< Back to H.R. 1899 (103rd Congress, 1993–1994)

Text of the Gulf of Mexico Economic and Environmental Protection Act of 1993

This bill was introduced on April 28, 1993, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 28, 1993 (Introduced).

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HR 1899 IH

103d CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1899

To establish a Gulf of Mexico economic and environmental protection program, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 28, 1993

Mr. LAUGHLIN (for himself, Mr. CALLAHAN, Mr. ANDREWS of Texas, Mr. BACCHUS of Florida, Mr. BACHUS of Alabama, Mr. BEVILL, Mr. BILIRAKIS, Mr. BLACKWELL, Mr. BOEHLERT, Mr. BORSKI, Mr. BROOKS, Mr. BROWDER, Mr. BRYANT, Ms. BYRNE, Mr. CHAPMAN, Mr. CLEMENT, Mr. COLEMAN, Mr. COSTELLO, Mr. CRAMER, Ms. DANNER, Ms. ESHOO, Mr. EVERETT, Mr. FIELDS of Texas, Mr. FROST, Mr. PETE GEREN of Texas, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mr. HALL of Texas, Mr. HAYES, Mr. HILLIARD, Mr. HUTTO, Mr. JEFFERSON, Mr. LIVINGSTON, Mr. MCCURDY, Mr. MONTGOMERY, Mr. OBERSTAR, Mr. ORTIZ, Mr. PARKER, Mr. PETERSON of Florida, Mr. PETRI, Mr. PICKLE, Mr. POSHARD, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. SANGMEISTER, Mr. SARPALIUS, Mr. SHAW, Mr. TANNER, Mr. TAUZIN, Mr. TAYLOR of Mississippi, Mr. TEJEDA, Mrs. THURMAN, Mr. WASHINGTON, Mr. WILSON, and Mr. WISE) introduced the following bill; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Public Works and Transportation, and Science, Space, and Technology


A BILL

To establish a Gulf of Mexico economic and environmental protection program, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Gulf of Mexico Economic and Environmental Protection Act of 1993’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSES.

    (a) FINDINGS-

      (1) GULF OF MEXICO AS AN ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE- Congress finds that the Gulf of Mexico is an extraordinary economic and environmental resource that--

        (A) accounts for 97 percent of offshore natural gas, and 83 percent of offshore oil production of the United States;

        (B) generates, from oil and gas development, Federal revenues that have historically been exceeded only by revenues from the Federal income tax;

        (C) contributes annually to the economy of the United States, from tourism-related dollars, approximately $20,000,000,000;

        (D) accounts for 45 percent of the shipping of imports and exports handled by the ports of the United States;

        (E) accounts for 11 of the 20 ports that handle the greatest quantity of tonnage in the United States;

        (F) produces approximately 18 percent of the commercial fish yield in the United States;

        (G) yields more than 2 1/2 times the amount of shrimp that is produced by all other shrimp fisheries of the United States combined;

        (H) borders about half of the total wetland area of the continental United States; and

        (I) provides critical estuarine habitat for large populations of finfish, shellfish, waterfowl, shorebirds, colonial nesting birds, and 75 percent of the migratory waterfowl that traverses the United States.

      (2) ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS- Congress finds that--

        (A) the Gulf of Mexico is showing signs of deterioration in environmental quality, including excess nutrients, toxic substances and the presence of pathogens;

        (B) concerns over human health have resulted in the permanent or conditional closure of 3,400,000 acres of shellfish growing areas along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico;

        (C) the region of the Gulf of Mexico is experiencing extensive losses of marshes, mangroves, and seagrass beds that are critical and highly productive habitat for a wide variety of estuarine and marine organisms;

        (D) the Gulf of Mexico is uniquely susceptible to catastrophic weather events that accelerate coastal erosion, destroy wetlands and other critical habitat, hamper economic activity, and threaten shipping and commerce;

        (E) inherent oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns around the Gulf of Mexico render the marine environment of the Gulf an integral component of the environment of the Wider Caribbean Region; and

        (F) water from two thirds of the land area of the 48 contiguous States plus a part of Canada and over half the Republic of Mexico enters the Gulf of Mexico, having a significant impact on the Gulf.

