Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 397 (is) To authorize the Secretary of Energy to establish a multiagency program [Introduced in Senate] ...

S. 397 (is) To authorize the Secretary of Energy to establish a multiagency program [Introduced in Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                 S. 397

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To authorize the Secretary of Energy to establish a multiagency program 
 to alleviate the problems caused by rapid economic development along 
  the United States-Mexico border, particularly those associated with 
  public health and environmental security, to support the Materials 
   Corridor Partnership Initiative, and to promote energy efficient, 
 environmentally sound economic development along that border through 
the development and use of new technology, particularly hazardous waste 
                       and materials technology.

    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 ``National Materials Corridor and 
United States-Mexico Border Technology Partnership Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) the 2,000 mile long United States-Mexico border region, 
        extending 100 kilometers north and south of the international 
        boundary, has undergone rapid economic growth that has provided 
        economic opportunity to millions of people;
            (2) the border region's rapid economic growth has 
        unfortunately created serious problems including pollution, 
        hazardous wastes, and the inefficient use of resources that 
        threaten people's health and the prospects for long-term 
        economic growth in the region;
            (3) there are a significant number of major institutions in 
        the border States of both countries currently conducting 
        research, development and testing activities in technologies 
        that might help alleviate these problems;
            (4)(A) these new technologies may provide major 
        opportunities for significantly--
                    (i) minimizing industrial wastes and pollution that 
                may pose a threat to public health;
                    (ii) reducing emissions of atmospheric pollutants;
                    (iii) using recycled natural resources as primary 
                materials for industrial production; and
                    (iv) improving energy efficiency; and
            (B) such advances will directly benefit both sides of the 
        United States-Mexico border by encouraging energy efficient, 
        environmentally sound economic development that improves the 
        health and protects the natural resources of the border region;
            (5) in August 1998, the binational United States-Mexico 
        Border Region Hazardous Wastes Forum, organized by the 
        Department of Energy's Carlsbad Area Office, resulted in a 
        consensus of experts from the United States and Mexico that the 
        Department of Energy's science and technology could be 
        leveraged to address key environmental issues in the border 
        region while fostering further economic development of the 
        border region;
            (6) the Carlsbad Area Office, which manages the Waste 
        Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico, is well suited 
        to lead a multiagency program focused on the problems of the 
        border region given its significant expertise in hazardous 
        materials and location near the border;
            (7)(A) promoting clean materials industries in the border 
        region that are energy efficient has been identified as a high 
        priority issue by the United States-Mexico Foundation for 
        Science Cooperation; and
            (B) at the 1998 discussions of the United States-Mexico 
        Binational Commission, Mexico formally proposed joint funding 
        of a ``Materials Corridor Partnership Initiative'', proposing 
        $1,000,000 to implement the Initiative if matched by the United 
        States;
            (8) recognizing the importance of materials processing, 
        research institutions in the border States of both the United 
        States and Mexico, in conjunction with private sector partners 
        of both nations, and with strong endorsement from the 
        Government of Mexico, in 1998 organized the Materials Corridor 
        Council to implement a cooperative program of materials 
        research and development, education and training, and 
        sustainable industrial development as part of the Materials 
        Corridor Partnership Initiative; and
            (9) successful implementation of this Act would advance 
        important United States energy, environmental, and economic 
        goals not only in the United States-Mexico border region but 
        also serve as a model for similar collaborative, transnational 
        initiatives in other regions of the world.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to establish a multiagency program to--
            (1) alleviate the problems caused by rapid economic 
        development along the United States-Mexico border;
            (2) support the Materials Corridor Partnership Initiative 
        referred to in section 2(7); and
            (3) promote energy efficient, environmentally sound 
        economic development along that border through the development 
        and use of new technologies, particularly hazardous waste and 
        materials technologies.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Program.--The term ``program'' means the program 
        established under section 5(a).
            (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Energy.

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a 
        multiagency program to--
                    (A) alleviate the problems caused by rapid economic 
                development along the United States-Mexico border, 
                particularly those associated with public health and 
                environmental security;
                    (B) support the Materials Corridor Partnership 
                Initiative; and
                    (C) promote energy efficient, environmentally sound 
                economic development along that border through the 
                development and use of new technologies, particularly 
                hazardous waste and materials technologies.
            (2) Considerations.--In developing the program, the 
        Secretary shall give due consideration to the proposal made to 
        the United States-Mexico Binational Commission for the 
        Materials Corridor Partnership Initiative.
            (3) Program management.--This program shall be managed for 
        the Secretary by the Department's Carlsbad Area Office, with 
        support, as necessary, from the Albuquerque Operations Office.
    (b) Participation of Other Federal Agencies and Commissions.--The 
Secretary shall organize and conduct the program jointly with--
            (1) the Department of State;
            (2) the Environmental Protection Agency;
            (3) the National Science Foundation;
            (4) the National Institute of Standards and Technology;
            (5) the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission; and
            (6) any other departments, agencies, or commissions the 
        participation of which the Secretary considers appropriate.
    (c) Participation of the Private Sector.--When appropriate, funds 
made available under this act shall be made available for technology 
deployment, research, and training activities that are conducted with 
the participation and support of private sector organizations located 
in the United States and, subject to section 7(c)(2), Mexico, to 
promote and accelerate in the United States-Mexico border region the 
use of energy efficient, environmentally sound technologies and other 
advances resulting from the program.
    (d) Mexican Resource Contributions.--The Secretary shall--
            (1) encourage public, private, nonprofit, and academic 
        organizations located in Mexico to contribute significant 
        financial and other resources to the program; and
            (2) take any such contributions into account in conducting 
        the program.
    (e) Transfer of Technology From National Laboratories.--In 
conducting the program, the Secretary shall emphasize the transfer and 
use of technology developed by the national laboratories of the 
Department of Energy.

