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                                                        Calendar No. 14
108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                      108-6

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



 
                    NOXIOUS WEED CONTROL ACT OF 2003

                                _______
                                

               February 11, 2003.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 144]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which 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, non-native weeds on public and private land, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends 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. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the Noxious Weed Control Act of 2003.''

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
          (1) Noxious weed.--The term ``noxious weed'' has the same 
        meaning as in the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7702(10)).
          (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.
          (3) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the 
        Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other 
        territory or possession of the United States.
          (4) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination 
        and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)
          (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 by and includes local 
                stakeholders, including Indian tribes;
                  (C) is established for the purpose of controlling or 
                eradicating harmful, invasive weeds and increasing 
                public knowledge and education concerning the need to 
                control or eradicate harmful, invasive weeds; and
                  (D) is multijurisdictional and multidisciplinary in 
                nature.

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 weeds. In developing the program, the Secretary 
shall consult with the National Invasive Species Council, the Invasive 
Species Advisory Committee, 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.

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

    The Secretary shall 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 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 
shall provide special consideration for 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 will address.

SEC. 5. ELIGIBILITY AND USE OF FUNDS.

    (a) Requirements.--The Secretary shall prescribe requirements for 
applications by States for funding, including provisions for auditing 
of and reporting on the use of funds and criteria to ensure that weed 
management entities recognized by the States are capable of carrying 
out projects, monitoring and reporting on the use of funds, and are 
knowledgeable about and experienced in noxious weed management and 
represent private and public interests adversely affected by noxious 
weeds. Eligible activities for funding shall include--
          (1) applied research to solve locally significant weed 
        management problems and solutions, except that such research 
        may not exceed 8 percent of the available funds in any year;
          (2) incentive payments to encourage the formation of new weed 
        management entities, except that such payments may not exceed 
        25 percent of the available funds in any year; and
          (3) projects relating to the control or eradication of 
        noxious weeds, including education, inventories and mapping, 
        management, monitoring, and similar activities, including the 
        payment of the cost of personnel and equipment that promote 
        such control or eradication, and other activities to promote 
        such control or eradication, if the results of the activities 
        are disseminated to the public.
    (b) Project Selection.--A State shall select projects for funding 
to a weed management entity on a competitive basis considering--
          (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 weed management entity has made 
        progress in addressing noxious weed problems;
          (5) the extent to which the project will provide a 
        comprehensive approach to the control or eradication of noxious 
        weeds;
          (6) the extent to which the project will reduce the total 
        population of a noxious weed;
          (7) the extent to which the project uses the principles of 
        integrated vegetation management and sound science; and
          (8) such other factors that the State determines to be 
        relevant.
    (c) Information and Report.--As a condition of the receipt of 
funding, States shall require such information from grant recipients as 
necessary and shall submit to the Secretary a report that describes the 
purposes and results of each project for which the payment or award was 
used, by not later than 6 months after completion of the projects.
    (d) Federal Share.--The federal share of any project or activity 
approved by a State or Indian tribe under this Act may not exceed 50 
percent 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 
cannot be met otherwise.

SEC. 6 LIMITATIONS.

    (a) Landowner Consent; Land Under Cultivation.--Any activity 
involving real property, either private or public, may be carried out 
under this Act 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 the noxious weed problem in more than one 
State only if the entity meets the requirements of the State laws in 
all States in which the entity will undertake the project.
    (c) Use of Funds.--Funding under this Act may not be used to carry 
out a project--
          (1) to control or eradicate animals, pests, or submerged or 
        floating noxious aquatic weeds; 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. 7. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROGRAMS.

    Assistance authorized under this Act is intended to supplement, and 
not replace, assistance available to weed management entities, areas, 
and districts for control or eradication of harmful, invasive weeds on 
public lands and private lands, including funding available under the 
``Pulling Together Initiative'' of the National Fish and Wildlife 
Foundation, and the provision of funds to any entity under this Act 
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. 8 AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    To carry out this Act there is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary $100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2003 through 2007, of 
which 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.

                         PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE

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

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The control of harmful nonnative weeds has become a major 
management concern on public and private lands. Currently, at 
least 94 types of nonnative weeds are recognized as ``Federal 
Noxious Weeds'' and many more are designated on State noxious 
weed lists. The National Strategy for Invasive Plant Management 
estimates that invasive plants already infest over 100 million 
acres in the United States and the affected area continues to 
increase by 8 to 20 percent annually.
    The costs of invasive weeds are significant, both in terms 
of control and eradication costs and loss of agricultural 
production. Annual direct control costs are estimated to be as 
high as $5.4 billion, with an additional $1 billion in indirect 
costs. Losses in agricultural productivity are estimated to be 
even higher. In addition to agricultural losses, invasive weeds 
threaten important habitat for over two-thirds of the 
endangered species in the United States.
    Previous studies have identified that public and private 
partnerships are essential to combat weed infestation. S. 144 
would support such partnerships by authorizing a State grant 
program to assist local weed management entities control and 
eradicate harmful nonnative weeds on public and private lands.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 144 was introduced by Senators Craig, Hagel, Daschle, 
Crapo, Baucus, Burns, Dorgan, Smith, Johnson and Ensign on 
January 13, 2003. A similar bill, S. 198, was introduced by 
Senator Craig in the 107th Congress. The Subcommittee on Public 
Lands and Forests held a hearing on S. 198 on June 18, 2002. 
The Committee favorably reported S. 198 with amendments on 
September 17, 2002 and it passed the Senate with additional 
amendments on November 20, 2002. At the business meeting on 
February 5, 2003, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
ordered S. 144, as amended, favorably reported.

                       COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on February 5, 2003, by a unanimous vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 144, if 
amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

    During the consideration of S. 144, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The amendment 
adopts the language passed by the Senate during the 107th 
Congress. This language incorporates changes requested by the 
Administration and suggested by witnesses at the Subcommittee 
hearing in Washington and at the field workshop in Idaho held 
during the 107th Congress.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 entitles the bill the ``Noxious Weed Control Act 
of 2003.''
    Section 2 defines key terms used in the bill.
    Section 3 directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
establish a program to provide financial assistance through 
States to eligible weed management entities to control or 
eradicate weeds. In developing the program, the Secretary shall 
consult with certain public and private entities.
    Section 4 directs the Secretary of the Interior to allocate 
funds to States to provide funding to weed management entities 
for projects to control or eradicate noxious weed. The 
Secretary shall allocate funding to each State based on the 
severity or potential severity of the weed problem; the extent 
to which 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 directed to provide 
special consideration for States with approved weed management 
entities established by Indian tribes.
    Section 5(a) directs the Secretary to prescribe 
requirements for applications by States for funding, including 
auditing, monitoring and other provisions. Eligible activities 
for funding shall include applied research (up to 8 percent of 
the available funds in any year); incentive payments to 
encourage the formation of new weed management entities (up to 
25 percent of the available funds in any year); and projects 
relating to the control or eradication of noxious weeds.
    Subsection (b) requires a State to select projects for 
funding to a weed management entity on a competitive basis and 
sets forth a series of considerations.
    Subsection (c) states that as a condition of the receipt of 
funding, States shall require such information from grant 
recipients as necessary and shall submit to the Secretary a 
report that describes the purposes and results of each projects 
for which the payment or award was used, by not later than 6 
months after completion of the projects.
    Subsection (d) provides that the Federal share of any 
project or activity approved by a State or Indian tribe under 
this Act may not exceed 50 percent unless the State meets 
criteria established by the Secretary that accommodates 
situations where a higher percentage is necessary to meet the 
needs of an under-served area or addresses a critical need that 
cannot be met otherwise.
    Section 6 provides that any activity involving real 
property, either private or public, may be carried out under 
this Act 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. In addition, a 
weed management entity may carry out a multi-state project only 
if the entity meets the requirements of the State laws in all 
applicable States. Funding under this Act may not be used to 
carry out a project to control or eradicate animals, pests, or 
submerged or floating noxious aquatic weeds; or to protect an 
agricultural commodity other than livestock or an animal- or 
insect-based product.
    Section 7 states that assistance authorized under this Act 
is intended to supplement, and not replace, assistance 
available to weed management entities, areas, and districts; 
and the provision of funds to any entity under this Act shall 
have no effect on the amount of any payment received by a 
county from the Federal Government under the Payments in Lieu 
of Taxes Act.
    Section 8 authorizes $100,000,000 to be appropriated to the 
Secretary to carry out this Act for each fiscal years 2003 
through 2007, of which 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.

                     COST AND BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, February 7, 2003.
Hon. Pete V. Domenici,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 144, the Noxious 
Weed Control Act of 2003.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                     Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 144--Noxious Weed Control Act of 2003

    Summary: S. 144 would direct the Secretary of the Interior 
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 $3 million in 2003 and $278 million 
over the 2003-2008 period, assuming appropriation of the 
authorized amounts. The bill 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: 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
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Authorization Level.......................................      100      100      100      100      100        0
Estimated Outlays.........................................        3       20       35       60       80       80
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: S. 144 would authorize the appropriation 
of $100 million a year over the 2003-2007 period for the 
Secretary of the Interior 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 information from 
the Department of the Interior, CBO estimates that implementing 
this bill would cost $3 million in 2003 and $278 million over 
the 2003-2008 period, with additional spending occurring in 
later years. For this estimate, we assume S. 144 will be 
enacted by the middle of fiscal year 2003 and that authorized 
amounts would be provided as specified by the bill. Estimates 
of outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
similar activities.
    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.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll, Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Majorie Miller, Impact 
on the Private Sector: Cecil McPherson.
    Estimate approved by: Paul R. Cullinan, Chief for Human 
Resources Cost Estimates Unit, Budget Analysis Division.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 144. The bill is not a regulatory measures in 
the sense of imposing Government-estimated standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 144, as ordered reported.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    On February 5, 2003, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of 
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting 
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 144. These reports 
had not been received at the time the report on S. 144 was 
filed. When the reports become available, the Chairman will 
request that they be printed in the Congressional Record for 
the advice of the Senate.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rule of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 144, as ordered 
reported.