      (3) NATIONAL CONSEQUENCES- Congress finds that--

        (A) the Gulf of Mexico is a national treasure that is beset by environmental deterioration that is so extensive and complex that no single Gulf State or Federal agency can address the environmental problems alone; and

        (B) the long-term deterioration of the environmental quality of the Gulf of Mexico constitutes a threat to the national interest.

    (b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are to--

      (1) establish a comprehensive Gulf of Mexico Program that coordinates the participation of Federal agencies and departments and agencies of States and political subdivisions of States;

      (2) develop a coordinated comprehensive joint plan for the economic and environmental protection of the Gulf;

      (3) focus on improving water quality in the Gulf of Mexico, reducing coastal erosion, ameliorating the economic loss of fisheries in the Gulf, and other economic and environmental issues; and

      (4) establish a Gulf of Mexico Program Office to carry out the purposes referred to in paragraphs (1) through (3).

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    As used in this Act, unless the context expressly implies otherwise:

      (1) ADMINISTRATOR- The term ‘Administrator’ means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

      (2) AGENCY- The term ‘Agency’ means the Environmental Protection Agency.

      (3) BOARD- The term ‘Board’ means the Gulf of Mexico Executive Board established under section 6(a).

      (4) COMMITTEE- The term ‘Committee’ means the Gulf Citizens Advisory Committee established under section 6(b).

      (5) DIRECTOR- The term ‘Director’ means the Director of the Program Office.

      (6) FEDERAL AGENCY- The term ‘Federal agency’ means the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Army, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, any other Federal agency that has jurisdiction over coastal and marine resources, and any other Federal agency that the Board determines to be necessary to develop and implement the preliminary Plan or final Plan.

      (7) FINAL PLAN- The term ‘final Plan’ means the final coordinated comprehensive joint plan for the Gulf promulgated by the Administrator under section 7.

      (8) GOVERNOR- The term ‘Governor’ means a Governor of a Gulf State.

      (9) GULF- The term ‘Gulf’ means the Gulf of Mexico.

      (10) GULF REGION- The term ‘Gulf region’ means the geographic region of the Gulf States and the Gulf.

      (11) GULF STATE- The term ‘Gulf State’ means--

        (A) Alabama;

        (B) Florida;

        (C) Louisiana;

        (D) Mississippi; or

        (E) Texas.

      (12) GULF STATES- The term ‘Gulf States’ means the States referred to in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (11).

      (13) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION- The term ‘institution of higher education’ has the meaning provided in section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1141(a)).

      (14) NON-FEDERAL AGENCY- The term ‘non-Federal agency’ means any department or agency of a Gulf State or political subdivision of a Gulf State or an interstate entity referred to in section 6(a)(2). The term shall include a Gulf port authority.

      (15) PRELIMINARY PLAN- The term ‘preliminary Plan’ means the preliminary coordinated comprehensive joint plan for the Gulf that is developed by the Board under section 7.

      (16) PROGRAM- The term ‘Program’ means the Gulf of Mexico Program authorized under section 4(a).

      (17) PRIVATE ENTITY- The term ‘private entity’ includes any local citizens group, institution of higher education, private business, or nonprofit organization.

      (18) PROGRAM OFFICE- The term ‘Program Office’ means the Gulf of Mexico Program Office established under section 5.

      (19) WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION- The term ‘Wider Caribbean region’ means the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and areas of the Atlantic Ocean adjacent to the Caribbean Sea, south of 30 degrees north latitude and within 200 nautical miles of the Atlantic coast of the countries that are signatories to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, with Annex, done at Cartagena on March 24, 1993 (TIAS 11085).

SEC. 4. GULF OF MEXICO PROGRAM.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION- There is hereby authorized an interagency program for the preservation and protection of the economic and environmental resources of the Gulf. The program shall be known as the ‘Gulf of Mexico Program’. The Environmental Protection Agency shall serve as the lead agency of the Program.

    (b) REORGANIZATION OF EXISTING PROGRAM- As soon as is practicable, the Administrator shall reorganize the Gulf of Mexico Program (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act). The Administrator shall transfer the functions of the program described in this subsection to the Program.

