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S. 952 (111th): Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009

The text of the bill below is as of Feb 4, 2010 (Reported by Senate Committee).


S 952 RS

Calendar No. 271

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 952

[Report No. 111-125]

To develop and promote a comprehensive plan for a national strategy to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia through baseline research, forecasting and monitoring, and mitigation and control while helping communities detect, control, and mitigate coastal and Great Lakes harmful algal blooms and hypoxia events.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 1, 2009

Ms. SNOWE (for herself, Mr. NELSON of Florida, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. LEVIN, Mr. VITTER, Mr. CARDIN, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mrs. BOXER, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. KERRY, Mr. BEGICH, Mr. BURRIS, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Ms. MIKULSKI, and Mr. FEINGOLD) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

February 4, 2010

Reported by Mr. ROCKEFELLER, with an amendment

[Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]


A BILL

To develop and promote a comprehensive plan for a national strategy to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia through baseline research, forecasting and monitoring, and mitigation and control while helping communities detect, control, and mitigate coastal and Great Lakes harmful algal blooms and hypoxia events.

[Struck out->] SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for this Act is as follows: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 2. Amendment of Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 3. Findings. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 4. Purpose. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 5. Interagency task force on harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 6. National harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 7. Regional research and action plans. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 8. Reporting. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 9. Northern Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 10 Pilot program for freshwater harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 11. Interagency financing. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 12. Application with other laws. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 13. Definitions. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 14. Authorization of appropriations. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 2. AMENDMENT OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM AND HYPOXIA RESEARCH AND CONTROL ACT OF 1998. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this title an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C. 1451 note). [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 3. FINDINGS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Section 602 is amended to read as follows: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 602. FINDINGS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The Congress finds the following: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia are increasing in frequency and intensity in the Nation’s coastal waters and Great Lakes and pose a threat to the health of coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems, are costly to coastal economies, and threaten the safety of seafood and human health. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) Excessive nutrients in coastal waters have been linked to the increased intensity and frequency of hypoxia and some harmful algal blooms and there is a need to identify more workable and effective actions to reduce the negative impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia on coastal waters. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through its ongoing research, monitoring, observing, education, grant, and coastal resource management programs and in collaboration with the other Federal agencies, on the Interagency Task Force, along with States, Indian tribes, and local governments, possesses a full range of capabilities necessary to support a near and long-term comprehensive effort to prevent, reduce, and control the human and environmental costs of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(4) Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia can be triggered and exacerbated by increases in nutrient loading from point and non-point sources, much of which originates in upland areas and is delivered to marine and freshwater bodies via river discharge, thereby requiring integrated and landscape-level research and control strategies. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(5) Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia affect many sectors of the coastal economy, including tourism, public health, and recreational and commercial fisheries; and according to a recent report produced by NOAA, the United States seafood and tourism industries suffer annual losses of $82 million due to economic impacts of harmful algal blooms. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(6) Global climate change and its effect on oceans and the Great Lakes may ultimately play a role in the increase or decrease of harmful algal bloom and hypoxic events. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(7) Proliferations of harmful and nuisance algae can occur in all United States waters, including coastal areas and estuaries, the Great Lakes, and inland waterways, crossing political boundaries and necessitating regional coordination for research, monitoring, mitigation, response, and prevention efforts. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(8) Following passage of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998, federally funded and other research has led to several technological advances, including remote sensing, molecular and optical tools, satellite imagery, and coastal and ocean observing systems, that provide data for forecast models, improve the monitoring and prediction of these events, and provide essential decisionmaking tools for managers and stakeholders.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 4. PURPOSE. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The Act is amended by inserting after section 602 the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 602A. PURPOSES. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘The purposes of this Act are-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) to provide for the development and coordination of a comprehensive and integrated national program to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia through baseline research, monitoring, prevention, mitigation, and control; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) to provide for the assessment of environmental, socio-economic, and human health impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia on a regional and national scale, and to integrate that assessment into marine and freshwater resource decisions; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) to facilitate regional, State, and local efforts to develop and implement appropriate harmful algal bloom and hypoxia response plans, strategies, and tools including outreach programs and information dissemination mechanisms.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 5. INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE ON HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS AND HYPOXIA. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVES- Section 603(a) is amended-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) by striking ‘The Task Force shall consist of the following representatives from--’ and inserting ‘The Task Force shall consist of representatives of the Office of the Secretary from each of the following departments and of the office of the head of each of the following Federal agencies:’; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) by striking ‘the’ in paragraphs (1) through (11) and inserting ‘The’; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (3) by striking the semicolon in paragraphs (1) through (10) and inserting a period; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (4) by striking ‘Quality; and’ in paragraph (11) and inserting ‘Quality.’; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (5) by striking ‘such other’ in paragraph (12) and inserting ‘Other’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) STATE REPRESENTATIVES- Section 603 is amended-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) by striking subsections (b) through (i); and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following: [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(b) STATE REPRESENTATIVES- The Secretary shall establish criteria for determining appropriate States to serve on the Task Force and establish and implement a nominations process to select representatives from 2 appropriate States in different regions, on a rotating basis, to serve 2-year terms on the Task Force.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 6. NATIONAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM AND HYPOXIA PROGRAM. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The Act is amended by inserting after section 603 the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 603A. NATIONAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM AND HYPOXIA PROGRAM. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(a) ESTABLISHMENT- The President, acting through NOAA, shall establish and maintain a national program for integrating efforts to address harmful algal bloom and hypoxia research, monitoring, prediction, control, mitigation, prevention, and outreach. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(b) TASK FORCE FUNCTIONS- The Task Force shall be the oversight body for the development and implementation of the national harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program and shall-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) coordinate interagency review of plans and policies of the Program; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) assess interagency work and spending plans for implementing the activities of the Program; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) review the Program’s distribution of Federal grants and funding to address research priorities; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(4) support implementation of the actions and strategies identified in the regional research and action plans under subsection (d); [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(5) support the development of institutional mechanisms and financial instruments to further the goals of the program; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(6) expedite the interagency review process and ensure timely review and dispersal of required reports and assessments under this Act; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(7) promote the development of new technologies for predicting, monitoring, and mitigating harmful algal blooms and hypoxia conditions. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(c) LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY- NOAA shall be the lead Federal agency for implementing and administering the National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Program. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(d) RESPONSIBILITIES- The Program shall-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) promote a national strategy to help communities understand, detect, predict, control, and mitigate freshwater and marine harmful algal bloom and hypoxia events; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) plan, coordinate, and implement the National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Program; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) report to the Task Force via the Administrator. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(e) Duties- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES- The Program shall-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) prepare work and spending plans for implementing the activities of the Program and developing and implementing the Regional Research and Action Plans; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) administer merit-based, competitive grant funding to support the projects maintained and established by the Program, and to address the research and management needs and priorities identified in the Regional Research and Action Plans; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) coordinate NOAA programs that address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia and other ocean and Great Lakes science and management programs and centers that address the chemical, biological, and physical components of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(D) coordinate and work cooperatively with other Federal, State, and local government agencies and programs that address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(E) coordinate with the State Department to support international efforts on harmful algal bloom and hypoxia information sharing, research, mitigation, and control; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(F) coordinate an outreach, education, and training program that integrates and augments existing programs to improve public education about and awareness of the causes, impacts, and mitigation efforts for harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(G) facilitate and provide resources for training of State and local coastal and water resource managers in the methods and technologies for monitoring, controlling, and mitigating harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(H) support regional efforts to control and mitigate outbreaks through-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) communication of the contents of the Regional Research and Action Plans and maintenance of online data portals for other information about harmful algal blooms and hypoxia to State and local stakeholders within the region for which each plan is developed; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) overseeing the development, review, and periodic updating of Regional Research and Action Plans established under section 602C(b); [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(I) convene an annual meeting of the Task Force; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(J) perform such other tasks as may be delegated by the Task Force. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) NOAA DUTIES- NOAA shall maintain and enhance-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms Program; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) the Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms Program; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) the Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Hypoxia Assessment Program; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(D) the Coastal Hypoxia Research Program. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) PROGRAM DUTIES- The Program shall-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) establish-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) a Mitigation and Control of Harmful Algal Blooms Program-- [<-Struck out]

            [Struck out->]

            ‘(I) to develop and promote strategies for the prevention, mitigation, and control of harmful algal blooms; [<-Struck out]

            [Struck out->]

            ‘(II) to fund research that may facilitate the prevention, mitigation, and control of harmful algal blooms; and [<-Struck out]

            [Struck out->]

            ‘(III) to develop and demonstrate technology that may mitigate and control harmful algal blooms; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) other programs as necessary; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) work cooperatively with other offices, centers, and programs within NOAA and other agencies represented on the Task Force, States, and nongovernmental organizations concerned with marine and aquatic issues to manage data, products, and infrastructure, including-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) compiling, managing, and archiving data from relevant programs in Task Force member agencies; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) creating data portals for general education and data dissemination on centralized, publicly available databases; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iii) establishing communication routes for data, predictions, and management tools both to and from the regions, states, and local communities.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 7. REGIONAL RESEARCH AND ACTION PLANS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The Act, as amended by section 6, is amended by inserting after section 602A the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 602B. REGIONAL RESEARCH AND ACTION PLANS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- The Program shall-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) oversee the development and implementation of Regional Research and Action Plans; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) identify appropriate regions and sub-regions to be addressed by each Regional Research and Action Plan. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(b) Regional Panels of Experts- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- In accordance with the schedule set forth in paragraph (2), the Program shall convene a panel of experts for each region identified under subsection (a)(2) from among-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) State coastal management and planning officials; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) water management and watershed officials from both coastal states and noncoastal states with water sources that drain into water bodies affected by harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) public health officials; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(D) emergency management officials; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(E) nongovernmental organizations concerned with marine and aquatic issues; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(F) science and technology development institutions; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(G) economists; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(H) industries and businesses affected by coastal and freshwater harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(I) scientists, with expertise concerning harmful algal blooms or hypoxia, from academic or research institutions; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(J) other stakeholders as appropriate. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) SCHEDULE- The Program shall-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) convene panels in at least 1/3 of the regions within 9 months after the date of enactment of the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) convene panels in at least 2/3 of the regions within 21 months after such date; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) convene panels in the remaining regions within 33 months after such date; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(D) reconvene each panel at least every 5 years after the date on which it was initially convened. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(c) PLAN DEVELOPMENT- Each regional panel of experts shall develop a Regional Research and Action Plan for its respective region and submit it to the Program for approval and to the Task Force. The Plan shall identify appropriate elements for the region, including-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) baseline ecological, social, and economic research needed to understand the biological, physical, and chemical conditions that cause, exacerbate, and result from harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) regional priorities for ecological and socio-economic research on issues related to, and impacts of, harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) research needed to develop and advance technologies for improving capabilities to predict, monitor, prevent, control, and mitigate harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(4) State and local government actions that may be implemented-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) to support long-term monitoring efforts and emergency monitoring as needed; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) to minimize the occurrence of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) to reduce the duration and intensity of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in times of emergency; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(D) to address human health dimensions of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(E) to identify and protect vulnerable ecosystems that could be, or have been, affected by harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(5) mechanisms by which data and products are transferred between the Program and State and local governments and research entities; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(6) communication, outreach and information dissemination efforts that State and local governments and nongovernmental organizations can undertake to educate and inform the public concerning harmful algal blooms and hypoxia and alternative coastal resource-utilization opportunities that are available; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(7) pilot projects, if appropriate, that may be implemented on local, State, and regional scales to address the research priorities and response actions identified in the Plan. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(d) PLAN TIMELINES; UPDATES- The Program shall ensure that Regional Research and Action Plans developed under this section are-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) completed and approved by the Program within 12 months after the date on which a regional panel is convened or reconvened under subsection (b)(2); and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) updated no less frequently than once every 5 years. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(e) Funding- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to available appropriations, the Program shall make funding available to eligible organizations to implement the research, monitoring, forecasting, modeling, and response actions included under each approved Regional Research and Action Plan. The Program shall select recipients through a merit-based, competitive process and seek to fund research proposals that most effectively align with the research priorities identified in the relevant Regional Research and Action Plan. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) APPLICATION; ASSURANCES- Any organization seeking funding under this subsection shall submit an application to the Program at such time, in such form and manner, and containing such information and assurances as the Program may require. The Program shall require any organization receiving funds under this subsection to utilize the mechanisms described in subsection (c)(5) to ensure the transfer of data and products developed under the Plan. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATION- In this subsection, the term ‘eligible organization’ means-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) a nongovernmental researcher or organization; or [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) any other entity that applies for funding to implement the State, local, and non-governmental control, mitigation, and prevention strategies identified in the relevant Regional Research and Action Plan. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(f) INTERMEDIATE REVIEWS- If the Program determines that an intermediate review is necessary to address emergent needs in harmful algal blooms and hypoxia under a Regional Research and Action Plan, it shall notify the Task Force and reconvene the relevant regional panel of experts for the purpose of revising the Regional Research and Action Plan so as to address the emergent threat or need.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 8. REPORTING. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Section 603, as amended by section 5, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following: [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(c) BIENNIAL REPORTS- Every 2 years the Program shall prepare a report for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committees on Science and Technology and on Natural Resources that describe-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) activities, budgets, and progress on implementing the national harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) the proceedings of the annual Task Force meetings; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) the status, activities, and funding for implementation of the Regional Research and Action Plans, including a description of research funded under the program and actions and outcomes of Plan response strategies carried out by States. