[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

NFC: Fw: [Updates] River Policy Update -- Week of June 21, 1999

BILLS!! http://www.amrivers.org/policynew.html
American Rivers Policy Update
For the week of June 21, 1999


NOAA and Pacific Salmon Funding Bills May See Senate Floor Action This
	Sometime this week, the Senate make take up S. 1217, the funding bill
the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the judiciary, and
agencies sometime this week. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed
1217 on June 10, including an amendment offered by Senator Ted Stevens
(R-AK) that set conditions for disbursement of a $100 million request by
Clinton Administration for river restoration and salmon recovery in the
Pacific Northwest. Overall, the $35 billion funding measure would provide
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with $2.55 billion
its ocean, coastal, fisheries, and atmospheric programs. The National
Fisheries Service (NMFS) would receive $442 million, an increase of $22
million over the Administration's request and $59 million more than
funding levels.
	Senator Steven's amendment pertains to a plan announced by the
Administration in January for a new Pacific coastal salmon conservation
that would have doubled the amount of federal dollars going to Alaska,
Washington, Oregon, and California. The money was intended to match
local, and tribal government contributions to acquire conservation
to promote salmon recover efforts. Under the amendment offered by Senator
Stevens, the money would be paid directly to states instead of being
funneled through a federal agency. Each of the states would receive $20
million. The amendment would also add $5 million to NMFS's Pacific Salmon
Treaty program for the Southern Boundary and Transboundary Rivers
restoration fund and $5 million for the State Department's Bureau of
and International Environment and Scientific Affairs restoration fund for
Northern Boundary and Transboundary Rivers. Washington and Alaska would
receive additional payments of $15 million and $5 million respectively to
implement a new salmon conservation agreement between Canada and the
States. The US-Canada agreement, made earlier in June, follows a 1985
that regulated salmon fishing within 200 miles of the coast from
Alaska to northern California.

Senate May Bring Agriculture  Funding Bill to the Floor This Week:
	This week, the full Senate may consider S. 1233, the FY'00 funding bill
agriculture, rural development, the Food and Drug Administration, and
related agencies. The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously
the $60.7 billion bill on June 17. Only $14 billion of the total is
available for discretionary appropriations such as funding for the
Resources Conservation Service. Conservation services under the NRCS
receive $656 million, $24 million below the amount requested by the
The bill provides $10 million for watershed surveys and planning ($1
less than the Administration's request), $99 million for watershed and
prevention operations (in addition to the $95 million from the recent
emergency supplemental appropriations bill), and $35 million for
conservation and development (equal to Administration's request). S. 1233
would limit the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to $174 million,
far below the Administration's request of $300 million. The measure would
provide no funds to stem conversion of agricultural land to
uses, a program for which the Administration requested $50 million.

Senate Appropriations May Take Up Interior Funding:
	Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) may turn the attention of the Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior to the issue of FY'00 funding as
early as Tuesday or Thursday of this week. The interior funding bill
provides resources for most of the agencies that manage the nation's
resources, including the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land
Management, the Minerals Management Service, the Forest Service, and the
Office of Surface Mining.
	The Clinton Administration's request for FY'00 for the Department of
Interior was $8.67 billion, an increase of almost eleven percent over
funding levels. Among the priorities laid out in the Administration's
request for interior programs were the new $1 billion Lands Legacy, the
and Water Conservation Fund, federal land acquisition, efforts to restore
ecosystems such as the Everglades and the California Bay-Delta, and the
Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. The Administration
requested $2.06 billion for the National Park Service, $950 million for
Fish and Wildlife Service, $1.27 billion for the Bureau of Land
$305.8 million for the Office of Surface Mining, $2.82 billion for the US
Forest Service, and $124.9 million for biological research programs under
the US Geological Survey.


Senate Blocks Rate Increase to Pay for Snake River Dam Breaching:
	Last week, as part of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for
the Senate approved an amendment offered by Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA)
prohibits the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) from raising rates to
pay for the possible breaching of four dams on the Lower Snake River. The
amendment would change the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and
Conservation Act, which currently mandates that BPA help pay for salmon
recovery efforts. The agency planned to raise as much as $1 billion to
facilitate salmon recovery efforts when it sets rates for 2001 through
Many environmental groups have strongly criticized the amendment, stating
sets a dangerous precedent.

