H.R. 4029 (111th): Puget Sound Recovery Act of 2009

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Nov 05, 2009 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 4029

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 5, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Baird, Mr. Smith of Washington, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Inslee, and Mr. Reichert) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

A BILL

To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide assistance for programs and activities to protect the water quality of Puget Sound, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Puget Sound Recovery Act of 2009.

2.

Puget Sound

Title I of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

123.

Puget Sound

(a)

Definitions

In this section, the following definitions apply:

(1)

Comprehensive plan

The term comprehensive plan means the Puget Sound Action Agenda (the comprehensive conservation and management plan for Puget Sound under section 320), including any amendments thereto.

(2)

Council

The term Council means the Puget Sound Program Advisory Council established under subsection (d).

(3)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the Office.

(4)

Office

The term Office means the Puget Sound Program Office established by subsection (b).

(5)

Puget Sound Partnership

The term Puget Sound Partnership means the agency of the State of Washington (together with its associated councils, boards, and panels) that was formed under authority of State law for the purpose of protecting and restoring Puget Sound and is designated as the management conference for Puget Sound under section 320.

(b)

Program office

(1)

Establishment

The Administrator shall establish in the Environmental Protection Agency a Puget Sound Program Office. The Office shall be co-located with the Puget Sound Partnership in the State of Washington.

(2)

Appointment of director

The Administrator shall appoint a Director of the Office, who, by reason of management experience and technical expertise relating to Puget Sound, shall be highly qualified to support the development and implementation of projects, programs, and studies necessary to implement the comprehensive plan.

(3)

Delegation of authority; staffing

The Administrator shall delegate to the Director such authority and provide such additional staff as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(c)

Duties

(1)

In general

In carrying out this section, the Administrator, acting through the Director, shall—

(A)

assist and support the implementation of the comprehensive plan;

(B)

provide funding and make grants for implementation of the comprehensive plan and projects, programs, and studies consistent with the priorities of the comprehensive plan;

(C)

promote innovative methodologies and technologies that are cost-effective and consistent with the identified goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan and Environmental Protection Agency permitting processes;

(D)

coordinate the major functions of the Federal Government related to the implementation of the comprehensive plan, including projects, programs, and studies for—

(i)

water quality improvements;

(ii)

wetland, riverine, and estuary restoration and protection; and

(iii)

nearshore and endangered species recovery;

(E)

coordinate the research and planning projects authorized under this section with Federal agencies, State agencies, tribes, universities, and the Puget Sound Partnership’s Science Panel, including conducting or commissioning studies considered necessary by the Science Panel for strengthened implementation of the comprehensive plan;

(F)

track progress towards meeting the identified goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan by—

(i)

implementing and supporting a project, program, and study monitoring system consistent with the performance management system used by the Puget Sound Partnership; and

(ii)

coordinating, managing, and reporting environmental data related to Puget Sound in a manner consistent with methodologies utilized by the Puget Sound Partnership, including, to the extent practicable, making such data and reports on such data available to the public, including on the Internet, in a timely fashion;

(G)

coordinate projects, programs, and studies for the protection of Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with Canadian authorities; and

(H)

collect and make available to the public, including on the Internet, publications and other forms of information relating to the environmental quality of Puget Sound.

(2)

Implementation methods

The Administrator, acting through the Director, may enter into interagency agreements, make intergovernmental personnel appointments, provide funding, make grants, and utilize other available methods in carrying out the duties under this subsection.

(d)

Puget Sound program advisory council

(1)

In general

The Administrator shall establish a Puget Sound Program Advisory Council to provide advice to the Administrator on the implementation of the identified goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan.

(2)

Composition

The Council shall consist of the following 2 boards:

(A)

A Federal agency board consisting of representatives of appropriate Federal agencies that may affect or implement projects or programs identified in the comprehensive plan and the Executive Director of the Puget Sound Partnership. The chairperson of the Federal agency board shall be the Director.

