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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-532

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



 
       AUTHORIZATION OF FUNDS FOR ARCTIC HYDROGRAPHIC ACTIVITIES

                                _______
                                

 July 13, 2010.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2864]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 2864) to amend the Hydrographic Services Improvement 
Act of 1998 to authorize funds to acquire hydrographic data and 
provide hydrographic services specific to the Arctic for safe 
navigation, delineating the United States extended continental 
shelf, and the monitoring and description of coastal changes, 
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:

SECTION 1. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  Section 306 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 (33 
U.S.C. 892d) is amended--
          (1) by inserting before the text the following: ``(a) In 
        General.--''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(b) Arctic Programs.--Of the amount authorized for each of fiscal 
years 2011 and 2012--
          ``(1) $5,000,000 is authorized for use to acquire 
        hydrographic data, provide hydrographic services, conduct 
        coastal change analyses necessary to ensure safe navigation, 
        and improve the management of coastal change in the Arctic; and
          ``(2) $2,000,000 is authorized for use to acquire 
        hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services in the 
        Arctic necessary to delineate the United States extended 
        Continental Shelf.''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 2864 is to amend the Hydrographic 
Services Improvement Act of 1998 to authorize funds to acquire 
hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services specific to 
the Arctic for safe navigation, delineating the United States 
extended continental shelf, and the monitoring and description 
of coastal changes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Office of Coast Survey (OCS), within National Ocean 
Service (NOS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), is one of the oldest federal agencies 
dating back to its establishment by President Thomas Jefferson 
in the early 19th Century. OCS conducts hydrographic surveys to 
measure the depths and bottom configurations of water bodies, 
and has conducted more than 10,600 such surveys since its 
establishment. Hydrographic surveys provide the underlying data 
necessary to produce the nation's nautical charts, maps and 
other aids to navigation to ensure safe navigation throughout 
the 3.4 million square nautical miles within the United States' 
Exclusive Economic Zone. These surveys also identify sea-floor 
materials and features, such as cables, pipelines, wrecks and 
other obstructions, as well as fish habitats, which are 
important data to have in making decisions for locating 
anchorages and for routing pipelines and telecommunication 
cables. Surveys also support a variety of activities such as 
port and harbor dredging, beach erosion and re-nourishment 
studies, coastal zone management, and offshore resource 
development, including sand and gravel mining and oil and gas 
development.
    OCS and other related NOS programs (i.e., current and tide 
measurements, height (or geodetic) measurements, and nautical 
charts and maps) are authorized under the Hydrographic Services 
Improvement Act (HSIA). The HSIA (enacted as Title III of P.L. 
105-384) amended the Coast and Geodetic Survey Act of 1947 to 
modernize NOAA's responsibilities for the acquisition of 
hydrographic survey data, services and products, and to 
establish standards and protocols for the maintenance of the 
hydrographic survey database. Additionally, the HSIA 
established certification standards and fees for hydrographic 
products developed outside of OCS and also required NOAA to 
develop a plan to utilize private sector contractors in the 
acquisition of survey data.
    Recent scientific findings released in the 2009 Arctic 
Report Card have shown that arctic sea ice is shrinking, with 
significantly smaller amounts of summer sea ice cover and a 
decrease in older, thicker ice. Open water space in the Arctic 
Ocean will correspondingly be available for ship travel, 
presenting a changed landscape for a variety of sectors 
including international marine commerce and transport, defense, 
and greater accessibility to natural resources. These 
activities are likely to create substantial new demands on the 
federal government to provide hydrographic data and 
hydrographic services in the near term.
    H.R. 2864 would amend section 306 of the HSIA to authorize 
NOAA to use $5 million for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012 to 
acquire hydrographic data, provide hydrographic services, 
conduct coastal change analyses necessary to ensure safe 
navigation, and improve management of coastal change in the 
Arctic, and $2 million for the same period to acquire 
hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services to 
delineate the United States extended continental shelf.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 2864 was introduced on June 12, 2009 by Representative 
Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife. On May 6, 2010, the 
Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. Witnesses representing 
NOAA, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, and the Center for 
Ocean and Coastal Mapping at the University of New Hampshire 
each testified in support of the urgent need for greater 
investments in hydrographic data, services and products for the 
Arctic.
    On June 16, the Subcommittee was discharged from the 
further consideration of H.R. 2864 and the full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. Representative 
Young offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute to 
strike $30 million in new authorized funding over Fiscal Years 
2011 and 2012, and to substitute authorizations allowing NOAA 
to spend $7 million per year from the total amounts authorized 
to implement the Hydrographic Services Act to be used to 
support activities in the Arctic. This amendment would neither 
authorize new funding nor require the use of existing funds. It 
would simply clarify that NOAA has specific authority under 
HSIA to work in the Arctic and set annual caps on the total 
amounts NOAA may spend. The amendment 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 Natural 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, as ordered reported, is to amend the 
Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 to authorize 
funds to acquire hydrographic data and provide hydrographic 
services specific to the Arctic for safe navigation, 
delineating the United States extended continental shelf, and 
the monitoring and description of coastal changes.
    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:

H.R. 2864--A bill to amend the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 
        1998 to authorize funds to acquire hydrographic data and 
        provide hydrographic services specific to the Arctic for safe 
        navigation, delineating the United States extended continental 
        shelf, and the monitoring and description of coastal changes

    The Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 (Public 
Law 110-386) authorizes the appropriation of $179 million for 
fiscal year 2011 and $182 million for fiscal 2012 for the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to 
conduct hydrographic activities (the measurement and 
description of features that affect maritime navigation). H.R. 
2864 would amend that act to specify that, of the amounts 
already authorized to be appropriated under Public Law 110-386, 
$7 million in each of fiscal years 2011 and 2012 would be 
authorized to be used by NOAA to collect hydrographic data to 
enhance the safety of maritime navigation and to map the 
extended continental shelf in the Arctic.
    Because the bill would not authorize funding in excess of 
amounts already authorized to be appropriated under current 
law, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would have 
no impact on the federal budget. Enacting H.R. 2864 would not 
affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 2864 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 Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 2864 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

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

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

             HYDROGRAPHIC SERVICES IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1998




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE III--NOAA HYDROGRAPHIC SERVICES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 306. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Administrator the following:
          (1) * * *
  (b) Arctic Programs.--Of the amount authorized for each of 
fiscal years 2011 and 2012--
          (1) $5,000,000 is authorized for use to acquire 
        hydrographic data, provide hydrographic services, 
        conduct coastal change analyses necessary to ensure 
        safe navigation, and improve the management of coastal 
        change in the Arctic; and
          (2) $2,000,000 is authorized for use to acquire 
        hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services in 
        the Arctic necessary to delineate the United States 
        extended Continental Shelf.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *