IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 31, 2019
Mr. Sullivan (for himself, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Menendez, Ms. Collins, Mr. Booker, Mr. Coons, Mr. Blumenthal, and Mr. Murphy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
To enhance domestic marine debris response, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Save Our Seas 2.0: Enhancing the Domestic Marine Debris Response Act.
In this Act:
The term circular economy means an economy that uses a systems-focused approach and involves industrial processes and economic activities that—
are restorative or regenerative by design;
enable resources used in such processes and activities to maintain their highest values for as long as possible; and
aim for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, and systems (including business models).
The term EPA Administrator means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The term Indian Tribe has the meaning given the term Indian tribe in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304), without regard to capitalization.
The term marine debris has the meaning given that term in section 7 of the Marine Debris Act (33 U.S.C. 1956).
The term non-Federal funds means funds provided by—
an Indian Tribe;
a territory of the United States;
one or more units of local governments or Tribal organizations (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304));
a private for-profit entity;
a nonprofit organization; or
a private individual.
The term nonprofit organization means an organization that is described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code.
Post-consumer materials management
The term post-consumer materials management means the systems, operation, supervision, and aftercare of processes and equipment used for post-use material (including packaging, goods, products, and other materials), including—
safe disposal of waste that cannot be recovered, reused, recycled, repaired, or refurbished; and
systems and processes related to post-use materials that can be recovered, reused, recycled, repaired, or refurbished.
The term State means—
an Indian Tribe;
the District of Columbia; and
a territory or possession of the United States.
The term Under Secretary means the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Marine Debris Response Trust Fund
Marine Debris Response Trust Fund
Subchapter A of chapter 98 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following:
Marine Debris Response Trust Fund
Creation of Trust Fund
There is established in the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the
Marine Debris Response Trust Fund, consisting of such amounts as may be appropriated or credited to the Trust Fund as provided in this section.
Purposes of Trust Fund
Amounts in the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund shall be available for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to respond to a marine debris event described in paragraph (2), which may include—
monitoring, response, and prevention;
providing funding to States, territories, Indian Tribes, and other United States Government and nongovernmental organizations supporting prevention, cleanup, and response efforts; or
administrative costs relating to distributing amounts from the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
Marine debris event described
A marine debris event described in this paragraph is an event that affects or may affect the United States involving—
marine debris caused by a natural event, including a tsunami, flood, landslide, hurricane, or other natural source;
distinct, nonrecurring marine debris, including derelict vessel groundings and container spills, that have immediate or long-term impacts on habitats with high ecological, economic, or human-use values; or
marine debris caused by an intentional or grossly negligent act or acts that causes substantial economic or environmental harm.
Limitations on expenditures
Maximum per event
The maximum amount that may be paid from the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund with respect to any single event may not exceed $100,000,000.
A payment may be made from the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund only if the amount in the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund after the payment will not be less than $1,000,000.
Amounts in the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund may not exceed $500,000,000.
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2020 to establish the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
Authority To borrow
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund, as repayable advances, such sums as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
Limitation on amount outstanding
The maximum aggregate amount of repayable advances to the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund outstanding at any one time may not exceed $1,000,000.
Repayment of advances
Advances made to the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund shall be repaid, and interest on such advances shall be paid, to the general fund of the Treasury when the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines that amounts are available for such purposes in the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
No advance may be made to the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund after September 30, 2035, and all advances to such Fund shall be repaid on or before that date.
Rate of interest
Interest on advances made pursuant to this subsection shall be—
at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury (as of the close of the calendar month preceding the month in which the advance is made) to be equal to the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with remaining periods to maturity comparable to the anticipated period during which the advance will be outstanding, and
Availability of funds
Amounts in the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund shall—
be available without fiscal year limitation and without apportionment; and
shall supplement and not supplant other amounts available for responding to marine debris events.
The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest amounts in the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund in interest bearing obligations of the United States to the extent such amounts are not required to meet current withdrawals. Interest earned by such investments shall be credited to, and become a part of, the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere shall prescribe regulations—
providing for a process for submitting a claim to the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund and for distributing amounts from the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund pursuant to those claims; and
providing guidance with respect to what constitutes an event for which amounts will be distributed from the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
Liability of the United States limited to amount in Trust Fund
Any claim filed against the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund may be paid only out of the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
Order in which unpaid claims are to be paid
If at any time the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund has insufficient funds to pay all of the claims out of the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund at such time, such claims shall, to the extent permitted under paragraph (1), be paid in full in the order in which they were finally determined.
