H.R. 1053: Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act of 2009

H.R. 1053

Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act of 2009

Date
September 29, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 1053 is being considered on the floor under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage on Tuesday, February 12, 2009. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) on March 26, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which reported the legislation, as amended, by unanimous consent on July 29, 2009

Bill Summary

H.R. 1053 would require the Director of the Environment Protection Agency's (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program, in consultation with the Chesapeake Executive Council, the chief executive of each Chesapeake Bay State, and the Chesapeake Bay Commission, to submit a financial report to Congress. The bill would require the report to display the proposed funding for federal restoration activities, the estimated State funding level for any restoration activities, and the State and federal expenditures for restoration activities over the past three years.

H.R. 1053 would require that the report provide a detailed accounting of all federal funds obligated for restoration projects and a description of the project and its current status. The EPA would only have to report on federal projects that cost more than $100,000 and State projects that cost more than $50,000. The report would be required within 30 days of the submission of the President's annual budget.

After the report is submitted, H.R. 1053 would require the EPA Administrator to develop a management plan for the Chesapeake Bay Program and to base all project and program decisions on an ongoing, consistent, and science-based process designed in the management plan. The Administrator would be required to submit and implement the plan within one year. The Administration would have to review and update the management plan every three years.

 

Background

The Chesapeake Bay Program is a federal and State partnership that participates in restoration projects on the Chesapeake Bay.  The program is administered by the EPA and includes the States of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the District of Columbia.  The program was created in 1983 when each of the participating States, the District of Columbia, and the EPA signed the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.  The program provides grants to local governments and non-profit organizations that conduct restorative, scientific, and education projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and tributaries.  According to their website, since 1995, EPA funding of the Bay Program Office has remained steady at about $20 million annually.

For more information on the program, visit its website: http://www.chesapeakebay.net/.

 

Cost

According to CBO, H.R. 1053 would cost $1 million in FY 2010 and approximately $500,000 in each subsequent year for the EPA to develop the report and implement the new management plan.