    (c) AGREEMENTS; MEMORANDA- (1) To carry out the interagency program, the Administrator shall enter into an agreement or memorandum of understanding with the head of each Federal agency for the participation of the Federal agency in the activities of the Program.

    (2) Participating Federal agencies may enter into such a bilateral or multilateral agreement as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.

    (d) ACTIVITIES OF THE PROGRAM- The activities of the Program shall include the following activities, with respect to the management of the economic and environmental resources of the Gulf:

      (1) Coordinate the activities of Federal agencies with the activities of non-Federal agencies.

      (2) Cooperate with private individuals and entities.

      (3) Carry out a comprehensive assessment of the economic and environmental conditions and trends of the Gulf.

      (4) Provide data management required to meet Program needs.

      (5) Develop and implement a coordinated comprehensive joint plan (as described in section 7).

      (6) Monitor and assess the effectiveness of actions taken pursuant to the final Plan.

SEC. 5. GULF OF MEXICO PROGRAM OFFICE.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall establish within the Agency, the Gulf of Mexico Program Office.

    (b) LOCATION- The Gulf of Mexico Program Office shall be located in a Gulf State.

    (c) DIRECTOR- The Program Office shall be headed by a Director, who shall be appointed by the Administrator by the date specified in subsection (a).

    (d) DUTIES OF THE DIRECTOR- The Director shall carry out the functions of the Program Office.

    (e) DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY- To the extent allowable by law, the Administrator shall delegate to the Director such authority as is necessary to carry out this section.

    (f) FUNCTIONS OF THE PROGRAM OFFICE- The functions of the Program Office are to--

      (1) provide such administrative and technical support as are necessary to assist the Board in carrying out the duties referred to in section 7 and Program activities referred to in section 4;

      (2) coordinate the activities of the offices of the Agency, to ensure that each office of the Agency complies with any applicable requirements of the final Plan;

      (3) oversee the preparation of each plan or report required to be submitted to Congress under this Act; and

      (4) conduct any other activity that the Administrator determines to be necessary to carry out this Act.

    (g) FUNDING- (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any appropriations request submitted by the Administrator to the President pursuant to section 1108 of title 31, United States Code, the Administrator shall request that the funding of the Program Office be included as a separate line item.

    (2) After the date of enactment of this Act and notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any appropriations request submitted by a Federal agency pursuant to section 1108 of title 31, United States Code, the Federal agency shall request funding for participation in the Program as a separate line item, and such request shall be accompanied by the report required to be submitted to the President under section 8 of this Act.

SEC. 6. GULF OF MEXICO EXECUTIVE BOARD.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT-

      (1) IN GENERAL- As soon as is practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall establish a board that shall be known as the ‘Gulf of Mexico Executive Board’.

      (2) MEMBERS- Except as provided in paragraph (3), the Board shall be composed of the following members, who shall be appointed by the President:

        (A) The Administrator, who shall serve as the Chairperson of the Board.

        (B) The Secretary of the Army.

        (C) The Secretary of Agriculture.

        (D) The Secretary of Commerce.

        (E) The Secretary of the Interior.

        (F) The Secretary of Transportation.

        (G) Each Governor of a Gulf State.

        (H) One elected local official from a coastal county appointed by the Governor of each State.

        (I) The Chairperson of the Gulf Citizens Advisory Committee referred to in subsection (b).

      (3) DESIGNEES- Any individual referred to in subparagraphs (A) through (H) may, in lieu of serving on the Board, designate another individual to serve on the Board.

    (b) GULF CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE- The Board shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the ‘Gulf Citizens Advisory Committee’. The Committee shall be composed of citizens of the Gulf region, including representatives of private entities, who are appointed by the Governor of each Gulf State.

    (c) OTHER COMMITTEES- The Board may establish such other committees as the Board determines necessary to carry out this Act.

    (d) MEETINGS-

      (1) INITIAL MEETING- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Chairperson of the Board shall convene a meeting of the Board.

      (2) SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS- The Chairperson of the Board, in consultation with the other members of the Board, shall convene subsequent meetings of the Board, not less frequently than biannually, to carry out the duties of the Board under this Act.

    (e) QUORUM- A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings. In any vote held by the Board, each member of the Board shall have 1 vote.

    (f) COMPENSATION- Members of the Board (and members of any advisory committee established by the Board) shall serve without additional compensation, except that the members of the Board (and members of any advisory committee established by the Board) shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Board.

SEC. 7. COORDINATED COMPREHENSIVE JOINT PLAN.

    (a) PURPOSE OF PLAN- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Board shall develop a preliminary coordinated comprehensive joint plan for the Gulf. The preliminary Plan shall recommend a mechanism for balancing priority actions to address economic and environmental problems of the Gulf, including the coordination of schedules for carrying out the actions.

    (b) USE OF AVAILABLE RESOURCES- In developing the preliminary Plan, the Board shall, to the maximum extent practicable, use any research information and other resources of Federal agencies, departments and agencies of States, and other public and private entities that are available to the Board at the time of the development of the preliminary Plan.

    (c) INTERIM REPORT-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Board shall prepare a report concerning assessments of environmental quality of the Gulf and the impact of the environmental quality of the Gulf on the relative economic importance and economic viability of the Gulf. The Board shall use the report as the basis for the development of the preliminary Plan.

      (2) CONTENTS OF REPORT- The report shall include--

        (A) a description of the information and research available to the Board concerning the environmental quality of the Gulf;

        (B) an inventory of environmental research and monitoring programs that the Board determines relevant;

        (C) an identification of any deficiencies in information and research that the Board determines necessary for the development and implementation of the preliminary Plan;

        (D) an assessment of the degree of economic importance, and contributions to the economy, of the Gulf to the--

          (i) Gulf States; and

          (ii) United States; and

        (E) an identification of the environmental problems that pose a threat to the Gulf of Mexico, including problems related to habitat degradation, marine debris, nutrient enrichment, toxic substances and pesticides, freshwater inflow, data and information transfer, public education and outreach, public health, coastal erosion, and living marine resources.

      (3) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS- On completion of the report, the Chairperson of the Board shall submit a copy of the report to Congress.

    (d) ANALYSIS OF POLICY ALTERNATIVES-

      (1) IN GENERAL- In determining the activities to be included in the preliminary Plan, the Chairperson of the Board shall ensure that--

        (A) all reasonable strategies known to the Board to carry out the purpose referred to in subsection (a) are considered by the Board; and

        (B) there is adequate notice and opportunity for public comment and review of actions taken by the Board to develop the preliminary Plan.

      (2) SELECTION OF STRATEGIES- The Board shall select for inclusion in the preliminary Plan strategies that address issues related to economic and environmental problems of the Gulf that the Board considers to be of the highest priority and most cost effective as determined by cost-benefit analysis.

    (e) CONTENTS OF PRELIMINARY PLAN- The preliminary Plan shall include--

      (1) a description of the primary functions, with respect to the management of the Gulf, of each--

        (A) Federal agency; and

        (B) non-Federal agency;

      (2) activities to be carried out by a Federal agency, non-Federal agency, or private entity under the preliminary Plan, including any cooperative activity to be conducted between a Federal agency and non-Federal agency or private entity (or both);

      (3) with respect to each activity referred to in paragraph (2)--

        (A) the amount of financial (and other) resources necessary to carry out the activity; and

        (B) the period of time necessary for carrying out the activity; and

      (4) a strategy for monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of the activities carried out under the preliminary Plan.

    (f) FINAL PLAN- As soon as practicable after the submission to Congress of the preliminary Plan, and after giving opportunity to members of Congress, other appropriate officials, and the public to review and comment on the preliminary Plan, the Administrator shall establish a final Plan that is substantially similar to the preliminary Plan. The head of each Federal agency referred to in section 6(a)(2) shall take such actions as are necessary to carry out the final Plan.

    (g) AGREEMENTS-

      (1) FEDERAL AGENCIES- The Administrator shall enter into such agreements, including for the transfer or disbursement of appropriated funds, with the heads of Federal agencies as are necessary to develop and carry out the final Plan.

      (2) NON-FEDERAL AGENCIES- The Administrator or Federal members of the Board, or both, shall offer to enter into an agreement with the head of each non-Federal agency whom the Administrator determines to be appropriate to carry out an activity under the final Plan.

