[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2310 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2310

  To protect, conserve, and restore native fish, wildlife, and their 
    natural habitats on Federal lands and non-Federal lands through 
cooperative, incentive-based grants to control, mitigate, and eradicate 
           harmful nonnative species, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 3, 2003

  Mr. Rahall (for himself, Ms. Bordallo, Mr. Acevedo-Vila, Mr. George 
 Miller of California, Ms. Lee, Mr. Case, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Rodriguez, 
Mr. Markey, Mr. Faleomavaega, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. 
 Pallone, Mr. Inslee, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Nadler, and 
  Mr. Kind) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                         Committee on Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To protect, conserve, and restore native fish, wildlife, and their 
    natural habitats on Federal lands and non-Federal lands through 
cooperative, incentive-based grants to control, mitigate, and eradicate 
           harmful nonnative species, 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 ``Species Protection and Conservation 
of the Environment Act''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

     The purpose of this Act is to encourage partnerships among public 
agencies, Indian tribes, and other interests for the following 
objectives:
            (1) To protect, enhance, restore, and manage a diversity of 
        habitats for native fish and wildlife through control of 
        harmful nonnative species.
            (2) To promote the development of voluntary State 
        assessments to establish priorities for controlling harmful 
        nonnative species.
            (3) To promote greater cooperation among Federal, State, 
        and local land and water managers, and owners of private land, 
        water rights, or other interests to implement ecologically 
        based strategies to eradicate, mitigate, and control harmful 
        nonnative species through a voluntary and incentive-based 
        financial assistance grant program.
            (4) To establish a rapid response capability to combat 
        incipient harmful nonnative species invasions.
            (5) To establish a National Invasive Species Council.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

     For the purposes of this Act:
            (1) Appropriate committees.--The term ``appropriate 
        Committees'' means the Committee on Resources of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public 
        Works of the Senate.
            (2) Control.--The term ``control'' means, as appropriate, 
        eradicating, suppressing, reducing, or managing harmful 
        nonnative species from areas where they are present; taking 
        steps to detect early infestations on at-risk native habitats; 
        and restoring native species and habitats to reduce the effects 
        of harmful nonnative species.
            (3) Council.--The term ``Council'' means the National 
        Invasive Species Council established by section 6(a).
            (4) Environmental soundness.--The term ``environmental 
        soundness'' means the extent of inclusion of methods, efforts, 
        actions, or programs to prevent or control infestations of 
        harmful nonnative species, that--
                    (A) minimize adverse impacts to the structure and 
                function of an ecosystem and adverse effects on 
                nontarget species and ecosystems; and
                    (B) emphasize integrated management techniques.
            (5) Federal lands.--The term ``Federal lands'' means all 
        lands and waters that are owned and administered by the 
        Department of the Interior or the Forest Service or are held in 
        trust by the Federal Government for an Indian tribe.
            (6) Harmful nonnative species.--The term ``harmful 
        nonnative species''--
                    (A) subject to subparagraph (B), means, with 
                respect to a particular ecosystem in a particular 
                region, any species, including its seeds, eggs, spores, 
                or other biological material capable of propagating 
                that species, that is not native to that ecosystem and 
                has a demonstrable or potentially demonstrable negative 
                environmental or economic impact in that region; and
                    (B) does not include nonferal livestock.
            (7) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
            (8) National management plan.--The term ``National 
        Management Plan'' means the management plan referred to in 
        section 5 of Executive Order 13112 of February 3, 1999, and 
        entitled ``Meeting the Invasive Species Challenge''.
            (9) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
            (10) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
        Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, any 
        other territory or possession of the United States, and any 
        Indian tribe.

