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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    104-287
_______________________________________________________________________


 
     CONVEYANCE OF NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE LABORATORY AT 
                       GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

                                _______


October 20, 1995.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______


  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1358]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 1358) to require the Secretary of Commerce to convey to 
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the National Marine Fisheries 
Service laboratory located on Emerson Avenue in Gloucester, 
Massachusetts, having considered the same report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. CONVEYANCE OF NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE LABORATORY 
                    AT GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS.

  (a) Conveyance Required.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary of Commerce shall convey to 
        the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, all right, title, and 
        interest of the United States in and to the property comprising 
        the National Marine Fisheries Service laboratory located on 
        Emerson Avenue in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
          (2) Terms.--A conveyance of property under paragraph (1) 
        shall be made--
                  (A) without payment of consideration; and
                  (B) subject to the terms and conditions specified 
                under subsections (b) and (c).
  (b) Conditions for Transfer.--
          (1) In general.--As a condition of any conveyance of property 
        under this section, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts shall 
        assume full responsibility for maintenance of the property for 
        as long as the Commonwealth retains the rights and title to 
        that property.
          (2) Continued use of property by nmfs.--The Secretary may 
        enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth 
        of Massachusetts under which the National Marine Fisheries 
        Service is authorized to occupy existing laboratory space on 
        the property conveyed under this section, if--
                  (A) the term of the memorandum of understanding is 
                for a period of not longer than 5 years beginning on 
                the date of enactment of this Act; and
                  (B) the square footage of the space to be occupied by 
                the National Marine Fisheries Service does not conflict 
                with the needs of, and is agreeable to, the 
                Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  (c) Reversionary Interest.--All right, title, and interest in and to 
all property and interests conveyed under this section shall revert to 
the United States on the date on which the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts uses any of the property for any purpose other than the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries resource 
management program.
  (d) Restriction.--Amounts provided by the South Essex Sewage District 
may not be used by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to transfer 
existing activities to, or conduct activities at, property conveyed 
under this section.

                          purpose of the bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1358 is to require the Secretary of 
Commerce to convey to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the 
National Marine Fisheries Service [NMFS] Laboratory in 
Gloucester, Massachusetts.

                  background and need for legislation

    The Gloucester Laboratory was established in 1931 as the 
first Federal laboratory devoted to fishery technology. The 
Laboratory is located on a 2.5-acre tract of land on the east 
bank of the Annisquam River, and the land was acquired from the 
City of Gloucester for $1. Lack of funds forced the 
Laboratory's closure in 1935. It was reestablished and formally 
dedicated in June of 1960. There are four permanent structures 
at the site which provide 19,920 square feet of office, 
laboratory, storage, and maintenance space.
    NMFS has decided to once again close the Gloucester 
Laboratory because ``its primary work conducted there is not 
critical to the Fisheries Service mission in the Northeast and 
the work could be absorbed by other agency laboratories.''
    After years of discussion, the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts and NMFS were able to conclude a Memorandum of 
Understanding on April 4, 1994, that allowed the Massachusetts 
Division of Fisheries to occupy and utilize the Laboratory 
facilities. This authority was renewed on March 6, 1995.
    In the future, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would like 
to use this facility for its contaminant monitoring program, 
shellfish and water quality testing, sport fisheries, striped 
bass management, northern shrimp management, sea sampling, and 
field biological studies. It will also provide office space for 
the State's Division of Marine Fisheries.
    NMFS has indicated it has no intention of reoccupying this 
laboratory in the future, and the facilities need substantial 
repairs. Therefore, it is both good policy and necessary for 
Congress to legally transfer title to this facility to the 
State. Without this legislation, the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts will be unable to fully utilize the Laboratory 
and to spend up to $4 million to rehabilitate its facilities. 
In addition, if the Commonwealth does not use the facility for 
State fisheries resource management purposes, it will 
automatically revert back to the United States.

