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116th Congress   }                                      {   Rept. 116-231
                          HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {      Part 1

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



 
 INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN OBSERVATION SYSTEM ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2019

                                _______
                                

October 11, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Grijalva, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1314]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1314) 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 2019''.

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 ``for fiscal years 
2009 through 2013 such sums as are necessary'' and inserting 
``$47,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2024''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1314 is to reauthorize the Integrated 
Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009, and for other 
purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Authorized by the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation 
System (ICOOS) Act of 2009,\1\ the Integrated Ocean Observing 
System (IOOS) is a national-regional partnership implemented by 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that 
provides important data to improve safety, enhance the economy, 
and protect the environment.\2\ IOOS is a coordinated network 
of people and technology, consisting of seventeen federal 
partners and eleven regional associations,\3\ 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. 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. Data are collected through 737 national and 335 
regional platforms, such as buoys and water level gauges, and 
150 high-frequency radar installations.\4\ IOOS also supports 
programs to transition marine sensors and research models to 
operations, an animal telemetry network to track aquatic 
species' movements and behavior, and oceanographic metadata 
record datasets.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-11 
tit. XII, subtitle C, 123 Stat. 991, 1427 (2009).
    \2\See, e.g., About Us, NOAA IOOS, https://ioos.noaa.gov/about/
about-us/ (last visited Oct. 8, 2019). See generally H.R. REP. NO. 115-
1038, pt. 1, at 2-3 (2018) (containing language updated and reused 
herein).
    \3\See, e.g., IOOS By The Numbers, NOAA IOOS, https://
ioos.noaa.gov/about/ioos-by-the-numbers/ (last visited Oct. 8, 2019).
    \4\4 Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The ICOOS Act of 2009 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. The ICOOS 
Advisory Committee is a federal advisory committee of non-
federal experts that provides advice to the NOAA Administrator 
and the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee on the 
administration, operation, management, and maintenance of the 
U.S. IOOS.\5\ Members of the IOOS Advisory Committee are 
appointed by the NOAA Administrator to serve three-year terms, 
which are renewable once. Currently, members may all be 
appointed at once, with the current committee membership 
comprising 15 members for a term beginning in 2018 and ending 
in 2021, with three federal ex officio members from NOAA, the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Environmental Protection 
Agency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Pub. L. No. 111-11, 12,304(d), 123 Stat. 991, 143334 (2009); see 
also U.S. IOOS Advisory Committee, NOAA IOOS, https://ioos.noaa.gov/
community/u-s-ioos-advisory-committee/ (last visited Oct. 8, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1314 was introduced on February 19, 2019, by 
Representative Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Within the former 
committee, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Water, 
Oceans, and Wildlife. On May 8, 2019, the Subcommittee held a 
hearing on the bill. On September 18, 2019, the Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee 
was discharged by unanimous consent. An amendment offered by 
Chair Grijalva #1 was agreed to 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.

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress the following hearing was used to develop or 
consider H.R. 1314: legislative hearing by the Subcommittee on 
Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held on May 8, 2019.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    This section would provide the short title of the bill, the 
``Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act 
Amendments of 2019.''

Section 2. Staggered terms for national integrated coastal and ocean 
        observation system advisory committee

    This section would stagger the terms of the ICOOS Advisory 
Committee members.

Section 3. Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System cooperative 
        agreements

    This section would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to 
disburse funds to any state, federal agency, public or private 
organization, or individual in carrying out interagency 
activities.

Section 4. Reauthorization of Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation 
        System Act of 2009

    This section would authorize $47.5 million in 
appropriations for each of Fiscal Years 2020 through 2024 to 
carry out the ICOOS Act.

            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, September 26, 2019.
Hon. Raul M. Grijalva,
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. 1314, the 
Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act Amendments 
of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert Reese.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

    
    

    H.R. 1314 would amend the Integrated Coastal and Ocean 
Observation System Act of 2009 and authorize the appropriation 
of $47.5 million each year over the 2020-2024 period for the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) 
Integrated Ocean Observation System (IOOS). CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost $209 million over the 2020-
2024 period and $29 million after 2024. In 2019, NOAA allocated 
$45 million to operate the IOOS.
    The cost of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, falls 
within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

               TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION UNDER H.R. 2189
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 2019     2020     2021     2022     2023     2024    2019-2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorization................................        0       48       48       48       48       48          238
Estimated Outlays............................        0       29       39       46       48       48          209
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    On May 8, 2019, CBO transmitted an estimate for S. 914, the 
Coordinated Ocean Observation and Research Act of 2019, as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation on April 3, 2019. Title I of S. 914 is 
similar to H.R. 1314. CBO's estimated costs for those 
provisions are different because the two pieces of legislation 
would authorize the appropriation of different amounts.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Robert Reese. 
The estimate was reviewed by 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 goals and 
objectives of this bill is to reauthorize and amend 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.

                 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Statement

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           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. The Integrated Ocean 
Observing System (IOOS) (CFDA No. 11.012) reauthorized by this 
bill is related and complementary to, but not duplicative of, 
the following programs identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance published pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 
6104: Financial Assistance for National Centers for Coastal 
Ocean Science (CFDA No. 11.426), Coastal Zone Management 
Estuarine Research Reserves (CFDA No. 11.420), Coastal Zone 
Management Administration Awards (CFDA No. 11.419), Climate and 
Atmospheric Research (CFDA No. 11.431), Environmental Sciences, 
Applications, Data, and Education (CFDA No. 11.440), Office for 
Coastal Management (CFDA No. 11.473), Sea Grant Support (CFDA 
No. 11.417), Marine Sanctuary Program (CFDA No. 11.429), and 
Cooperative Science and Education Program (CFDA No. 11.455).

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

               Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law

    Any preemptive effect of this bill over state, local, or 
tribal law is intended to be consistent with the bill's 
purposes and text and the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the 
U.S. Constitution.

         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 italics, 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] $47,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 
2024 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.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



        Supplemental, Minority, Additional, or Dissenting Views

    None.