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                                                       Calendar No. 452
112th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     112-183

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



 
             DELAWARE RIVER BASIN CONSERVATION ACT OF 2011

                                _______
                                

                 July 16, 2012.--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. 1266]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 1266) to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to establish a program to build on and help coordinate 
funding for restoration and protection efforts of the 4-State 
Delaware River Basin region, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon and recommends 
that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                    GENERAL STATEMENT AND BACKGROUND

    The Delaware River Basin includes the Delaware River 
watershed in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware 
and the Delaware Bay. The Basin is home to more than 8 million 
people who depend on it as an economic engine, a place of 
recreation, a source of clean drinking water, and a vital 
habitat for fish and wildlife.
    The Basin encompasses significant acres of wetlands and 
forest. This landscape provides essential ecosystem services, 
including recreation, commercial activity, and water quality 
benefits. The basin also provides drinking water to many 
cities, including New York and Philadelphia. The Delaware River 
is the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, and a 
critical component of the National Wild and Scenic River System 
in the Northeast.
    Although organizations like the Partnership for the 
Delaware Estuary and the Delaware River Basin Commission are 
successful in their respective efforts, existing programs have 
limited resources to fully address the habitat, recreation, and 
water-related challenges in the entire Basin in a fully 
coordinated manner. In addition to current Basin funding and 
programs, a basin-wide program would bolster restoration and 
conservation in the region through strategic grant-making and 
more coordinated implementation of existing funding mechanisms 
at the Federal, regional, State, and local level.
    The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011 requires 
the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Delaware River 
Basin Restoration Program (Program) within the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service). In establishing the Program, the 
Director of the Service is required to draw on existing 
management plans and work in consultation with existing 
organizations in the basin to identify, prioritize, and 
implement restoration and protection activities in the entire 
Basin and adopt a basin-wide strategy for implementation of the 
Program.
    The primary purpose of the Program is to develop and 
implement a coordinated approach to sustain and enhance 
habitat, water quality and water management improvements in the 
Delaware River basin. The bill authorizes a competitive 
matching grant program 
to carry out high priority projects and requires the Director 
to provide for additional technical assistance to support on-
the-ground projects. The Act also requires consultation with 
other Federal Agencies, States, and other public agencies and 
organizations involved in planning and implementation of 
conservation strategies in the Basin.

                     OBJECTIVES OF THE LEGISLATION

    The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011 (S. 1266) 
requires the Secretary of the Interior acting through the 
Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish the 
Delaware River Basin Restoration Program and to provide grants 
and technical assistance to carry out the purposes of the 
Program.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 states that the Act may be cited as the 
``Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011''.

Section 2. Findings

    Section 2 includes findings regarding the Delaware River 
Basin and the need for restoration of this basin.

Section 3. Definitions

    Section 3 includes definitions for terms used in the Act.

Section 4. Program establishment

    Section 4 directs the Secretary of the Interior acting 
through the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Secretary) to establish a Delaware River Basin restoration 
program within 180 days. In carrying out the program, the 
Secretary shall--draw on existing and new management plans for 
the Basin and work in consultation with applicable management 
entities; adopt a basin-wide strategy to support implementation 
of a shared set of restoration and protection activities and 
support cost-effective and measurable conservation efforts; 
establish a grant program; and provide technical assistance.
    In carrying out the program, the Secretary is also directed 
to consult with the heads of relevant Federal agencies, the 
Governors of the Basin States, the Partnership for the Delaware 
Estuary, the Delaware River Basin Commission, the fish and 
wildlife joint venture partnerships, and other public agencies 
and organizations involved in conservation of the basin.
    Section 4 lists the purposes of the program, which include 
coordinating restoration and protection activities, carrying 
out coordinated restoration and protection activities, and 
providing competitive grants for technical assistance.

Section 5. Grants and assistance

    Section 5 directs the Secretary to establish a Delaware 
River Basin restoration grant program to provide competitive 
matching grants of varying amounts to carry out the purposes of 
the Program. This section requires that grants accomplish one 
or more listed activities, including restoration and protection 
of fish and wildlife species and their habitats, improvement or 
protection of water quality, improvement of the management of 
water volume and mitigation of flood damage to support the 
ecological needs of fish and wildlife, actions identified in 
the basin-wide strategy developed pursuant to Section 4, and 
restoration and protection activities with multiple benefits in 
the Basin.
    Section 5 establishes that the Federal cost-share of any 
grant shall be 50 percent of the total cost of the activity 
funded. Non-Federal costs can be provided in cash or in-kind 
contribution of services or materials.
    Section 5 authorizes the Secretary to enter into an 
agreement with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation or 
other similar organizations to manage the grant program. Any 
organization selected to manage the grant program shall receive 
amounts to carry out this section at the beginning of each 
fiscal year, shall invest and reinvest those amounts for the 
benefit of the program, and shall administer the program in 
accordance with this Act.
    Section 5 authorizes the Secretary to provide technical 
assistance to carry out this section on a nonreimbursable 
basis.

Section 6. Annual reports

    Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment and 
annually thereafter, the Secretary must submit a report to 
Congress on the implementation of the Act, including a 
description of each project that has received funding under the 
Act.

Section 7. Authorization of appropriations

    This section authorizes $5 million for each of fiscal years 
2012 through 2017 to carry out this Act. Seventy-five percent 
of any amount made available to the Secretary to carry out the 
Act must be used to carry out the grant program and to prove 
technical assistance.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 1266 was introduced by Sen. Carper on June 23, 2011. The 
bill has 6 co-sponsors. The bill was received, read twice and 
referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
    On December 8, 2011, the Full Committee met to consider a 
number of bills including S. 1266. Senator Carper offered an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute, which was adopted by 
voice vote. The bill was ordered to be reported favorably by 
voice vote with Senator Inhofe recorded as ``No''.

                                HEARINGS

    On April 24, 2012, the Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife 
held a legislative hearing to consider a number of items, 
including S. 1266.

                             ROLLCALL VOTES

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 1266 on December 8, 2011. The bill was ordered to 
be reported favorably by voice vote with Senator Inhofe 
recorded as ``No''.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 1266 
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. 1266 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.''

                                                 December 20, 2011.
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. 1266, the Delaware 
River Basin Conservation Act of 2011.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 1266--Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011

    Summary: S. 1266 would authorize the appropriation of $5 
million a year over the 2012-2017 period for a program to 
restore the Delaware River Basin. Assuming appropriation of the 
authorized amounts CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost $22 million over the 2012-2016 period 
and $8 million after 2016. Enacting the legislation would not 
affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    S. 1266 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.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 1266 is shown in the following table. 
The cost of this legislation falls within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                              --------------------------------------------------
                                                                2012    2013    2014    2015    2016   2012-2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level..........................................       5       5       5       5       5        25
Estimated Outlays............................................       2       5       5       5       5        22
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
1266 will be enacted early in 2012 and that the authorized 
amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year. Estimated 
outlays are based on historical spending patterns for similar 
activities.
    S. 1266 would authorize the appropriation of $5 million a 
year over the 2012-2017 period for the Delaware River Basin 
Restoration Program. Under the program, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (USFWS) would coordinate restoration 
activities and provide grants to entities involved in restoring 
the basin. The bill also would require the agency to submit 
annual reports to the Congress describing activities conducted 
under the program. Assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would 
cost $22 million over the 2012-2016 period and $8 million after 
2016.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 1266 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact 
on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made 
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will make no 
changes to existing law.