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(d) QUINQUENNIAL REPORTS- Not less than once every 5 years after the date of enactment of the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009, the Task Force shall complete and submit a report on harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in marine and freshwater systems to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committees on Science and Technology and on Natural Resources. The report shall-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) evaluate the state of scientific knowledge of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in marine and freshwater systems, including their causes and ecological consequences; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) evaluate the social and economic impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including their impacts on coastal communities, and review those communities’ efforts and associated economic costs related to event forecasting, planning, mitigation, response, and public outreach and education; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) examine and evaluate the human health impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including any gaps in existing research; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(4) describe advances in capabilities for monitoring, forecasting, modeling, control, mitigation, and prevention of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including techniques for, integrating landscape- and watershed-level water quality information into marine and freshwater harmful algal bloom and hypoxia prevention and mitigation strategies at Federal and regional levels; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(5) evaluate progress made by, and the needs of, Federal, regional, State, and local policies and strategies for forecasting, planning, mitigating, preventing, and responding to harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including the economic costs and benefits of such policies and strategies; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(6) make recommendations for integrating, improving, and funding future Federal, regional, State, and local policies and strategies for preventing and mitigating the occurrence and impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(7) describe communication, outreach, and education efforts to raise public awareness of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, their impacts, and the methods for mitigation and prevention.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 9. NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO HYPOXIA. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Section 604 is amended to read as follows: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 604. NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO HYPOXIA. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) TASK FORCE ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORTS- For each of the years from 2009 through 2013, the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force shall complete and submit to the Congress and the President an annual report on the progress made by Task Force-directed activities toward attainment of the Coastal Goal of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Task Force 5-Year Progress Report- In 2013, that Task Force shall complete and submit to Congress and the President a 5-year report on the progress made by Task Force-directed activities toward attainment of the Coastal Goal of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008. The report shall assess progress made toward nutrient load reductions, the response of the hypoxic zone and water quality throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin, and the economic and social effects. The report shall include an evaluation of how current policies and programs affect management decisions, including those made by municipalities and industrial and agricultural producers, evaluate lessons learned, and recommend appropriate actions to continue to implement or, if necessary, revise this strategy. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 10. PILOT PROGRAM FOR FRESHWATER HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS AND HYPOXIA. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The Act, as amended by section 7, is amended by inserting after section 603B the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 603C. PILOT PROGRAM FOR FRESHWATER HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS AND HYPOXIA. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(a) PILOT PROGRAM- The Secretary shall establish a collaborative pilot program with the Environmental Protection Agency and other appropriate Federal agencies to examine harmful algal blooms and hypoxia occurring in freshwater systems, including the Great Lakes. The pilot program shall-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) assess the issues associated with, and impacts of, harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in freshwater ecosystems; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) research the efficacy of mitigation measures, including measures to reduce nutrient loading; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) recommend potential management solutions. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(b) REPORT- The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with other participating Federal agencies, shall conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of the pilot program in improving freshwater habitat quality and publish a report, available to the public, of the results of the assessment.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 11. INTERAGENCY FINANCING. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The Act is amended by inserting after section 604 the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 604A. INTERAGENCY FINANCING. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘The departments and agencies represented on the Task Force are authorized to participate in interagency financing and share, transfer, receive, obligate, and expend funds appropriated to any member of the Task Force for the purposes of carrying out any administrative or programmatic project or activity under this Act, including support for the Program, a common infrastructure, information sharing, and system integration for harmful algal bloom and hypoxia research, monitoring, forecasting, prevention, and control. Funds may be transferred among such departments and agencies through an appropriate instrument that specifies the goods, services, or space being acquired from another Task Force member and the costs of the same.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 12. APPLICATION WITH OTHER LAWS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The Act is amended by inserting after section 606 the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 607. EFFECT ON OTHER FEDERAL AUTHORITY. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘Nothing in this title supersedes or limits the authority of any agency to carry out its responsibilities and missions under other laws.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 13. DEFINITIONS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) IN GENERAL- The Act is amended by inserting after section 605 the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 605A. DEFINITIONS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘In this Act: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) ADMINISTRATOR- The term ‘Administrator’ means the Administrator of the NOAA. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM- The term ‘harmful algal bloom’ means marine and freshwater phytoplankton that proliferate to high concentrations, resulting in nuisance conditions or harmful impacts on marine and aquatic ecosystems, coastal communities, and human health through the production of toxic compounds or other biological, chemical, and physical impacts of the algae outbreak. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) HYPOXIA- The term ‘hypoxia’ means a condition where low dissolved oxygen in aquatic systems causes stress or death to resident organisms. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(4) NOAA- The term ‘NOAA’ means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(5) PROGRAM- The term ‘Program’ means the Integrated Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Program established under section 603A. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(6) REGIONAL RESEARCH AND ACTION PLAN- The term ‘Regional Research and Action Plan’ means a plan established under section 602B. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(7) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Commerce, acting through NOAA.’. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(8) TASK FORCE- The term ‘Task Force’ means the Interagency Task Force established by section 603(a). [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(9) UNITED STATES COASTAL WATERS- The term ‘United States coastal waters’ includes the Great Lakes.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 603(a) is amended by striking ‘Hypoxia (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Task force’).’ and inserting ‘Hypoxia.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 14. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] Section 605 is amended to read as follows:-- [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘SEC. 605. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- There are authorized to be appropriated to NOAA to implement the Program under this title $40,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014, of which up to $10,000,000 shall be allocated each fiscal year to the creation of Regional Research and Action Plans required by section 602B. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(b) EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES- The Secretary shall ensure that a substantial portion of funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) that are used for research purposes are allocated to extramural research activities. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(c) PILOT PROGRAM- In addition to any amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated to NOAA such sums as may be necessary to carry out the pilot program established under section 603C.’. [<-Struck out]

