IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 7 (legislative day, April 5), 2011
Mr. Warner (for himself and Mr. Webb) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To require the Office of Management and Budget to prepare a crosscut budget for restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, to require the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and implement an adaptive management plan, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Chesapeake Bay Accountability and
Recovery Act of 2011.
In this Act:
The term adaptive management means a type of natural resource management in which project and program decisions are made as part of an ongoing, science-based process that—
includes testing, monitoring, and evaluating applied strategies and incorporating new knowledge into programs and restoration activities that are based on scientific findings and the needs of society; and
uses the results of the activities described in subparagraph (A) to modify management policies, strategies, practices, programs, and restoration activities.
The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Chesapeake Bay State
The term Chesapeake Bay State or State means the States of Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, and New York, the Commonwealths of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.
Chesapeake Bay Watershed
The term Chesapeake Bay watershed means the Chesapeake Bay and the geographic area within the Chesapeake Bay States, consisting of 36 tributary basins, through which precipitation drains into the Chesapeake Bay, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior.
Chesapeake Executive Council
The term Chesapeake Executive Council has the meaning given the term by section 307 of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Authorization Act of 1992 (15 U.S.C. 1511d).
The term chief executive means, in the case of a State or Commonwealth, the Governor of each State or Commonwealth and, in the case of the District of Columbia, the Mayor of the District of Columbia.
The term Director means the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The term restoration activity means any Federal or State program or project that directly or indirectly protects, conserves, or restores living resources, habitat, water resources, or water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including programs or projects that promote responsible land use, stewardship, and community engagement in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The term restoration activity includes any 1 or more of the following:
Chesapeake Bay Crosscut Budget
The Director, in consultation with the Chesapeake Executive Council, the chief executive of each Chesapeake Bay State, and the Chesapeake Bay Commission, shall annually submit to Congress a financial report containing—
an interagency crosscut budget that displays—
the proposed funding for any Federal restoration activity to be carried out in the succeeding fiscal year, including any planned interagency or intraagency transfer, for each Federal agency that carries out restoration activities;
to the extent that information is available, the estimated funding for any State restoration activity to be carried out in the succeeding fiscal year;
all expenditures for Federal restoration activities from the preceding 3 fiscal years, the current fiscal year, and the succeeding fiscal year; and
all expenditures, to the extent that information is available, for State restoration activities during the equivalent time period described in subparagraph (C);
a detailed accounting of all amounts received and obligated by each Federal agency for restoration activities during the current and preceding fiscal years, including the identification of amounts that were transferred to a Chesapeake Bay State for restoration activities;
to the extent that information is available, a detailed accounting from each State of all amounts received and obligated from a Federal agency for restoration activities during the current and preceding fiscal years; and
a description of each of the proposed Federal and State restoration activities to be carried out in the succeeding fiscal year (corresponding to those activities listed in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1)), including the—
current status of the project;
Federal or State statutory or regulatory authority, program, or responsible agency;
authorization level for appropriations;
project timeline, including benchmarks;
references to project documents;
descriptions of risks and uncertainties of project implementation;
adaptive management actions or framework;
cost-sharing, if any; and
alignment with existing Chesapeake Bay Agreement and Chesapeake Executive Council goals and priorities.
Minimum funding levels
The Director shall only describe restoration activities in the report required under subsection (a) that—
for Federal restoration activities, have funding amounts greater than or equal to $100,000; and
for State restoration activities, have funding amounts greater than or equal to $50,000.
Not later than 30 days after the date on which the President submits the annual budget to Congress under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, the Director shall submit the report required by subsection (a) to—
the Committees on Appropriations, Natural Resources, Energy and Commerce, and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and
the Committees on Appropriations, Environment and Public Works, and Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
This section shall apply beginning with the first fiscal year after the date of enactment of this Act for which the President submits a budget to Congress under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code.
Adaptive Management Plan
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with appropriate Federal and State agencies, shall develop and implement an adaptive management plan for restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that includes—
a description of specific and measurable objectives to improve water quality, habitat, and fisheries;
a process for stakeholder participation;
monitoring, modeling, experimentation, and other research and evaluation practices;
a process for modification of restoration activities that have not attained or will not attain the specific and measurable objectives set forth under paragraph (1); and
a process for prioritizing restoration activities and programs to which adaptive management shall be applied.
The Administrator shall update the adaptive management plan developed under subsection (a) every 3 years.
Report to Congress
Not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report describing the implementation of the adaptive management plan required under this section for that fiscal year.
The report required under paragraph (1) shall contain information about the application of adaptive management to restoration activities and programs, including programmatic and project level changes implemented through the process of adaptive management.
Paragraph (1) shall apply to the first fiscal year that begins after the date of enactment of this Act.
Independent Evaluator for the Chesapeake Bay Program
There shall be an Independent Evaluator for restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, who shall review and report on—
restoration activities and the use of adaptive management in restoration activities; and
any related topics that are suggested by the Chesapeake Executive Council.
The Independent Evaluator shall be appointed by the Administrator from among nominees submitted by the Chesapeake Executive Council.
The Chesapeake Executive Council may submit to the Administrator 4 nominees for appointment to any vacancy in the office of the Independent Evaluator.
The Independent Evaluator shall submit a report to Congress describing the findings and recommendations of the Independent Evaluator under subsection (a) every 3 years.