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116th Congress    }                                     {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                     {     116-315

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



 
                           DIGITAL COAST ACT

                                _______
                                

 November 26, 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. 2189]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2189) to require the Secretary of Commerce, 
acting through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, to establish a constituent-driven 
program to provide a digital information platform capable of 
efficiently integrating coastal data with decision-support 
tools, training, and best practices and to support collection 
of priority coastal geospatial data to inform and improve 
local, State, regional, and Federal capacities to manage the 
coastal region, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, 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 ``Digital Coast Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress makes the following findings:
          (1) The Digital Coast is a model approach for effective 
        Federal partnerships with State and local government, 
        nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector.
          (2) Access to current, accurate, uniform, and standards-based 
        geospatial information, tools, and training to characterize the 
        United States coastal region is critical for public safety and 
        for the environment, infrastructure, and economy of the United 
        States.
          (3) More than half of all people of the United States 
        (153,000,000) currently live on or near a coast and an 
        additional 12,000,000 are expected in the next decade.
          (4) Coastal counties in the United States average 300 persons 
        per square mile, compared with the national average of 98.
          (5) On a typical day, more than 1,540 permits for 
        construction of single-family homes are issued in coastal 
        counties, combined with other commercial, retail, and 
        institutional construction to support this population.
          (6) Over half of the economic productivity of the United 
        States is located within coastal regions.
          (7) Highly accurate, high-resolution remote sensing and other 
        geospatial data play an increasingly important role in decision 
        making and management of the coastal zone and economy, 
        including for--
                  (A) flood and coastal storm surge prediction;
                  (B) hazard risk and vulnerability assessment;
                  (C) emergency response and recovery planning;
                  (D) community resilience to longer range coastal 
                change;
                  (E) local planning and permitting;
                  (F) habitat and ecosystem health assessments; and
                  (G) landscape change detection.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Coastal region.--The term ``coastal region'' means the 
        area of United States waters extending inland from the 
        shoreline to include coastal watersheds and seaward to the 
        territorial sea.
          (2) Coastal state.--The term ``coastal State'' has the 
        meaning given the term ``coastal state'' in section 304 of the 
        Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1453).
          (3) Federal geographic data committee.--The term ``Federal 
        Geographic Data Committee'' means the interagency committee 
        that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and 
        dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis.
          (4) Remote sensing and other geospatial.--The term ``remote 
        sensing and other geospatial'' means collecting, storing, 
        retrieving, or disseminating graphical or digital data 
        depicting natural or manmade physical features, phenomena, or 
        boundaries of the Earth and any information related thereto, 
        including surveys, maps, charts, satellite and airborne remote 
        sensing data, images, LiDAR, and services performed by 
        professionals such as surveyors, photogrammetrists, 
        hydrographers, geodesists, cartographers, and other such 
        services.
          (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Commerce, acting through the Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DIGITAL COAST.

