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Calendar No. 352
108th Congress Report
1st Session 108-178
EXEMPT CERTAIN COASTAL BARRIER PROPERTY FROM FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND
FLOOD INSURANCE LIMITATIONS
October 29, 2003.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Inhofe, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[to accompany S. 1643]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was
referred a bill (S. 1643) to exempt certain coastal barrier
property from financial assistance and flood insurance
limitations under the Coastal Barriers Resources Act and the
National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, having considered the
same, reports favorably thereon with amendments and recommends
that the bill, as amended, do pass.
General Statement and Background
Coastal barriers are unique land areas that form the bridge
between low-lying coastal areas and seawater. They perform
functions supporting fragile ecosystems and serve as prized
recreational areas for the public. Because of their inherent
beauty and hydrological values, coastal barriers are under
significant development pressures. However, coastal barriers
are composed of unstable elements and are susceptible to storm
damage and chronic erosion.
Recognizing the environmental and economic risks associated
with developing coastal barriers, Congress enacted the Coastal
Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) in 1982. The law established a
prohibition against Federal spending, primarily Federal flood
insurance assistance and Federal infrastructure spending, in
areas denoted in designated CBRA units. No prohibitions exist
against private expenditures in CBRA units and individuals who
chose to build and invest in these hazard-prone areas will
incur the full cost of that risk. Approximately 590,000 acres
were established as CBRA units along the Atlantic and Gulf
coasts of the United States.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) manages the CBRA
program and provides information to the public, as well as
city, State, and local officials on questions pertaining to the
delineations of CBRA units. The Service also maintains the
official maps outlining the individual units. Congress enacts
periodic revisions to official unit maps that replace previous
In 1990, Congress passed the Coastal Barrier Improvement
Act, which extended CBRA units into the Great Lakes, Puerto
Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 1990 statute also
established designations of ``otherwise protected areas''
(OPAs) into the unit system. Properties located within an OPA
unit are ineligible for Federal flood insurance.
The 2000 Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act made
a series of programmatic changes to the USFWS operation of the
program. The statute also renamed the unit system as the ``John
H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System.''
In 1998, the USFWS field staff worked with a developer on
Edisto Island to determine which lots in the Jeremy Cay
Subdivision were inside and outside of the M-09 unit of the
John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System. The
determinations were made in good faith with the mapping tools
available at the time.
Using higher-precision mapping tools, the USFWS recently
discovered that four lots (lots 15, 16, 25, and 29) within the
Jeremy Cay Subdivision on Edisto Island, South Carolina,
initially determined to be completely outside or predominantly
outside of the M-09 unit, are actually inside the M-09 unit
boundary. As a result, these lots no longer qualify for Federal
funding, including Federal flood insurance.
In this case, USFWS does not advocate a revised map that
modifies the System boundary as the agency does not believe
that this is an issue of original intent not accurately
captured on the map. The USFWS supports the adoption of S.
1643, a bill that would exempt the four misidentified
properties from the Federal flood insurance restrictions that
apply to properties located within the System.
Objectives of the Legislation
This legislation will exempt four lots (lots 15, 16, 25,
and 29) within the Jeremy Cay Subdivision on Edisto Island,
South Carolina from the Federal flood insurance restrictions
that apply to properties located within the John H. Chafee
Coastal Barrier Resources System. This exemption is necessary
due to the USFWS's previous incorrect determinations that the
four lots were completely outside or predominantly outside of
the M-09 unit (disqualifying them from Federal funding,
including Federal flood insurance) when the lots are actually
inside the M-09 unit boundary. S. 1643 applies to the relevant
properties (lots 15, 16, 25, and 29) totaling 3.87 acres and no
additional land. S. 1643 refers to the properties as they are
identified and depicted on the map M-09/M-09P dated January 24,
Section 1. Financial Assistance; Flood Insurance
This section exempts the four lots (lots 15, 16, 25, and
29) within the Jeremy Cay Subdivision on Edisto Island, South
Carolina, from the Federal flood insurance restrictions that
apply to properties located within the John H. Chafee Coastal
Barrier Resources System. These properties are depicted on the
M-09/M-09P unit map. S. 1643 makes technical corrections to the
Coastal Barrier Resources Act that is cited in the legislation
changing ``Section 6'' to ``Section 5'' and also changing
``map'' to ``reference map.''
S. 1643 was introduced on September 23, 2003, by Senator
Hollings, and was referred to the Committee on Environment and
Public Works. On October 15, 2003, the committee met to
consider the bill.
The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to
consider S. 1643 on October 15, 2003. The committee agreed to
an amendment by Senator Crapo making technical corrections to
the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, changing ``Section 6'' to
``Section 5'' and also changing ``map'' to ``reference map.''
The committee favorably reported the bill by voice vote as
Regulatory Impact Statement
In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 1643
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of
In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 1643 would
impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State,
local, or tribal governments.
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:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, October 24, 2003.
Hon. James M. Inhofe, 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. 1643, a bill to
exempt certain coastal barrier property from financial
assistance and flood insurance limitations under the Coastal
Barrier Resources Act and the National Flood Insurance Act of
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.
S. 1643, A bill to exempt certain coastal barrier property from
financial assistance and flood insurance limitations under the
Coastal Barrier Resources Act and the National Flood Insurance
Act of 1968, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works on October 15, 2003
CBO estimates that enacting S. 1643 would have no
significant impact on the Federal budget. The bill could affect
direct spending, but we expect that net changes in direct
spending would be negligible.
S. 1643 would exempt four specified housing lots located
within the Edisto Complex of the South Carolina Unit of the
Coastal Barriers Resource System from existing Federal laws
that prevent the owners from obtaining coverage under the
national flood insurance program. CBO expects that enacting the
bill would enable the owners to obtain such insurance beginning
in fiscal year 2004 or 2005. Therefore, we estimate that
enacting the bill would result in a negligible increase in
insurance premium collections to the national flood insurance
fund. Collections would be partially offset by new mandatory
spending for underwriting and administrative expenses. The
Federal Government could incur additional costs for losses
caused by any future floods affecting those properties, but CBO
has no basis for predicting such events.
The bill 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.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis.
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 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 not change