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NFC: Fw: [Updates] River Policy Update -- Week of July 5, 1999
VIEW THIS ON THE AMERICAN RIVERS WEBPAGE WITH DIRECT LINKS TO THE ACTUAL
American Rivers Policy Update
For the week of July 5, 1999
EPA to Issue Decision on Animal Farm Waste Permits:
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Water
issue its draft permitting guidance, a manual that will describe what
pollution controls animal factory farms need to put in place to receive
Clean Water Act permits. EPA may hand off the determinations of pollution
controls to USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) through
agency's creation of Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans. The NRCS
favors allowing state-by-state standards as opposed to national baseline
Environmental groups, who have been strongly advocating for EPA to
implement strong, enforceable, measurable, and nationally-consistent
conditions, are concerned about EPA's reliance on USDA's state-by-state
standards, which would be harder to enforce and measure.
For more information, visit http://www.cwn.org/.
National Survey of State CAFO Policies Available:
Preliminary results from the National Survey of State Animal Confinement
Policies are now available on the internet. For detailed information on
state or group of states go to the web site:
The survey results were broken down into three sections: policy issues,
confinement and manure management regulations, and industry structure
The National Survey was organized under the auspices of the National
Education Committee. The project was sponsored by the Farm Foundation,
USDA-CSREES, Land Grant University Extension Services in Colorado,
Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
House Appropriations Committee Approves Interior Funding Bill:
Last Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee pushed through the
billion FY'00 funding bill for Interior and related agencies. Even though
the dollar figure for the bill was higher than the original allocation of
$11.341 billion, it still came up $200 million short of current funding
levels and about $1 billion below the Clinton Administration's request.
House Appropriations Committee ranking Democrat David Obey (D-WI)
concern that important programs would not receive adequate funding, a
situation that could become more serious if the possibility of $200
being cut from the bill during floor debate becomes a reality.
Representative Don Young (R-AK) stated the bill would be taken up on the
House floor the week of July 12.
Below is a comparison of FY'01 appropriation proposals for various
by the Senate, House, and Clinton Administration for the Department of
Interior and related agencies:
-Bureau of Land Management: $1.218 billion in the Senate bill, $1.216
billion in the House bill, and $1.269 billion in the Administration
-National Park Service: $1.723 billion in the Senate bill, $1.700 billion
the House bill, and $2.059 billion in the Administration request (NPS
operations: $1.355 billion in the Senate bill, $1.4 billion in the House
bill, and $1.390 billion in the Administration request);
-Fish and Wildlife Service: $828 million in the Senate bill, $840 million
the House bill, $950 million in the Administration request (Refuges
operations and maintenance: $250.6 million in the Senate bill, $327
in the House bill, and $265.3 million in the Administration
request); -Forest Service: $2.684 billion in the Senate bill, $2.600
in the House bill, and $2.822 billion in the Administration request.
Senate Committee Approves ESA Reform Bill:
On June 29, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works pushed
gave its approval to S. 1100, Senator Pete Domenici's (R-NM) bill aimed
narrowly amending the Endangered Species Act by changing rules regarding
designation of critical habitat.
Co-sponsored by Senators John Chafee (R-RI) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), the
legislation would require the federal agencies to shift the designation
critical habitat from the time of listing to the recovery planning
and mandate that recovery plans be completed within three years after a
species is listed. S. 1100 would reintroduce the "not determinable"
provision, which would exempt the US Fish and Wildlife Service from
to designate critical habitat if the agency is unable to determine what
habitat should be. Congress eliminated the loophole in 1983 because it
being used too widely and frequently. The bill would eliminate all
for providing critical habitat to species that already have approved
Senator Craig Thomas Introduces ESA Bill:
On June 30, Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY) introduced an ESA reform bill of
his own, the Listing and Delisting Reform Act of 1999 (S. 1305). The
goal of the bill, co-sponsored by Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), is to
science" into the endangered species listing process. The bill would
increase the requirements for a petition to list a species. The bill
require the Secretary of the Interior to use scientific or commercial
that is empirical, field tested, and peer-reviewed; establish minimum
requirements for a listing petition that includes an analysis of the
of the species, its range, population trends, and threats; and require
Secretary to determine if sufficient biological information exists in the
petition to support a recovery plan.
US FWS Seeks Public Input on Critical Habitat:
In the June 14, 1999 Federal Register, the US Fish and Wildlife Service
announced its intent to develop policy or guidance and/or to revise
regulations, if necessary, to clarify the role of habitat in endangered
species conservation. The agency intends to streamline the processes
involved in completing critical habitat determinations and designations.
agency has requested public comment, which it will incorporate comments
the new proposed guidance as appropriate. Comments will be accepted
August 13, 1999.