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009’.

    (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

      Sec. 2. Amendment of Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998.

      Sec. 3. Findings.

      Sec. 4. Purpose.

      Sec. 5. Interagency task force on harmful algal blooms and hypoxia.

      Sec. 6. National harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program.

      Sec. 7. Regional research and action plans.

      Sec. 8. Reporting.

      Sec. 9. Northern Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia.

      Sec. 10 Pilot program for freshwater harmful algal blooms and hypoxia.

      Sec. 11. Interagency financing.

      Sec. 12. Application with other laws.

      Sec. 13. Definitions.

      Sec. 14. Authorization of appropriations.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENT OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM AND HYPOXIA RESEARCH AND CONTROL ACT OF 1998.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this title an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C. 1451 note).

SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

    Section 602 is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 602. FINDINGS.

    ‘The Congress finds the following:

      ‘(1) Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia are increasing in frequency and intensity in the Nation’s coastal waters and Great Lakes and pose a threat to the health of coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems, are costly to coastal economies, and threaten the safety of seafood and human health.

      ‘(2) Excessive nutrients in coastal waters have been linked to the increased intensity and frequency of hypoxia and some harmful algal blooms and there is a need to identify more workable and effective actions to reduce the negative impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia on coastal waters.

      ‘(3) NOAA, through its ongoing research, monitoring, observing, education, grant, and coastal resource management programs and in collaboration with the other Federal agencies, on the Interagency Task Force, along with States, Indian tribes, and local governments, possesses capabilities necessary to support a near and long-term comprehensive effort to prevent, reduce, and control the human and environmental costs of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia.

