon Brook extending from 
                the Massachusetts-Connecticut State line to the 
                confluence with the West Branch of Salmon Brook 
                as a recreational river.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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