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Calendar No. 302
109th Congress Report
1st Session 109-185
LONG ISLAND SOUND STEWARDSHIP ACT OF 2005
December 8, 2005.--Ordered to be printed
Filed under authority of the order of the Senate of November 18, 2005
Mr. Inhofe, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[to accompany S. 158]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was
referred a bill (S. 158) to establish the Long Island Sound
Stewardship Initiative, having considered the same, reports
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the
bill do pass.
General Statement and Background
The Long Island Sound is a nationally important estuary
that contributes more than $6 billion annually to the regional
economy. Ten percent of the population of the United States
lives within 50 miles of the sound. For more than a decade,
there have been numerous programs implemented to improve water
quality, provide greater public access, and secure open spaces.
Objectives of the Legislation
S. 158 is intended to establish a Long Island Sound
Stewardship Initiative (LISSI), to identify, protect, and
enhance sites within the Long Island Sound ecosystem. The bill
would authorize up to $25 million annually for fiscal years
2006 to 2013. It provides for a three to one Federal to local
share and it creates an Advisory Committee chaired by the
Director of the Long Island Sound Office of the EPA.
The bill establishes the Long Island Sound Stewardship
Advisory Committee, which is composed of Federal, State and
local officials, along with public interest groups, academics
and private landowners. The Advisory Committee will evaluate
applications for the acquisition of land or for conservation
easements, for the development and implementation of management
plans to address threats, and to act on opportunities to
protect and enhance stewardship sites. Stewardship areas could
be privately owned or be part of existing State parks, nature
preserves or wildlife areas. Based on their analysis, the
committee will recommend that the EPA Administrator award
grants to qualified applicants. Participation in this program
will be based upon the request of the property owner and only
willing owners will participate.
S. 158 also reauthorizes the Long Island Sound Restoration
Act to 2009.
Section 1. Short title.
This section sets forth the short title of the bill as the
``Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 2005.''
Sec. 2. Findings and purpose.
This section includes eight findings regarding the
importance of the program.
The purpose of the Act is to establish the Long Island
Sound Stewardship Initiative to identify, protect, and enhance
sites within the Long Island Sound ecosystem with significant
ecological, educational, open space, public access, or
recreational value through a bi-State network of sites best
exemplifying those values.
Sec. 3. Definitions.
This section defines the terms used in this Act.
`Adaptive management' means a scientific
process for developing predictive models, making management
policy decisions based upon the model outputs; revising the
management policies as new data becomes available;
acknowledging uncertainty and variance in the spatial and
temporal aspects of natural systems; and a process that
requires management be viewed as experimental.
`Administrator' means the Administrator of the
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
`Committee' is the Long Island Sound
Stewardship Advisory Committee established under section 5(a)
of the Act.
`Region' refers to the Long Island Sound
Stewardship Initiative Region as established under section 4(a)
of the Act.
`States' are the States of Connecticut and New
`Stewardship Site' is a site that qualifies
for identification by the committee under section 5(a) and is
an area of land or water (or combination), that is in the
Region and is Federal, State, local, tribal, privately owned,
or owned by a nonprofit organization.
`Systematic Site Selection' is a process of
selecting stewardship sites that has explicit goals, methods
and criteria; produces feasible, reportable, and defensible
results; provides for consideration of natural, physical and
biological patterns; addresses reserve size, replication
connectivity, species viability, location, and public
recreation values; uses geographic information systems
technology and algorithms to integrate selection criteria; and
will result in achieving the goals of stewardship site
selection at the lowest cost.
`Threat' means a threat that is likely to
destroy or seriously degrade a conservation target or a
Sec. 4. Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative Region.
This section establishes the Long Island Sound Stewardship
Initiative Region (LISSI Region). It defines the boundaries of
the LISSI Region as encompassing the immediate coastal upland
and underwater areas along the Long Island Sound, including
portions of the Sound with coastally influenced vegetation and
the Peconic Estuary.
Sec. 5. Long Island Sound Stewardship Advisory Committee.