(B)

An intergovernmental board consisting of the members of the Leadership Council and the Ecosystem Coordination Board of the Puget Sound Partnership.

(3)

Meetings

The Council shall meet at least twice per year—

(A)

to assess the progress of the Office in meeting the identified goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan;

(B)

to identify improvements for meeting the identified goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan; and

(C)

to assess Federal agency budget needs to implement the comprehensive plan.

(4)

Compensation of members

A member of the Council shall serve without compensation.

(5)

Travel expenses

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Administrator shall reimburse a member of the Council for travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of a Federal agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from home or the regular place of business of the member in performance of services for the Council.

(e)

Report

Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this section, and biennially thereafter, the Administrator and the Executive Director of the Puget Sound Partnership, acting jointly, shall submit to Congress a report that—

(1)

summarizes the progress made in implementing the comprehensive plan and progress towards achieving the identified goals and objectives described in the comprehensive plan;

(2)

summarizes any modifications to the comprehensive plan made in the period immediately preceding such report;

(3)

incorporates specific recommendations concerning the implementation of the comprehensive plan; and

(4)

summarizes the roles and progress of each Federal agency that has jurisdiction in the Puget Sound watershed towards meeting the identified goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan.

(f)

Implementation of comprehensive plan

(1)

In general

The Administrator, acting through the Director and in consultation with the Puget Sound Partnership, shall carry out projects, programs, and studies to implement the comprehensive plan.

(2)

Priority projects, programs, and studies

The Administrator shall give special emphasis to projects, programs, and studies that are identified as priorities by the Puget Sound Partnership in the comprehensive plan.

(3)

Grants

(A)

In general

The Administrator, acting through the Director, is authorized to make grants for projects, programs, and studies to implement the comprehensive plan.

(B)

Allocations

In making grants under this paragraph, the Administrator shall use—

(i)

50 percent of the funds appropriated for making grants under this paragraph for a fiscal year to make a comprehensive grant to the Puget Sound Partnership to manage implementation of the comprehensive plan and for allocation by the Puget Sound Partnership to projects, programs, and studies prioritized in the comprehensive plan; and

(ii)

50 percent of funds appropriated for making grants under this paragraph for a fiscal year to make grants to State and regional water pollution control agencies and entities, federally recognized Indian tribes, State coastal zone management agencies, local governments, and other public or nonprofit private agencies, institutions, or organizations to implement specific projects, programs, and studies identified in the comprehensive plan.

(4)

Federal share

(A)

In general

The Federal share of the cost of a project, program, or study carried out under this subsection shall be—

(i)

not more than 50 percent of the cost of a project, program or study; or

(ii)

up to 100 percent of the cost of a project, program, or study if the project, program, or study is located in or specifically affects a distressed community.

(B)

Contributions from non-Federal sources

The non-Federal share of costs required under subparagraph (A) shall be provided from non-Federal sources.

(5)

Distressed community defined

In this subsection, the term distressed community means a community that meets the affordability criteria established by the State in which the community is located, if such criteria is established after public review and comment.

(g)

Annual budget plan

The President, as part of the annual budget of the United States Government, shall submit information regarding each Federal agency involved in Puget Sound protection and restoration, including—

(1)

an interagency crosscut budget that displays for each Federal agency—

(A)

the amounts obligated in the preceding fiscal year for protection and restoration projects, programs, and studies relating to Puget Sound;

(B)

the estimated budget for the current fiscal year for protection and restoration projects, programs, and studies relating to Puget Sound; and

(C)

the proposed budget for protection and restoration projects, programs, and studies relating to Puget Sound; and

(2)

a description and assessment of the Federal role in the implementation of the comprehensive plan and the specific role of each Federal agency involved in Puget Sound protection and restoration, including specific projects, programs, and studies conducted or planned to achieve the identified goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan.

(h)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator to carry out this section $125,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2016. Such sums shall remain available until expended.

.