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                                                       Calendar No. 302
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 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-by-section Analysis

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.

Summary
    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.

Summary
    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 
York.
         `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 
recreation area.

Sec. 4. Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative Region.

Summary
    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.

Summary
    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.

Summary
    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.

Summary
    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.

Discussion
    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.

Summary
    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 
Committee.
    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 
LISSA Committee.
    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.
Discussion
    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.

Summary
    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.

Discussion
    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.

Summary
    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 
management entity.

Sec. 11. Authorization of appropriations.

Summary
    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.

Summary
    This section amends section 119(f) of the Federal Water 
Pollution Control by striking ``2005'' and inserting ``2009.''

Discussion
    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.

                          Legislative History

    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.

                                Hearings

    No committee hearings were held on S. 158.

                             Rollcall Votes

    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.

                          Mandates Assessment

    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 
        20, 2005
Summary
    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 
administrative costs.
    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 
assistance.

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
 Sound..........................................................
    Budget Authority\1\.........................................       3       0       0       0       0       0
    Estimated Outlays...........................................       3       1       1       0       0       0
Proposed Changes................................................
    Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative and Advisory
     Committee..................................................
        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
     Study......................................................
        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
 Sound..........................................................
    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
  Control Act.

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 
Federal assistance.
    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 
Cammarata.
    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 
in roman:
                              ----------                              


                  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 [2005] 
2009.
    (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 [2005] 
2009.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *