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                                                       Calendar No. 433
111th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     111-209

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

 
      A BILL TO MODIFY THE DATE ON WHICH THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE 
   ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AND APPLICABLE STATES MAY REQUIRE 
              PERMITS FOR DISCHARGES FROM CERTAIN VESSELS

                                _______
                                

                 June 18, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 3372]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 3372) to modify the date on which the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and 
applicable States may require permits for discharges from 
certain vessels, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    P.L. 110-299 established a 2-year moratorium on Clean Water 
Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 
permitting of non-ballast water discharges from 1) fishing 
vessels and 2) non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet. The 
current moratorium ends on July 31, 2010. At that time, these 
vessels would be required to hold a permit for any discharge. 
S. 3372 would extend the existing moratorium on NPDES permits 
for these vessel types until December 18, 2013.
    A 2006 federal court ruling vacated a long-standing 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that exempted 
discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels from 
permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act. This exemption 
had been challenged over concerns about the effects of invasive 
species transported by vessels and the lack of requirements in 
place to address this problem.
    In response to the Court decision, multiple actions were 
taken to address vessel discharges. In July 2008, Public Law 
110-288 reduced the scope of vessels subject to Clean Water Act 
permitting by establishing a permanent exclusion of 
recreational vessels from permit requirements and directing EPA 
to instead develop mandatory Best Management Practices 
applicable to these vessels. In July 2008, Congress also passed 
Public Law 110-299 which established the 2-year moratorium on 
NPDES permitting on non-ballast water discharges from fishing 
vessels and non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet. EPA 
addressed new permitting requirements for the remaining vessel 
types, which include most large, non-recreational vessels, when 
it issued its Final Vessel General Permit (VGP) on December 18, 
2008. The VGP addresses:
           All discharges incidental to normal 
        operation of non-recreational vessels 79 feet or 
        longer, except commercial fishing vessels, and
           Ballast water discharges for all non-
        recreational vessels (including commercial fishing 
        vessels and vessels less than 79 feet).
    When Congress passed P.L. 110-299 establishing a 2-year 
moratorium on Clean Water Act permitting of certain vessels, it 
required EPA to conduct a study to evaluate the impacts of 
discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels 
affected by the moratorium. The results of that study should 
have provided a basis for determining whether and how such 
discharges should be regulated by EPA through Clean Water Act 
NPDES permits. However, the results of the study have not been 
fully analyzed, and EPA has indicated it would be difficult to 
issue permits for these vessels by July 31 using just the data 
collected in the initial study.
    S. 3372 would extend the existing moratorium on NPDES 
permits for vessel types subject to the existing two-year 
moratorium until December 18, 2013, which is also the date on 
which EPA will need to re-issue its general permit for vessels 
larger than 79 feet. This allows coordination of EPA's 
permitting efforts for all vessel sizes.

                     Objectives of the Legislation

    This bill will amend Public Law 110-299 to extend the date 
on which the Administrator of the EPA and applicable States may 
require permits for discharges from certain vessels until 
December 18, 2013.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Discharges incidental to normal operation of vessels

    Section 1 amends Section 2(a) of Public Law 110-299 (33 
U.S.C. 1342) by extending the moratorium on NPDES permitting 
requirements from July 31, 2010, to December 18, 2012, for non-
ballast water discharges from (1) fishing vessels and (2) non-
recreational vessels less than 79 feet.

                          Legislative History

    S. 3372 was introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and 
Murkowski (R-AK) on May 13, 2010. It has 15 co-sponsors 
including 9 Democrats and 6 Republicans. The bill was received, 
read twice, and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment 
and Public Works.
    On May 20, 2010, the full Environment and Public Works 
Committee met to consider the bill. The bill was ordered 
reported favorably without amendment by voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 3372 on May 20, 2010. The bill was ordered to be 
reported 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 finds that S. 3372 
does not create any 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 noted that the Congressional 
Budget Office (CBO) has found, ``S. 3372 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.''

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                      May 24, 2010.
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 3372, a bill to 
modify the date on which the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency and applicable states may require permits for 
discharges from certain vessels.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susanne S. 
Mehlman.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 3372--A bill to modify the date on which the Administrator of the 
        Environmental Protection Agency and applicable states may 
        require permits for discharges on certain vessels

    Under current law, permit requirements related to certain 
discharges from fishing vessels and nonrecreational vessels 
less than 79 feet in length will become effective on July 31, 
2010. S. 3372 would extend that date until December 18, 2013. 
CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would have no 
significant budgetary effect.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation 
because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 3372 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 Susanne S. 
Mehlman. This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 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:

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Public Law 110-299

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 2. DISCHARGES INCIDENTAL TO NORMAL OPERATION OF VESSELS.

  (a) No Permit Requirement.--Except as provided in subsection 
(b), [during the 2-year period beginning on the date of 
enactment of this Act]during the period beginning on the date 
of the enactment of this Act and ending on December 18, 2013, 
the Administrator, or a State in the case of a permit program 
approved under section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution 
Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342), shall not require a permit under 
that section for a covered vessel for--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *