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116th Congress   }                                    {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                    {       116-291

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



 
  AMENDING THE FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT TO REAUTHORIZE THE 
  LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN BASIN RESTORATION PROGRAM, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

 November 14, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. DeFazio, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4275]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 4275) to amend the Federal Water 
Pollution Control Act to reauthorize the Lake Pontchartrain 
Basin Restoration Program, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose of Legislation...........................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Legislative History and Consideration............................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     4
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     4
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     5
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     6
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     6
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     6
Preemption Clarification.........................................     6
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     6
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     6
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     7

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN BASIN RESTORATION PROGRAM 
                    REAUTHORIZATION.

  (a) Review of Comprehensive Management Plan.--Section 121 of the 
Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1273) is amended--
          (1) in subsection (c)--
                  (A) in paragraph (5), by striking ``; and'' and 
                inserting a semicolon;
                  (B) in paragraph (6), by striking the period and 
                inserting ``; and''; and
                  (C) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(7) ensure that the comprehensive conservation and 
        management plan approved for the Basin under section 320 is 
        reviewed and revised in accordance with section 320 not less 
        often than once every five years, beginning on the date of 
        enactment of this paragraph.''; and
          (2) in subsection (d), by striking ``recommended by a 
        management conference convened for the Basin under section 
        320'' and inserting ``identified in the comprehensive 
        conservation and management plan approved for the Basin under 
        section 320''.
  (b) Definitions.--Section 121(e)(1) of the Federal Water Pollution 
Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1273(e)(1)) is amended by striking ``, a 5,000 
square mile''.
  (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 121(f) of the Federal 
Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1273(f)) is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``2001 through 2012 and the 
        amount appropriated for fiscal year 2009 for each of fiscal 
        years 2013 through 2017'' and inserting ``2020 through 2024''; 
        and
          (2) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(3) Administrative expenses.--The Administrator may use for 
        administrative expenses not more than 5 percent of the amounts 
        appropriated to carry out this section.''.

                         Purpose of Legislation

    The purpose of H.R. 4275, as amended, is to amend the 
Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly known as the 
Clean Water Act, to reauthorize Federal appropriations for the 
Lake Pontchartrain Basin program; to require the comprehensive 
restoration plan for Lake Pontchartrain be reviewed and updated 
every five years; and to amend a technical definition.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Lake Pontchartrain Basin watershed encompasses sixteen 
Louisiana parishes (counties) and four Mississippi counties, 
covering a 10,000 square mile area. The Basin also includes 
Lake Borgne, Lake Maurepas, and receives flows from five rivers 
and two bayous. Approximately 2.1 million people live in the 
area of Lake Pontchartrain, the 630 square mile lake at the 
center of the basin, making it the most densely populated area 
in Louisiana.\1\
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    \1\https://saveourlake.org/about-us/our-basin/basin-issues.
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    The Basin is part of an essential wetland ecosystem, 
providing habitat, spawning grounds, and food sources to 
support numerous species of fish, birds, mammals, and plants. 
Its fisheries provide recreation as well as livelihoods, 
contributing over $35 million to the local economy by providing 
much of the seafood harvested in the Gulf Coast.\2\
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    \2\Id.
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    Lake Pontchartrain and its surrounding area face several 
challenges, most stemming from poor planning and 
overdevelopment. Logging in the upland areas has caused 
degradation, reduced plant growth, and increased saltwater 
intrusions, which subsequently have prevented new growth and 
contributed to a dead zone in the southeastern end of the lake. 
The Basin also faces impacts from urban and agricultural 
runoff, sewage overflow, and nonpoint source pollution. The 
loss of wetlands to serve as natural filters for pollutants 
exacerbates these effects.
    The Basin Restoration Program helps to address these 
environmental challenges and the region is already seeing some 
significant comebacks. Much of this success is due to a 
collaborative effort between Federal, state, and local entities 
who share an interest in a clean, healthy Lake and Basin. 
Continued funding of these efforts is essential to protecting 
and restoring the health of this ecosystem.
    The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program was 
initially authorized at $20 million for each of FY2001-FY 2005. 
Since fiscal year 2015, this program has received $900,000 in 
appropriations annually.

                                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. 4275, as amended:
    On June 25, 2019, the Subcommittee on Water Resources and 
Environment held a hearing, titled, ``Protecting and Restoring 
America's Iconic Waters.'' The Subcommittee received testimony 
from: Preston D. Cole, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of 
Natural Resources; Dave Pine, Supervisor, District 1, San Mateo 
County Board of Supervisors, Chair of the San Francisco Bay 
Restoration Authority Governing Board; Laura Blackmore, 
Executive Director, Puget Sound Partnership; William C. Baker, 
President, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Kristi Trail, Executive 
Director, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation; and Tom Ford, 
Director, Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program, The Bay 
Foundation. Topics discussed included the importance of 
reauthorizing Federal appropriations for EPA's Lake 
Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program to restore and preserve 
the ecological health and water quality of the Lake 
Pontchartrain Basin.