SEC. 6. ACTIVITIES AND MAJOR PROGRAM ELEMENTS.

    (a) Activities.--Funds made available under this Act shall be made 
available for technology deployment, research, and training activities, 
particularly related to hazardous waste and materials technologies, 
that will alleviate the problems caused by rapid economic development 
along the United States-Mexico border, that focus on issues related to 
the protection of public health and environmental security, and that 
promote--
            (1) minimization of industrial wastes and pollutants;
            (2) reducing emissions of atmospheric pollutants;
            (3) use of recycled resources as primary materials for 
        industrial production; and
            (4) improvement of energy efficiency.
    (b) Major Program Elements.--
            (1) In general.--The program shall have the following major 
        elements, all of which shall emphasize hazardous waste and 
        materials technologies:
                    (A) Technology Deployment, focused on the clear, 
                operational demonstration of the utility of well 
                developed technologies in new organizations or 
                settings.
                    (B) Research, focused on developing, maturing, and 
                refining technologies to investigate or improve the 
                feasibility or utility of the technologies.
                    (C) Training, focused on training businesses, 
                industries, and their workers in the border region in 
                energy efficient, environmentally sound technologies 
                that minimize waste, decrease public health risks, 
                increase recycling, and improve environmental security.
            (2) Technology deployment and research.--Projects under 
        paragraph (1)(A) and (1)(B) should typically involve 
        significant participation from private sector organizations 
        that would use or sell such a technology.

SEC. 7. PARTICIPATION OF DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES, AND COMMISSIONS OTHER 
              THAN THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY.

    (a) Agreement.--Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the 
departments, agencies, and commissions referred to in section 5(b) on 
the coordination and implementation of the program.
    (b) Actions of Departments, Agencies, and Commissions.--Any action 
of a department, agency, or commission under an agreement under 
subsection (a) shall be the responsibility of that department, agency, 
or commission and shall not be subject to approval by the Secretary.
    (c) Use of Funds.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary and the departments, 
        agencies, and commissions referred to in section 5(b) may use 
        funds made available for the program for technology deployment, 
        research, or training activities carried out by--
                    (A) State and local governments and academic, 
                nonprofit, and private organizations located in the 
                United States; and
                    (B) State and local governments and academic, 
                nonprofit, and private organizations located in Mexico.
            (2) Condition.--Funds may be made available to a State or 
        local government or organization located in Mexico only if a 
        government or organization located in Mexico (which need not be 
        the recipient of the funds) contributes a significant amount of 
        financial or other resources to the project to be funded.
    (d) Transfer of Funds.--The Secretary may transfer funds to the 
departments, agencies, and commissions referred to in section 5(b) to 
carry out the responsibilities of the departments, agencies, and 
commissions under this Act.

SEC. 8. PROGRAM ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish an advisory 
        committee consisting of representatives of the private, 
        academic, and public sectors.
            (2) Considerations.--In establishing the advisory 
        committee, the Secretary shall take into consideration 
        organizations in existence on the date of enactment of this 
        Act, such as the Materials Corridor Council and the Business 
        Council for Sustainable Development-Gulf Mexico.
    (b) Consultation and Coordination.--Departments, agencies, and 
commissions of the United States to which funds are made available 
under this Act shall consult and coordinate with the advisory committee 
in identifying and implementing the appropriate types of projects to be 
funded under this Act.

SEC. 9. FINANCIAL AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) In General.--Federal departments, agencies, and commissions 
participating in the program may provide financial and technical 
assistance to other organizations to achieve the purpose of the 
program.
    (b) Technology Deployment and Research.--
            (1) Use of cooperative agreements.--
                    (A) In general.--Federal departments, agencies, and 
                commissions shall, to the extent practicable, use 
                cooperative agreements to fund technology deployment 
                and research activities by organizations outside the 
                Federal Government.
                    (B) National laboratories.--In the case of a 
                technology deployment or research activity conducted by 
                a national laboratory, a funding method other than a 
                cooperative agreement may be used if such a funding 
                method would be more administratively convenient.
            (2) Federal share.--
                    (A) In general.--The Federal Government shall pay 
                not more than 50 percent of the cost of technology 
                deployment or research activities under the program.
                    (B) Qualified funding and resources.--No funds or 
                other resources expended either before the start of a 
                project under the program or outside the scope of work 
                covered by the funding method determined under 
                paragraph (1) shall be credited toward the non-Federal 
                share of the cost of the project.
    (c) Training.--
            (1) In general.--Federal departments, agencies, and 
        commissions shall, to the extent practicable, use grants to 
        fund training activities by organizations outside the Federal 
        Government.
            (2) National laboratories.--In the case of a training 
        activity conducted by a national laboratory, a funding method 
        other than a grant may be used if such a funding method would 
        be more administratively convenient.
            (3) Federal share.--The Federal Government may fund 100 
        percent of the cost of the training activities of the program.
            (d) Selection.--All projects funded under contracts, 
        grants, or cooperative agreements established under this 
        program shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be selected 
        in an open, competitive process using such selection criteria 
        as the Secretary, through his program management, and in 

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