[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 144 Introduced in Senate (IS)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 144

  To require the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program to 
provide assistance through States to eligible weed management entities 
to control or eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public and private 
                                 land.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            January 13, 2003

Mr. Craig (for himself, Mr. Hagel, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Baucus, 
    Mr. Burns, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Smith, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Ensign) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
               Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To require the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program to 
provide assistance through States to eligible weed management entities 
to control or eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public and private 
                                 land.

    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 ``Noxious Weed Control Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Noxious weed.--The term ``noxious weed'' has the 
        meaning given the term in section 403 of the Plant Protection 
        Act (7 U.S.C. 7702).
            (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
            (3) State.--The term ``State'' means--
                    (A) each of the several States of the United 
                States;
                    (B) the District of Columbia;
                    (C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
                    (D) Guam;
                    (E) American Samoa;
                    (F) the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
                Islands;
                    (G) the Federated States of Micronesia;
                    (H) the Republic of the Marshall Islands;
                    (I) the Republic of Palau; and
                    (J) the United States Virgin Islands.
            (4) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
        meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
            (5) Weed management entity.--The term ``weed management 
        entity'' means an entity that--
                    (A) is recognized by the State in which it is 
                established;
                    (B) is established for the purpose of controlling 
                or eradicating harmful, invasive weeds and increasing 
                public knowledge and education concerning the need to 
                control or eradicate harmful, invasive weeds; and
                    (C) is multijurisdictional and multidisciplinary in 
                nature.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--As soon as practicable after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a program to provide to 
eligible weed management entities, through States, financial assistance 
for use in controlling or eradicating noxious weeds.
    (b) Consultation.--In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary 
shall consult with--
            (1) the National Invasive Species Council;
            (2) the Invasive Species Advisory Committee;
            (3) representatives of States and Indian tribes with weed 
        management entities or that have particular problems with 
        noxious weeds; and
            (4) public and private entities with experience in noxious 
        weed management.

SEC. 4. ALLOCATION OF FUNDS TO STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES.

    (a) In General.--Funds made available to carry out this Act shall 
be allocated by Secretary to each State, for further allocation by the 
State to eligible weed management entities in the State for use in 
carrying out projects approved by the State to control or eradicate 
weeds.
    (b) Basis for Allocation.--The Secretary shall allocate funding 
among States under subsection (a) based on--
            (1) the severity or potential severity of the noxious weed 
        problem to be addressed by the State;
            (2) the extent to which the funds will be used to leverage 
        non-Federal funds;
            (3) the extent to which the State has made progress in 
        addressing noxious weed problems; and
            (4) such other factors as the Secretary determines to be 
        appropriate.
    (c) Special Consideration.--In allocating funds to States under 
subsection (a), the Secretary--
            (1) shall provide special consideration for States that 
        have approved weed management entities established by Indian 
        tribes; and
            (2) may provide an additional allocation to a State to meet 
        the particular needs and projects that such a weed management 
        entity will address.

SEC. 5. ELIGIBILITY AND USE OF FUNDS.