This section establishes the Long Island Sound Stewardship
Advisory Committee. It designates the Chairperson of the LISSA
Committee as the director of the Long Island Sound Office of
the EPA or a designee of the Director. This section sets forth
the membership of the LISSA Committee requiring that it include
a representative from the Regional Plan Association, marine
trade organizations, and a representative of private landowner
interests. When appointing members, the Chairperson is required
to consider the interests of Federal, State and local
governments, non-governmental organizations, academia and the
private sector. Appointments to the LISSA Committee shall be
made within 180 of enactment. This section also establishes the
term length of committee members as 4 years and allows for
multiple appointments. It establishes procedures regarding
vacancies on the committee, hiring and termination of committee
staff, meetings, and meeting procedures.
Section 6. Duties of the Committee.
This section requires the committee to evaluate
applications from government or nonprofit organizations
qualified to hold easements for funds to buy land and
development sites, as well as evaluate applications to develop
and implement management plans to protect, enhance and address
threats. It specifies that the committee will also recommend
guidelines, criteria, schedules, and due dates for evaluating
information to identify stewardship sites and publish a list of
those sites. Before publishing, owners of the sites shall be
given prior notification and given the option to decline being
included on the list.
Sec. 7. Powers of the Committee.
This section authorizes the LISSA Committee to hold
hearings, meet and act when necessary. It permits the LISSA
Committee to secure information directly from Federal agencies.
It requires the head of a Federal agency to provide the
requested information. This section clarifies that the
furnishing of information does not constitute a waiver of any
exemptions already available to the Agency. It provides that
the committee shall be considered an agency of the Federal
Government and that any individual, entity, or organization
that is a party to a contract with the committee shall be
considered an employee of the committee. This section prohibits
the LISSA Committee from disclosing the information unless it
is already available to the public. This section provides that
the committee may use the U.S. mail in the same manner and
conditions as other agencies. It grants the committee the right
to accept, use and dispose of donations of services or property
that advances the goals of the Act.
The committee has granted the LISSA Committee the ability
to obtain information from other Federal agencies to ensure
that the LISSA Committee has as much information as possible.
Federal agencies may have information that is not available
elsewhere to assist in identifying stewardship sites.
Sec. 8. Stewardship sites.
This section establishes the process to identify
stewardship sites. It requires the identification of 20 initial
Long Island Sound stewardship sites that are either natural
resource-based recreation areas or natural areas with
ecological value and promote the purposes of this Act. These
sites are not subject to the site identification process
described in subsection 8(d). Funds shall be distributed
equitably between the States for the initial sites.
This section also establishes a process for stewardship
site identification after the 20 initial sites are identified:
Property owners may submit applications, for review by the
LISSA Committee, to have sites identified as stewardship sites.
The LISSA Committee will review applications submitted by
owners to determine whether the sites should be identified as
exhibiting values consistent with the purposes of this Act. The
LISSA Committee, when identifying additional recreation areas,
to use a selection technique that includes: public access,
community support, areas with high population density,
environmental justice (defined in 33 C.F.R. 385.3), connection
to existing protected areas and open spaces, cultural, historic
and scenic areas, and other criteria developed by the LISSA
The LISSA Committee also is required to identify additional
natural areas with ecological value and potential as
stewardship sites based on measurable conservation targets and
following a process for prioritizing new sites using a
systematic site selection. This process shall include:
ecological uniqueness; species viability; habitat
heterogeneity; size; quality; connection to existing protected
areas and open spaces; land cover; scientific, research, or
educational value; threats; and other criteria developed by the
After the site identification process, the LISSA Committee
shall publish a list of sites in the Federal Register. Owners
of the sites to be published must be notified of the
publication and given an opportunity to be excluded from the
list. The LISSA Committee must consider public comments when
identifying potential stewardship sites.
This section permits the LISSA Committee to deviate from
the site identification process set forth in this section if it
selects a site that makes an ecological or recreational
contribution to the Region. The LISSA Committee must publish
its reasons for the deviation, and provide owners of the site
notification of publication in the Federal Register along with
the opportunity to decline inclusion.
In addition, this section requires the LISSA Committee to
use an adaptive management framework to identify the best
policy initiatives and actions. This framework must include:
definition of strategic goals; definition of policy options for
methods to achieve strategic goals; establishment of measures
of success; identification of uncertainties; development of
informative models of policy implementation; separation of the
landscape into geographic units; monitoring key responses at
different spatial and temporal scales; and evaluation of
outcomes and incorporation into management strategies. The
framework must also be applied to the process for updating the
list of recommended stewardship sites.