  (a) Establishment.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a program for 
        the provision of an enabling platform that integrates 
        geospatial data, decision-support tools, training, and best 
        practices to address coastal management issues and needs. Under 
        the program, the Secretary shall strive to enhance resilient 
        communities, ecosystem values, and coastal economic growth and 
        development by helping communities address their issues, needs, 
        and challenges through cost-effective and participatory 
        solutions.
          (2) Designation.--The program established under paragraph (1) 
        shall be known as the ``Digital Coast'' (in this section 
        referred to as the ``program'').
  (b) Program Requirements.--In carrying out the program, the Secretary 
shall ensure that the program provides data integration, tool 
development, training, documentation, dissemination, and archiving by--
          (1) making data and resulting integrated products developed 
        under this section readily accessible via the Digital Coast 
        Internet website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration, the GeoPlatform.gov and data.gov Internet 
        websites, and such other information distribution technologies 
        as the Secretary considers appropriate;
          (2) developing decision-support tools that use and display 
        resulting integrated data and provide training on use of such 
        tools;
          (3) documenting such data to Federal Geographic Data 
        Committee standards; and
          (4) archiving all raw data acquired under this Act at the 
        appropriate National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
        data center or such other Federal data center as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.
  (c) Coordination.--The Secretary shall coordinate the activities 
carried out under the program to optimize data collection, sharing and 
integration, and to minimize duplication by--
          (1) consulting with coastal managers and decision makers 
        concerning coastal issues, and sharing information and best 
        practices, as the Secretary considers appropriate, with--
                  (A) coastal States;
                  (B) local governments; and
                  (C) representatives of academia, the private sector, 
                and nongovernmental organizations;
          (2) consulting with other Federal agencies, including 
        interagency committees, on relevant Federal activities, 
        including activities carried out under the Ocean and Coastal 
        Mapping Integration Act (33 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Coastal 
        Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), the 
        Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 (33 
        U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), and the Hydrographic Services Improvement 
        Act of 1998 (33 U.S.C. 892 et seq.);
          (3) participating, pursuant to section 216 of the E-
        Government Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-347; 44 U.S.C. 3501 
        note), in the establishment of such standards and common 
        protocols as the Secretary considers necessary to assure the 
        interoperability of remote sensing and other geospatial data 
        with all users of such information within--
                  (A) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                Administration;
                  (B) other Federal agencies;
                  (C) State and local government; and
                  (D) the private sector;
          (4) coordinating with, seeking assistance and cooperation of, 
        and providing liaison to the Federal Geographic Data Committee 
        pursuant to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16 and 
        Executive Order 12906 of April 11, 1994 (59 Fed. Reg. 17671), 
        as amended by Executive Order 13286 of February 28, 2003 (68 
        Fed. Reg. 10619); and
          (5) developing and maintaining a best practices document that 
        sets out the best practices used by the Secretary in carrying 
        out the program and providing such document to the United 
        States Geological Survey, the Corps of Engineers, and other 
        relevant Federal agencies.
  (d) Filling Needs and Gaps.--In carrying out the program, the 
Secretary shall--
          (1) maximize the use of remote sensing and other geospatial 
        data collection activities conducted for other purposes and 
        under other authorities;
          (2) focus on filling data needs and gaps for coastal 
        management issues, including with respect to areas that, as of 
        the date of the enactment of this Act, were underserved by 
        coastal data and the areas of the Arctic that are under the 
        jurisdiction of the United States;
          (3) pursuant to the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act 
        (33 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), support continue improvement in 
        existing efforts to coordinate the acquisition and integration 
        of key data sets needed for coastal management and other 
        purposes, including--
                  (A) coastal elevation data;
                  (B) land use and land cover data;
                  (C) socioeconomic and human use data;
                  (D) critical infrastructure data;
                  (E) structures data;
                  (F) living resources and habitat data;
                  (G) cadastral data; and
                  (H) aerial imagery; and
          (4) integrate the priority supporting data set forth under 
        paragraph (3) with other available data for the benefit of the 
        broadest measure of coastal resource management constituents 
        and applications.
  (e) Financial Agreements and Contracts.--
          (1) In general.--In carrying out the program, the Secretary--
                  (A) may enter into financial agreements to carry out 
                the program, including--
                          (i) support to non-Federal entities that 
                        participate in implementing the program; and
                          (ii) grants, cooperative agreements, 
                        interagency agreements, contracts, or any other 
                        agreement on a reimbursable or non-reimbursable 
                        basis, with other Federal, tribal, State, and 
                        local governmental and nongovernmental 
                        entities; and
                  (B) may, to the maximum extent practicable, enter 
                into such contracts with private sector entities for 
                such products and services as the Secretary determines 
                may be necessary to collect, process, and provide 
                remote sensing and other geospatial data and products 
                for purposes of the program.
          (2) Fees.--
                  (A) Assessment and collection.--The Secretary may 
                assess and collect fees for the conduct of any 
                training, workshop, or conference that advances the 
                purposes of the program.
                  (B) Amounts.--The amount of a fee under this 
                paragraph may not exceed the sum of costs incurred, or 
                expected to be incurred, by the Secretary as a direct 
                result of the conduct of the training, workshop, or 
                conference, including for subsistence expenses 
                incidental to the training, workshop, or conference, as 
                applicable.
                  (C) Use of fees.--Amounts collected by the Secretary 
                in the form of fees under this paragraph may be used to 
                pay for--
                          (i) the costs incurred for conducting an 
                        activity described in subparagraph (A); or
                          (ii) the expenses described in subparagraph 
                        (B).
          (3) Survey and mapping.--Contracts entered into under 
        paragraph (1)(B) shall be considered ``surveying and mapping'' 
        services as such term is used in and as such contracts are 
        awarded by the Secretary in accordance with the selection 
        procedures in chapter 11 of title 40, United States Code.
  (f) Ocean Economy.--The Secretary may establish publically available 
tools that track ocean and Great Lakes economy data for each coastal 
State.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2189 is to require the Secretary of 
Commerce, acting through the Administrator of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to establish a 
constituent-driven program to provide a digital information 
platform capable of efficiently integrating coastal data with 
decision-support tools, training, and best practices and to 
support collection of priority coastal geospatial data to 
inform and improve local, state, regional, and federal 
capacities to manage the coastal region, and for other 
purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Coastal shoreline counties produce 40 percent of the 
nation's jobs and contribute $8.6 trillion, or 46 percent, of 
the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).\1\ Although these 
counties make up less than 10 percent of the total U.S. 
landmass (excluding Alaska and the territories), they would 
rank third in global GDP, after the U.S. and China, if 
considered as a separate country.\2\ Extreme weather events 
such as hurricanes and associated flooding can devastate 
coastal communities, with especially serious effects on those 
experiencing poverty (15 percent of the coastal population) and 
the elderly (8 percent).\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Nat'l Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin., Socioeconomic Data Summary 
(2019), https://coast.noaa.gov/data/digitalcoast/pdf/socioecon-pocket-
guide.pdf.
    \2\Id.
    \3\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Started in 2007, NOAA's Digital Coast Partnership, which 
has never been specifically authorized by Congress, is a web-
based collection of data, tools, and training resources 
designed to support coastal managers. This effort includes 
economic data, satellite imagery, visualization tools, and 
predictive tools--from hundreds of sources across academia, 
non-governmental, federal, state, tribal, and county partners--
that help coastal communities better prepare for storms, 
flooding, and sea level rise, and strengthen coastal economic 
development planning efforts.\4\ The Partnership also supports 
events such as conferences, webinars, workshops, and meetings 
to provide coastal managers collaborative forums on issues such 
as coastal resilience, ocean planning, mapping, and habitat 
protection.\5\ NOAA estimated in 2015 that the Digital Coast, 
as a critical component of the Coastal Zone Management Program, 
had a 3.9 to one benefit-cost ratio and that this ratio would 
increase to more than five to one by Fiscal Year 2028.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\About Digital Coast, NOAA Office for Coastal Mgmt., https://
coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/about/ (last modified Sept. 25, 2019).
    \5\NOAA Office for Coastal Mgmt., Digital Coast: Frequently Asked 
Questions 1 (2018), https://coast.noaa.gov/data/digitalcoast/pdf/
faq.pdf.
    \6\NOAA Office for Coastal Mgmt., Projected Benefits and Costs of 
the Digital Coast 22, 23 (2015), https://coast.noaa.gov/data/
digitalcoast/pdf/benefits-costs.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2189 was introduced on April 9, 2019, by 
Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD). The bill was 
referred solely to the Committee on Natural Resources, and 
within the Committee 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. Chair Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) 
offered an amendment #1, which 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. 2189: 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 provides the short title of the bill, the 
``Digital Coast Act.''

