Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1775 (ih) To catalyze restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient financing of projects and enhanced coordination of Federal and non- Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 1775 (ih) To catalyze restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient financing of projects and enhanced coordination of Federal and non- Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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106th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 1775

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

   To catalyze restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient 
  financing of projects and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-
         Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 1775

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
   To catalyze restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient 
  financing of projects and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-
         Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Estuary Restoration Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to promote the restoration of estuary habitat;
            (2) to develop a national estuary habitat restoration 
        strategy for creating and maintaining effective estuary habitat 
        restoration partnerships among public agencies at all levels of 
        government and to establish new partnerships between the public 
        and private sectors;
            (3) to provide Federal assistance for estuary habitat 
        restoration projects and to promote efficient financing of such 
        projects; and
            (4) to develop and enhance monitoring and research 
        capabilities to ensure that estuary habitat restoration efforts 
        are based on sound scientific understanding and to create a 
        national database of estuary habitat restoration information.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act, the following definitions apply:
            (1) Council.--The term ``Council'' means the Estuary 
        Habitat Restoration Council established by section 5.
            (2) Estuary.--The term ``estuary'' means a part of a river 
        or stream or other body of water that has an unimpaired 
        connection with the open sea and where the sea water is 
        measurably diluted with fresh water derived from land drainage. 
        The term also includes near coastal waters and wetlands of the 
        Great Lakes that are similar in form and function to estuaries.
            (3) Estuary habitat.--The term ``estuary habitat'' means 
        the physical, biological, and chemical elements associated with 
        an estuary, including the complex of physical and hydrologic 
        features and living organisms within the estuary and associated 
        ecosystems.
            (4) Estuary habitat restoration activity.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``estuary habitat 
                restoration activity'' means an activity that results 
                in improving degraded estuaries or estuary habitat or 
                creating estuary habitat (including both physical and 
                functional restoration), with the goal of attaining a 
                self-sustaining system integrated into the surrounding 
                landscape.
                    (B) Included activities.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat restoration activity'' includes--
                            (i) the reestablishment of chemical, 
                        physical, hydrologic, and biological features 
                        and components associated with an estuary;
                            (ii) except as provided in subparagraph 
                        (C), the cleanup of pollution for the benefit 
                        of estuary habitat;
                            (iii) the control of nonnative and invasive 
                        species in the estuary;
                            (iv) the reintroduction of species native 
                        to the estuary, including through such means as 
                        planting or promoting natural succession;
                            (v) the construction of reefs to promote 
                        fish and shellfish production and to provide 
                        estuary habitat for living resources; and
                            (vi) other activities that improve estuary 
                        habitat.
                    (C) Excluded activities.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat restoration activity'' does not include an 
                activity that--
                            (i) constitutes mitigation required under 
                        any Federal or State law for the adverse 
                        effects of an activity regulated or otherwise 
                        governed by Federal or State law; or
                            (ii) constitutes restoration for natural 
                        resource damages required under any Federal or 
                        State law.
            (5) Estuary habitat restoration project.--The term 
        ``estuary habitat restoration project'' means a project to 
        carry out an estuary habitat restoration activity.
            (6) Estuary habitat restoration plan.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``estuary habitat 
                restoration plan'' means any Federal or State plan for 
                restoration of degraded estuary habitat that was 
                developed with the substantial participation of 
                appropriate public and private stakeholders.
                    (B) Included plans and programs.--The term 
                ``estuary habitat restoration plan'' includes estuary 
                habitat restoration components of--
                            (i) a comprehensive conservation and 
                        management plan approved under section 320 of 
                        the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 
                        U.S.C. 1330);
                            (ii) a lakewide management plan or remedial 
                        action plan developed under section 118 of the 
                        Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 
                        1268);
                            (iii) a management plan approved under the 
                        Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 
                        1451 et seq.); and
                            (iv) the interstate management plan 
                        developed pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay 
                        program under section 117 of the Federal Water 
                        Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1267).
            (8) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
        meaning given such term by section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
            (9) Non-federal interest.--The term ``non-federal 
        interest'' means a State, a political subdivision of a State, 
        an Indian tribe, a regional or interstate agency, or, as 
        provided in section 4(g)(2), a nongovernmental organization.
            (10) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Army.
            (11) State.--The term ``State'' means the States of 
        Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 
        Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, 
        Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, 
        New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, 
        Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, 
        Washington, and Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern 
        Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, American 
        Samoa, and Guam.

