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108th Congress                                            Rept. 108-517
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

======================================================================
 
                    NOXIOUS WEED CONTROL ACT OF 2004

                                _______
                                

                  June 1, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 144]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill (S. 
144) to require the Secretary of the Interior to establish a 
program to provide assistance through States to eligible weed 
management entities to control or eradicate harmful, nonnative 
weeds on public and private land, 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 all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Noxious Weed Control Act of 2004''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Noxious weed.--The term ``noxious weed'' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 403(10) of the Plant Protection Act 
        (7 U.S.C. 7702(10)).
          (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Agriculture.
          (3) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination 
        and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
          (4) Federal lands.--The term ``Federal lands'' means Federal 
        lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management 
        or the Forest Service.
          (5) Weed management entity.--The term ``weed management 
        entity'' means an entity that--
                  (A) is recognized by the State in which it is 
                established;
                  (B) is established for the purpose of controlling or 
                eradicating noxious weeds and increasing public 
                knowledge and education concerning the need to control 
                or eradicate noxious weeds;
                  (C) may be multijurisdictional and multidisciplinary 
                in nature; and
                  (D) may include Federal and State representatives, 
                private organizations, individuals, and State-
                recognized conservation districts.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.

  The Secretary shall establish a program to provide financial 
assistance through States to eligible weed management entities to 
control or eradicate noxious weeds. In developing the program, the 
Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of the Interior, 
representatives from States and Indian tribes that have weed management 
entities or that have particular problems with noxious weeds, and 
public and private entities with experience in noxious weed management.

SEC. 4. ALLOCATION OF FUNDS TO STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES.

  (a) In General.--Under the program established pursuant to section 3, 
the Secretary may allocate funds to States to provide funding to weed 
management entities to carry out projects approved by States to control 
or eradicate noxious weeds on the basis of--
          (1) the severity or potential severity of the noxious weed 
        problem;
          (2) the extent to which the Federal funds will be used to 
        leverage non-Federal funds;
          (3) the extent to which the State has made progress in 
        addressing noxious weed problems; and
          (4) such other factors as the Secretary considers relevant.
  (b) Special Consideration.--The Secretary shall give special 
consideration to States with approved weed management entities 
established by Indian Tribes and may provide an additional allocation 
to a State to meet the particular needs and projects that such a weed 
management entity plans to address.
  (c) Equal Consideration of Projects.--To the extent made possible by 
acceptable applications, the Secretary shall give equal consideration 
to projects that address noxious weed problems on lands under the 
jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Land Management and projects that 
address noxious weed problems on lands under the jurisdiction of the 
Forest Service.

SEC. 5. ELIGIBILITY AND USE OF FUNDS.

  (a) Requirements.--The Secretary shall prescribe requirements for 
applications by weed management entities for funding under this Act 
(other than section 10). Such requirements shall include--
          (1) requirements for auditing of and reporting on the use of 
        the funds received under this Act by a weed management entity;
          (2) requirements that a weed management entity receiving 
        funds under this Act (other than section 10) to provide to the 
        Secretary adequate assurances that the weed management entity--
                  (A) is capable of carrying out the project;
                  (B) is capable of monitoring and reporting on the use 
                of the funds;
                  (C) is knowledgeable about and experienced in noxious 
                weed management; and
                  (D) represents private and public interests adversely 
                affected by noxious weeds; and
          (3) a requirement that the results of the project be made 
        available to the public.
  (b) Eligible Projects.--Projects eligible to be funded under this Act 
(other than section 10) are projects relating to the control or 
eradication of noxious weeds, including the following:
          (1) Education.
          (2) Inventories.
          (3) Mapping.
          (4) Management.
          (5) Monitoring.
          (6) Payment of the cost of personnel and equipment that 
        promote control or eradication of noxious weeds.
          (7) Other activities to promote such control or eradication, 
        if the results of the activities are disseminated to the 
        public.
  (c) Project Selection.--The Secretary shall select projects for 
funding on a competitive basis considering the following:
          (1) The seriousness of the noxious weed problem or potential 
        problem addressed by the project.
          (2) The likelihood that the project will prevent or resolve 
        the problem, or increase knowledge about resolving similar 
        problems in the future.
          (3) The extent to which the payment will leverage non-Federal 
        funds to address the noxious weed problem addressed by the 
        project.
          (4) The extent to which the project is likely to provide a 
        comprehensive approach to the control or eradication of noxious 
        weeds.
          (5) The extent to which the project is likely to reduce the 
        population of a noxious weed.
          (6) The extent to which the project uses sound science.
          (7) Such other factors that the Secretary determines 
        relevant.
  (d) Federal Share.--The Federal share of any project funded under 
this Act (other than section 10) may not exceed 50 percent--
          (1) unless the State meets criteria established by the 
        Secretary that accommodates situations where a higher 
        percentage is necessary to meet the needs of an underserved 
        area or addresses a critical need that can not be met 
        otherwise; or
          (2) the project will be carried out exclusively on Federal 
        lands.