To submit comments to the FWS, write to the Chief, Division of Endangered
Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1849 C Street, NW, Mailstop
ARLSQ-420, Washington, D.C. 20240. For more information, contact Chief,
Division of Endangered Species, US Fish and Wildlife Service,
For more information on S. 1100, see the River Policy Update from June
at http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-28.html. For more information on the
federal public comment period and FWS guidance on critical habitat, visit
NWF Releases Watershed-Based Trading Guide:
The National Wildlife Federation has developed a new report on
watershed-based trading. "A New Tool for Water Quality: Making
Watershed-Based Trading Work for You," describes how citizens can take
important steps to ensure that trading proposals in their state or
will actually restore polluted waters. The guide describes the concept of
trading and outlines necessary conditions or "safeguards" under which a
trade can take place. The report is part of NWF's "Saving Our Watersheds"
project, a national educational and advocacy effort to help NWF
environmental organizations, watershed groups, and the public clean up
rivers, lakes, and estuaries that they care about.
For a copy of the report, please contact Kari Dolan, Water Quality
Manager, at 802-229-0650 or dolan at nwf_org.
Edwards Dam Breached:
On July 1, more than 1,000 people stood on the banks of the Kennebec
to witness the demolition of the Edwards Dam, the first operating
hydroelectric dam ordered destroyed by the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission. The Commission had determined that the environmental harm
by the dam outweighed the power it produced.
The Edwards dam was built in 1837 to power seven sawmills, a gristmill
machine shop. In 1984, the Edwards Manufacturing Co. signed a 15-year
contract to sell electricity to Central Maine Power after the textile
closed in 1983 and all workers were laid off. A number of groups
Rivers, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Natural Resources Council of
Maine, and Trout Unlimited) came together in 1989 to form the Kennebec
Coalition with the goal of removing the dam. In 1991, the governor of
and the State Legislature called for removing the dam, and the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission refuses to renew the dam's license to
in 1997. The owners of the dam signed a settlement accord in 1998
to hand the dam over to the state of Maine. For more information on the
Edwards Dam removal, visit http://www.amrivers.org or
Clinton Administration Releases Everglades Restoration Plan:
On July 1, the Clinton Administration formally submitted to
Congress its $7.8 billion plan to restore the Florida Everglades. The
of the plan, a 20-year effort to be led by the Army Corps of Engineers,
to reverse or repair some of the damage caused by the 1,700-miles of
control and water supply canals built in the area over three decades from
the 1940s to the 1970s. The canals have starved the Everglades of
much-needed water flow, reduced populations of many species, negatively
impacted fisheries, and threaten the rest of the extensive ecosystem.
The Administration's proposal calls for eliminating 240 miles of levees
canals and building 60 projects aimed at restoring natural water flow
through the Everglades and catching water that is currently lost to the
ocean. Projects include above-ground reservoirs and new wetlands. About
percent of the captured water would go toward revitalization of the
Everglades and the remainder would be available to cities and farmers.
Many have expressed their support for the plan, including Florida
Jeb Bush (R), the entire congressional delegation from Florida, and many
conservation groups and state business leaders. Congressional funding
as the biggest stumbling block. The restoration projects would need $200
million a year from congressional appropriators.
Public Comment Period Opened for Unified Federal Policy:
The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior released a
draft of the Unified Federal Policy for Ensuring a Watershed Approach to
Federal Land and Resource Management (Unified Federal Policy) to
tribes, states, and interested stakeholders. The goal of the proposed
policy, part of President Clinton's Clean Water Action Plan, is to
cost-effective watershed approach to preventing and reducing water
from federal land and resource management activities.
The working draft is available to the public for comment. It will be
at http://www.blm.gov/nhp/whatwedo/cwap/ and
http://www.fs.fed.us/clean/unified/. Copies are also available by calling
the USDA Forest Service's Content Analysis Enterprise Team at
Selection of Bills Approved by the House Resources Committee:
H.R. 1487 to outline public comment and environmental analysis procedures
before designating national monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act.
H.R. 1934 to aid efforts to save marine mammals stranded on American
with an amendment offered by Representative Jim Saxton (R-NJ) to add
regional representatives to an advisory panel and to ensure equitable
distribution of funds among the regions.