House Resources Subcommittee to Discuss Fish Screens:
	On Tuesday, the House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation,
Wildlife, and Oceans will discuss a number of fisheries conservation
including H.R. 1444, H.R. 1934, and H.R. 2181. H.R. 1444, introduced in
April by Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Greg Walden (R-OR)
authorize the US Army Corps of Engineers to develop and implement
for fish screens, fish passage devices, and other similar measures. The
would authorize $25 million for FY'00 and each fiscal year thereafter.
bill is expected to be non-controversial and move without any amendments.
	H.R. 1934, introduced by Representative Jim Saxton (R-NJ), would provide
government grants for efforts to rehabilitate beached marine creatures
as whales and dolphins. The measure would create a three-year, $15
program to provide grants of as much as $10,000 for eligible stranding
centers and networks.
	H.R. 2181, introduced by Representative Don Young (R-AK) earlier this
month, would authorize $60 million per year for six years for NOAA to
purchase and equip six fishery research vessels. The purpose of the boats
would be to survey fish populations and locations, information critical
fisheries management decisions under the Magnuson Fisheries Conservation
Management Act and for implementation of fishing treaties.
	The markup is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22 in 1334
House Office Building.

Senate Environment Panel to Discuss Northwest Salmon Recovery Efforts:
	The plans and procedures of a cooperative effort by nine federal
to restore salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest will be the focus
a hearing on Wednesday by the Senate Environment and Public Works
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Drinking Water. The
River System salmon populations that once numbered in the millions have
decimated by a number of human activities over the past 200 years. In
the National Marine Fisheries Service added seven species of salmon and
populations of cutthroat trout in the Pacific Northwest to Endangered
Species list. The US Army Corps of Engineers and the National Marine
Fisheries Service are currently investigating the impacts of four federal
dams on the lower Snake River on the fish populations and what measures
should be taken to recover the salmon runs. Preliminary studies indicate
that breaching the four federal dams on the lower Snake River would be
most cost-effective means to save the fish populations.
	A great number of government agencies, industries, and interest groups
become involved in the issue. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) stated that
were at least twenty major initiatives and groups in existence, with a
number of minor projects and local groups involved in management
as well. Among those major initiatives are: NMFS' work on its biological
opinion of how federal dam projects and operations impact the fish
populations; the Army Corps' lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration
Feasibility Plan; the Federal Caucus working on a 4H paper outlining
recovery plans in hydropower operations, hatchery production, harvest
management, and habitat restoration; the Interior Columbia Basin
Management Plan; the Columbia River Basin Multi-Species Framework, which
working to analyze the trade-offs of various alternative recovery
the Columbia River Basin Form involving ten federal government agencies,
thirteen tribes, and the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and
the Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses; the Northwest Power
Council; Oregon's plan for restoring coastal coho populations;
State Salmon Recovery Plan; a review of hatchery production in the
River Basin; the Bonneville Power Administration's 20-year Basin Plan;
various Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dam relicensing proceedings;
and treaty negotiations between the US and Canada.
	The hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. in 406 Dirksen Senate Office
on June 23.

Commission for Environmental Cooperation to Discuss Upper San Pedro
One of the items on the agenda of the Commission for Environmental
Cooperation's (CEC) June 27-29 meeting in Alberta, Canada, will be the
of the Upper San Pedro River in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. The Upper San
Pedro River, highly valued for its biological diversity and importance
neotropical migrating birds, is threatened by the rapid depletion of the
regional aquifer that maintains the river's year-round flows. For more
information on the Upper San Pedro River, visit
The Secretariat will present the final report on the San Pedro Initiative
and make recommendations regarding potential actions to help preserve the
river and its habitat. The report was developed by the San Pedro Expert
Team, a body convened by the CEC to conduct an independent, science-based
inquiry into the operative ecological, biohydrologic, socio-economic, and
legal/institutional circumstances that characterize the availability of
water flows needed to sustain and enhance the riparian area along the
San Pedro River. The full report is available at
http://www.cec.org/english/new/experte.cfm?format=1. To see the agenda of
the conference or for more information about the CEC, visit www.cec.org.
The CEC and members of the San Pedro Expert Team will also present report
and answer questions in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The open house is
for July 28-30 from 4:00 to 8:00. The workshops will last four hours and
include time for group discussion. For times and locations, please visit
http://www.cec.org/english/new/pubinp_e.cfm?format=1. Interested groups
individuals may also send feedback about the San Pedro Report to the
Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona, 803/811 East
First Street, Tucson, AZ 85719, sanpedro at u_arizona.edu


