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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-840

======================================================================



 
               MISSISSIPPI SOUND RESTORATION ACT OF 2000

                                _______
                                

 September 12, 2000.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4104]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 4104) to amend the Federal Water 
Pollution Control Act to authorize funding to carry out certain 
water quality and barrier island restoration projects for the 
Mississippi Sound, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and 
recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Mississippi Sound Restoration Act of 
2000''.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM.

  (a) Finding.--Congress finds that the Mississippi Sound is an estuary 
of national significance.
  (b) Addition to National Estuary Program.--Section 320(a)(2)(B) of 
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1330(a)(2)(B)) is 
amended by inserting ``Mississippi Sound, Mississippi;'' before ``and 
Peconic Bay, New York.''.

SEC. 3. MISSISSIPPI SOUND.

  Title I of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et 
seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 121. MISSISSIPPI SOUND.

  ``(a) Establishment of Restoration Program.--The Administrator shall 
establish within the Environmental Protection Agency the Mississippi 
Sound Restoration Program.
  ``(b) Purpose.--The purpose of the program shall be to restore the 
ecological health of the Sound, including barrier islands, coastal 
wetlands, keys, and reefs, by developing and funding restoration 
projects and related scientific and public education projects and by 
coordinating efforts among Federal, State, and local governmental 
agencies and nonregulatory organizations.
  ``(c) Duties.--In carrying out the program, the Administrator shall--
          ``(1) provide administrative and technical assistance to a 
        management conference convened for the Sound under section 320;
          ``(2) assist and support the activities of the management 
        conference, including the implementation of recommendations of 
        the management conference;
          ``(3) support environmental monitoring of the Sound and 
        research to provide necessary technical and scientific 
        information;
          ``(4) develop a comprehensive research plan to address the 
        technical needs of the program;
          ``(5) coordinate the grant, research, and planning programs 
        authorized under this section; and
          ``(6) collect and make available to the public publications, 
        and other forms of information the management conference 
        determines to be appropriate, relating to the environmental 
        quality of the Sound.
  ``(d) Grants.--The Administrator may make grants--
          ``(1) for restoration projects and studies recommended by a 
        management conference convened for the Sound under section 320; 
        and
          ``(2) for public education projects recommended by the 
        management conference.
  ``(e) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions apply:
          ``(1) Sound.--The term `Sound' means the Mississippi Sound 
        located on the Gulf Coast of the State of Mississippi.
          ``(2) Program.--The term `program' means the Mississippi 
        Sound Restoration Program established under subsection (a).
  ``(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated $10,000,000 to carry out this section. Such sums shall 
remain available until expended.''.

SEC. 4. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

  It is the sense of the Congress that all recipients of grants under 
this Act (including amendments made by this Act) shall abide by the Buy 
American Act. The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency 
shall give notice of the Buy American Act requirements to grant 
applicants under this Act.

  Amend the title so as to read:

    A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to 
authorize funding to carry out certain water quality and 
environmental restoration projects for the Mississippi Sound, 
Mississippi, and for other purposes.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 4104, the Mississippi Sound Restoration 
Act of 2000, is to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control 
Act (Clean Water Act) to require the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a 
Mississippi Sound Restoration Program within EPA and to carry 
out water quality and environmental restoration projects for 
the Sound.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Mississippi Sound encompasses approximately 2,400 
square miles in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. The Sound 
provides a diverse environment and varied habitats in which 
numerous fish, bird, mammal and plant species thrive, and 
supports successful seafood and other water-dependent 
industries, as well as extensive recreational opportunities, 
all of which are important to the region's economy and quality 
of life.
    However, increasing population growth and rapid economic 
development pose serious threats to the Sound's continued 
ability to support its many uses. Many communities have 
inadequate or nonexistent sewer systems, or septic systems that 
operate improperly, leading to untreated or partially treated 
sewage entering the Sound. The barrier island system in the 
Sound is also at risk, and it provides important habitat and 
protects the coast from shore erosion. The Sound's health is 
threatened, as evidenced by the numerous oyster bank and beach 
closings occurring from these and other factors.
    There is a need for additional resources and improved 
coordination among federal, state, and local government and 
non-governmental organizations in order to restore and protect 
the Sound.

