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Calendar No. 118
113th Congress Report
1st Session 113-64
CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO CANAL COMMISSION
June 27, 2013.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Wyden, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 476]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 476) to amend the Chesapeake and Ohio
Canal Development Act to extend to the Chesapeake and Ohio
Canal National Historical Park Commission, having considered
the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and
recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu
thereof the following:
SECTION 1. CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO CANAL NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission
(referred to in this Act as the ``Commission'') is authorized in
accordance with the provisions of section 6 of the Chesapeake and Ohio
Canal Development Act (16 U.S.C. 410y-4), except that the Commission
shall terminate 10 years after the date of enactment of this Act.
The purpose of S. 476 is to amend the Chesapeake and Ohio
Canal Development Act to extend the authorization for the
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission
for a term of 10 years.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Commission (Commission) was first established as part of the
1971 Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Development Act (Public Law 91-
664). The Commission facilitates public involvement and
engagement with the Historical Park, including advice related
to planning for park activities and operations. The Commission
serves purely in an advisory role.
The Commission was originally authorized for a 10-year
period, and was reauthorized on three separate occasions for an
additional 10-year term. The current authorization for the
Commission expired on January 8, 2011.
Senators Cardin and Mikulski introduced S. 476 on March 6,
2013. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S.
476 on April 23, 2013. At its business meeting on May 16, 2013
the Committee ordered S. 476 favorably reported with an
amendment in the nature of a substitute.
Senators Cardin and Mikulski introduced a similar bill in
the 112th Congress. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a
hearing on S. 324 on July 28, 2011 (S. Hrg. 112-214).
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in
open business session on May 16, 2013, by a voice vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 476 if
amended as described herein.
During its consideration of S. 476, the Committee adopted
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The amendment marks
technical and clarifying changes to reauthorize the Chesapeake
and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission for a term
of 10 years.
Section 1 authorizes the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National
Historical Park Commission in accordance with the provisions of
section 6 of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Development Act (16
U.S.C. 410y-4) for 10 years from the date of enactment of the
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
S. 476--A bill to amend the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Development Act
to extend the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical
S. 476 would extend the authorization of the Chesapeake and
Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission for an
additional 10 years. The Commission's original authority
expired in 2011. Based on information provided by the National
Park Service, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation
would have no significant impact on the federal budget.
Commission members would serve without compensation; however,
certain expenses could be reimbursed. CBO estimates that those
payments would be minor. Enacting S. 476 would not affect
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go
procedures do not apply.
S. 476 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out S. 476.
The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of
imposing Government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 476, as ordered reported.
CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING
S. 476, as reported, does not contain any congressionally
directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited
tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rules
of the Senate.
The testimony provided by the National Park Service at the
April 23, 2013, Subcommittee on National Parks hearing on S.
Statement of Peggy O'Dell, Deputy Director for Operations, National
Park Service, Department of the Interior
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for
the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the
Interior on S. 476, a bill that would amend the Chesapeake and
Ohio Canal Development Act to extend the authority of the
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission.
The Department supports S. 476. The establishment of the
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission
(Commission) on January 8, 1971, stemmed in part from the
unique nature of the canal. It is unlike most areas
administered by the National Park Service as it is a linear
park running along a 185-mile stretch of river shoreline and is
flanked by the nation's capital, suburban communities, and
numerous small towns.
S. 476 would change the termination date of the Commission
from 40 years to 50 years after the effective date of January
8, 1971. The Commission's authority to operate terminated on
January 8, 2011. S. 476 would extend the authority to operate
to January 8, 2021.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, begun in 1828 and completed
in 1850, runs continuously 185 miles from Georgetown in the
District of Columbia through Maryland and West Virginia to
Cumberland in Maryland. Originally planned to link Washington,
D.C., and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as part of this nation's
canal-building era, the canal was constructed to be a major
commercial route. While the canal operated until 1924 when it
was abandoned, competition from the newly constructed railroad
and the National Road resulted in much less commercial success
than its builders had hoped. In 1938, the United States
purchased the narrow canal right-of-way from Georgetown to
Cumberland, Maryland, and partially restored the lower end of
In 1961, the C & O Canal Monument was created by
Presidential Proclamation No. 3391 but no funding was provided
to develop the area or acquire adjacent lands. A proposal to
construct a highway along the canal's route met considerable
public opposition led by U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O.
Douglas. His support for preserving the canal ultimately led to
the establishment of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National
Historical Park, running the length of the original canal.
When the park was established in 1971, the Chesapeake and
Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission was created. The
19-member Commission served to link the various jurisdictions
along the length of the park. Under the 1971 legislation, the
Secretary of the Interior or designee was directed to meet and
consult with the Commission at least annually on general
policies and specific matters related to the administration and
development of the park.
The Commission performed a valuable service during its
first 40 years in advising and assisting the National Park
Service in the administration and development of the park. In
the early years, the Commission served as the vehicle for
public meetings in the development of the park's general plan
and several site-specific development concept plans. In the
years since, the Commission has served as the public forum for
discussing implementation of plans along the 185 miles of the
The Commission represented not only the local park
neighbors, but the national constituency as well. Many
Commission members had a lifelong interest in the C & O Canal
and the National Park Service. The Commission met quarterly and
Commission members were only compensated for reimbursement of
actual expenses for meetings. Individual members of the
Commission served on various volunteer groups and participated
in park-sponsored events throughout the year. The commissioners
communicated directly with the park superintendent during
meetings and individually throughout the year regarding park
The need for the Commission continues because the park is
spread across 19 political jurisdictions. The Commission
assisted park staff in reaching out to these numerous
constituencies and ensuring that all their views were heard. As
the work of managing C & O Canal National Historical Park
continues, the public connection to park management through the
Commission should continue as well. We understand that the
appointments for the existing commissioners have expired. If
enacted, the Secretary would appoint or reappoint commissioners
in accordance with the Act.
This completes my prepared comments concerning S. 476. I
will be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of
the subcommittee may have.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by S. 476, as ordered