      ‘(4) Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia can be triggered and exacerbated by increases in nutrient loading from point and non-point sources, much of which originates in upland areas and is delivered to marine and freshwater bodies via river discharge, thereby requiring integrated and landscape-level research and control strategies.

      ‘(5) Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia affect many sectors of the coastal economy, including tourism, public health, and recreational and commercial fisheries; and according to a recent report produced by NOAA, the United States seafood and tourism industries suffer annual losses of $82 million due to economic impacts of harmful algal blooms.

      ‘(6) Global climate change and its effect on oceans and the Great Lakes may ultimately affect harmful algal bloom and hypoxic events.

      ‘(7) Proliferations of harmful and nuisance algae can occur in all United States waters, including coastal areas and estuaries, the Great Lakes, and inland waterways, crossing political boundaries and necessitating regional coordination for research, monitoring, mitigation, response, and prevention efforts.

      ‘(8) Following passage of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998, federally funded and other research has led to several technological advances, including remote sensing, molecular and optical tools, satellite imagery, and coastal and ocean observing systems, that provide data for forecast models, improve the monitoring and prediction of these events, and provide essential decisionmaking tools for managers and stakeholders.’.

SEC. 4. PURPOSES.

    The Act is amended by inserting after section 602 the following:

‘SEC. 602A. PURPOSES.

    ‘The purposes of this title are--

      ‘(1) to provide for the development and coordination of a comprehensive and integrated national program to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia through baseline research, monitoring, prevention, mitigation, and control;

      ‘(2) to provide for the assessment of environmental, socio-economic, and human health impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia on a regional and national scale, and to integrate that assessment into marine and freshwater resource decisions; and

      ‘(3) to facilitate regional, State, tribal, and local efforts to develop and implement appropriate harmful algal bloom and hypoxia response plans, strategies, and tools including outreach programs and information dissemination mechanisms.’.

SEC. 5. INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE ON HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS AND HYPOXIA.

    Section 603(a) is amended--

      (1) by striking ‘The Task Force shall consist of the following representatives from--’ and inserting ‘The Task Force shall consist of representatives of the Office of the Secretary from each of the following departments and of the office of the head of each of the following Federal agencies:’;

      (2) by striking ‘the’ in paragraphs (1) through (11) and inserting ‘The’;

      (3) by striking the semicolon in paragraphs (1) through (10) and inserting a period;

      (4) by striking ‘Quality; and’ in paragraph (11) and inserting ‘Quality.’;

      (5) by redesignating paragraph (12) as paragraph (13) and inserting after paragraph (11) the following;

      ‘(12) The Centers for Disease Control.’; and

      (6) by striking ‘such other’ in paragraph (13), as redesignated, and inserting ‘Other’.

SEC. 6. NATIONAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM AND HYPOXIA PROGRAM.

    The Act is amended by inserting after section 603 the following:

‘SEC. 603A. NATIONAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM AND HYPOXIA PROGRAM.

    ‘(a) ESTABLISHMENT- The President, acting through the Committee on Natural Resources of the National Science and Technology Council, shall establish and maintain a national program for integrating efforts to address harmful algal bloom and hypoxia research, monitoring, prediction, control, mitigation, prevention, and outreach.

    ‘(b) Action Strategy-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Task Force shall develop a national harmful algal blooms and hypoxia action strategy that--

        ‘(A) is consistent with the purposes of this title;

        ‘(B) includes a statement of goals and objectives; and

        ‘(C) includes an implementation plan.

      ‘(2) CONSULTATION- In developing the action strategy, the Task Force shall consult with the HABs and Hypoxia Advisory Group.

      ‘(3) PUBLICATION- Within 12 months after the date of enactment of the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009, the Task Force shall--

        ‘(A) submit the action strategy to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committees on Science and Technology and on Natural Resources; and

        ‘(B) publish the action strategy in the Federal Register.

      ‘(4) PERIODIC REVISION- The Task Force shall periodically review and revise the strategy as necessary.

    ‘(c) TASK FORCE FUNCTIONS- The Task Force shall be the oversight body for the development and implementation of the national harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program and shall--

      ‘(1) coordinate interagency review of plans and policies of the Program;

      ‘(2) assess interagency work and spending plans for implementing the activities of the Program;

      ‘(3) review the Program’s distribution of Federal grants and funding to address research priorities;

      ‘(4) support implementation of the actions and strategies identified in the regional research and action plans under subsection (d);

      ‘(5) support the development of institutional mechanisms and financial instruments to further the goals of the program;

      ‘(6) expedite the interagency review process and ensure timely review and dispersal of required reports and assessments under this title;

      ‘(7) promote the development of new technologies for predicting, monitoring, and mitigating harmful algal blooms and hypoxia conditions; and

      ‘(8) establish such interagency working groups as it deems necessary.

    ‘(d) Advisory Committee-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Task Force shall appoint a general advisory committee--

        ‘(A) consisting of not more than 20 individuals who shall be representative of the various groups and regions concerned with harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including representatives of nongovernmental organizations, States, tribes, and educational institutions; and

        ‘(B) providing, to the maximum extent practicable, an equitable balance among such groups and regions.

      ‘(2) FUNCTION- The general advisory committee shall provide recommendations to the Task Force on the development of the national action strategy, including goals and objectives and support for regional research and action plans.