SEC. 4. ALDO LEOPOLD NATIVE HERITAGE GRANT PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary may provide--
            (1) a grant to any eligible applicant to carry out a 
        qualified control project in accordance with this section; and
            (2) a grant to any State to carry out an assessment project 
        consistent with relevant State plans that have been developed 
        in whole or in part for the conservation of native fish, 
        wildlife, and their habitats, and in accordance with this 
        section, to--
                    (A) identify harmful nonnative species that occur 
                in the State;
                    (B) assess the needs to restore, manage, or enhance 
                native fish and wildlife and their natural habitats and 
                processes in the State;
                    (C) identify priorities for actions to address such 
                needs;
                    (D) identify mechanisms to increase capacity 
                building in a State or across State lines to conserve 
                and protect native fish and wildlife and their habitats 
                and to detect and control harmful nonnative species 
                within the State; and
                    (E) incorporate, where applicable, the guidelines 
                of the National Management Plan.
The grant program under this section shall be known as the ``Aldo 
Leopold Native Heritage Grant Program''.
    (b) Functions of the Secretary.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall--
                    (A) publish guidelines for and solicit applications 
                for grants under this section not later than 6 months 
                after the date of enactment of this Act;
                    (B) receive, review, evaluate, and approve 
                applications for grants under this section;
                    (C) consult with the council on the projects 
                proposed for grants under this section, including 
                regarding the priority of proposed projects for such 
                grants; and
                    (D) consult with the Council regarding the 
                development of the database required under subsection 
                (j).
            (2) Advice.--To obtain advice regarding proposed grants 
        under this section, including advice on the scientific merit, 
        technical merit, and feasibility of a proposed grant, the 
        Secretary shall consult with the advisory committee established 
        under section 6(f).
            (3) Delegation of authority.--The Secretary may delegate to 
        another Federal instrumentality the authority of the Secretary 
        under this section, other than the authority to approve 
        applications for grants and make grants.
    (c) Functions of the Council.--The Council shall--
            (1) consult with the Secretary to create criteria and 
        guidelines for grants under this section;
            (2) consult with the Secretary regarding whether proposed 
        control projects are qualified control projects; and
            (3) carry out functions relating to monitoring control 
        projects under subsection (j).
    (d) Eligible Applicant.--To be an eligible applicant for purposes 
of subsection (a)(1), an applicant shall--
            (1) be a State, local government, interstate or regional 
        agency, or private person; and
            (2) have adequate personnel, funding, and authority to 
        carry out and monitor or maintain a control project.
    (e) Qualified Control Project.--
            (1) In general.--To be a qualified control project under 
        this section, a project shall--
                    (A) control harmful nonnative species on the lands 
                or waters on which it is conducted;
                    (B) include a plan for monitoring the project area 
                and maintaining effective control of harmful nonnative 
                species after the completion of the project, that is 
                consistent with standards for monitoring developed 
                under subsection (j);
                    (C) be conducted in partnership with a Federal 
                agency;
                    (D) be conducted on non-Federal lands or waters 
                that, for purposes of carrying out the project, are 
                under the control of the eligible applicant applying 
                for the grant under this section and on adjacent 
                Federal lands or waters administered by the Federal 
                agency referred to in subparagraph (C), that are--
                            (i) administered for the long-term 
                        conservation of such lands and waters and the 
                        native fish and wildlife dependent thereon; and
                            (ii) managed to prevent the future 
                        reintroduction or dispersal of harmful 
                        nonnative species from the lands and waters on 
                        which the project is carried out; and
                    (E) encourage public notice and outreach on control 
                project activities in the affected community.
            (2) Other factors for selection of projects.--In ranking 
        qualified control projects, the Secretary may consider the 
        following:
                    (A) The extent to which a project would address the 
                operational backlog attributed to harmful nonnative 
                species on habitats important to native fish and 
                wildlife throughout any system of Federal lands.
                    (B) Whether a project will encourage increased 
                coordination and cooperation among one or more Federal 
                agencies and State or local government agencies or 
                nongovernmental or other private entities to control 
                harmful nonnative species.
                    (C) Whether a 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 to control harmful nonnative species.
                    (D) The extent to which a project would aid the 
                conservation of species that are listed under the 
                Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
                seq.).
                    (E) Whether a project includes pilot testing or a 
                demonstration of an innovative technology having the 
                potential for improved cost-effectiveness in 
                controlling harmful nonnative species.
                    (F) The extent to which a project considers the 
                potential for unintended consequences of control 
                methods on ecosystems and includes contingency 
                measures.
    (f) Distribution of Control Grant Awards.--In making grants for 
control projects under this section the Secretary shall, to the 
greatest extent practicable, ensure--
            (1) a balance of smaller and larger projects conducted with 
        grants under this section; and
            (2) an equitable geographic distribution of projects 
        carried out with grants under this section, among all States 
        within which such projects are proposed to be conducted.
    (g) Grant Duration.--
            (1) In general.--Each grant under this section shall be to 
        provide funding for the Federal share of the cost of a project 
        carried out with the grant for up to 2 fiscal years.
            (2) Renewal.--(A) If the Secretary, after reviewing the 
        reports under subsection (h) regarding a control project, finds 
        that the project is making satisfactory progress, the Secretary 
        may renew a grant under this section for the project for an 
        additional 3 fiscal years.
            (B) The Secretary may renew a grant under this section to 
        implement the monitoring and maintenance plan required for a 
        control project under subsection (e)(1)(B) for up to 5 fiscal 
        years after the project is otherwise completed.
    (h) Reporting by Grantee.--
            (1) In general.--(A) A grantee carrying out a control 
        project with a grant under this section shall report to the 
        Secretary every 24 months or at the expiration of the grant, 
        whichever is of shorter duration.
            (B) A State carrying out an assessment project with a grant 
        under this section shall submit the assessment pursuant to 
        subsection (a)(2) to the Secretary no later than 24 months 
        after the date on which the grant is awarded.
            (2) Report contents.--Each report under this subsection 
        shall include the following information with respect to each 
        project covered by the report:
                    (A) In the case of a control project--
                            (i) the information described in 
                        subparagraphs (B), (D), and (F) of subsection 
                        (k)(2); and
                            (ii) specific information on the methods 
                        and techniques used to control harmful 
                        nonnative species in the project area, 
                        including any specific information on the 
                        methods and techniques used to restore native 
                        fish, wildlife, or their habitats in the 
                        project area.
                    (B) A detailed report of the funding for the grant 
                and the expenditures made.
            (3) Interim update.--Each grantee under subsection 
        (h)(1)(A) of this Section shall also submit annually a brief 
        synopsis to the Secretary, either electronically or in writing, 
        that includes--
                    (A) a chronological list of project progress; and
                    (B) use of awarded funds.
    (i) Cost Sharing for Projects.--
            (1) Federal share.--Except as provided in paragraphs (2) 
        and (3), the Federal share of the cost of a project carried out 
        with a grant under this section shall not exceed 75 percent of 
        such cost.
            (2) Innovative technology costs.--The Federal share of the 
        incremental additional cost of including in a control project 
        any pilot testing or a demonstration of an innovative 
        technology described in subsection (e)(2)(E) shall be 85 
        percent.
            (3) Projects on federal lands or waters.--The Federal share 
        of the cost of the portion of a control project funded with a 
        grant under this section that is carried out on Federal lands 
        or waters, including the cost of acquisition by the Federal 
        Government of lands or waters for use for such a project, shall 
        be 100 percent.
            (4) Application of in-kind contributions.--The Secretary 
        may apply to the non-Federal share of costs of a control 
        project carried out with a grant under this section the fair 
        market value of services or any other form of in-kind 
        contribution to the project made by non-Federal interests that 
        the Secretary determines to be an appropriate contribution 
        equivalent to the monetary amount required for the non-Federal 
        share of the activity.
            (5) Derivation of non-federal share.--The non-Federal share 
        of the cost of a control project carried out with a grant under 
        this section may not be derived from a Federal grant program or 
        other Federal funds.
    (j) Monitoring and Maintenance of Control Grant Projects.--
            (1) Requirements.--The Council, in consultation with the 
        Secretary, shall develop requirements for the monitoring and 
        maintenance of a control project to ensure that the 
        requirements under subsections (e)(1)(A) and (B) are achieved.
            (2) Database of grant project information.--The Council 
        shall develop and maintain an appropriate database of 
        information concerning control projects carried out with grants 
        under this subsection, including information on project 
        techniques, project completion, monitoring data, and other 
        relevant information.
            (3) Use of existing programs.--The Council shall use 
        existing programs within the Federal Government to create and 
        maintain the database required under this subsection.
            (4) Public availability.--The Council shall make the 
        information collected and maintained under this subsection 
        available to the public.
    (k) Reporting by Secretary.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall, by not later than 3 
        years after the date of the enactment of this Act and every 2 
        years thereafter, report to the appropriate Committees on the 
        implementation of this section and make a one-time 
        determination of whether the programs should be expanded to 
        lands and waters that are owned and administered by Federal 
        agencies other than those referred to in this Act.
            (2) Report contents.--A report under paragraph (1) shall 
        include an assessment of--
                    (A) trends in the population size and distribution 
                of harmful nonnative species in the project area for 
                each control project carried out with a grant under 
this section, and in the adjacent areas as defined by the Secretary;
                    (B) data on the number of acres of native fish and 
                wildlife habitat restored, protected, or enhanced under 
                this section, including descriptions of, and partners 
                involved with, control projects selected, in progress, 
                and completed under this section with respect to those 
                acres by Federal, State, and local agencies and other 
                entities;
                    (C) trends in the population size and distribution 
                of native species in the project areas, and in adjacent 
                areas as defined by the Secretary;
                    (D) an estimate of the long-term success of varying 
                conservation techniques used in carrying out control 
                projects with grants under this section;
                    (E) an annual assessment of the status of control 
                projects carried out with grants under this section, 
                including an accounting of expenditures by Federal, 
                State, regional, and local government agencies and 
                other entities to carry out such projects;
                    (F) a review of the environmental soundness of the 
                control projects carried out with grants under this 
                section;
                    (G) a review of efforts made to maintain an 
                appropriate database of grants under this section; and
                    (H) a review of the geographical distribution of 
                Federal money, matching funds, and in-kind 
                contributions for control projects carried out with 
                grants under this section.
    (l) Cooperation of Non-Federal Interests.--The Secretary may not 
make a grant under this section for a control project on Federal lands 
before a non-Federal interest has entered into a written agreement with 
the Secretary under which the non-Federal interest agrees to--
            (1) monitor and maintain the control project in accordance 
        with the plan required under subsection (e)(1)(B); and
            (2) provide any other items of cooperation the Secretary 
        considers necessary to carry out the project.