This section establishes the process for identifying sites
to be included in the Long Island Sound Stewardship program.
First, it specifies the process by which the initial 20
stewardship sites are chosen. It is the committee's
understanding that these 20 initial sites have already been
identified and that the owners of these sites are willing
participants in the program.
Sec. 9. Reports.
This requires the LISSA Committee to submit to the
Administrator an annual report, for each of the years 2006-
2013. The report must contain detailed findings and
conclusions, a description of all recommended stewardship
sites, recommendations for legislation and administrative
actions, and for the awarding of grants to qualified
applicants. After receiving this report, the Administrator has
ninety days (90) to review and take action consistent with the
recommendations of the committee. This can include approval of
identified stewardship sites and the award of grants, unless
the Administrator finds that any recommendation is unwarranted.
This section provides guidelines to the Administrator for
awarding grants recommended by the LISSA Committee. The
Administrator may award grants to secure and improve the open
space, public access, or ecological values of stewardship sites
through the purchase of property, property rights, or the use
of other binding legal arrangements that ensure the sustained
value of the site. This section requires the Administrator to
distribute funds equitably between the States. Finally, this
section requires the Administrator to publish and make
available to the public via the Internet and in hard copy, a
report that assesses the resources and threats to Long Island
Sound and the role of the Long Island Sound Stewardship
Initiative, establishes guidelines for evaluating information
to identify stewardship sites, includes information about the
availability of grants for land purchase, and details the funds
spent and received. The report must be updated at least every
other year, except that information on funding and new
stewardship sites shall be published more frequently.
The committee understands that in order to meet the
multiple purposes and multiple audiences of this report, the
Administrator of the EPA may determine that separate reporting
documents are appropriate.
Sec. 10. Private property protection.
This section provides that this Act does not require any
private property owner to allow public access to private
property or modifies any provision of Federal, State, or local
law regarding public access or use of private property, unless
entered into by voluntary agreement of the owner.--It does not
create liability of any private property owner or have any
effect on liability under any other law. It also does not
modify the authority of the Federal, State or local government
to regulate land use nor does it require owners of private
property within the established region to participate or be
associated with the initiative.
In addition, this subsection clarifies that Federal funds
provided for the Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative can
only be used within the boundaries of the Region and that the
establishment of the Region does not provide any additional
regulatory authority on land use in the Region by any
Sec. 11. Authorization of appropriations.
This section authorizes $25 million per year from 2006-2013
to execute this program. It specifies that moneys be used for
buying land, interests in land, development and implementation
of site management plans, site enhancements, and administrative
expenses. In addition, this section stipulates that the Federal
share of the cost of an activity shall not exceed 75 percent of
the total cost of the activity.
Sec. 12. Long Island Sound authorization of appropriations.
This section amends section 119(f) of the Federal Water
Pollution Control by striking ``2005'' and inserting ``2009.''
This section extends the existing authorization for the
Long Island Sound Office within the Environmental Protection
Agency. The current authorization provided for $40,000,000 per
year for fiscal years 2001 through 2005. This section extends
the authorization for funds to 2009. The committee understands
that the initial 20 sites were identified after the
Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan developed by the
States of New York and Connecticut in conjunction with the Long
Island Sound Office of EPA identified land use and development
as one of six priority areas.
Section 13. Termination of Committee.
This section establishes a termination date for the LISSA
Committee of December 31, 2013.
On July 20, 2004, in the 108th Congress, Senators
Lieberman, Clinton, Dodd and Schumer introduced S. 2691, the
Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 2004. It was discharged
from the Committee on Environment and Public Works on October
11, 2004. It passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent the same
day. It was referred to the House Resources Committee,
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans,
and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
On July 20, 2004, Representative Rob Simmons introduced
H.R. 4876, the House companion to the Long Island Sound
Stewardship Act. It had 13 co-sponsors and was referred to the
House Committee on Resources and the House Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure.
On January 25, 2005, Senators Lieberman, Clinton, Dodd and
Schumer introduced S. 158, which was received, read twice and
referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. The
committee met on July 20, 2005 to consider S. 158, and ordered
it reported to the Senate without amendment.
No committee hearings were held on S. 158.
