< Back to S. 2852 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)

Text of the Renewable Energy Environmental Research Act of 2009

This bill was introduced on June 14, 2010, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 14, 2010 (Reported by Senate Committee).

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S 2852 RS

Calendar No. 428

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2852

[Report No. 111-206]

To establish, within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an integrated and comprehensive ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric research, prediction, and environmental information program to support renewable energy.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 9, 2009

Mr. BEGICH (for himself, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. NELSON of Florida, and Mrs. HUTCHISON) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

June 14, 2010

Reported by Mr. ROCKEFELLER, without amendment


A BILL

To establish, within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an integrated and comprehensive ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric research, prediction, and environmental information program to support renewable energy.

    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 ‘Renewable Energy Environmental Research Act of 2009’.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to establish an integrated and comprehensive ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric research, prediction, and environmental information program to support renewable energy.

SEC. 3. RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH PLAN.

    (a) In General- The Administrator shall develop a plan--

      (1) to define requirements for a comprehensive and integrated ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmosphere science program to support renewable energy development in the United States based on the public hearings, public comments, and a review of scientific and industry information;

      (2) to identify and describe current climate, weather, and water data programs, products, services, and authorities within NOAA relevant to renewable energy development;

      (3) to provide targeted research, data, monitoring, observation, and other information, products, and services concerning climate, weather, and water in support of renewable energy and ‘smart grid’ technology, including research to accurately quantify the downstream micro-climate impacts of wind-power turbines;

      (4) to provide research, data, monitoring, and other information, products, and services to inform renewable energy decisions concerning coastal and marine habitats, living marine resources and the ecosystems on which they depend and coastal and marine planning; and

      (5) to reduce duplication and leverage the resources of existing NOAA programs through coordination with--

        (A) other offices and programs within NOAA, including the atmospheric, ocean, and coastal observation systems;

        (B) Federal, State, tribal, and local observation systems; and

        (C) other entities, including the private sector organizations and institutions of higher education; and

      (6) to facilitate public-private cooperation, including identification and assessment of current private sector capabilities.

    (b) Public Hearings- In developing the plan, the Administrator shall provide public notice and opportunity for 1 or more public hearings and shall seek comments from Federal and State agencies, tribes, local governments, representatives of the private sector, and other parties interested in renewable energy observations, data, and use in order to improve NOAA climate, weather, and water observation data products and services to more effectively support renewable energy development.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF RESEARCH, PREDICTION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION PROGRAM.

    (a) In General- Within 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall establish a program to develop and implement an integrated and comprehensive ocean, coastal, Great Lakes and atmosphere research and operations program, based on the plan required by section 3, to support renewable energy development in the United States.

    (b) Program Components- At a minimum, the program shall include--

      (1) improvements in coordinated climate, weather, and water research, monitoring, and observations to support--

        (A) renewable energy development; and

        (B) the understanding and mitigation of the impact of renewable energy development on living marine resources, including protected species and the marine and coastal environment;

      (2) coordinated weather, water, and climate prediction capability focused on renewable energy and ‘smart grid’ technology to provide information and decision services in support of renewable energy development;

      (3) support for the transition to, and reliable delivery of, sustained operational weather, water, and climate products from research, observation, and prediction outputs;

      (4) means of identifying biological and ecological effects of marine renewable energy development on living marine resources, the marine and coastal environment, marine-dependent industries, and coastal communities;

      (5) baseline ecological characterization, including research, data collection, and mapping, of the coastal and marine environment and living marine resources for marine renewable energy development;

      (6) avoidance, minimization, and mitigation strategies to address the potential impacts of marine renewable energy on the marine, coastal, and Great Lakes environment, including developing effective monitoring protocols, use of adaptive management, informed engineering design and operating parameters, and the establishment of protocols for minimizing the environmental impacts of testing, developing, and deploying marine renewable energy devices;

      (7) support for the development of marine special area management plan by states as defined by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.) that would support renewable energy development consistent with natural resource protection and other coastal-dependent economic growth;

      (8) comprehensive digital mapping, modeling, and other geospatial information and services to support planning for renewable energy and stewardship of ecosystem and living marine ecosystems, including protected species, in ocean and coastal areas;

      (9) a coordinated approach for examining and quantifying the micro-climate impacts of wind-power farms on soil transpiration and drying; and

      (10) provision for outreach to the public and private sector about program research, information, and products, including making non-proprietary information and best management practices developed under this program available to the public.