                 Legislative History and Consideration

    H.R. 4275 was introduced in the House on September 11, 
2019, by Mr. Graves of Louisiana and Mr. Richmond and referred 
to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Within 
the Committee, H.R. 4275 was referred to the Subcommittee on 
Water Resources and Environment.
    The Chair discharged the Subcommittee on Water Resources 
and Environment from further consideration of H.R. 4275 on 
September 19, 2019.
    The Committee met in open session to consider H.R. 4275 on 
September 19, 2019, and ordered the measure to be reported to 
the House with a favorable recommendation, as amended, by voice 
vote, a quorum being present.
    The following amendment was offered:
          An amendment offered by Mr. Graves of Louisiana (#1); 
        Page 1, after line 4: insert new subsections entitled 
        ``(a) Review of Comprehensive Management''; and ``(b) 
        Definitions.''
          Page 1, line 5, strike ``Section 121(f)'' and insert 
        a new subsection entitled ``(c) Authorization of 
        Appropriations.''; was AGREED TO by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote 
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against.
    No recorded votes were taken during consideration of H.R. 
4275, as amended.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4275, as amended, 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, October 1, 2019.
Hon. Peter A. DeFazio,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4275, a bill to 
amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reauthorize 
the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program, and for other 
purposes.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Stephen 
Rabent.
            Sincerely,
                                             Mark P. Hadley
                                 (For Phillip L. Swagel, Director).
    Enclosure.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    H.R. 4275 would authorize the appropriation of $20 million 
annually over the 2020-2024 period for the Environmental 
Protection Agency's (EPA's) Lake Pontchartrain Basin 
Restoration Program. That program provides grants and technical 
assistance for projects that have been identified in a 
management plan approved under the EPA's National Estuary 
Program to improve the ecological health of the basin. In 2019, 
EPA received appropriations totaling $1 million to carry out 
the program. The bill also would require EPA to ensure the 
basin's management plan is revised at least every five years, 
expand the geographic definition of the basin, and allow EPA to 
use up to 5 percent of the appropriated funds to administer the 
program.
    Assuming appropriation of the specified amounts and based 
on spending patterns for similar programs, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost $89 million over the 2020-2024 
period and $11 million after 2024. The costs of the 
legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 
300 (natural resources and environment).

               TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION UNDER H.R. 4275
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2020      2021      2022      2023      2024    2020-2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorization......................................        20        20        20        20        20        100
Estimated Outlays..................................        13        17        19        20        20         89
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Stephen Rabent. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goal and objective of H.R. 4275, as amended, is to 
provide assistance to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin in 
addressing environmental challenges through efforts to protect 
and restore the habitat and health of the ecosystem.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that no provision 
of H.R. 4275, as amended, establishes or reauthorizes a program 
of the federal government known to be duplicative of another 
federal program, a program that was included in any report from 
the Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a 
program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    In compliance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of the rule 
XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee finds that H.R. 4275, as amended, 
does not preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  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 (Public Law 
104-1).

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Sec. 1. Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program reauthorization

    This section, as amended, makes several changes to section 
121 of the Clean Water Act.
    First, subsection (a) amends subsections (c) and (d) of 
section 121 to require that the comprehensive conservation and 
management plan for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin be reviewed 
and revised in accordance with section 320 of the Clean Water 
Act (National Estuaries Program authority) not less often than 
every five years.
    Second, subsection (b) amends the definition of the term 
``Basin'' (found in section 121(e)(1)) to address a technical 
issue related to the size the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.
    Finally, subsection (c) amends the existing authorization 
of appropriations for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Program 
(section 121(f)) to authorize $20 million annually for fiscal 
years 2020 through 2024, and to allow the Administrator of EPA 
to use not more than 5 percent of appropriated funds for 
administrative expenses.

         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):

                  FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT


TITLE I--RESEARCH AND RELATED PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 121. LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN BASIN.

  (a) Establishment of Restoration Program.--The Administrator 
shall establish within the Environmental Protection Agency the 
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program.
  (b) Purpose.--The purpose of the program shall be to restore 
the ecological health of the Basin by developing and funding 
restoration projects and related scientific and public 
education projects.
  (c) Duties.--In carrying out the program, the Administrator 
shall--
          (1) provide administrative and technical assistance 
        to a management conference convened for the Basin under 
        section 320;
          (2) assist and support the activities of the 
        management conference, including the implementation of 
        recommendations of the management conference;
          (3) support environmental monitoring of the Basin and 
        research to provide necessary technical and scientific 
        information;
          (4) develop a comprehensive research plan to address 
        the technical needs of the program;
          (5) coordinate the grant, research, and planning 
        programs authorized under this section[; and];
          (6) collect and make available to the public 
        publications, and other forms of information the 
        management conference determines to be appropriate, 
        relating to the environmental quality of the Basin[.]; 
        and
          (7) ensure that the comprehensive conservation and 
        management plan approved for the Basin under section 
        320 is reviewed and revised in accordance with section 
        320 not less often than once every five years, 
        beginning on the date of enactment of this paragraph.
  (d) Grants.--The Administrator may make grants to pay not 
more than 75 percent of the costs--
          (1) for restoration projects and studies [recommended 
        by a management conference convened for the Basin under 
        section 320] identified in the comprehensive 
        conservation and management plan approved for the Basin 
        under section 320; and
          (2) for public education projects recommended by the 
        management conference.
  (e) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
          (1) Basin.--The term ``Basin'' means the Lake 
        Pontchartrain Basin[, a 5,000 square mile] watershed 
        encompassing 16 parishes in the State of Louisiana and 
        4 counties in the State of Mississippi.
          (2) Program.--The term ``program'' means the Lake 
        Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program established 
        under subsection (a).
  (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          (1) In general.--There is authorized to be 
        appropriated to carry out this section $20,000,000 for 
        each of fiscal years [2001 through 2012 and the amount 
        appropriated for fiscal year 2009 for each of fiscal 
        years 2013 through 2017] 2020 through 2024 Such sums 
        shall remain available until expended.
          (2) Public education projects.--Not more than 15 
        percent of the amount appropriated pursuant to 
        paragraph (1) in a fiscal year may be expended on 
        grants for public education projects under subsection 
        (d)(2).
          (3) Administrative expenses.--The Administrator may 
        use for administrative expenses not more than 5 percent 
        of the amounts appropriated to carry out this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]