      ‘(3) FACA NOT TO APPLY- The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the general advisory committee.

    ‘(e) LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY- NOAA shall be the lead Federal agency for administering the National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Program.

    ‘(f) PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITIES- The Program shall--

      ‘(1) promote a national strategy to help communities understand, detect, predict, control, and mitigate freshwater and marine harmful algal bloom and hypoxia events;

      ‘(2) plan, coordinate, and implement the National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Program; and

      ‘(3) report to the Task Force via the Administrator.

    ‘(g) PROGRAM DUTIES- The Program shall--

      ‘(1) prepare work and spending plans for implementing the activities of the Program and developing and implementing the Regional Research and Action Plans;

      ‘(2) administer merit-based, competitive grant funding to support the projects maintained and established by the Program, and to address the research and management needs and priorities identified in the Regional Research and Action Plans;

      ‘(3) coordinate interagency programs that address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia and other ocean and Great Lakes science and management programs and centers that address the chemical, biological, and physical components of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

      ‘(4) coordinate and work cooperatively with other Federal, State, tribal, and local government agencies and programs that address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

      ‘(5) coordinate with the State Department to support international efforts on harmful algal bloom and hypoxia information sharing, research, mitigation, and control;

      ‘(6) coordinate an outreach, education, and training program that integrates and augments existing programs to improve public education about and awareness of the causes, impacts, and mitigation efforts for harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

      ‘(7) facilitate and provide resources for training of State, tribal, and local coastal and water resource managers in the methods and technologies for monitoring, controlling, and mitigating harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

      ‘(8) support regional efforts to control and mitigate outbreaks through--

        ‘(A) communication of the contents of the Regional Research and Action Plans and maintenance of online data portals for other information about harmful algal blooms and hypoxia to State and local stakeholders within the region for which each plan is developed; and

        ‘(B) overseeing the development, review, and periodic updating of Regional Research and Action Plans established under section 602C(b);

      ‘(9) convene at least 1 meeting of the Task Force annually; and

        ‘(10) perform such other tasks as may be delegated by the Task Force.

    ‘(h) NOAA Duties-

      ‘(1) EXISTING PROGRAMS- NOAA shall maintain and enhance the following existing competitive programs:

        ‘(A) The Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms Program.

        ‘(B) The Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms Program.

        ‘(C) The Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Hypoxia Assessment Program.

        ‘(D) The Coastal Hypoxia Research Program.

        ‘(E) The Prevention, Control, and Mitigation of Harmful Algal Blooms Program.

      ‘(2) NEW PROGRAMS- NOAA shall establish--

        ‘(A) an Event Response Program to coordinate and enhance event response activities;

        ‘(B) an Infrastructure Program to develop and enhance the critical observations, monitoring, modeling, data management, information dissemination, and operational forecasts required to meet the purposes of this title; and

        ‘(C) such other programs as may be necessary.

      ‘(3) COOPERATIVE EFFORTS- NOAA shall work cooperatively with other offices, centers, and programs within NOAA and other agencies represented on the Task Force, States, tribes, and nongovernmental organizations concerned with marine and aquatic issues to coordinate Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia and related issues, including management of data, products, for--

        ‘(A) compiling, managing, and archiving data from relevant programs in Task Force member agencies;

        ‘(B) creating data portals for general education and data dissemination on centralized, publicly available databases; and

        ‘(C) establishing communication routes for data, predictions, and management tools both to and from the regions, States, and local communities.’.

SEC. 7. REGIONAL RESEARCH AND ACTION PLANS.

    The Act, as amended by section 4, is amended by inserting after section 602A the following:

‘SEC. 602B. REGIONAL RESEARCH AND ACTION PLANS.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- The Program shall--

      ‘(1) oversee the development and implementation of Regional Research and Action Plans; and

      ‘(2) identify appropriate regions and sub-regions to be addressed by each Regional Research and Action Plan.

    ‘(b) Regional Panels of Experts-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- In accordance with the schedule set forth in paragraph (2), the Program shall convene a panel of experts for each region identified under subsection (a)(2) from among--

        ‘(A) State coastal management and planning officials;

        ‘(B) tribal resource management officials;

        ‘(C) water management and watershed officials from both coastal states and noncoastal states with water sources that drain into water bodies affected by harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

        ‘(D) public health officials;

        ‘(E) emergency management officials;

        ‘(F) nongovernmental organizations concerned with marine and aquatic issues;

        ‘(G) science and technology development institutions;

        ‘(H) economists;

        ‘(I) industries and businesses affected by coastal and freshwater harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

        ‘(J) scientists, with expertise concerning harmful algal blooms or hypoxia, from academic or research institutions; and

        ‘(K) other stakeholders as appropriate.

      ‘(2) SCHEDULE- The Program shall--

        ‘(A) convene panels in at least 1/3 of the regions within 9 months after the date of enactment of the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009;

        ‘(B) convene panels in at least 2/3 of the regions within 21 months after such date;

        ‘(C) convene panels in the remaining regions within 33 months after such date; and

        ‘(D) reconvene each panel at least every 5 years after the date on which it was initially convened.