    (c) Use in Agency Decisions- The program established under subsection (b) shall be designed to collect, synthesize, and distribute data in a manner that can be used by marine resource managers responsible for making decisions about marine renewable energy projects. The Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Commerce, Minerals Management Service, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Department of Energy shall consider this information when making planning, siting, and permitting decisions for marine renewable energy.

    (d) Support for Public-Private Cooperation- To the extent practicable, in implementing the program established under this section, the Administrator shall seek appropriate opportunities to facilitate and expand cooperation with private sector entities to develop and expand information services that serve the renewable energy industry.

SEC. 5. BIENNIAL REPORTS.

    Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act and every 2 years thereafter, the Administrator shall prepare and transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, and the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology on progress made in implementing this Act, including--

      (1) a description of activities carried out under this Act;

      (2) recommendations for priority activities under this Act for fiscal years beginning after the date on which the report is submitted; and

      (3) funding levels for activities under this Act in those fiscal years.

SEC. 6. LIBRARY.

    Within 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with relevant Federal agencies, shall establish a renewable energy information library and data portal. The library shall include, at a minimum--

      (1) links to data and information products for use in renewable energy development;

      (2) links to planning and decision support tools for use in renewable energy development;

      (3) data about the baseline condition of ocean and coastal resources; and

      (4) links to digital mapping and geospatial information, products, and services described in section 4(b).

SEC. 7. FEDERAL COORDINATION.

    In carrying out activities under this Act, the Administrator shall coordinate with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Defense, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, and the heads of other relevant Federal agencies.

SEC. 8. AGREEMENTS.

    The Administrator may enter into and perform such contracts, leases, grants, cooperative agreements, or other agreements and transactions with any agency or instrumentality of the United States, or with any State, local, tribal, territorial or foreign government, or with any person, corporation, firm, partnership, educational institution, nonprofit organization, or international organization as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 9. AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE FUNDS.

    The Administrator may accept, retain, and use funds received from any party pursuant to an agreement entered into under section 8 for activities furthering the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 10. USE OF OCEAN OBSERVING OFFSHORE INFRASTRUCTURE.

    (a) In General- Any offshore exploration and production facility, at the discretion of the Administrator, may execute a memorandum of understanding authorizing the use of offshore platforms and infrastructure for the placement of meteorological and oceanographic observation sensors of a type to be designated by the Administrator in support of the Integrated Ocean Observing System.

    (b) Availability of Information- All information collected by such sensors will be managed by NOAA and be readily available for use in spill response as well as available to the National Weather Service, other NOAA programs, and the general public.

SEC. 11. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) Administrator- The term ‘Administrator’ means the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere in the Under Secretary’s capacity as Administrator of NOAA.

      (2) Marine renewable energy- The term ‘marine renewable energy’ means any form of renewable energy derived from the sea including wave energy, tidal energy, ocean current energy, offshore wind energy, salinity gradient energy, ocean thermal gradient energy, and ocean thermal energy conversion.

      (3) NOAA- The term ‘NOAA’ means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

SEC. 12. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) Implementation and Execution- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator $100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to carry out this Act.

    (b) Grants to Educational Institutions and Coastal States- Of the amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (b), the Administrator shall make up to 50 percent available to educational institutions, and to States with coastal zone management programs approved under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), to carry out activities that support the program established under section 4.

SEC. 13. SAVINGS PROVISION.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to supersede or modify the jurisdiction, responsibilities, or authority of any Federal or State agency under any provision of law in effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

Calendar No. 428

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2852

[Report No. 111-206]

A BILL

To establish, within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an integrated and comprehensive ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric research, prediction, and environmental information program to support renewable energy.


June, 14, 2010

Reported without amendment