    (a) Requirements.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall prescribe requirements 
        for applications to be submitted by States seeking allocations 
        under this Act, including--
                    (A) provisions for auditing of and reporting on the 
                use of funds allocated; and
                    (B) criteria to ensure that any weed management 
                entity recognized by a State is--
                            (i) capable of carrying out a project 
                        (including conducting monitoring and reporting 
                        on the use of funds);
                            (ii) knowledgeable about and experienced in 
                        noxious weed management; and
                            (iii) represents private and public 
                        interests adversely affected by noxious weeds.
            (2) Eligible activities.--Funds allocated by a State to an 
        eligible weed management agency under this Act may be used--
                    (A) in an amount not to exceed 8 percent of funds 
                made available by the State for any fiscal year, for 
                applied research to solve locally significant weed 
                management problems and solutions;
                    (B) in an amount not to exceed 25 percent of funds 
                made available by the State for any fiscal year, to 
                make incentive payments to encourage the formation of 
                new weed management entities; and
                    (C) to carry out projects and activities relating 
                to the control or eradication of noxious weeds, 
                including--
                            (i) education;
                            (ii) inventorying and mapping;
                            (iii) management;
                            (iv) monitoring; and
                            (v) any similar activity (including the 
                        payment of the cost of personnel and equipment 
                        that promote the control or eradication of 
                        noxious weeds, and other activities to promote 
                        such control or eradication) on the condition 
                        that the results of the activity be 
                        disseminated to the public.
    (b) Project Selection.--A State shall select a project proposed to 
be carried out by a weed management entity using funds made available 
under this Act--
            (1) on a competitive basis; and
            (2) after taking into consideration--
                    (A) the seriousness of the noxious weed problem or 
                potential problem to be addressed by the project;
                    (B) the likelihood that the project would prevent 
                or resolve the problem, or increase knowledge about 
                resolving similar problems in the future;
                    (C) the extent to which funds made available under 
                this Act would leverage non-Federal funds with respect 
                to the project;
                    (D) the extent to which the weed management entity 
                has made progress in addressing noxious weed problems;
                    (E) the extent to which the project would provide a 
                comprehensive approach to the control or eradication of 
                noxious weeds;
                    (F) the extent to which the project would reduce 
                the total population of a noxious weed;
                    (G) the extent to which the project would use the 
                principles of integrated vegetation management and 
                sound science; and
                    (H) such other factors as the State determines to 
                be appropriate.
    (c) Information and Report.--As a condition of the receipt of funds 
under this Act--
            (1) each weed management entity that receives funds shall 
        submit to the State in which the weed management entity is 
        located such information as may be requested by the State; and
            (2) not later than 180 days after the date of completion by 
        a weed management entity of a project for which funds made 
        available under this Act were used, the State in which the weed 
        management entity is located shall submit to the Secretary a 
        report that describes the purposes and results of the project.
    (d) Federal Share.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the 
        Federal share of the cost of any project or activity approved 
        by a State or Indian tribe under this Act may not exceed 50 
        percent.
            (2) Exception.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a noxious 
        weed control or eradication project in any case in which--
                    (A) the Secretary establishes criteria that would 
                apply in any situation in which, with respect to the 
                noxious weed control or eradication project, a Federal 
                share greater than 50 percent is necessary--
                            (i) to meet the needs of an underserved 
                        area; or
                            (ii) to address a critical need that cannot 
                        be addressed by other means; and
                    (B) the project meets those criteria, as 
                demonstrated by the State.

SEC. 6. LIMITATIONS.

    (a) Landowner Consent; Land Under Cultivation.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), any 
        activity involving public or private real property may be 
        carried out under this Act only with the consent of the 
        landowner.
            (2) Land under cultivation.--No project may be carried out 
        under this Act on real property that is devoted to the 
        cultivation of row crops, fruits, or vegetables.
    (b) Compliance With State Law.--A weed management entity may carry 
out a project under this Act to address a noxious weed problem in more 
than 1 State only if the weed management entity meets the requirements 
of the laws of each State in which the project is to be carried out.
    (c) Use of Funds.--Funds allocated under this Act shall not be used 
to carry out any project--
            (1) to control or eradicate animals, pests, or submerged or 
        floating noxious aquatic weeds; or
            (2) to protect an agricultural commodity (as defined in 
        section 102 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 
        5602)) other than--
                    (A) livestock (as defined in section 602 of the 
                Agricultural Trade Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1471)); or
                    (B) an animal- or insect-based product.

SEC. 7. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROGRAMS.

    (a) Declaration of Policy.--Congress declares that funds allocated 
under this Act are intended to supplement, and not replace, assistance 
made available to weed management entities, areas, and districts for 
control or eradication of harmful, invasive weeds on public and private 
land (including funds available under the Pulling Together Initiative 
of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation).
    (b) No Effect on PILT Payments.--The allocation of funds to any 
entity under this Act shall have no effect on the amount of any payment 
received by a county from the Federal Government under chapter 69 of 
title 31, United States Code.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act 
$100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2006, of which not 
more than 5 percent may be used by the Secretary to pay administrative 
expenses incurred by the Department of the Interior and other Federal 
agencies in carrying out this Act.
                                 <all>