House Panel to Discuss Clean Water Issues:
On Tuesday, the House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and
Environment will focus on clean water infrastructure needs and combined
sewer overflows. There are three legislative proposals before the
subcommittee - a measure offered by the Association of Metropolitan
Agencies to establish by statute requirements for dealing with combined
sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, and storm water discharges;
828, introduced by Representative James Barcia (D-MI), focusing on many
the same problems as the AMSA proposal; and a yet-to-be-introduced bill
Representative Sue Kelly (R-NY) to reauthorize the clean water state
revolving fund.
	The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to oppose both H.R. 828
the AMSA proposal as the agency because they advocate action that goes
beyond the agency's current policy regarding sewer overflows.
	The hearing will be held in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building on June
at 1:00 p.m.


For more information or to see the text of any of the bills listed below,
to the Thomas website at http://thomas.loc.gov/ and enter the bill

H.J.RES.54, introduced by Representative Pat Danner (D-MO), would grant
consent of Congress to the Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Compact. The
of the compact is to resolve actual and potential disputes and
over the location of the boundary line between the states of Missouri and
Nebraska. The boundary between the two states is formed by the Missouri
River, which has shifted over time, resulting in actual and potential
boundary disputes. The compact would establish an identifiable compromise
boundary between Missouri and Nebraska without interfering with or
affecting private rights or titles to property. The bill would establish
permanent compromise boundary line between the two states at the center
of the main channel of the Missouri River, except for the part of
McKissick's Island as determined by the Supreme Court to be within the
of Nebraska. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on
Commercial and Administrative Law.

H.R. 1101: Introduced by Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), H.R. 1101
would amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to assist individuals and
local, state, and federal agencies in complying with the Endangered
Act of 1973 in reconstructing or repairing of flood control levee
to address imminent threats to public health or safety or catastrophic
natural events and in maintaining the structural integrity of those
structures. The bill would exempt from the ESA consultation and
requirements any federal action that consists of reconstruction or repair
a Federal or non-Federal levee structure; addresses a critical, imminent
threat to public health or safety; is in response to a catastrophic
event; or consists of maintaining the structural integrity of a federal
non-federal levee structure. The measure further states that these
by a federal or non-federal entity, would be exempt from the ESA takings
prohibition. H.R. 1101 was referred to the House Resources Committee.

H.R. 1186: Introduced by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), H.R. 1186
would direct the Secretary of the Army to include primary flood damages
avoided as benefits for cost-benefit analyses for federal nonstructural
flood damage reduction projects. If at any time during construction of
project the Secretary of the Army determines that the costs of lands,
easements, rights-of-way, dredged material disposal areas, and
in combination with other costs contributed by the non-federal interests
will exceed 35 percent, any additional costs for the project, but not to
exceed 65 percent of the total costs of the project, would be a federal
responsibility, to be contributed during construction as part of the
proportionate share. At the request of a non-federal interest for a flood
control project, the Secretary of the Army shall conduct a reevaluation
of a
previously authorized project to consider nonstructural alternatives.
1186 was referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

H.R.1297: Introduced by Representative Ken Bensten (D-TX), the Repetitive
Flood Loss Reduction Act of 1999 would amend the National Flood Insurance
Act of 1968 with the goal of reducing losses caused by repetitive
and for other purposes. The bill would create a program to mitigate
repetitive flood losses to structures by purchasing structures or by
grants to States, communities, and local flood management agencies for
eligible mitigation activities. Grant amounts and funds for purchasing
structures would be based on appropriations bills. To be eligible for a
grant, a state, community, or local flood management agency must submit
application that includes a description of the mitigation activities for
which the grant is requested, a description of the structures that the
mitigation activities will protect, and a statement of the aggregate
of payments made under the flood insurance program. The bill was referred
the House Banking and Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and
Community Opportunity.

H.R.2017: Introduced by Representative Wally Herger (R-CA), the Species
Rescue Act would amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to enable
agencies responsible for the preservation of threatened species and
endangered species to rescue and relocate members of any of those species
that would be taken in the course of certain reconstruction, maintenance,
repair of Federal or non-Federal manmade flood control levees. The bill
referred to the House Committee on Resources.

