Senate Democrats

H.R. 2996, the Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010

Summary

During the week of September 14, the Senate is expected to consider H.R.2996, theDepartment of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 wouldappropriate $32.1 billion in non-emergency discretionary spending.  This amount is $225.4 million below the President’s budget request and $4.27 billion above the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, when excluding Fiscal Year 2009 emergency spending levels.

This legislation provides funding for the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the United States Forest Service, Indian Health Service, and the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

This Legislative Bulletin draws from the Committee report (111-38), the summary prepared by the Appropriations Committee, as well as the bill H.R.2996rs.txt.pdf" target= "_blank">text.  Certain appropriation numbers in this report have been rounded.

Major Provisions

Title I: Department of Interior

Title I of the Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would fund the Department of Interior which includes the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, United States Geological Survey, Minerals Management Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs.  The major provisions of Title I include:

Bureau of Land Management.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees 256 million acres of publicly owned land and 700 million acres of federally owned sub-surface mineral rights.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $1.14 billion for the BLM which is $3.97 million less than the President’s budget request and $106 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $305 million in emergency appropriations.  The legislation includes the Administration request to increase the permit to drill fee from $4,000 to $6,500–which is closer to the actual cost of issuing a drilling permit.  The legislation does not include the Administration request to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 by ending the use of $21 million in mandatory spending for the pilot oil and gas permitting offices.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helps to conserve, protect, and enhance the nation’s fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats through its management of the nation’S.96 million acre National Wildlife Refuge System and 78,000 square miles of National Marine Monuments.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would allocate $1.61 billion to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This amount is $162.56 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $280 million in emergency appropriations, and $29.42 million less than the President’s budget request.

Land and Water Conservation Fund.  This fund provides federal land management agencies with the financial resources to acquire lands for the national parks, wildlife refuges, forests, and monuments and to help protect other lands through conservation easements.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would allocate $419.8 million for land acquisition and conservation easements.  This amount is $34.2 million more than the President’s budget request and $127.4 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

National Park Service.  The National Park Service (NPS) is charged with preserving the nation’S.390 national park sites which are maintained in 49 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands for future generations.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $2.71 billion for the NPS, which is $14.97 million more than the President’s budget request and $185.96 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $750 million in emergency appropriations.

United States Geological Survey.  The United States Geological Survey (USGS) studies the nation’s lands, water, and biological resources and is the federal government’s only integrated natural resources research bureau.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would allocate $1.1 billion for the USGS, which is $6.49 million more than President’s budget request and $60.5 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $140 million in emergency appropriations.

Minerals Management Service.  The Minerals Management Service (MMS) manages 1.76 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf which contains energy and mineral resources within important human, marine and coastal environments.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $136.52 million for the MMS.  This amount is $44.1 million less than the President’s budget request and $19.84 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.  The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) helps to protects citizens and the environment during mining and works to mitigate the past effects of mining by reclaiming abandoned coal mines.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would allocate $166.8 million to OSM.  This amount is $7.5 million more than the President’s budget request and $2.16 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Bureau of Indian Affairs.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) delivers services to 1.7 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in recognition of the federal government’s trust obligations to Native Americans and tribes.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $2.59 billion to the BIA, which is $55.5 million more than President’s budget request and $216.79 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $500 million in emergency appropriations.  The proposed appropriation level would allocate:

  • $418.6 million for tribal government support.  This amount is $2 million more than President’s budget request and $16 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $138.1 million for human services.  This amount is $1.06 million more than the President’s budget request and $611,000 more than enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $161.6 million for natural resources management.  This amount is $850,000 more than the President’s budget request and $13.9 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $152.5 million for real estate services.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $2.4 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $797.9 million for Bureau-funded schools and colleges and education programs.  This amount is $1.6 million more than the President’s budget request and $81.7 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $328.9 million for public safety and justice programs.  This amount is $25 million more than the President’s budget request and is $58.1 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $225 million for construction activities.  This amount is $25 million more than the President’s budget request and $7.3 million than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding the $450 million in emergency appropriations.

General Provisions.  In Fiscal Year 2010, the legislation would require MMS to collect a non-refundable inspection fee from operators of Outer Continental Shelf facilities that are above the waterline–except mobile offshore drilling units.  The drilling fees would total:

  • $2,000 for facilities with no wells, but with processing equipment or gathering line,
  • $3,250 for facilities with one to ten wells, with any combination of active or inactive wells; and
  • $6,000 for facilities with more than ten wells, with any combination of active or inactive wells.

 The legislation would not reinstate the Congressional offshore drilling moratorium which expired in the 110th Congress upon passage of H.R.2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act.

