[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 120, 109th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

120 STAT. 3333

Public Law 109-449
109th Congress

An Act


 
To establish a program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration and the United States Coast Guard to help identify,
determine sources of, assess, reduce, and prevent marine debris and its
adverse impacts on the marine environment and navigation safety, in
coordination with non-Federal entities, and for other
purposes.  NOTE: Dec. 22, 2006 -  [S. 362]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress  NOTE: Marine Debris Research,
Prevention, and Reduction Act. 33 USC 1951 note.  assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Marine Debris Research, Prevention,
and Reduction Act''.

SEC. 2.  NOTE: 33 USC 1951.  PURPOSES.

The purposes of this Act are--
(1) to help identify, determine sources of, assess, reduce,
and prevent marine debris and its adverse impacts on the marine
environment and navigation safety;
(2) to reactivate the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating
Committee; and
(3) to develop a Federal marine debris information
clearinghouse.

SEC. 3.  NOTE: 33 USC 1952.  NOAA MARINE DEBRIS PREVENTION AND REMOVAL
PROGRAM.

(a) Establishment of Program.--There is established, within the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a Marine Debris
Prevention and Removal Program to reduce and prevent the occurrence and
adverse impacts of marine debris on the marine environment and
navigation safety.
(b) Program Components.--The Administrator, acting through the
Program and subject to the availability of appropriations, shall carry
out the following activities:
(1) Mapping, identification, impact assessment, removal, and
prevention.--The Administrator shall, in consultation with
relevant Federal agencies, undertake marine debris mapping,
identification, impact assessment, prevention, and removal
efforts, with a focus on marine debris posing a threat to living
marine resources and navigation safety, including--
(A) the establishment of a process, building on
existing information sources maintained by Federal
agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and
the Coast Guard, for cataloguing and maintaining an
inventory of marine debris and its impacts found in the
navigable waters of the United States and the United
States exclusive economic zone, including location,
material, size, age, and

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120 STAT. 3334

origin, and impacts on habitat, living marine resources,
human health, and navigation safety;
(B) measures to identify the origin, location, and
projected movement of marine debris within United States
navigable waters, the United States exclusive economic
zone, and the high seas, including the use of
oceanographic, atmospheric, satellite, and remote
sensing data; and
(C) development and implementation of strategies,
methods, priorities, and a plan for preventing and
removing marine debris from United States navigable
waters and within the United States exclusive economic
zone, including development of local or regional
protocols for removal of derelict fishing gear and other
marine debris.
(2) Reducing and preventing loss of gear.--The Administrator
shall improve efforts to reduce adverse impacts of lost and
discarded fishing gear on living marine resources and navigation
safety, including--
(A) research and development of alternatives to gear
posing threats to the marine environment, and methods
for marking gear used in specific fisheries to enhance
the tracking, recovery, and identification of lost and
discarded gear; and
(B) development of effective nonregulatory measures
and incentives to cooperatively reduce the volume of
lost and discarded fishing gear and to aid in its
recovery.
(3) Outreach.--The Administrator shall undertake outreach
and education of the public and other stakeholders, such as the
fishing industry, fishing gear manufacturers, and other marine-
dependent industries, and the plastic and waste management
industries, on sources of marine debris, threats associated with
marine debris and approaches to identify, determine sources of,
assess, reduce, and prevent marine debris and its adverse
impacts on the marine environment and navigational safety,
including outreach and education activities through public-
private initiatives. The Administrator shall coordinate outreach
and education activities under this paragraph with any outreach
programs conducted under section 2204 of the Marine Plastic
Pollution Research and Control Act of 1987 (33 U.S.C. 1915).

(c) Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts.--
(1) In general.--The Administrator, acting through the
Program, shall enter into cooperative agreements and contracts
and provide financial assistance in the form of grants for
projects to accomplish the purpose set forth in section 2(1).
(2) Grant cost sharing requirement.--
(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph
(B), Federal funds for any grant under this section may
not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of such project.
For purposes of this subparagraph, the non-Federal share
of project costs may be provided by in-kind
contributions and other noncash support.
(B) Waiver.--The Administrator may waive all or part
of the matching requirement under subparagraph (A) if
the Administrator determines that no reasonable means
are available through which applicants can meet the
matching requirement and the probable benefit of such