Non-Federal contributions to the Trust Fund
A gift, award, devise, or bequest, and non-Federal amounts from legal judgments or settlements may be accepted by the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund without regard to whether the gift, devise, or bequest is encumbered, restricted, or subject to beneficial interests of private persons if any current or future interest in the gift, devise, or bequest is for the benefit of the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
Any gifts, awards, devises, or bequests given to or received from a person in a foreign country by or to the Marine Debris Response Trust Fund shall be made only with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, in consultation, as appropriate, with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
The table of sections for subchapter A of chapter 98 of such Code is amended by adding at the end the following:
Sec. 9512. Marine Debris Response Trust Fund.
Marine Debris Foundation
Establishment and purposes of Foundation
There is established the Marine Debris Foundation (in this title referred to as the
Foundation). The Foundation is a charitable and nonprofit organization and is not an agency or establishment of the United States.
The purposes of the Foundation are—
to encourage, accept, and administer private gifts of property for the benefit of, or in connection with, the activities and services of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Marine Debris Program established under section 3 of the Marine Debris Act (33 U.S.C. 1952), and other relevant programs and agencies;
to undertake and conduct such other activities as will further the efforts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to assess, prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris and address the adverse impacts of marine debris on the economy of the United States, the marine environment, and navigation safety;
to participate with, and otherwise assist, State, local, and Tribal governments, foreign governments, entities, and individuals in undertaking and conducting activities to assess, prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris and address the adverse impacts of marine debris and its root causes on the economy of the United States, the marine environment (including waters in the jurisdiction of the United States, the high seas, and waters in the jurisdiction of other countries), and navigation safety; and
to support other Federal actions to reduce marine debris.
Board of Directors of the Foundation
Establishment and membership
The Foundation shall have a governing Board of Directors (in this title referred to as the
Board), which shall consist of the Under Secretary and 12 additional Directors appointed in accordance with subsection (b) from among individuals who are United States citizens.
Representation of diverse points of view
To the maximum extent practicable, the membership of the Board shall represent diverse points of view relating to the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris.
Not Federal employees
Appointment as a Director of the Foundation shall not constitute employment by, or the holding of an office of, the United States for the purpose of any Federal law.
Appointment and terms
Subject to paragraph (2), after consulting with the EPA Administrator, the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and considering the recommendations submitted by the Board, the Under Secretary shall appoint 12 Directors who meet the criteria established by subsection (a), of whom—
at least 4 shall be educated or experienced in the assessment, prevention, reduction, or removal of marine debris, which may include an individual with expertise in post-consumer materials management or a circular economy;
at least 2 shall be educated or experienced in the assessment, prevention, reduction, or removal of marine debris outside the United States;
at least 2 shall be educated or experienced in ocean and coastal resource conservation science or policy; and
at least 2 shall be educated or experienced in international trade or foreign policy.
Subject to subparagraph (B), each Director (other than the Under Secretary) shall be appointed for a term of 6 years.
Initial appointments to new member positions
Of the Directors appointed by the Under Secretary under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall appoint, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act—
4 Directors for a term of 6 years;
4 Directors for a term of 4 years; and
4 Directors for a term of 2 years.
The Under Secretary shall fill a vacancy on the Board.
Term of appointments to fill unexpired terms
An individual appointed to fill a vacancy that occurs before the expiration of the term of a Director shall be appointed for the remainder of the term.
An individual (other than an individual described in paragraph (1)) shall not serve more than 2 consecutive terms as a Director, excluding any term of less than 6 years.
Request for removal
The executive committee of the Board may submit to the Under Secretary a letter describing the nonperformance of a Director and requesting the removal of the Director from the Board.
Consultation before removal
Before removing any Director from the Board, the Under Secretary shall consult with the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the EPA Administrator.
The Chairman shall be elected by the Board from its members for a 2-year term.
A majority of the current membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
The Board shall meet at the call of the Chairman at least once a year. If a Director misses 3 consecutive regularly scheduled meetings, that individual may be removed from the Board and that vacancy filled in accordance with subsection (b).
Reimbursement of expenses
Members of the Board shall serve without pay, but may be reimbursed for the actual and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses incurred by them in the performance of the duties of the Foundation.
The Board may complete the organization of the Foundation by—
appointing officers and employees;
adopting a constitution and bylaws consistent with the purposes of the Foundation and the provisions of this title; and
undertaking of other such acts as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this title.
Limitations on appointment
The following limitations apply with respect to the appointment of officers and employees of the Foundation:
Officers and employees may not be appointed until the Foundation has sufficient funds to pay them for their service. Officers and employees of the Foundation shall be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.
The first officer or employee appointed by the Board shall be the Secretary of the Board who—
shall serve, at the direction of the Board, as its chief operating officer; and
shall be knowledgeable and experienced in matters relating to the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris.
Rights and obligations of the Foundation
shall have perpetual succession;
may conduct business throughout the several States, territories, and possessions of the United States and abroad;
shall have its principal offices in the District of Columbia or in a county in the State of Maryland or Virginia that borders on the District of Columbia; and
shall at all times maintain a designated agent authorized to accept service of process for the Foundation.
Service of process
The serving of notice to, or service of process upon, the agent required under subsection (a)(4), or mailed to the business address of such agent, shall be deemed as service upon or notice to the Foundation.
The Foundation shall have an official seal selected by the Board which shall be judicially noticed.
To carry out its purposes under section 201, the Foundation shall have, in addition to the powers otherwise given it under this title, the usual powers of a corporation acting as a trustee in the District of Columbia, including the power—
to accept, receive, solicit, hold, administer, and use any gift, devise, or bequest, either absolutely or in trust, of real or personal property or any income therefrom or other interest therein;
to acquire by purchase or exchange any real or personal property or interest therein;
to invest any funds provided to the Foundation by the Federal Government in obligations of the United States or in obligations or securities that are guaranteed or insured by the United States;
to deposit any funds provided to the Foundation by the Federal Government into accounts that are insured by an agency or instrumentality of the United States;
to make use of any interest or investment income that accrues as a consequence of actions taken under subparagraph (C) or (D) to carry out the purposes of the Foundation;
to use Federal funds to make payments under cooperative agreements to provide substantial long-term benefits for the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris;
unless otherwise required by the instrument of transfer, to sell, donate, lease, invest, reinvest, retain or otherwise dispose of any property or income therefrom;
to borrow money and issue bonds, debentures, or other debt instruments;
to sue and be sued, and complain and defend itself in any court of competent jurisdiction, except that the Directors of the Foundation shall not be personally liable, except for gross negligence;
to enter into contracts or other arrangements with, or provide financial assistance to, public agencies and private organizations and persons and to make such payments as may be necessary to carry out its functions; and
to do any and all acts necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of the Foundation.
Non-Federal contributions to the Fund
A gift, devise, or bequest may be accepted by the Foundation without regard to whether the gift, devise, or bequest is encumbered, restricted, or subject to beneficial interests of private persons if any current or future interest in the gift, devise, or bequest is for the benefit of the Foundation.
Notice to Members of Congress
The Foundation may not make a grant of Federal funds in an amount greater than $100,000 unless, by not later than 15 days before the grant is made, the Foundation provides notice of the grant to the Member of Congress for the congressional district in which the project to be funded with the grant will be carried out.
Coordination of international efforts
Any efforts of the Foundation carried out in a foreign country, and any grants provided to an individual or entity in a foreign country, shall be made only with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, in consultation, as appropriate, with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
Consultation with NOAA
The Foundation shall consult with the Under Secretary during the planning of any restoration or remediation action using funds resulting from judgments or settlements relating to the damage to trust resources of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Administrative services and support
Provision of services
The Under Secretary may provide personnel, facilities, and other administrative services to the Foundation, including reimbursement of expenses, not to exceed the current Federal Government per diem rates, for a period of up to 5 years beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.
The Foundation may reimburse the Under Secretary for any administrative service provided under subsection (a). The Under Secretary shall deposit any reimbursement received under this subsection into the Treasury to the credit of the appropriations then current and chargeable for the cost of providing such services.
The Secretary of Commerce may accept, without regard to the civil service classification laws, rules, or regulations, the services of the Foundation, the Board, and the officers and employees of the Board, without compensation from the Department of Commerce, as volunteers in the performance of the functions authorized in this title.
Report requirements; petition of attorney general for equitable relief
The Foundation shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each fiscal year, transmit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report—
describing the proceedings and activities of the Foundation during that fiscal year, including a full and complete statement of its receipts, expenditures, and investments; and
including a detailed statement of the recipient, amount, and purpose of each grant made by the Foundation in the fiscal year.