SEC. 4. ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established an estuary habitat 
restoration program under which the Secretary may carry out estuary 
habitat restoration projects and provide technical assistance in 
accordance with the requirements of this Act.
    (b) Origin of Projects.--A proposed estuary habitat restoration 
project shall originate from a non-Federal interest consistent with 
State or local laws.
    (c) Required Elements of Project Proposals.--To be eligible for the 
estuary habitat restoration program established under this Act, each 
proposed estuary habitat restoration project must--
            (1) address restoration needs identified in an estuary 
        habitat restoration plan;
            (2) be consistent with the estuary habitat restoration 
        strategy developed under section 7;
            (3) be technically feasible;
            (4) include a monitoring plan that is consistent with 
        standards for monitoring developed under section 8 to ensure 
        that short-term and long-term restoration goals are achieved; 
        and
            (5) include satisfactory assurance from the non-Federal 
        interests proposing the project that the non-Federal interests 
        will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority to carry 
        out and properly maintain the project.
    (d) Selection of Projects.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary, after considering the 
        advice and recommendations of the Council, shall select estuary 
        habitat restoration projects taking into account the following 
        factors:
                    (A) The scientific merit of the project.
                    (B) Whether the project will encourage increased 
                coordination and cooperation among Federal, State, and 
                local government agencies.
                    (C) Whether the project fosters public-private 
                partnerships and uses Federal resources to encourage 
                increased private sector involvement, including 
                consideration of the amount of private funds or in-kind 
                contributions for an estuary habitat restoration 
                activity.
                    (D) Whether the project is cost-effective.
                    (E) Whether the State in which the non-Federal 
                interest is proposing the project has a dedicated 
                source of funding to acquire or restore estuary 
                habitat, natural areas, and open spaces for the benefit 
                of estuary habitat restoration or protection.
                    (F) Other factors that the Secretary determines to 
                be reasonable and necessary for consideration.
            (2) Priority.--In selecting estuary habitat restoration 
        projects to be carried out under this Act, the Secretary shall 
        give priority consideration to a project if, in addition to 
        meriting selection based on the factors under paragraph (1)--
                    (A) the project occurs within a watershed in which 
                there is a program being carried out that addresses 
                sources of pollution and other activities that 
                otherwise would re-impair the restored habitat; or
                    (B) the project includes pilot testing or a 
                demonstration of an innovative technology having the 
                potential for improved cost-effectiveness in estuary 
                habitat restoration.
    (e) Cost Sharing.--
            (1) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of an 
        estuary habitat restoration project carried out under this Act 
        shall not exceed 65 percent of such cost.
            (2) Non-federal share.--The non-Federal share of the cost 
        of an estuary habitat restoration project carried out under 
        this Act shall include lands, easements, rights-of-way, and 
        relocations and may include services, or any other form of in-
        kind contribution determined by the Secretary to be an 
        appropriate contribution equivalent to the monetary amount 
        required for the non-Federal share of the activity.
    (f) Interim Actions.--
            (1) In general.--Pending completion of the estuary habitat 
        restoration strategy to be developed under section 7, the 
        Secretary may take interim actions to carry out an estuary 
        habitat restoration activity.
            (2) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of an 
        estuary habitat restoration activity before the completion of 
        the estuary habitat restoration strategy shall not exceed 25 
        percent of such cost.
    (g) Cooperation of Non-Federal Interests.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall not select an estuary 
        habitat restoration project until a non-Federal interest has 
        entered into a written agreement with the Secretary in which 
        the non-Federal interest agrees to--
                    (A) provide all lands, easements, rights-of-way, 
                and relocations and any other elements the Secretary 
                determines appropriate under subsection (e)(2); and
                    (B) provide for maintenance and monitoring of the 
                project to the extent the Secretary determines 
                necessary.
            (2) Nongovernmental organizations.--Notwithstanding section 
        221 of the Flood Control Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 1962d-5b(b)), 
        for any project undertaken under this Act, the Secretary, upon 
        the recommendation of the Governor of the State in which the 
        project is located and in consultation with appropriate 
        officials of political subdivisions of such State, may allow a 
        nongovernmental organization to serve as the non-Federal 
        interest.
    (h) Delegation of Project Implementation.--In carrying out this 
Act, the Secretary may delegate project implementation to another 
Federal department or agency on a reimbursable basis if the Secretary, 
after considering the advice and recommendations of the Council, 
determines such delegation is appropriate.

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION COUNCIL.

    (a) Council.--There is established a council to be known as the 
``Estuary Habitat Restoration Council''.
    (b) Duties.--The Council shall be responsible for--
            (1) soliciting, reviewing, and evaluating project proposals 
        and making recommendations concerning such proposals based on 
        the factors specified in section 4(d)(1), including 
        recommendations as to a priority order for carrying out such 
        projects and as to whether a project should be carried out by 
        the Secretary or by another Federal department or agency under 
        section 4(h);
            (2) developing and transmitting to Congress a national 
        strategy for restoration of estuary habitat;
            (3) periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the 
        national strategy in meeting the purposes of this Act and, as 

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