      Discussion of Committee Bill and Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that the Act may be cited as the 
``Mississippi Sound Restoration Act of 2000.''

Section 2. National Estuary Program

    This section includes a Congressional finding that the 
Mississippi Sound is an estuary of national significance. It 
also amends section 320(a)(2)(B) of the Clean Water Act to add 
the Mississippi Sound to the list of estuaries to receive 
priority consideration for inclusion in the National Estuary 
Program (NEP).

Section 3. Mississippi Sound

    This section adds a new section 121 to title I of the Clean 
Water Act. The new section 121 authorizes EPA to establish a 
Mississippi Sound Restoration Program within EPA. The purpose 
of the new program will be to restore the ecological health of 
the Sound by developing and funding restoration projects and 
related scientific and public education projects, and by 
coordinating federal, state, and local governmental and non-
governmental agency efforts.
    EPA's duties in carrying out the new program include: 
providing administrative and technical assistance to a 
management conference for the Mississippi Sound convened under 
the NEP (section 320 of the Clean Water Act); assisting and 
supporting the activities of the management conference, 
including implementation of the conference's recommendations; 
supporting environmental monitoring of the Sound and research 
to provide necessary technical and scientific information; 
developing a comprehensive research plan to address the 
program's technical needs; coordinating the grant, research, 
and planning programs authorized under this section; and 
collecting and making available to the public publications and 
other forms of information the management conference determines 
to be appropriate, relating to the environmental quality of the 
Sound.
    The EPA Administrator is authorized to make grants for 
restoration projects and studies and for public education 
projects recommended by a management conference convened under 
section 320. This section authorizes ten million dollars for 
such grants to remain available until expended.
    In carrying out the Mississippi Sound Program, the 
Committee intends EPA to convene a management conference for 
the Sound under section 320 that includes the Governor of the 
State of Mississippi, one representative from each of Hancock 
County, Harrison County, and Jackson County, designated by the 
board of supervisors of the County, the Director or a designee 
of the Gulf Coast Research Lab located in Ocean Springs, 
Mississippi, and the Director or a designee of the Mississippi 
Department of Marine Resources.
    The Committee intends that this management conference be 
subject to all appropriate open meeting and ethics laws and 
regulations. In addition, the Committee understands that this 
legislation focuses on restoration projects and the use of 
existing authorities. It does not create new additional 
regulatory authority.

Section 4. Sense of Congress

    This section includes a Sense of Congress that all grant 
recipients under this Act shall abide by the Buy American Act, 
and the EPA Administrator shall give notice of this requirement 
to all grant applicants.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held to specifically address H.R. 4104. 
However, the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee held 
several hearings this Congress on ocean and coastal water 
quality issues, including one on February 29, 2000 at which 
testimony was heard from Representatives and stakeholders from 
the Gulf Coast region on water quality issues similar to those 
faced by the Mississippi Sound.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 26, 2000, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session, discharged H.R. 4104 from 
the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, and 
ordered the bill reported, as amended, to the House by voice 
vote.
    The Committee adopted an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute that made technical changes; amended section 320 of 
the Clean Water Act to include the Mississippi Sound for 
priority consideration as part of the NEP; established a 
Mississippi Sound Restoration Program; authorized $10 million 
for EPA assistance in carrying out the Mississippi Sound 
program and activities recommended by a management conference 
convened under section 320; and, included a Sense of Congress 
regarding compliance with the Buy American Act.