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120 STAT. 3335

project outweighs the public interest in such matching
requirement.
(3) Amounts paid and services rendered under consent.--
(A) Consent decrees and orders.--If authorized by
the Administrator or the Attorney General, as
appropriate, the non-Federal share of the cost of a
project carried out under this Act may include money
paid pursuant to, or the value of any in-kind service
performed under, an administrative order on consent or
judicial consent decree that will remove or prevent
marine debris.
(B) Other decrees and orders.--The non-Federal share
of the cost of a project carried out under this Act may
not include any money paid pursuant to, or the value of
any in-kind service performed under, any other
administrative order or court order.
(4) Eligibility.--Any State, local, or tribal government
whose activities affect research or regulation of marine debris,
and any institution of higher education, nonprofit organization,
or commercial organization with expertise in a field related to
marine debris, is eligible to submit to the Administrator a
marine debris proposal under the grant program.
(5) Grant criteria and guidelines.--
Within  NOTE: Deadline.  180 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall promulgate
necessary guidelines for implementation of the grant program,
including development of criteria and priorities for grants. In
developing those guidelines, the Administrator shall consult
with--
(A) the Interagency Committee;
(B) regional fishery management councils established
under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and
Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.);
(C) State, regional, and local governmental entities
with marine debris experience;
(D) marine-dependent industries; and
(E) nongovernmental organizations involved in marine
debris research, prevention, or removal activities.
(6) Project review and approval.--The Administrator shall--
(A) review each marine debris project proposal to
determine if it meets the grant criteria and supports
the goals of this Act;
(B) after considering any written comments and
recommendations based on the review, approve or
disapprove the proposal; and
(C)  NOTE: Notification.  provide notification of
that approval or disapproval to the person who submitted
the proposal.
(7) Project reporting.--Each grantee under this section
shall provide periodic reports as required by the Administrator.
Each report shall include all information required by the
Administrator for evaluating the progress and success in meeting
its stated goals, and impact of the grant activities on the
marine debris problem.

SEC. 4.  NOTE: 33 USC 1953.  COAST GUARD PROGRAM.

(a) Strategy.--The Commandant of the Coast Guard, in consultation
with the Interagency Committee, shall--

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120 STAT. 3336

(1) take actions to reduce violations of and improve
implementation of MARPOL Annex V and the Act to Prevent
Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) with respect to
the discard of plastics and other garbage from vessels;
(2) take actions to cost-effectively monitor and enforce
compliance with MARPOL Annex V and the Act to Prevent Pollution
from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.), including through
cooperation and coordination with other Federal and State
enforcement programs;
(3) take actions to improve compliance with requirements
under MARPOL Annex V and section 6 of the Act to Prevent
Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1905) that all United States
ports and terminals maintain and monitor the adequacy of
receptacles for the disposal of plastics and other garbage,
including through promoting voluntary government-industry
partnerships;
(4)  NOTE: Plan.  develop and implement a plan, in
coordination with industry and recreational boaters, to improve
ship-board waste management, including recordkeeping, and access
to waste reception facilities for ship-board waste;
(5) take actions to improve international cooperation to
reduce marine debris; and
(6) establish a voluntary reporting program for commercial
vessel operators and recreational boaters to report incidents of
damage to vessels and disruption of navigation caused by marine
debris, and observed violations of laws and regulations relating
to the disposal of plastics and other marine debris.

(b) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of
this Act, the Commandant of the Coast Guard shall submit to the
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of
Representatives a report evaluating the Coast Guard's progress in
implementing subsection (a).
(c) External Evaluation and Recommendations on Annex V.--
(1) In general.--
The  NOTE: Contracts. Deadline. Reports.  Commandant of the
Coast Guard shall enter into an arrangement with the National
Research Council under which the National Research Council shall
submit, by not later than 18 months after the date of the
enactment of this Act and in consultation with the Commandant
and the Interagency Committee, to the Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of
Representatives a comprehensive report on the effectiveness of
international and national measures to prevent and reduce marine
debris and its impact.
(2) Contents.--The report required under paragraph (1) shall
include--
(A) an evaluation of international and domestic
implementation of MARPOL Annex V and the Act to Prevent
Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) and
recommendations of cost-effective actions to improve
implementation and compliance with such measures to
reduce impacts of marine debris;
(B) recommendation of additional Federal or
international actions, including changes to
international and

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120 STAT. 3337

domestic law or regulations, needed to further reduce
the impacts of marine debris; and
(C) evaluation of the role of floating fish
aggregation devices in the generation of marine debris
and existing legal mechanisms to reduce impacts of such
debris, focusing on impacts in the Western Pacific and
Central Pacific regions.

SEC. 5.  NOTE: 33 USC 1954.  INTERAGENCY COORDINATION.

(a) Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee.--Section 2203
of the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act of 1987 (33
U.S.C. 1914) is amended--
(1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

``(a) Establishment of Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating
Committee.--There is established an Interagency Marine Debris
Coordinating Committee to coordinate a comprehensive program of marine
debris research and activities among Federal agencies, in cooperation
and coordination with non-governmental organizations, industry,
universities, and research institutions, States, Indian tribes, and
other nations, as appropriate.''; and
(2) in subsection (c), by inserting ``public, interagency''
before ``forum''.

(b)  NOTE: Regulations.  Definition of Marine Debris.--The
Administrator and the Commandant of the Coast Guard, in consultation
with the Interagency Committee established under subsection (a), shall
jointly develop and promulgate through regulations a definition of the
term ``marine debris'' for purposes of this Act.

