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H.R. 4715 (111th): Clean Estuaries Act of 2010


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 2, 2010 (Introduced).


I

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4715

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 2, 2010

(for himself and Mr. LoBiondo) 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 reauthorize the National Estuary Program, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Clean Estuaries Act of 2010.

2.

National estuary program amendments

(a)

Purposes of conference

(1)

Development of comprehensive conservation and management plans

Section 320(b)(4) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1330(b)(4)) is amended to read as follows:

(4)

develop and submit to the Administrator a comprehensive conservation and management plan that—

(A)

identifies the estuary and its associated upstream waters to be addressed by the plan, with consideration given to hydrological boundaries;

(B)

recommends priority corrective actions and compliance schedules addressing point and nonpoint sources of pollution to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the estuary, including restoration and maintenance of water quality, a resilient and diverse indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife, and recreational activities in the estuary, and assure that the designated uses of the estuary are protected;

(C)

considers current and future sustainable commercial activities in the estuary;

(D)

addresses the impacts of climate change on the estuary, including—

(i)

the identification and assessment of vulnerabilities in the estuary; and

(ii)

the development and implementation of adaptation strategies;

(E)

increases public education and awareness of the ecological health and water quality conditions of the estuary;

(F)

identifies and assesses impairments, including upstream impairments, coming from outside of the area addressed by the plan, and the sources of those impairments; and

(G)

includes performance measures and goals to track implementation of the plan.

.

(2)

Monitoring and making results available

Section 320(b)(6) of such Act (33 U.S.C. 1330(b)(6)) is amended to read as follows:

(6)

monitor (and make results available to the public regarding)—

(A)

water quality conditions in the estuary and its associated upstream waters, as identified under paragraph (4)(A);

(B)

habitat conditions that relate to the ecological health and water quality conditions of the estuary; and

(C)

the effectiveness of actions taken pursuant to the comprehensive conservation and management plan developed for the estuary under this subsection;

.

(3)

Information and educational activities

Section 320(b) of such Act (33 U.S.C. 1330(b)) is amended—

(A)

by redesignating paragraph (7) as paragraph (8); and

(B)

by inserting after paragraph (6) the following:

(7)

provide information and educational activities on the ecological health and water quality conditions of the estuary; and

.

(4)

Conforming amendment

The sentence following section 320(b)(8) of such Act (as so redesignated) is amended by striking paragraph (7) and inserting paragraph (8).

(b)

Members of conference

Section 320(c)(5) of such Act (33 U.S.C. 1330(c)(5)) is amended by inserting after institutions, the following: not-for-profit organizations,.

(c)

Administration of Plans

Section 320(f) of such Act (33 U.S.C. 1330(f)) is amended to read as follows:

(f)

Administration of Plans

(1)

Approval

Not later than 120 days after the date on which a management conference submits to the Administrator a comprehensive conservation and management plan under this section, and after providing for public review and comment, the Administrator shall approve the plan if the Administrator determines that the plan meets the requirements of this section and the affected Governor or Governors concur.

(2)

Implementation

Upon approval of a comprehensive conservation and management plan under this section, the plan shall be implemented. Funds authorized to be appropriated under titles II and VI and section 319 may be used in accordance with the applicable requirements of this Act to assist States with the implementation of the plan.

(3)

Evaluation

(A)

In general

Not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of this paragraph, and every 4 years thereafter, the Administrator shall complete an evaluation of the implementation of each comprehensive conservation and management plan developed under this section to determine the degree to which the goals of the plan have been met.

(B)

Review and comment by management conference

In completing an evaluation under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall submit the results of the evaluation to the appropriate management conference for review and comment.

(C)

Report

(i)

In general

In completing an evaluation under subparagraph (A), and after providing an opportunity for a management conference to submit comments under subparagraph (B), the Administrator shall issue a report on the results of the evaluation, including the findings and recommendations of the Administrator and any comments received from the management conference.

(ii)

Availability to public

The Administrator shall make a report issued under this subparagraph available to the public, including through publication in the Federal Register and on the Internet.

(D)

Special rule for new plans

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), if a management conference submits a new comprehensive conservation and management plan to the Administrator after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Administrator shall complete the evaluation of the plan required by subparagraph (A) not later than 4 years after the date of such submission and every 4 years thereafter.

(4)

Updates

(A)

Requirement

Not later than 18 months after the date on which the Administrator makes an evaluation of a comprehensive conservation and management plan available to the public under paragraph (3)(C), a management conference convened under this section shall submit to the Administrator an update of the plan. The updated plan shall reflect, to the maximum extent practicable, the results of the program evaluation.