      (3) PRIVATE ENTITIES; PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS- The Administrator shall offer to enter into an agreement with the appropriate official of each private entity or private individual whom the Administrator determines to be appropriate to carry out an activity under the final Plan.

    (h) INTERIM ACTIONS- During the period beginning on the date the preliminary plan is submitted to the Congress and ending on the effective date of the final Plan, if the head of a Federal agency intends to take an action in the Gulf significantly contrary to the preliminary plan, the head of the Federal agency shall notify the Board prior to taking the action. This subsection shall not apply if the action is a response to an imminent hazard or if the President determines the action to be in the paramount interest of the United States.

    (i) MODIFICATION OF FINAL PLAN-

      (1) IN GENERAL- On the recommendation of the Board, the Administrator may, after providing opportunity for public review and comment, promulgate regulations to modify the final Plan.

      (2) PERIODIC REVIEW- Not later than 5 years after the date on which the final Plan becomes effective, and every 5 years thereafter, the Board shall review the final Plan and make such recommendations for the modification of the final Plan as the Board considers necessary. On the recommendation of the Board, the Administrator shall promulgate modifications to the final Plan that are substantially similar to the modifications recommended by the Board.

    (j) PLAN EVALUATION- Not later than 1 year after the date of promulgation of the final Plan, and annually thereafter, the Administrator shall submit a report to Congress on the status of the final Plan that includes--

      (1) an evaluation of the degree of effectiveness of the final Plan in meeting the purposes of this Act;

      (2) a summary of the status of each activity carried out under the plan; and

      (3) with respect to each activity referred to in paragraph (2), the amount of funding available to implement the activity.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY- Subject to the limitations under subsection (c), there are authorized to be appropriated to the Environmental Protection Agency (in addition to any amounts otherwise appropriated to the Environmental Protection Agency) to carry out this Act, such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 1994, and each fiscal year thereafter, to carry out the duties of the Board under this Act.

    (b) ALLOCATION OF AVAILABLE AMOUNTS- Subject to the limitations under subsection (c), the Administrator shall, with funds made available in accordance with this Act, allocate among the Federal agency members of the Board, such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 1994 and each fiscal year thereafter, to carry out the duties of the Board under this Act.

    (c) LIMITATIONS- The total of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under subsections (a) and (b) may not exceed--

      (1) $25,000,000 for fiscal year 1994;

      (2) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 1995;

      (3) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 1996; and

      (4) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 1997.

    (d) ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES- Not more than 10 percent of the total amount appropriated for any fiscal year to carry out this Act shall be used for administrative purposes.

    (e) BUDGET COORDINATION-

      (1) ADVICE OF BOARD- The Board shall, not less frequently than annually, advise the head of each Federal agency with respect to the preparation of any request relating to an action or project under the Program conducted by the Federal agency to be included in an appropriations request submitted to the President pursuant to section 1108 of title 31, United States Code.

      (2) SUBMISSION OF REPORT WITH APPROPRIATIONS REQUEST-

        (A) REPORT TO PRESIDENT- Each head of a Federal agency shall submit to the President with each appropriations request referred to in paragraph (1) a report that identifies each activity conducted, or proposed to be conducted, by the Federal agency that relates to the development and implementation of the final Plan.

        (B) REPORT TO BOARD- The head of each Federal agency shall submit a copy of the report referred to in subparagraph (A) to the Board on the date that the report is submitted to the President.

      (3) SOLICITATION OF ADVICE OF BOARD- The President shall, in a timely fashion after receipt of a report referred to in paragraph (2)(A), solicit the comments of the Board concerning the implications of the report on the implementation of the final Plan.

      (4) IDENTIFICATION OF BUDGET ITEMS- The President shall identify in the budget of the United States Government submitted by the President to Congress pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, the items of the budget of each Federal agency that are to be allocated to addressing an element of the final Plan.

SEC. 9. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.

    Except as expressly provided otherwise, nothing in this Act is intended to affect the jurisdiction, power, or prerogative of any department, agency, or officer of--

      (1) the Federal Government; or

      (2) the government of a State.