IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 21, 2015
Mr. Kirk (for himself and Mr. Portman) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Section 118(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1268(c)) is amended by striking paragraph (7) and inserting the following:
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
There is established in the Agency a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (referred to in this paragraph as the Initiative) to carry out programs and projects for Great Lakes protection and restoration.
The Initiative shall prioritize programs and projects carried out in coordination with non-Federal partners and programs and projects that address priority areas each fiscal year, including—
the remediation of toxic substances and areas of concern;
the prevention and control of invasive species and the impacts of invasive species;
the protection and restoration of nearshore health and the prevention and mitigation of nonpoint source pollution;
habitat and wildlife protection and restoration, including wetlands restoration and preservation; and
accountability, monitoring, evaluation, communication, and partnership activities.
Under the Initiative, the Agency shall collaborate with Federal partners, including the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, to select the best combination of programs and projects for Great Lakes protection and restoration using appropriate principles and criteria, including whether a program or project provides—
the ability to achieve strategic and measurable environmental outcomes that implement the Great Lakes Action Plan and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement;
the feasibility of—
timely achievement of results; and
resource leveraging; and
the opportunity to improve interagency and inter-organizational coordination and collaboration to reduce duplication and streamline efforts.
Implementation of projects
Funds made available to carry out the Initiative shall be used to strategically implement—
Federal projects; and
projects carried out in coordination with States, Indian tribes, municipalities, institutions of higher education, and other organizations.
Transfer of funds
With amounts made available for the Initiative each fiscal year, the Administrator may—
transfer not more than $300,000,000 to the head of any Federal department or agency, with the concurrence of the department or agency head, to carry out activities to support the Initiative and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; and
enter into an interagency agreement with the head of any Federal department or agency to carry out activities described in subclause (I).
Projects shall be carried out under the Initiative on multiple levels, including—
Great Lakes-wide; and
Great Lakes basin-wide.
No funds made available to carry out the Initiative may be used for any water infrastructure activity (other than a green infrastructure project that improves habitat and other ecosystem functions in the Great Lakes) for which amounts are made available from—
a State water pollution control revolving fund established under title VI; or
a State drinking water revolving loan fund established under section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–12).
Activities by other Federal agencies
Each relevant Federal department or agency shall, to the maximum extent practicable—
maintain the base level of funding for the Great Lakes activities of that department or agency without regard to funding under the Initiative; and
identify new activities and projects to support the environmental goals of the Initiative.
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out the Initiative $300,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020.