The legislation would prohibit the Secretary of Interior from establishing or implementing any plan that would reduce the number of elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, unless that plan allows North Dakota residents possessing a state hunting license to bedeputized by the Secretary as rangers in such numbers as the Secretary deems sufficient for purposes of culling the elk herd at the Park, and allows each such volunteer to cull one elk and remove its carcass from the Park.

Title II: Environmental Protection Agency

Title II of the Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would fund the EPA which includes the Hazardous Substance Superfund, Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, and other State and Tribal Assistance Grants.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 provides $10.196 billion for EPA, an increase of $2.6 billion over the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $7.22 billion in emergency appropriations, and a decrease of $329.26 million below the President’s request.  The major provisions of Title II include:

Science and Technology.  The EPA’s Science and Technology account funds programs that add to the nation’s understanding of environmental sciences.  The  Science and Technology account works to meet these goals by providing contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements with universities, industries, other private commercial firms, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and federal agencies, as well as through work performed at EPA’s laboratories and various field stations and field offices.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 includes:

  • $122.2 million for air toxics and quality research of which $21.3 million would support the EPA’s implementation of the nation’s renewable fuel standard enacted by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $17.1 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

  • $104.1 million for clean air research of which $20.9 million would support global climate change research.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $5.646 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $110.4 million for clean water research.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $4.2 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $245.4 million for human health and ecosystem research of which $19.6 million would be allocated for research in computational toxicology, $11.4 million for research in endocrine disruptors, and $10.89 million for research fellowships.  These amounts match the President’s budget request and the total amount is $15.98 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Environmental programs and management.  The EPA’s environmental Programs and Management account funds activities like the development of environmental standards, pollution control, monitoring, surveillance, and technical assistance to pollution control agencies and organizations.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 includes:

  • $203.3 million for air toxics and quality.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $8.1 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $23.9 million for brownfields.  This amount is $1.3 million less than the President’s budget request and is $947,000 more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $111.6 million for the climate protection program of which $50.7 would be allocated for the Energy Star program, $4.58 million for methane to markets, and $17 million for the development of the greenhouse gas reporting registry.  These amounts match the President’s budget request and the total amount is $17.3 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $223.94 million for enforcement activities.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $14.8 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $478.69 million for regional geographic programs to improve environmental quality.  The amount is $72.43 million less than the President’s budget request and $382.73 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 budget level.
  • $119.2 million for pesticide licensing.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $3.126 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $223.8 million for water quality protection.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $13 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Hazardous Substance Superfund.  The EPA’s hazardous substance superfund program provides funding to help address uncontrolled hazardous waste sites and spills.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $1.31 billion for the Hazardous Substance Superfund, which matches the President’s budget request and is $23.5 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $600 million in emergency appropriations.  The proposed appropriation level would allocate:

  • $196 million for enforcement activities.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $8.2 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $202.8 million for emergency response and removal.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $7.8 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $605 million for remedial cleanup activities.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $8,000 more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.  The EPA’s leaking underground storage tank program enables states to oversee prior clean-up activities and allows states to conduct clean-up actions of leaking underground storage tanks.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $114.2 million for the program. This amount is $1.07 million more than the President’s budget request and $1.6 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $200 million in emergency appropriations.  The increase in funding would be used to restore leaking underground storage tank grants authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Oil spill response.  The EPA’s oil spill response program provides funding to prepare for and prevent releases of oil and other petroleum products into navigable waterways.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would allocate $18.4 million for this program, which matches the President’s budget request and is $692,000 more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

State and Tribal Assistance Grants.  The state and tribal assistance grant program helps to provide funding to state and local governments for implementation of federal environmental laws.  The grants funded by the state and tribal assistance grant account support clean and drinking water improvements, beach protection, efforts to protect water from non-point source pollution, brownfield redevelopment, and state and local air quality management.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $4.95 billion for this program.  This amount is $237 million less than the President’s budget request and $1.986 billion more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $6.4 billion in emergency appropriations.  The proposed appropriation level would allocate:

  • $2.1 billion for the clean water state revolving fund.  This amount is $300 million less than the President’s budget request and $1.41 billion more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $1.387 billion for the drinking water state revolving fund.  This amount is $113 million less than President’s budget request and $557.97 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $101 million for brownfield project activities.  This amount is $1 million more than the President’s budget request and $4 million than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

  • $60 million for diesel emission reduction grants.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and the Fiscal Year 2009 enacted level.