    ‘(c) PLAN DEVELOPMENT- Each regional panel of experts shall develop a Regional Research and Action Plan for its respective region and submit it to the Task Force for approval. The Plan shall identify appropriate elements for the region, including--

      ‘(1) baseline ecological, social, and economic research needed to understand the biological, physical, and chemical conditions that cause, exacerbate, and result from harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

      ‘(2) regional priorities for ecological and socio-economic research on issues related to, and impacts of, harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

      ‘(3) research needed to develop and advance technologies for improving capabilities to predict, monitor, prevent, control, and mitigate harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

      ‘(4) State, tribal, and local government actions that may be implemented--

        ‘(A) to support long-term monitoring efforts and emergency monitoring as needed;

        ‘(B) to minimize the occurrence of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

        ‘(C) to reduce the duration and intensity of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in times of emergency;

        ‘(D) to address human health dimensions of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; and

        ‘(E) to identify and protect vulnerable ecosystems that could be, or have been, affected by harmful algal blooms and hypoxia;

      ‘(5) mechanisms by which data and products are transferred between the Program and State and local governments and research entities;

      ‘(6) communication, outreach and information dissemination efforts that State and local governments and nongovernmental organizations can undertake to educate and inform the public concerning harmful algal blooms and hypoxia and alternative coastal resource-utilization opportunities that are available; and

      ‘(7) pilot projects, if appropriate, that may be implemented on local, State, and regional scales to address the research priorities and response actions identified in the Plan.

    ‘(d) PLAN TIMELINES; UPDATES- The Program shall ensure that Regional Research and Action Plans developed under this section are--

      ‘(1) completed and approved by the Program within 12 months after the date on which a regional panel is convened or reconvened under subsection (b)(2); and

      ‘(2) updated no less frequently than once every 5 years.

    ‘(e) Funding-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to available appropriations, the Program shall make funding available to eligible organizations to implement the research, monitoring, forecasting, modeling, and response actions included under each approved Regional Research and Action Plan. The Program shall select recipients through a merit-based, competitive process and seek to fund research proposals that most effectively align with the research priorities identified in the relevant Regional Research and Action Plan.

      ‘(2) APPLICATION; ASSURANCES- Any organization seeking funding under this subsection shall submit an application to the Program at such time, in such form and manner, and containing such information and assurances as the Program may require. The Program shall require any organization receiving funds under this subsection to utilize the mechanisms described in subsection (c)(5) to ensure the transfer of data and products developed under the Plan.

      ‘(3) ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATION- In this subsection, the term ‘eligible organization’ means--

        ‘(A) an institution of higher education, other non-profit organization, State, tribal, and local government, commercial organization, or Federal agency that meets the requirements of this section and such other requirements as are established by the Secretary; and

        ‘(B) with respect to nongovernmental organizations, an organization that is subject to regulations promulgated or guidelines issued to carry out this section, including United States audit requirements that are applicable to nongovernmental organizations.

    ‘(f) INTERMEDIATE REVIEWS- If the Program determines that an intermediate review is necessary to address emergent needs in harmful algal blooms and hypoxia under a Regional Research and Action Plan, it shall notify the Task Force and reconvene the relevant regional panel of experts for the purpose of revising the Regional Research and Action Plan so as to address the emergent threat or need.’.

SEC. 8. REPORTING.

    Section 603 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

    ‘(j) BIENNIAL REPORTS- Every 2 years the Program shall prepare a report for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committees on Science and Technology and on Natural Resources that describe--

      ‘(1) activities, budgets, and progress on implementing the national harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program;

      ‘(2) the proceedings of the annual Task Force meetings; and

      ‘(3) the status, activities, and funding for implementation of the Regional Research and Action Plans, including a description of research funded under the program and actions and outcomes of Plan response strategies carried out by States.

    ‘(k) QUINQUENNIAL REPORTS- Not less than once every 5 years after the date of enactment of the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009, the Task Force shall complete and submit a report on harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in marine and freshwater systems to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committees on Science and Technology and on Natural Resources. The report shall--

      ‘(1) evaluate the state of scientific knowledge of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in marine and freshwater systems, including their causes and ecological consequences;

      ‘(2) evaluate the social and economic impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including their impacts on coastal communities, and review those communities’ efforts and associated economic costs related to event forecasting, planning, mitigation, response, and public outreach and education;

      ‘(3) examine and evaluate the human health impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including any gaps in existing research;

      ‘(4) describe advances in capabilities for monitoring, forecasting, modeling, control, mitigation, and prevention of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including techniques for, integrating landscape- and watershed-level water quality information into marine and freshwater harmful algal bloom and hypoxia prevention and mitigation strategies at Federal and regional levels;

      ‘(5) evaluate progress made by, and the needs of, Federal, regional, State, tribal, and local policies and strategies for forecasting, planning, mitigating, preventing, and responding to harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, including the economic costs and benefits of such policies and strategies;

      ‘(6) make recommendations for integrating, improving, and funding future Federal, regional, State, tribal, and local policies and strategies for preventing and mitigating the occurrence and impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; and

      ‘(7) describe communication, outreach, and education efforts to raise public awareness of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, their impacts, and the methods for mitigation and prevention.’.

SEC. 9. NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO HYPOXIA.

    Section 604 is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 604. NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO HYPOXIA.