The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to
consider S. 158. The bill was ordered reported without
amendment favorably by voice vote.
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 bill does not
create additional regulatory burdens, nor will it cause any
adverse impact on the personal privacy of individuals.
In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 158 would not
impose any Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on
State, local, or tribal governments.
Costs 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.
S. 158, Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 2005, As ordered reported
by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on July
S. 158 would promote the conservation and improvement of
the Long Island Sound ecosystem, including the Peconic Bay
area. Based on information from the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), CBO estimates that implementing S. 158 would cost
$117 million over the 2006-2010 period, assuming the
appropriation of the necessary amounts.
The bill would establish the Long Island Sound Stewardship
Initiative and Advisory Committee. The committee would identify
natural areas within the Long Island Sound ecosystem to be
protected and improved. S. 158 would authorize the
appropriation of $25 million annually over the 2006-2013
periods for EPA to provide grants to State and local
governments, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners
for the procurement and enhancement of sites within the Long
Island Sound ecosystem, and to cover the committee's
This legislation also would extend the authority to
appropriate funding through 2009 to EPA to operate the Office
of the Management Conference of the Long Island Sound Study and
to provide grants to implement the Long Island Sound
Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans as provided
under section 119(f) of the Federal Water Pollution Control
Act. Under current law, this authority expires in 2005.
Enacting S. 158 would not affect direct spending or
receipts. S. 158 contains no intergovernmental or new private-
sector mandates as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
(UMRA). The bill would benefit State and local governments in
New York and Connecticut; any costs they incur would result
from complying with conditions for receiving Federal
Estimated Cost to the Federal Government
The estimated budgetary impact of S. 158 is shown in the
following table. For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 158
will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2006 and that the
amounts authorized by the bill will be appropriated near the
start of each fiscal year. Estimated outlays are based on
historical spending patterns for similar grant programs. 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 2010
SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Spending Under Current Law for the Protection of the Long Island
Budget Authority\1\......................................... 3 0 0 0 0 0
Estimated Outlays........................................... 3 1 1 0 0 0
Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative and Advisory
Authorization Level..................................... 0 25 25 25 25 25
Estimated Outlays....................................... 0 13 20 24 25 25
Office of the Management Conference of the Long Island Sound
Estimated Authorization Level........................... 0 3 3 3 3 0
Estimated Outlays....................................... 0 1 2 3 3 1
Total Proposed Changes..................................
Estimated Authorization Level....................... 0 28 28 28 28 25
Estimated Outlays................................... 0 14 22 27 28 26
Spending Under S. 158 for the Protection of the Long Island
Estimated Authorization Level............................... 3 28 28 28 28 25
Estimated Outlays........................................... 3 15 23 27 28 26
\1\The 2005 level is the amount appropriated for that year to EPA to fund the Office of Management and
Conference of the Long Island Sound Study and to provide grants to implement the Long Island Sound
Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan as provided under section 119(f) of the Federal Water Pollution
Intergovernmental and Private-sector Impact
S. 158 contains no intergovernmental or new private-sector
mandates as defined by UMRA. The States of New York and
Connecticut would benefit from Federal assistance for
protecting and enhancing sites within the Long Island Sound
ecosystem. Any costs to those States, including matching funds,
would result from complying with conditions for receiving
Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Susanne Mehlman and
Jimin Chung; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments:
Lisa Ramirez-Branum; Impact on the Private Sector: Craig
Estimate approved by: Peter Fontaine, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, 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
FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT
(33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.)
AN ACT To provide for water pollution control activities in the Public
Health Service of the Federal Security Agency and in the Federal Works
Agency, and for other purposes.
* * * * * * *
Sec. 119. Long Island Sound.--(a) The Administrator shall
continue the Management Conference of the Long Island Sound
Study (hereinafter referred to as the ``Conference'') as
established pursuant to section 320 of this Act, and shall
establish an office (hereinafter referred to as the ``Office'')
to be located on or near Long Island Sound.
* * * * * * *
(f) Authorizations.--(1) There is authorized to be
appropriated to the Administrator for the implementation of
this section, other than subsection (d), such sums as may be
necessary for each of the fiscal years 2001 through 
(2) There is authorized to be appropriated to the
Administrator for the implementation of subsection (d) not to
exceed $40,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001 through 
* * * * * * *