                             Rollcall Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with ordering H.R. 
4104 reported.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII 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 on the 
subject of H.R. 4104.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
4104 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, August 2, 2000.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4104, the 
Mississippi Sound Restoration Act of 2000.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Susanne S. 
Mehlman (for federal costs), and Victoria Heid Hall (for the 
state and local impact).
            Sincerely,
                                           Steven Lieberman
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4104--Mississippi Sound Restoration Act of 2000

    Summary: H.R. 4104 would authorize a one-time appropriation 
of $10 million for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to 
establish a Mississippi Sound Restoration Program. This new 
program would coordinate federal, state, and local efforts to 
restore the sound. CBO estimates that implementing this 
legislation would cost $10 million over the next five years, 
assuming appropriation of the authorized amount.
    The bill would not affect direct spending or receipts; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. H.R. 4104 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would 
impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: For this 
estimate, CBO assumes that the authorized amount will be 
appropriated over the 2001-2004 period and that outlays will 
occur at rates similar to those for other EPA activities 
associated with water restoration projects. The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 4104 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and the environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                    --------------------------------------------
                                                                       2001     2002     2003     2004     2005
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level......................................        2        3        3        2        0
Estimated Outlays..................................................        1        2        3        3        1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 4104 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. Implementing the bill would benefit 
Mississippi if the Congress appropriates funds for restoration 
projects and related scientific and public education projects. 
Any costs to the state or local governments would be incurred 
voluntarily.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Susanne S. Mehlman. 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Victoria Heid 
Hall. Impact on the Private Sector: Lauren Marks.
    Estimate Approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. (Public Law 104-4.)

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act. (Public Law 
104-1.)

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                 FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                TITLE I--RESEARCH AND RELATED PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 121. MISSISSIPPI SOUND.

  (a) Establishment of Restoration Program.--The Administrator 
shall establish within the Environmental Protection Agency the 
Mississippi Sound Restoration Program.
  (b) Purpose.--The purpose of the program shall be to restore 
the ecological health of the Sound, including barrier islands, 
coastal wetlands, keys, and reefs, by developing and funding 
restoration projects and related scientific and public 
education projects and by coordinating efforts among Federal, 
State, and local governmental agencies and nonregulatory 
organizations.
  (c) Duties.--In carrying out the program, the Administrator 
shall--
          (1) provide administrative and technical assistance 
        to a management conference convened for the Sound under 
        section 320;
          (2) assist and support the activities of the 
        management conference, including the implementation of 
        recommendations of the management conference;
          (3) support environmental monitoring of the Sound and 
        research to provide necessary technical and scientific 
        information;
          (4) develop a comprehensive research plan to address 
        the technical needs of the program;
          (5) coordinate the grant, research, and planning 
        programs authorized under this section; and
          (6) collect and make available to the public 
        publications, and other forms of information the 
        management conference determines to be appropriate, 
        relating to the environmental quality of the Sound.
  (d) Grants.--The Administrator may make grants--
          (1) for restoration projects and studies recommended 
        by a management conference convened for the Sound under 
        section 320; and
          (2) for public education projects recommended by the 
        management conference.
  (e) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
          (1) Sound.--The term ``Sound'' means the Mississippi 
        Sound located on the Gulf Coast of the State of 
        Mississippi.
          (2) Program.--The term ``program'' means the 
        Mississippi Sound Restoration Program established under 
        subsection (a).
  (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated $10,000,000 to carry out this section. Such 
sums shall remain available until expended.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                 TITLE III--STANDARDS AND ENFORCEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 320. NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM.

      (a) Management Conference.--
          (1)  * * *
          (2) Convening of conference.--
                  (A)  * * *
                  (B) Priority consideration.--The 
                Administrator shall give priority consideration 
                under this section to Long Island Sound, New 
                York and Connecticut; Narragansett Bay, Rhode 
                Island; Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts; 
                Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts (including 
                Cape Cod Bay and Boston Harbor); Puget Sound, 
                Washington; New York-New Jersey Harbor, New 
                York and New Jersey; Delaware Bay, Delaware and 
                New Jersey; Delaware Inland Bays, Delaware; 
                Albermarle Sound, North Carolina; Sarasota Bay, 
                Florida; San Francisco Bay, California; Santa 
                Monica Bay, California; Galveston Bay, Texas; 
                Barataria-Terrebonne Bay estuary complex, 
                Louisiana; Indian River Lagoon, Florida; 
                Mississippi Sound, Mississippi; and Peconic 
                Bay, New York.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *