H.R. 412, Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act

H.R. 412

Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act

Sponsor
Rep. Niki Tsongas

Date
June 23, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, June 23, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 412, the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 412 was introduced by Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) on January 23, 2013 and was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.  The bill was marked up on June 12, 2013 and was ordered reported, as amended, by unanimous consent.[1]

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[1] Committee Report 113-166.

Bill Summary

H.R. 412 requires the Secretary of the Interior to study portions of the Nashua River and its tributaries in Massachusetts for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.  The report must assess the impact such designation would have on existing commercial and recreational activities, energy production and transmission, and the authority of state and local governments to manage such activities.  The report must identify all private property located in the area to be studied, as well as any authorities the Secretary would obtain to influence local land use decisions or condemn property were a designation made.

Background

“The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 was intended to put a development freeze on rivers to preserve their ‘free-flowing’ values against the influx of manmade dams being constructed at the time.  Temporary restrictions of actions involving federal participation accompany the designation of a river during the study period.”[2]  Generally, a river must be studied for its suitability before it is added to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program operated by the National Park Service (NPS).[3]  H.R. 412 requires such study.  When rivers are added to the program, the federal government becomes involved in certain aspects of local zoning.  As such, H.R. 412 requires the study to identify such authorities the NPS would obtain.

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[2] Id. at 2.
[3] Id.

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 412 would cost approximately $350,000 over the next three years, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.  The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.