Section 2. Findings

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

Section 3. Definitions

    This section defines relevant terms.

Section 4. Establishment of the Digital Coast

    This section establishes the Digital Coast Program to 
provide a platform that integrates geospatial data, decision-
support tools, training, and best practices to address coastal 
management issues and needs. Among other things, this section 
requires the Secretary of Commerce to maximize the use of 
remote sensing data collection activities, allows the Secretary 
to enter into financial agreements to carry out the program, 
directs the Secretary to develop a best-practices document for 
carrying out the program, and allows the Secretary to establish 
publicly available tools that track ocean and Great Lakes 
economy data for each coastal state.

            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, October 10, 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. 2189, the Digital 
Coast Act.
    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.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    H.R. 2189 would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) to continue implementing the agency's 
Digital Coast Program. Under that program, NOAA makes 
geospatial data, decision-support tools, and best practices 
regarding the management of coastal areas available on a public 
website. In 2019, NOAA used $2 million of appropriated funds to 
carry out the program. The bill also would direct NOAA to focus 
additional data collection efforts on underserved coastal 
areas, such as in the Arctic.
    Using information from NOAA, CBO expects that the resources 
necessary to implement the Digital Coast Program under H.R. 
2189 would be higher than the resources necessary under current 
law because of the costs associated with transporting equipment 
to the Arctic and other underserved areas for additional data 
collection. Accounting for that, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 2189 would cost $15 million over the 2020-
2024 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    H.R. 2189 also would authorize NOAA to collect and spend 
fees, without further appropriation, for training, workshops 
and conferences related to the Digital Coast program. Any such 
collection and spending would be classified as direct spending. 
CBO estimates that the net effect of such collections and 
spending would be negligible because the spending would 
probably occur soon after any receipt.
    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. 2189
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    By fiscal year, millions of dollars
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2020     2021     2022     2023     2024   2020-2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Estimated Authorization.................................        3        3        3        3        4        16
Estimated Outlays.......................................        2        3        3        3        4        15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 are to require the Secretary of 
Commerce, acting through the Administrator of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to establish a 
constituent-driven program to provide a digital information 
platform capable of efficiently integrating coastal data with 
decision-support tools, training, and best practices and to 
support collection of priority coastal geospatial data to 
inform and improve local, state, regional, and federal 
capacities to manage the coastal region.

                           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.

                  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

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes to existing 
law.

        SUPPLEMENTAL, MINORITY, ADDITIONAL, OR DISSENTING VIEWS

    None.

                                  [all]