Relief with respect to certain foundation acts or failure To act
If the Foundation—
engages in, or threatens to engage in, any act, practice, or policy that is inconsistent with its purposes set forth in section 201(b); or
refuses, fails, or neglects to discharge its obligations under this title, or threatens to do so,
United States release from liability
The United States shall not be liable for any debts, defaults, acts, or omissions of the Foundation nor shall the full faith and credit of the United States extend to any obligation of the Foundation.
Authorization of appropriations
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce such sums as may be necessary to carry out this title for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2025.
Use of appropriated funds
Subject to paragraph (3), amounts made available under paragraph (1) shall be provided to the Foundation to match contributions (whether in currency, services, or property) made to the Foundation, or to a recipient of a grant provided by the Foundation, by private persons and State and local government agencies.
Prohibition on use for administrative expenses
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), no Federal funds made available under paragraph (1) may be used by the Foundation for administrative expenses of the Foundation, including for salaries, travel and transportation expenses, and other overhead expenses.
The Secretary may allow the use of Federal funds made available under paragraph (1) to pay for salaries during the 18-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.
In addition to the amounts authorized to be appropriated under subsection (a), the Foundation may accept Federal funds from a Federal agency under any other Federal law for use by the Foundation to further the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris in accordance with the requirements of this title.
Use of funds accepted from Federal agencies
Federal funds provided to the Foundation under paragraph (1) shall be used by the Foundation for matching, in whole or in part, contributions (whether in currency, services, or property) made to the Foundation by private persons and State and local government agencies.
Prohibition on use of grant amounts for litigation and lobbying expenses
Amounts provided as a grant by the Foundation shall not be used for—
any expense related to litigation consistent with Federal-wide cost principles; or
any activity the purpose of which is to influence legislation pending before Congress consistent with Federal-wide cost principles.
Genius Prize for Save Our Seas Innovations
In this title:
The term prize competition means the competition for the award of the Genius Prize for Save Our Seas Innovations established under section 302.
The term Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce.
Genius prize for Save Our Seas Innovations
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish under section 24 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3719) a prize competition—
to encourage technological innovation with the potential to reduce plastic waste and thereby prevent marine debris; and
to award 1 or more prizes biennially for projects that advance human understanding and innovation in removing and preventing plastic waste, including—
advancements in materials used in packaging and other products that, if such products enter the coastal or ocean environment, will fully degrade without harming the environment, wildlife, or human health;
innovations in production and packaging design that reduce the use of raw materials, increase recycled content, encourage reusability and recyclability, and promote a circular economy;
improvements in marine debris detection, monitoring, and cleanup technologies and processes;
technological improvements or improved strategies to increase solid waste collection, processing, sorting, recycling, reuse, or repurposing; and
new designs or strategies to reduce overall packaging needs.
The prize competition established under subsection (a) shall be known as the
Genius Prize for Save Our Seas Innovations.
In selecting awards for the prize competition, priority shall be given to projects that—
have a strategy, submitted with the application or proposal, to move the new technology, process, design, material, or other product supported by the prize to market-scale deployment;
support the concept of a circular economy; and
promote development of materials that—
can fully degrade in the ocean without harming the environment, wildlife, or human health; and
are to be used in fishing gear or other maritime products that have an increased likelihood of entering the coastal or ocean environment as unintentional waste.
Save Our Seas Innovation Steering Committee
The Secretary shall establish a steering committee, to be known as the
Save Our Seas Innovation Steering Committee (in this title referred as the
Committee) to provide expert advice and recommendations in the establishment of the prize competition, selection of awardees, and analysis of the successes of the prize competition.
Subject to subsection (d), with respect to the prize competition, the Committee shall—
select a topic;
issue a problem statement; and
advise the Secretary on any opportunity for market-scale development of technological innovation to prevent marine plastic debris and promote the development of materials that fully degrade in ocean and coastal environments without harming the environment, wildlife, or human health.
A member of the Committee may serve as a judge for the prize competition under section 305.
Administrative cost reduction
The Committee shall, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize the administrative costs of the Committee, including by encouraging remote participation to reduce travel costs.
In selecting a topic and issuing a problem statement for the prize competition under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b), respectively, the Committee shall consult widely with Federal and non-Federal stakeholders, including—
1 or more Federal agencies with jurisdiction over the prevention of marine debris or the promotion of innovative materials;
1 or more State agencies with jurisdiction over the prevention of marine debris or the promotion of innovative materials;
1 or more State, regional, or local conservation or post-consumer materials management organizations, the mission of which relates to the prevention of marine debris or the promotion of innovative materials;
1 or more conservation groups, technology companies, research institutions, institutions of higher education, industry associations, or individual stakeholders with an interest in the prevention of marine debris or the promotion of innovative materials;
1 or more experts in the area of standards development regarding the degradation, breakdown, or recycling of polymers; and
experts in the following areas:
Wildlife conservation and management.
Marine biology or animal science.
Post-consumer materials management.
Business development and management.
Marine environmental chemistry.
Any other discipline that the Secretary determines to be necessary to achieve the purposes of this title.
Nonapplicability of the Federal Advisory Committee Act
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply with respect to the Committee.
Applicability of financial disclosure requirements
Notwithstanding paragraph (1), section 208(b)(3) of title 18, United States Code, shall apply with respect to Government employees serving on the Committee.
Agreement with the Marine Debris Foundation
The Secretary shall offer to enter into an agreement, which may include a grant or cooperative agreement, under which the Marine Debris Foundation established under title II shall administer the prize competition.
An agreement entered into under subsection (a) shall comply with the following requirements:
The Marine Debris Foundation shall—
advertise the prize competition;
solicit prize competition participants;
administer funds relating to the prize competition;
receive Federal and non-Federal funds—
to administer the prize competition; and
to award a cash prize;
carry out activities to generate contributions of non-Federal funds to offset, in whole or in part—
the administrative costs of the prize competition; and
the costs of a cash prize;
in consultation with, and subject to final approval by, the Secretary, develop criteria for the selection of prize competition winners;
provide advice and consultation to the Secretary on the selection of judges under section 305 based on criteria developed in consultation with, and subject to the final approval of, the Secretary;
announce 1 or more annual winners of the prize competition;
subject to paragraph (2), award 1 or more cash prizes biennially of not less than $100,000; and
protect against unauthorized use or disclosure by the Marine Debris Foundation of any trade secret or confidential business information of a prize competition participant.
Additional cash prizes
The Marine Debris Foundation may award more than 1 cash prize in a year—
if the initial cash prize referred to in paragraph (1)(I) and any additional cash prizes are awarded using only non-Federal funds; and
consisting of an amount determined by the Under Secretary after the Secretary is notified by the Marine Debris Foundation that non-Federal funds are available for an additional cash prize.
Solicitation of funds
The Marine Debris Foundation—
may request and accept Federal funds and non-Federal funds for a cash prize or administration of the prize competition;
may accept a contribution for a cash prize in exchange for the right to name the prize; and
shall not give special consideration to any Federal agency or non-Federal entity in exchange for a donation for a cash prize awarded under this section.
The Secretary shall appoint not fewer than 3 judges who shall, except as provided in subsection (b), select the 1 or more annual winners of the prize competition.
Determination by the secretary
The judges appointed under subsection (a) shall not select any annual winner of the prize competition if the Secretary makes a determination that, in any fiscal year, none of the technological advancements entered into the prize competition merits an award.
Report to Congress
Not later than 60 days after the date on which a cash prize is awarded under this title, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report on the prize competition that includes—
a statement by the Committee that describes the activities carried out by the Committee relating to the duties described in section 303;
if the Secretary has entered into an agreement under section 304, a statement by the Marine Debris Foundation that describes the activities carried out by the Marine Debris Foundation relating to the duties described in section 303; and
a statement by 1 or more of the judges appointed under section 305 that explains the basis on which the winner of the cash prize was selected.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for expenses, including administrative expenses, relating to the prize competition.
Reimbursement of expenses
Members of the Committee and judges appointed under section 305 shall serve without pay, but may be reimbursed for the actual and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses.
Termination of authority
The prize program will terminate after 5 prize competition cycles have been completed.
Other measures relating to combating marine debris
Prioritization of marine debris in existing innovation and entrepreneurship programs
The Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Energy, the EPA Administrator, and the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, shall prioritize efforts to combat marine debris in innovation and entrepreneurship programs established before the date of the enactment of this Act, including by using such programs to increase innovation in and the effectiveness of post-consumer materials management, monitoring, detection, and data-sharing related to the prevalence and location of marine debris, demand for recycled content, alternative uses for plastic waste, product design, reduction of disposable plastic consumer products and packaging, ocean biodegradable materials development, waste prevention, and cleanup.