H.R. 1152 to reauthorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's ocean research programs for fiscal 2000 and 2001.
H.R. 2181 to authorize NOAA to acquire and equip six new fisheries
vessels over the next six years.
H.R. 468 to establish the St. Helena Island National Scenic Area in Lake
H.R. 2079 to sell approximately 40 acres of land from the Black Hills
National Forest in South Dakota to a ski resort. The Senate Energy
approved a companion bill (S 953) on Wednesday.
H.R. 535 to change the boundaries of the coastal barriers resources
H.R. 1753 to promote the research and development of methane hydrate.
Selection of Bills Approved by the Senate:
S. 323 to elevate the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument to
national park status and create several other conservation areas near
S. 416 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey to the city of
Sisters, Oregon, a small tract of Forest Service land for a sewage
facility and for the disposal of treated effluent.
S. 700 to amend the National Trails System Act to designate the Ala
Trail as a national historic trail.
S. 766 to authorize the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility
for the preservation of the Loess Hills in western Iowa, a large expanse
undisturbed mixed prairie and unique geologic formations on along the
Selection of Bills Approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources
S. 501 to require that the National Park Service continue to allow
subsistence fishing and gathering, as well as commercial marine fishing
regulated by the state, in Glacier Bay National Park in Southeast Alaska.
The Clinton Administration has threatened to veto the bill.
S. 711 to allow outside investments of the settlement funds from the
Valdez oil spill.
H.R. 15 to designate the 18,500-acre Otay Wilderness on Bureau of Land
Management Land in California.
H.R. 149 to make technical corrections to the 1996 omnibus parks bill.
RIVER-RELATED BILLS IN CONGRESS
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.R. 1205: Introduced by Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI), H.R. 1205
prohibit any drilling activity (including any slant or directional
to extract oil or gas from lands beneath waters under the jurisdiction of
the United States in any of the Great Lakes. The bill was referred to the
House Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
H.R.2250: Introduced by Representative Don Young (R-AK), the Arctic
Plain Domestic Energy Security Act of 1999 directs the Secretary of
to establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program for
approximately 1,549,000 acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
as the Coastal Plain. The bill calls upon the Secretary to develop the
program such that it will result in an environmentally sound and job
creating program. H.R. 2250 was referred to the House Resources
H.R. 2285: Introduced by Representative Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), H.R. 2285
would amend the Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of
1992 to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the
design, planning, and construction of the San Antonio Water System Water
Recycling Project Phase III for the reclamation and reuse of water. The
Federal share of the cost of any project shall not exceed 25 percent of
total cost. H.R. 2285 was referred the House Resources Committee.
H.R.2335: Introduced by Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY), the
Hydroelectric Licensing Process Improvement Act of 1999 would amend the
Federal Power Act, changing the hydroelectric licensing process by
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission statutory authority over
coordination of participation by other agencies and entities. The bill
require agencies to consider the full effects of their mandatory and
recommended conditions on a hydroelectric power license and to document
consideration of a broad range of factors. The measure would also require
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to impose deadlines by which
federal agencies must submit proposed mandatory and recommended
to a license. As a result, the bill would have a significant impact on
ability of federal resource agencies to impose mandatory conditions for
passage and protection of federal lands. H.R. 2335, companion legislation
S. 740 introduced by Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) in March, was referred to
the House Commerce Committee.
H.R. 2348: Introduced by Representative James Hansen (R-UT), H.R. 2348
authorize the Bureau of Reclamation to provide cost sharing for the
endangered fish recovery implementation programs for the Upper Colorado
San Juan River Basins, with a funding level of $46 million for capital
projects. The authority for the Recovery Implementation Program for
Endangered Fish Species in the Upper Colorado River Basin and San Juan
Basin Recovery Implementation Program would expire in 2005 and 2007
respectively, unless reauthorized by an Act of Congress. The bill was
referred to the House Resources Committee.
S. 919: Introduced by Senator Christopher DODD (D-CT), the Quinebaug and
Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor Reauthorization Act of
1999 amend the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage
Corridor Act of 1994 to expand the boundaries of the Corridor. The
of the bill is to provide assistance to the State of Connecticut, the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and their units of local and regional
government and citizens in the development and implementation of
natural, cultural, historic, scenic, recreational, land, and other
management programs in order to retain, enhance, and interpret the
significant features of the land, water, structures, and history of the
Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley. S. 919 was referred to the Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
No hearings this week -- Congress is in recess.
LINKS TO PAST UPDATES:
June 28: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-28.html
June 21: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-21.html
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
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