(c) Reports.--
(1) Interagency report on marine debris impacts and
strategies.--
(A) In general.--Not later than 12 months after the
date of the enactment of this Act, the Interagency
Committee, through the chairperson, shall complete and
submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on
Resources of the House of Representatives a report
that--
(i) identifies sources of marine debris;
(ii) the ecological and economic impact of
marine debris;
(iii) alternatives for reducing, mitigating,
preventing, and controlling the harmful affects of
marine debris;
(iv) the social and economic costs and
benefits of such alternatives; and
(v) recommendations to reduce marine debris
both domestically and internationally.
(B) Recommendations.--The report shall provide
strategies and recommendations on--
(i) establishing priority areas for action to
address leading problems relating to marine
debris;
(ii) developing strategies and approaches to
prevent, reduce, remove, and dispose of marine
debris, including through private-public
partnerships;
(iii) establishing effective and coordinated
education and outreach activities; and

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120 STAT. 3338

(iv) ensuring Federal cooperation with, and
assistance to, the coastal States (as that term is
defined in section 304 of the Coastal Zone
Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1453)), Indian
tribes, and local governments in the
identification, determination of sources,
prevention, reduction, management, mitigation, and
control of marine debris and its adverse impacts.
(2) Annual progress reports.--Not later than 3 years after
the date of the enactment of this Act, and biennially
thereafter, the Interagency Committee, through the chairperson,
shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation
and Infrastructure and the Committee on Resources of the House
of Representatives a report that evaluates United States and
international progress in meeting the purpose of this Act. The
report shall include--
(A) the status of implementation of any
recommendations and strategies of the Interagency
Committee and analysis of their effectiveness;
(B) a summary of the marine debris inventory to be
maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration;
(C) a review of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration program authorized by section 3,
including projects funded and accomplishments relating
to reduction and prevention of marine debris;
(D) a review of Coast Guard programs and
accomplishments relating to marine debris removal,
including enforcement and compliance with MARPOL
requirements; and
(E) estimated Federal and non-Federal funding
provided for marine debris and recommendations for
priority funding needs.

SEC. 6.  NOTE: 33 USC 1955.  FEDERAL INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE.

The Administrator, in coordination with the Interagency Committee,
shall--
(1) maintain a Federal information clearinghouse on marine
debris that will be available to researchers and other
interested persons to improve marine debris source
identification, data sharing, and monitoring efforts through
collaborative research and open sharing of data; and
(2) take the necessary steps to ensure the confidentiality
of such information (especially proprietary information), for
any information required by the Administrator to be submitted by
the fishing industry under this section.

SEC. 7.  NOTE: 33 USC 1956.  DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:
(1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the
Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration.
(2) Interagency committee.--The term ``Interagency
Committee'' means the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating
Committee established under section 2203 of the Marine Plastic
Pollution Research and Control Act of 1987 (33 U.S.C. 1914).

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120 STAT. 3339

(3) United states exclusive economic zone.--The term
``United States exclusive economic zone'' means the zone
established by Presidential Proclamation Numbered 5030, dated
March 10, 1983, including the ocean waters of the areas referred
to as ``eastern special areas'' in article 3(1) of the Agreement
between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics on the Maritime Boundary, signed June 1,
1990.
(4) MARPOL; annex v; convention.--The terms ``MARPOL'',
``Annex V'', and ``Convention'' have the meaning given those
terms under section 2(a) of the Act to Prevent Pollution from
Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901(a)).
(5) Navigable waters.--The term ``navigable waters'' means
waters of the United States, including the territorial sea.
(6) Territorial sea.--The term ``territorial sea'' means the
waters of the United States referred to in Presidential
Proclamation No. 5928, dated December 27, 1988.
(7) Program.--The term ``Program'' means the Marine Debris
Prevention and Removal Program established under section 3.
(8) State.--The term ``State'' means--
(A) any State of the United States that is impacted
by marine debris within its seaward or Great Lakes
boundaries;
(B) the District of Columbia;
(C) American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana
Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; and
(D) any other territory or possession of the United
States, or separate sovereign in free association with
the United States, that is impacted by marine debris
within its seaward boundaries.

SEC. 8.  NOTE: 33 USC 1957.  RELATIONSHIP TO OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
LANDS ACT.

Nothing in this Act supersedes, or limits the authority of the
Secretary of the Interior under, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
(43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.).

SEC. 9.  NOTE: 33 USC 1958.  AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There are authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year 2006
through 2010--
(1) to the Administrator for carrying out sections 3 and 6,
$10,000,000, of which no more than 10 percent may be for
administrative costs; and
(2) to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast
Guard is operating, for the use of the Commandant of the

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120 STAT. 3340

Coast Guard in carrying out section 4, $2,000,000, of which no
more than 10 percent may be used for administrative costs.

Approved December 22, 2006.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 362:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 109-332, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Resources) and Pt. 2 (Comm.
on Transportation and Infrastructure).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 109-56 (Comm. on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
Vol. 151 (2005):
July 1, considered and passed
Senate.
Vol. 152 (2006):
Sept. 27, considered and passed
House, amended.
Dec. 8, Senate concurred in House
amendment.