                            committee action

    H.R. 1358 was introduced on March 29, 1995, by Congressman 
Peter Torkildsen. The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans.
    On September 21, 1995, the Subcommittee held a hearing on 
H.R. 1358 and other issues. Congressman Torkildsen; Mr. Allen 
Peterson, Director, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NMFS; 
and Mr. John C. Phillips, Commissioner, Department of 
Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement, 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts all testified in strong support 
of the bill.
    On September 27, 1995, the Full Resources Committee met to 
consider H.R. 1358. The Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and 
Oceans was discharged from further consideration of the bill. 
Mr. Torkildsen offered an amendment to strike a provision which 
directed the Secretary of Commerce to report to Congress on the 
need for an intergovernmental personnel agreement with the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This amendment, requested by the 
Administration, was adopted by voice vote. The bill, as 
amended, was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by voice vote.

                      section-by-section analysis

Section 1. Conveyance of National Marine Fisheries Service Laboratory 
        at Gloucester, Massachusetts

    Under subsection (a), the Secretary of Commerce shall 
convey to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts all right, title, 
and interest to the property comprising the NMFS Laboratory in 
Gloucester, Massachusetts.
    Subsection (b) provides that the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts shall assume full responsibility for the 
maintenance of the property and the Secretary may enter into a 
Memorandum of Understanding with the Commonwealth to authorize 
the future use of the existing laboratory space by the NMFS for 
up to five years after the date of enactment and without 
conflicting with the needs of the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts.
    Subsection (c) provides that all right, title, and interest 
to all property and interests conveyed shall revert to the 
United States, if the property is used for any purpose other 
than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Marine 
Fisheries Resource Management Program.
    Subsection (d) clarifies that amounts provided by the South 
Essex Sewage District may not be used to transfer existing 
activity to or conduct activities at the Gloucester Laboratory.

            committee oversight findings and recommendations

    With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee on Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                     inflationary impact statement

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that the 
enactment of H.R. 1358 will have no significant inflationary 
impact on prices and costs in the operation of the national 
economy.

                        cost of the legislation

    Clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 1358. However, clause 7(d) of the Rule provides that this 
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in 
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                     compliance with house rule xi

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H.R. 
1358 does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 1358.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
1358 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, October 19, 1995.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources, U.S. House of Representatives, 
        Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed H.R. 1358, a bill to require the Secretary of Commerce 
to convey to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the National 
Marine Fisheries Service laboratory located on Emerson Avenue 
in Gloucester, Massachusetts. H.R. 1358 was ordered reported by 
the House Committee on Resources on September 27, 1995. The 
bill would not affect direct spending or receipts. Therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 1358 would direct the Secretary of Commerce to convey, 
without reimbursement, the Gloucester laboratory to 
Massachusetts, provided that it be used for fisheries 
management programs. Because the Secretary of Commerce 
currently plans to close this facility, we estimate that 
implementing H.R. 1358 would have no impact on the federal 
budget.
    Transfer of this facility would result in savings for the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. While the state would incur some 
costs to maintain the Gloucester laboratory, the use of this 
facility would allow it to avoid the cost of building a new 
facility for employees of the Massachusetts Division of 
Fisheries.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Deborah 
Reis, who can be reached at 226-2860, and Marjorie Miller, who 
can be reached at 225-3220.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, H.R. 1358 would make no changes in existing 
law.

                          DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

    The Committee received a report on H.R. 1358 from the 
Department of Commerce on March 30, 1995. No other reports have 
been received on H.R. 1358.

                       U.S. Department of Commerce,
                    Assistant Secretary for Administration,
                                    Washington, DC, March 30, 1995.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources, House of Representatives, Washington, 
        DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: I wish to notify you of the Department 
of Commerce's proposal to transfer the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries 
Service (NMFS) laboratory at Gloucester, Massachusetts to the 
State of Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. The 
Gloucester Laboratory will remain open under State direction 
once the transfer occurs.
    One of the initial steps in the transfer of the facility is 
to reassign Gloucester Laboratory employees (except those on 
temporary appointments) to positions elsewhere in the Northeast 
Region. We anticipate that 13 employees will be transferred 
with the remaining accepting buy-outs. Most of the Gloucester 
staff will be relocated to a new NMFS facility, the James J. 
Howard Laboratory at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, which was 
dedicated in late 1993. This facility is extremely well 
equipped and is available to address critical issues in the 
Northeast Region. The NMFS Northeast Regional Office in 
Gloucester will not be affected by this change.
    The transfer of the Gloucester facility has been under 
consideration for a number of years and was included in NOAA's 
Authorization bill last year. NOAA will continue to work with 
the Committees to achieve the transfer of the laboratory to the 
state of Massachusetts later this year.
    I am available to answer any questions you may have 
regarding this proposal. Thank you for your continued interest 
in and support of the program of NOAA and the Department of 
Commerce.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Thomas R. Bloom.