    ‘(a) TASK FORCE ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORTS- For each of the years from 2009 through 2013, the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force shall complete and submit to the Congress and the President an annual report on the progress made by Task Force-directed activities toward attainment of the Coastal Goal of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008.

    ‘(b) Task Force 5-Year Progress Report- In 2013, that Task Force shall complete and submit to Congress and the President a 5-year report on the progress made by Task Force-directed activities toward attainment of the Coastal Goal of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008. The report shall assess progress made toward nutrient load reductions, the response of the hypoxic zone and water quality throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin, and the economic and social effects. The report shall include an evaluation of how current policies and programs affect management decisions, including those made by municipalities and industrial and agricultural producers, evaluate lessons learned, and recommend appropriate actions to continue to implement or, if necessary, revise this strategy.’.

SEC. 10. PILOT PROGRAM FOR FRESHWATER HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS AND HYPOXIA.

    The Act, as amended by section 6, is amended by inserting after section 603B the following:

‘SEC. 603B. PILOT PROGRAM FOR FRESHWATER HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS AND HYPOXIA.

    ‘(a) PILOT PROGRAM- The Task Force shall establish a collaborative pilot program to examine harmful algal blooms and hypoxia occurring in freshwater systems, including the Great Lakes. The pilot program shall--

      ‘(1) assess the issues associated with, and impacts of, harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in freshwater ecosystems;

      ‘(2) research the efficacy of prevention, control, and mitigation measures, including measures to reduce nutrient loading; and

      ‘(3) recommend potential management solutions.

    ‘(b) REPORT- The Task Force, in consultation with other participating Federal agencies, shall conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of the pilot program in improving freshwater habitat quality and publish a report, available to the public, of the results of the assessment.’.

SEC. 11. INTERAGENCY FINANCING.

    The Act is amended by inserting after section 604 the following:

‘SEC. 604A. INTERAGENCY FINANCING.

    ‘The departments and agencies represented on the Task Force are authorized to participate in interagency financing and share, transfer, receive, obligate, and expend funds appropriated to any member of the Task Force for the purposes of carrying out any administrative or programmatic project or activity under this title, including support for the Program, a common infrastructure, information sharing, and system integration for harmful algal bloom and hypoxia research, monitoring, forecasting, prevention, and control. Funds may be transferred among such departments and agencies through an appropriate instrument that specifies the goods, services, or space being acquired from another Task Force member and the costs of the same. The amount of funds transferrable under this section for any fiscal year may not exceed 5 percent of the account from which such transfer is to be made.’.

SEC. 12. APPLICATION WITH OTHER LAWS.

    The Act is amended by inserting after section 606 the following:

‘SEC. 607. EFFECT ON OTHER FEDERAL AUTHORITY.

    ‘Nothing in this title supersedes or limits the authority of any agency to carry out its responsibilities and missions under other laws.’.

SEC. 13. DEFINITIONS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Act is amended by inserting after section 605 the following:

‘SEC. 605A. DEFINITIONS.

    ‘In this title:

      ‘(1) ADMINISTRATOR- The term ‘Administrator’ means the Administrator of the NOAA.

      ‘(2) HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM- The term ‘harmful algal bloom’ means marine and freshwater phytoplankton that proliferate to high concentrations, resulting in nuisance conditions or harmful impacts on marine and aquatic ecosystems, coastal communities, and human health through the production of toxic compounds or other biological, chemical, and physical impacts of the algae outbreak.

      ‘(3) HYPOXIA- The term ‘hypoxia’ means a condition where low dissolved oxygen in aquatic systems causes stress or death to resident organisms.

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

      ‘(5) PROGRAM- The term ‘Program’ means the Integrated Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Program established under section 603A.

      ‘(6) REGIONAL RESEARCH AND ACTION PLAN- The term ‘Regional Research and Action Plan’ means a plan established under section 602B.

      ‘(7) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Commerce, acting through NOAA.’.

      ‘(8) TASK FORCE- The term ‘Task Force’ means the Interagency Task Force established by section 603(a).

      ‘(9) UNITED STATES COASTAL WATERS- The term ‘United States coastal waters’ includes the Great Lakes.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 603(a) is amended by striking ‘Hypoxia (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Task force’).’ and inserting ‘Hypoxia.’.

SEC. 14. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    Section 605 is amended to read as follows:--

‘SEC. 605. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- There are authorized to be appropriated to NOAA to implement the Program under this title $40,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014, of which up to $10,000,000 shall be allocated each fiscal year to the creation of Regional Research and Action Plans required by section 602B.

    ‘(b) INTERAGENCY COORDINATION- The Administrator of NOAA, and the head of any Federal agency engaged in interagency coordination activities under this title, is authorized to use appropriated funds for such activities.

    ‘(c) EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES- The Secretary shall ensure that a substantial portion of funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) that are used for research purposes are allocated to extramural research activities.

    ‘(d) PILOT PROGRAM- In addition to any amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated to NOAA such sums as may be necessary to carry out the pilot program established under section 603B.’.

Calendar No. 271

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 952

[Report No. 111-125]

A BILL

To develop and promote a comprehensive plan for a national strategy to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia through baseline research, forecasting and monitoring, and mitigation and control while helping communities detect, control, and mitigate coastal and Great Lakes harmful algal blooms and hypoxia events.


February 4, 2010

Reported with an amendment