SEC. 5. CREATION OF A RAPID RESPONSE CAPABILITY TO HARMFUL NONNATIVE 
              SPECIES.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary may provide financial assistance 
for a period of one fiscal year to enable a rapid response to outbreaks 
of harmful nonnative species that are at a stage at which rapid 
eradication or control is possible, and ensure eradication or immediate 
control of the harmful nonnative species.
    (b) Requirements for Assistance.--The Secretary shall provide 
assistance under this section, at the request of the Governor of a 
State, to local and State agencies or nongovernmental entities for the 
eradication of an immediate harmful nonnative species threat in the 
State only if--
            (1) there is a demonstrated need for the assistance;
            (2) the harmful nonnative species is considered to be an 
        immediate threat to native fish, wildlife, or their habitats, 
        as determined by the Secretary; and
            (3) the proposed response to such threat--
                    (A) is technically feasible; and
                    (B) minimizes adverse impacts to the structure and 
                function of an ecosystem and adverse effects on non-
                target species and ecosystems.
    (c) Amount of Financial Assistance.--The Secretary shall determine 
the amount of financial assistance to be provided under this section 
with respect to an outbreak of a harmful nonnative species, subject to 
the availability of appropriations.
    (d) Cost Share.--The Federal share of the cost of any activity 
carried out with assistance under this section may be up to 100 
percent.
    (e) Monitoring and Reporting.--The Secretary shall--
            (1) require that persons receiving assistance under this 
        section report on activities carried out with such assistance 
        in the same manner as control project grantees under section 4; 
        and
            (2) monitor and report on activities carried out with 
        assistance under this section in accordance with the 
        requirements that apply with respect to control projects 
        carried out with assistance under section 4.