SEC. 6. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.

  Field offices of the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service 
may provide technical assistance, on a reimbursable basis, to weed 
management agencies in developing projects and filing applications for 
funding of projects under this Act (other than section 10).

SEC. 7. CONDITIONS.

  (a) Landowner Consent; Land Under Cultivation.--Any activity 
involving real property, either private or public, may be carried out 
under this Act (other than section 10) only with the consent of the 
landowner and no project may be undertaken on property that is devoted 
to the cultivation of row crops, fruits, or vegetables.
  (b) Compliance With State Law.--A weed management entity may carry 
out a project to address a noxious weed problem in more than 1 State 
only if the weed management entity meets the requirements of the State 
laws in all States in which the weed management entity will undertake 
the project.
  (c) Use of Funds.--Funding under this Act (other than section 10) may 
not be used to carry out a project--
          (1) to control or eradicate animals or pests; or
          (2) to protect an agricultural commodity (as defined in 
        section 102 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 
        5602)) other than--
                  (A) livestock (as defined in section 602 of the 
                Agricultural Trade Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1471)); or
                  (B) an animal- or insect-based product.

SEC. 8. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROGRAMS.

  Funds under this Act (other than section 10) are intended to 
supplement, not replace, assistance available to weed management 
entities, areas, and districts for control or eradication of noxious 
weeds on Federal lands and private lands. The provision of funds to a 
weed management entity under this Act (other than section 10) shall 
have no effect on the amount of any payment received by a county from 
the Federal Government under chapter 69 of title 31, United States Code 
(commonly known as the ``Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act'').

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  To carry out sections 1 through 8 of this Act, there is authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
2005 through 2009, of which--
          (1) not more than 5 percent of the funds made available for a 
        fiscal year may be used by the Secretary for administrative 
        costs of Federal agencies; and
          (2) not more than 10 percent of the funds made available for 
        a fiscal year may be used by States for administrative costs.

SEC. 10. RAPID RESPONSE CAPABILITY TO NOXIOUS WEEDS.

  (a) Establishment.--At the request of the Governor of a State, the 
Secretary may provide financial assistance to weed management entities 
through that State to enable a rapid response to outbreaks of noxious 
weeds that are at a stage at which rapid eradication or control is 
possible and to ensure eradication or immediate control of the noxious 
weeds.
  (b) Requirements for Assistance.--Assistance may be provided under 
this section only if--
          (1) there is a demonstrated need for the assistance;
          (2) the noxious weed is considered to be an immediate threat 
        to native fish, wildlife, or their habitats, as determined by 
        the Secretary;
          (3) the economic impact of delaying action is considered by 
        the Secretary to be substantial; and
          (4) the proposed response to such threat--
                  (A) is technically feasible;
                  (B) economically responsible; and
                  (C) minimizes adverse impacts to the structure and 
                function of an ecosystem and adverse effects on 
                nontarget species and ecosystems.
  (c) Amount of Financial Assistance.--The Secretary shall determine 
the amount of financial assistance to be provided under this section, 
subject to the availability of appropriations.
  (d) Cost Share.--The Federal share of the cost of any project carried 
out with assistance under this section may be up to 100 percent.
  (e) Reporting.--The Secretary shall require that weed management 
entities receiving assistance under this section report on activities 
carried out with such assistance in the same manner required pursuant 
to section 5(a)(1).

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of S. 144 is to require the Secretary of the 
Interior to establish a program to provide assistance through 
States to eligible weed management entities to control or 
eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public and private land.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Under S. l44, as amended by the Full Resources Committee, 
the Secretary of the Agriculture would establish a program to 
provide financial assistance through States to eligible weed 
management entities to control or eradicate ``noxious weeds'', 
as defined by the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7702(10)). The 
bill does, however, limit the scope of potentially noxious 
weeds as animals, pests, and row crops are specifically 
ineligible. In developing the program, the Secretary shall 
consult with the Secretary of the Interior, representatives 
from States and Indian tribes with weed management entities or 
that have particular problems with noxious weeds, and public 
and private entities with experience in noxious weed 
management.
    In terms of process, weed management entities, as defined 
by the bill, would submit weed eradication or control projects 
initially to the States for approval. States would then submit 
a projects to the Secretary. Based on priorities established in 
the bill, the Secretary may provide funding to the States, who 
serve as a pass through to those eligible weed management 
entities. Federal monies are limited to State, private, and 
federal lands under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service 
and the Bureau of Land Management. Priority for funding 
proposed projects will be given on the basis of the severity or 
potential severity of the noxious weed problem, the extent to 
which the federal funds will be used to leverage non-federal 
funds, the extent to which the State has made progress in 
addressing noxious weed problems, and such other factors as the 
Secretary deems relevant. The Secretary is mandated to provide 
special consideration for States with approved weed management 
entities established by Indian Tribes, and may also provide an 
additional allocation to a State to meet the particular needs 
and projects that such a tribal weed management entity will 
address. The Secretary will also make States responsible for 
auditing and reporting of funded projects, as well as prescribe 
to States the requirements for funding applications to be made 
by the States to the Secretary.
    With respect to funding, $50 million is authorized to be 
made available annually from 2005-2009 to carry out this Act. 
Administrative costs incurred by the Secretary may not exceed 
5% in any given year, and the federal share of any project 
carried out on non-federal land may not exceed 50%. Similarly, 
administrative costs incurred by States is limited to 10% 
annually.
    Finally, the bill establishes an emergency response program 
that allows weed management entities at the request of the 
governor of the State in which they reside to forgo the 
application process established under the bill and request 
emergency funds from the Secretary to enable rapid response to 
noxious weed outbreaks. The reporting and auditing 
requirements, however, remain consistent with those established 
for non-emergency funding requests under the bill.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) introduced S. 144 on January 13, 
2003. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent on March 
4, 2004 with an amendment. The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Resources, and in addition to the Committee on 
Agriculture, within the U.S. House of Representatives. Within 
the Committee on Resources, the bill was referred to the 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands and 
the Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and 
Oceans. The Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and 
Public Lands met on April 29, 2004, to hear the bill. On May 
19, 2004, the Full Resources Committee met to mark up the bill. 
The Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans 
and the Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public 
Lands were discharged from further consideration of the bill by 
unanimous consent. Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) offered an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute to the bill which: (1) 
transferred the authority for the program from the Secretary of 
the Interior to the Secretary of Agriculture; (2) restricted 
the program to Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest 
Service lands; (3) authorized an emergency response program; 
and 4) reduced the authorization of appropriations. No further 
amendments were offered and the Pombo amendment in the nature 
of a substitute was adopted by unanimous consent. The bill, as 
amended, was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8, of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) 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 this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that 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 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to require the Secretary of the 
Interior to establish a program to provide assistance through 
States to eligible weed management entities to control or 
eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public and private land.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII 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 this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, June 1, 2004.
Hon. Richard W. Pombo,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 144, the Noxious 
Weed Control Act of 2004.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                         Elizabeth Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 144--Noxious Weed Control Act of 2003

    Summary: S. 144 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture 
to establish a program to provide grants to states and Indian 
tribes to support projects to control or eradicate noxious 
weeds on public and private lands. CBO estimates that the 
proposed program would cost $10 million in 2005 and $139 
million over the 2005-2009 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. Enacting the legislation would not 
affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 144 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. Any costs incurred by those governments to comply 
with the conditions of this assistance would be voluntary.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: For this 
estimate, we assume S. 144 will be enacted near the start of 
fiscal year 2005 and that authorized amounts will be provided 
as specified by the act. The estimated budgetary impact of S. 
144 is shown in the following table. The costs of this 
legislation fall within budget function 300 (natural resources 
and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                    --------------------------------------------
                                                                       2005     2006     2007     2008     2009
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level......................................       55       55       55       55       55
Estimated Outlays..................................................       10       18       28       38       45
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: S. 144 would authorize the appropriation 
of $50 million a year over the 2005-2009 period for the 
Secretary of Agriculture to make grants to states and Indian 
tribes to fund projects to study, control, or eradicate noxious 
weeds on public and private lands. Based on historical spending 
patterns for similar activities, CBO estimates that those 
activities would cost $5 million in 2005 and $114 million over 
the 2005-2009 period, with additional spending occurring in 
later years. Estimates of outlays are based on historical 
spending patterns for similar activities.
    Section 10 would authorize the Secretary to provide 
financial assistance to states to mitigate particularly 
threatening outbreaks of noxious weeds. According to the Forest 
Service, the agency already provides such assistance under 
current law, subject to requirements that states pay for a 
portion of the cost of such activities. S. 144 would allow the 
Secretary to pay up to 100 percent of those costs. Based on 
information from the Forest Service, CBO estimates that the 
total cost of those activities is about $10 million a year, and 
that states pay roughly half of the costs. Hence, we estimate 
that authorizing the Secretary to fully fund those projects 
could increase federal spending by as much as $5 million a 
year, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 144 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. Any costs incurred by those governments to 
comply with the conditions of this assistance would be 
voluntary.
    Previous CBO estimate: On February 7, 2003, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for S. 144 as ordered reported by the Senate 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on February 5, 2003. 
Both versions of S. 144 would authorize funds for grants to 
states and tribes for projects related to noxious weeds. The 
House Committee on Resources' version of S. 144 would authorize 
less funding for such grants; hence our estimate of spending 
under that version is less. Further differences result because 
the House Committee on Resources' version S. 144 would 
authorize a change in the cost-sharing requirements for 
financial assistance to states to help control particularly 
threatening outbreaks of noxious weeds.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Majorie Miller; and 
Impact on the Private Sector: Selena Caldera.
    Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.