Expansion of derelict vessel recycling
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary and the EPA Administrator shall jointly conduct a study to determine the feasibility of developing a nationwide derelict vessel recycling program—
using as a model the fiberglass boat recycling program from the pilot project in Rhode Island led by Rhode Island Sea Grant and its partners; and
including, if possible, recycling of vessels made from materials other than fiberglass.
Incentive for fishermen to collect and dispose of plastic found at sea
The Under Secretary shall establish a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing incentives, such as grants, to fishermen based in the United States who incidentally capture marine debris while at sea—
to track or keep the debris on board; and
to dispose of the debris properly on land.
Support for collection and removal of derelict gear
The Under Secretary shall encourage United States efforts, such as the Fishing for Energy net disposal program, that support—
collection and removal of derelict fishing gear and other fishing waste;
disposal or recycling of such gear and waste; and
prevention of the loss of such gear.
Amendments to Marine Debris Program
Authorization of appropriations
Section 9(a) of the Marine Debris Act (33 U.S.C. 1958(a)) is amended by—
$10,000,000 and inserting
5 percent and inserting
Enhancement of purpose
Section 2 of the Marine Debris Act (33 U.S.C. 1951) is amended by striking
marine environment, and inserting
marine environment (including waters in the jurisdiction of the United States, the high seas, and waters in the jurisdiction of other countries),.
Section 3(d)(2) of the Marine Debris Act (33 U.S.C. 1952(d)(2)) is amended—
in subparagraph (B), by striking
the matching requirement under subparagraph (A) and inserting
a matching requirement under subparagraph (A) or (C); and
in subparagraph (C), in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking
Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) and inserting
Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) and except as provided in subparagraph (B).
Marine debris on National Forest System land
The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this section as the
Secretary) shall not require a volunteer organization to obtain a special-use authorization for the removal of any marine debris being stored on National Forest System land.
Marine debris may be stored on National Forest System land in a location determined by the Secretary for not more than 60 days.
Except as otherwise provided in this section, any activities related to the removal of marine debris from National Forest System land shall be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law and regulations and subject to such reasonable terms and conditions as the Secretary may require.
Studies and reports
Report on opportunities for innovative uses of plastic waste
Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Marine Debris Coordinating Committee established under section 5 of the Marine Debris Act (33 U.S.C. 1954) (in this title referred to as the
Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee) shall submit to Congress a report on innovative uses for plastic waste other than in infrastructure.
Report on microfiber pollution
Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee shall submit to Congress a report on microfiber pollution that includes—
a definition for
an assessment of the sources, prevalence, and causes of microfiber pollution;
a recommendation for a standardized methodology to measure and estimate the prevalence of microfiber pollution;
recommendations for reducing microfiber pollution; and
a plan for how Federal agencies, in partnership with other stakeholders, can lead on opportunities to reduce microfiber pollution during the 5-year period beginning on such date of enactment.
Study on United States plastic pollution data
The Under Secretary, in consultation with the EPA Administrator, shall seek to enter into an arrangement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under which the National Academies will undertake a multifaceted study that includes the following:
An evaluation of United States contributions to global ocean plastic waste, including types, sources, and geographic variations.
An assessment of the prevalence of marine debris and mismanaged plastic waste in saltwater and freshwater United States waterways.
Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the study conducted under subsection (a) that includes—
the findings of the National Academies;
recommendations on knowledge gaps that warrant further scientific inquiry; and
recommendations on the potential value of a national marine debris tracking and monitoring system and how such a system might be designed and implemented.
Report on minimizing the creation of new plastic waste
Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee shall submit to Congress a report on minimizing the creation of new plastic waste.
Study on mass balance methodologies to certify circular polymers
The National Institute of Standards and Technology shall conduct a study of available mass balance methodologies that are or could be readily standardized to certify circular polymers.
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Institute shall submit to Congress a report on the study conducted under subsection (a) that includes—
an identification and assessment of existing mass balance methodologies, standards, and certification systems that are or may be applicable to supply chain sustainability of polymers, considering the full life cycle of the polymer, and including an examination of—
the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification; and
the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials; and
an assessment of any legal or regulatory barriers to developing a standard and certification system for circular polymers.
In this section:
The term circular polymers means polymers that can be reused multiple times or converted into a new, higher-quality product.
Mass balance methodology
The term mass balance methodology means the method of chain of custody accounting designed to track the exact total amount of certain content in products or materials through the production system and to ensure an appropriate allocation of this content in the finished goods based on auditable bookkeeping.