SEC. 6. NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established as an independent entity 
within the executive branch the National Invasive Species Council. The 
Council shall provide leadership and coordination among Federal 
agencies, and between the Federal Government and State and local 
governments, with respect to efforts to minimize the economic, 
ecological, and human health impacts that harmful nonnative species 
cause and reduce the threat of further invasions.
    (b) Membership.--
            (1) In general.--The Council shall consist of the following 
        members:
                    (A) The Secretary of the Interior.
                    (B) The Secretary of Agriculture.
                    (C) The Secretary of Commerce.
                    (D) The Secretary of State.
                    (E) The Secretary of the Treasury.
                    (F) The Secretary of Defense.
                    (G) The Secretary of Transportation.
                    (H) The Secretary of Health and Human Services.
                    (I) The Administrator of the Environmental 
                Protection Agency.
                    (J) The Administrator of the United States Agency 
                for International Development.
                    (K) Such additional members as may be appointed 
                under paragraph (2).
            (2) Additional members.--With the concurrence of a majority 
        of the members of the Council, the Chair of the Council may 
        appoint additional members to the Council from among 
        individuals who are officers or employees of the Federal 
Government with significant responsibilities concerning harmful 
nonnative species.
    (c) Chair.--The Secretary of the Interior shall serve as chair of 
the Council for the 3-year period beginning on the date of the 
enactment of this Act. Thereafter, the chair shall rotate every 3 years 
among the following members, in the order stated:
            (1) The Secretary of Commerce.
            (2) The Secretary of Agriculture.
            (3) The Secretary of the Interior.
    (d) Meetings.--The Council shall meet at least semiannually, at the 
call of the chair.
    (e) Duties.--
            (1) In general.--The Council shall ensure that Federal 
        agency efforts concerning harmful nonnative species are 
        coordinated, effective, complementary, and cost-efficient.
            (2) Specific functions.--To carry out subsection (a) the 
        Council shall perform the following functions:
                    (A) Coordinate with existing organizations 
                addressing harmful nonnative species to implement the 
                National Management Plan.
                    (B) Develop recommendations for cooperation among 
                Federal and State Governments and other nations, when 
                appropriate, on tools, policies, and methods to prevent 
                the spread of harmful nonnative species across 
                political boundaries.
                    (C) Develop guidelines for Federal agency efforts 
                to ensure that Federal programs concerning harmful 
                nonnative species, including outreach programs, are 
                coordinated with State, local, and tribal governments.
                    (D) Develop, in consultation with the Council on 
                Environmental Quality, guidance to Federal agencies 
                pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 
                1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) on prevention, control, 
                and eradication of harmful nonnative species.
                    (E) Establish and maintain a publicly accessible, 
                coordinated, up-to-date information sharing system 
                that--
                            (i) allows the access to and exchange of 
                        information among Federal agencies and the 
                        public;
                            (ii) utilizes, to the greatest extent 
                        practicable, the Internet; and
                            (iii) is consistent with the database 
                        developed under section 4(j)(2).
                    (F) Ensure that Federal agencies implement the 
                plans, programs, and policies in the National 
                Management Plan through appropriate actions, including 
                working in cooperation with Federal agencies on 
                development of a coordinated budget pursuant to the 
                President's annual budget submission to the Congress.
                    (G) Evaluate Federal programs that are likely to 
                cause or promote the introduction or spread of harmful 
                nonnative species in the United States, and recommend 
                actions Federal agencies can take to minimize the risk 
                of introductions or further spread of harmful nonnative 
                species.
    (f) Invasive Species Advisory Committee.--
            (1) In general.--The Council shall have an advisory 
        committee to provide information and advice for consideration 
        by the Council, which shall be known as the Invasive Species 
        Advisory Committee. Except as otherwise provided in this 
        section, the advisory committee shall be organized, perform the 
        functions, and have the authorities specified in the charter 
        for such advisory committee signed by the Secretary of the 
        Interior on October 30, 2001.
            (2) Appointment.--Members of the advisory committee shall 
        be appointed by the chair of the Council, after consultation 
        with the other members of the Council, from among individuals 
        representing stakeholders with respect to Federal programs for 
        minimizing the economic, ecological, and human health impacts 
        that harmful nonnative species cause.
            (3) Functions.--In addition to the functions specified in 
        the charter referred to in paragraph (1), the advisory 
        committee shall recommend to the Council plans and actions at 
        local, tribal, State, regional, and ecosystem-based levels to 
        achieve the goals of the National Management Plan.
            (4) Continuing operation of existing committee.--Any 
        advisory committee appointed before the date of the enactment 
        of this Act pursuant to the charter referred to in paragraph 
        (1) may continue in effect under this section.

