Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 662
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-353
_______________________________________________________________________


 
  COASTAL BARRIER RESOURCES SYSTEM MAP CORRECTION--UNIT SC-03, SOUTH 
                                CAROLINA

                                _______
                                

               September 28, 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


    Mr. Chafee, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [to accompany S. 2474]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 2474) to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to make corrections to certain maps relating to the 
Coastal Barrier Resources System, having considered the same 
and an amendment thereto, reports favorably thereon and 
recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    The Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) is comprised of 
undeveloped coastal barriers along the coasts of the Atlantic 
Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico and the 
U.S. Virgin Islands. Coastal barriers are landscape features 
that shield the mainland from the full force of wind, wave and 
tidal energies. Coastal barriers come in a variety of forms 
that include bay barriers, tombolos, barrier spits, barrier 
islands, dune or beach barriers, and fringing mangroves. 
Besides bearing the brunt of impacts from storms and erosion, 
most coastal barriers are composed of unconsolidated sediment 
such as sand or gravel. The geological composition makes 
coastal barriers highly unstable areas. Despite their 
instability, many coastal barriers are under heavy development 
pressure.
    Congress passed the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982 
in an effort to address problems caused by coastal barrier 
development. The Coastal Barrier Resources Act restricted 
Federal expenditures and financial assistance, including 
Federal flood insurance, in the CBRS. By restricting funding 
for Federal programs that encourage development of coastal 
barriers Congress sought to minimize loss of human life; reduce 
wasteful expenditure of Federal funds; and protect the natural 
resources associated with coastal barriers.
    The Coastal Barrier Improvement Act of 1990 added 
``Otherwise Protected Areas'' (OPAs) to the System. OPAs are 
undeveloped coastal barriers within the boundaries of lands 
reserved for conservation purposes such as wildlife refuges and 
parks. In addition, the 1990 Act added to the System coastal 
barriers in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Great 
Lakes and along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The CBRS 
currently includes 850 units, comprising approximately 3 
million acres and approximately 2,500 shoreline miles.
    Undeveloped coastal barriers were identified and mapped 
using criteria developed by the Department of the Interior and 
later approved by Congress. Aerial photographs and ground 
inspections were used to verify the boundaries, and the results 
were then mapped on U.S. Geological Survey quadrangle maps. 
Except for minor and technical modifications to the CBRS unit 
boundaries to reflect changes that have occurred as a result of 
natural forces, modifications of CBRS unit boundaries require 
Congressional approval.
    This bill makes a boundary change to Unit SC-03. Unit SC-03 
was included in the CBRS in 1990. The boundary of SC-03 bisects 
a portion of Huntington Marsh development so that the unit 
includes 11 residences. Certificates of occupancy and plat maps 
provided by Georgetown County show that the area in question 
was developed at the time of its inclusion into the CBRS. The 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that this 
modification to the boundary constitutes a technical 
correction.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes evaluation of 
the regulatory impact of the reported bill. The reported bill 
will provide regulatory relief to landowners in the affected 
unit. This bill will not have any adverse impact on the 
personal privacy of individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the Committee finds that S. 2474 would 
impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments. All of its governmental 
directives are imposed on Federal agencies. The bill does not 
directly impose any private sector mandates.

                          Legislative History

    On September 15, 1998, Senator Hollings introduced S. 2474, 
a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to make 
corrections to certain maps relating to one unit, SC-03, to 
remove portions of that unit from the Coastal Barrier Resources 
System. No hearings were held on this bill. On Wednesday, 
September 23, 1998, the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works held a business meeting to consider S. 2474. Senators 
Chafee and Baucus offered a technical amendment which was 
adopted by voice vote. S. 2474, as amended, was favorably 
reported out of the Committee by voice vote.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 25, 1998.

Hon. John H. Chafee, Chairman,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2474, a bill to 
direct the Secretary of the Interior to make corrections to a 
map relating to the Coastal Barrier Resources System.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis, 
who can be reached at 226-2860.

            Sincerely,
                                           June E. O'Neill,
                                                          Director.
                                ------                                


               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    S. 2474, A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to 
make corrections to certain maps relating to the Coastal 
Barrier Resources System, as ordered reported by the Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works on September 23, 
1998.

    CBO estimates that enacting S. 2474 would result in no 
significant cost to the federal government. Because the bill 
could affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would 
apply, but we expect that net changes in direct spending would 
be negligible. S. 2474 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    S. 2474 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to 
exclude about 18 acres of developed land from the Huntington 
Beach, South Carolina Unit of the Coastal Barrier Resources 
System. This change would enable local property owners to 
obtain federal flood insurance. Once insurance policies have 
been written on all of the affected properties, offsetting 
collections into the national flood insurance fund from 
premiums would increase by around $20,000 per year. Collections 
would be partially offset by new mandatory spending for 
underwriting and administrative expenses. The federal 
government may also incur additional costs for losses 
associated with any future floods that might affect this land, 
but CBO has no basis for predicting such floods or their 
resulting costs.
    The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis, who can be reached 
at 226-2860. This estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made 
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will make no 
changes to existing law.