Within the State and Tribal Assistance Grant program,EPA’s categorical grant program also helps to provide funding to state and local governments for implementation of federal environmental laws.  The Senate to provide funding to state and local governments for implementation of federal environmental laws.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $1.11 billion for categorical grants which matches the President’s budget request and is $16.4 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.  The proposed appropriation level would allocate:

  • $9.9 million for beach protection activities.  This amount matches the President’s request and the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $106.3 million for hazardous waste financial assistance.  This amount matches the President’s request and is $5 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $200.9 million for nonpoint source pollution grants.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $226.6 million for state and local air quality management.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $2.5 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Title III: Related Agencies

Title III of the Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would fund the United States Forest Service, Indian Health Service, and certain programs within the National Institutes of Health.  The major provisions of Title III include:

Forest Service.  The United States Forest Service (USFS) manages 193 million acres of forests and grasslands and is the largest forestry research organization in the world.   The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $5.3 billion for the USFS, which is $71 million more than the President’s budget request and $551.86 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $1.35 billion in emergency appropriations.  The proposed appropriation level would allocate:

  • $307 million for forest and rangeland research.  The total amount is $6.4 million more than the President’s budget request and $10.6 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $276.9 million for state and private forestry.  The total amount is $29.2 million less than the President’s budget request and $11.1 million more than enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $1.556 billion for the National Forest System to support operating programs for 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands across the country.  The total amount is $49.8 million more than the President’s budget request and $46.5 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $513.4 million for capital improvement and maintenance.   This amount is $43.5 million less than the President’s budget request and $18 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $650 million in emergency appropriations and the deferral of road and trail trust fund payment.
  • $2.586 billion for wildland fire management.  This amount is $66.5 million more than the President’s budget request and $455 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level,  excluding $650 million in emergency appropriations.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 fully funds the 10-year rolling average for fire suppression at $1.129 billion and fully funds the $282 million wildland fire contingency reserve proposed in the President’s budget request.

Indian Health Service.  The Indian Health Service is responsible for providing federal health services to approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would allocate $4.035 billion to the Indian Health Service.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $453.5 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $500 million in emergency appropriations.  The proposed appropriation level would allocate:

  • $1.752 billion for hospital and health clinic programs.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $154.1 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $85 million in emergency appropriations.
  • $779 million for contract care.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $144.9 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $389.5 million for contract supports costs.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $107.1 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.
  • $394.8 million for Indian health facilities.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $4.6 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $415 million in emergency appropriations.
  • $38.14 million for Urban Indian Health program.  This amount matches the President’s budget request and is $36.2 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  The National Institute of Environmental Health Services trains and educates workers that are or may engage in hazardous waste removal, containment, or emergency response.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would allocate $79.2 million for this program, which matches the President’s budget request and is $1.1 million more than enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Toxic substances and environmental public health.  The toxic substances and environmental public health program surveys and screens  programs to determine relationships between exposure to toxic substances and illness.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $76.8 million for this program, which matches the President’s budget request and is $2.75 million more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Smithsonian Institution.  The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, housing approximately 144 million objects and specimens and receiving an estimated 25 million visitors annually.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide the Smithsonian $759.4 million, which is $30 million more than the President’s budget request and $57.8 million more than enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $25 million in emergency appropriations.  The legislation would target the Smithsonian Legacy Fund specifically to the renovation and reopening of the Arts and Industries Building, and provide that $30 million in previously appropriated dollars to the Fund would be subject to the new guidelines.

National Gallery of Art.  The National Gallery of Art (National Gallery) houses one of the world’s premier art collections and federal funds have been appropriated to ensure the operation, maintenance, protection, and care of its collection.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $165.2 million for the National Gallery, which matches the President’s budget request and is $42.5 million more than enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level.  An increase of $40 million has been provided for repair of the stone façade of the National Gallery’s East Building.

National Endowment for the Arts.  The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is the largest annual funder of the arts in the United States, helping to sustain regional theater, opera, ballet, symphony orchestras, museums and other arts organizations.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $161.3 million for the NEA, which matches the President’s budget request and is $6.3 million more than enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level, excluding $50 million in emergency appropriations.

National Endowment for the Humanities.  The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is the largest funder of the humanities in the nation, supporting research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities.  The Senate amendment to H.R.2996 would provide $161.3 million for the NEH, which matches the President’s budget request and is $6.3 million more than the Fiscal Year 2009 level.

Title IV: General Provisions

Title IV of the Senate amendment to H.R.2996 contains recommendations and gives authority to the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out various actions within their departments.

One provision would prohibit the Administrator of the EPAfrom requiring themandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems emitting less than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

Legislative History

The Senate Appropriations Committee reported the Senate amendment to H.R.2996 on July 7, 2009, by a vote of 30 to 0.  Senate Report 111-38, which accompanies H.R.2996,was also filed on July 7, 2009.

The House Committee on Appropriations reported H.R.2996, its version of the Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill 2010 on June 18, 2009 by voice vote.  On June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 254 to 173.

Expected Amendments

Amendments are expected during consideration of H.R.2996 and information will be distributed to Senate staff as it becomes available. 

Administration Position

At the time of publication, no Statement of Administration Policy has been issued on the Senate amendment to H.R.2996.

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