SEC. 7. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER AUTHORITIES.

     Nothing in this Act affects authorities, responsibilities, 
obligations, or powers of the Secretary under any other statute.

SEC. 8. BUDGET CROSSCUT.

    The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall prepare 
and submit to the Congress, after consultation with the Council, by not 
later than March 31 of 2004 and of each year thereafter--
            (1) a comprehensive budget analysis and summary of all 
        Federal programs relating to invasive species; and
            (2) an annual list of priorities, ranked in high, medium, 
        and low categories, of Federal efforts and programs in the 
        following areas:
                    (A) Early detection and rapid response.
                    (B) Control, management, and restoration.
                    (C) Research and monitoring.
                    (D) Information management.
                    (E) Public outreach and partnership efforts.

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) Aldo Leopold Native Heritage Program Grants.--There is 
authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out section 4--
            (1) $55,000,000 for fiscal year 2004;
            (2) $57,500,000 for fiscal year 2005;
            (3) $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
            (4) $62,500,000 for fiscal year 2007; and
            (5) $65,000,000 for fiscal year 2008.
    (b) Rapid Response Assistance.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary to carry out section 5 $20,000,000 for 
each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.
    (c) Monitoring.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary to support the Council in its acquisition, maintenance, and 
management of monitoring data on grant projects carried out under this 
Act--
            (1) $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2004;
            (2) $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2005;
            (3) $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
            (4) $6,000,000 for fiscal year 2007; and
            (5) $7,000,000 for fiscal year 2008.-
    (d) National Invasive Species Council and Advisory Committee.--
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out section 6 
$2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.
    (e)  Continuing Availability.--Amounts appropriated under this Act 
may remain available until expended.
    (f) Administrative Expenses of Secretary.--Of amounts available 
each fiscal year to carry out this Act, the Secretary may expend not 
more than 5 percent to pay the administrative expenses necessary to 
carry out this Act.
                                 <all>