S. 1211: Introduced by Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT), S. 1211 would amend
the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act to authorize additional
measures to carry out the control of salinity upstream of Imperial Dam in
cost-effective manner. S. 1211 was referred to the Senate Committee on
Energy and Natural Resources.

S. 1236: Introduced by Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), S. 1236 would extend
deadline under the Federal Power Act for commencement of the construction
the Arrowrock Dam Hydroelectric Project in the State of Idaho. The bill
would allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, at the request of
licensee for the project and after reasonable notice, extend until March
2005, the time period during which the licensee is required to commence
construction of the project. S. 1236 was referred to the Senate Committee
Energy and Natural Resources


Senate bills that may come up for floor action at any time:
S. 109 to improve protection and management of the Chattahoochee River
National Recreation Area in Georgia.
S. 323 to elevate the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument to
national park status and create several other conservation areas near
Montrose, Colorado.
S. 416 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey to the city of
Sisters, Oregon, a certain parcel of land for use in connection with a
sewage treatment plant.
S. 700 to amend the National Trails System to designate the Ala Kahakai
Trail as a national historic trail.
S. 744 to provide for the continuation of higher education through the
conveyance of certain public lands in Alaska to the University of Alaska.
S. 776 to authorize the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility
for the preservation of the Loess hills in western Iowa.
H.R. 154 to allow the Department of Interior and the Department of
Agriculture to establish a fee system for commercial filming activities
in a
site or resource under their jurisdictions.

Monday, June 21
9:00 a.m.: House Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations,
Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry field hearing on the US Forest
implementation of President Clinton's Pacific Northwest Forest Plan.
Location: Medford City Hall, Medford, OR.

Tuesday, June 22
1:00 p.m.: House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and the
Environment hearing on clean water infrastructure needs and combined
overflows. Location: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.

2:00 p.m.: House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation,
and Oceans markup of several fisheries conservation bills. Location: 1334
Longworth House Office Building.

2:30 p.m.: Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee hearing on
related to federal and industry efforts to promote distribution of
electricity from plants using renewable fuel sources. Location: 366
Senate Office Building.

Wednesday, June 23
1:30 p.m.: Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries,
Wildlife, and Drinking Water hearing on salmon recovery efforts in the
Pacific Northwest. Location: 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

2:00 p.m.: Senate Energy Subcommittee on Forest and Public Land
hearing on several lands bills, including measures to designate 18,500
of wilderness on Bureau of Land Management Land in California (H.R. 15);
designate 18,000 acres of forest wilderness in Colorado (S. 503); and
small parcels of public land to Douglas County, Oregon (S. 977), a ski
resort in South Dakota (S. 953), and the city of Sedona, Arizona (S.
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Thursday, June 24
10:00 a.m.: House Resources Parks and Public Lands Subcommittee hearing
the effect of invasive plants. Location: 1324 Longworth House Office

2:00 p.m.: House Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power hearing on
restructuring of the electric utility industry. Location: 1334 Longworth
House Office Building.

June 14: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-14.html
May 31: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-31.html
May 24: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-24.html
May 10: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-10.html
May 3: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-3.html
April 26: http://www.amrivers.org/policy4-26.html
April 19: http://www.amrivers.org/policy4-19.html
April 12: http://www.amrivers.org/policy4-12.html
April 5: http://www.amrivers.org/policy4-5.html
March 29: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-29.html
March 22: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-22.html
March 15: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-15.html
March 8: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-8.html
March 1: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-1.html
February 22: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-22.html
February 15: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-15.html
February 8: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-8.html

American Rivers, 1025 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 720
Washington, DC 20005, (202) 347-7550

To unsubscribe, please send an email to outreach at amrivers_org with the
following in the text of the email: unsubscribe (your email address) (do
include the parentheses).

CHECK OUT OUR HOMEPAGE!! http://www.amrivers.org
QUESTIONS? Contact Suzy McDowell, Conservation Outreach Coordinator, at
smcdowell at amrivers_org or 202-347-7550x3040.

Legislative information taken from many sources including Thomas,
Congressional Greensheets, Greenwire, and Roll Call.

Suzy McDowell
Outreach Coordinator
American Rivers
1025 Vermont Ave, NW, #720
Washington, DC 20005
202-347-7550 x3040
smcdowell at amrivers_org