(B)

Approval of updates

Not later than 120 days after the date on which a management conference submits to the Administrator an updated comprehensive conservation and management plan under subparagraph (A), and after providing for public review and comment, the Administrator shall approve the updated plan if the Administrator determines that the updated plan meets the requirements of this section.

(5)

Probationary status

The Administrator may consider a management conference convened under this section to be in probationary status if the management conference has not received approval for an updated comprehensive conservation and management plan under paragraph (4)(B) on or before the last day of the 3-year period beginning on the date on which the Administrator makes an evaluation of the plan available to the public under paragraph (3)(C).

.

(d)

Federal agencies

Section 320 of such Act (33 U.S.C. 1330) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsections (g), (h), (i), (j), and (k) as subsections (h), (i), (j), (k), and (m), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (f) the following:

(g)

Federal agencies

(1)

Activities conducted within estuaries with approved plans

After approval of a comprehensive conservation and management plan by the Administrator, any Federal action or activity affecting the estuary shall be conducted, to the maximum extent practicable, in a manner consistent with the plan.

(2)

Coordination and cooperation

The Secretary of the Army (acting through the Chief of Engineers), the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the heads of other appropriate Federal agencies, as determined by the Administrator, shall, to the maximum extent practicable, cooperate and coordinate activities related to the implementation of a comprehensive conservation and management plan approved by the Administrator. The Environmental Protection Agency shall serve as the lead coordinating agency under this paragraph.

(3)

Consideration of plans in agency budget requests

In making an annual budget request for a Federal agency referred to in paragraph (2), the head of such agency shall consider the responsibilities of the agency under this section, including under comprehensive conservation and management plans approved by the Administrator.

(4)

Monitoring

The heads of the Federal agencies referred to in paragraph (2) shall collaborate on the development of tools and methodologies for monitoring the ecological health and water quality conditions of estuaries covered by a management conference convened under this section.

.

(e)

Grants

(1)

In general

Section 320(h) of such Act (as redesignated by subsection (d) of this section) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(4)

Effects of probationary status

(A)

Reductions in grant amounts

The Administrator shall reduce, by an amount to be determined by the Administrator, grants for the implementation of a comprehensive conservation and management plan developed by a management conference convened under this section if the Administrator determines that the management conference is in probationary status under subsection (f)(5).

(B)

Termination of management conferences

The Administrator shall terminate a management conference convened under this section, and cease funding for the implementation of the comprehensive conservation and management plan developed by the management conference, if the Administrator determines that the management conference has been in probationary status for 2 consecutive years.

.

(2)

Conforming amendment

Section 320(i) of such Act (as redesignated by subsection (d) of this section) is amended by striking subsection (g) and inserting subsection (h).

(f)

Authorization of appropriations

Section 320(j) of such Act (as redesignated by subsection (d) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

(j)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2016 for—

(A)

expenses related to the administration of management conferences under this section, except that such expenses shall not exceed 10 percent of the amount appropriated under this subsection;

(B)

making grants under subsection (h); and

(C)

monitoring the implementation of a conservation and management plan by the management conference, or by the Administrator in any case in which the conference has been terminated.

(2)

Allocations

Of the sums authorized to be appropriated under this subsection, the Administrator shall provide—

(A)

at least $1,250,000 per fiscal year, subject to the availability of appropriations, for the development, implementation, and monitoring of each conservation and management plan eligible for grant assistance under subsection (h); and

(B)

up to $5,000,000 per fiscal year to carry out subsection (k).

.

(g)

Technical amendment

Section 320(k)(1)(A) of such Act (as redesignated by subsection (d) of this section) is amended by striking paramenters and inserting parameters.

(h)

National estuary program evaluation

Section 320 of such Act (33 U.S.C. 1330) is amended by inserting after subsection (k) (as redesignated by subsection (d) of this section) the following:

(l)

National estuary program evaluation

(1)

In general

Not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of this paragraph, and every 4 years thereafter, the Administrator shall complete an evaluation of the national estuary program established under this section.

(2)

Specific assessments

In conducting an evaluation under this subsection, the Administrator shall assess the effectiveness of the national estuary program in improving water quality, natural resources, and sustainable uses of the estuaries covered by management conferences convened under this section.

(3)

Report

In completing an evaluation under this subsection, the Administrator shall issue a report on the results of the evaluation, including the findings and recommendations of the Administrator.

(4)

Availability to public

The Administrator shall make a report issued under this subsection available to the public, including through publication in the Federal Register and on the Internet.

.