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Title of Law:Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009
Law #:Public Law 110-329
Passed by Congress:110th Congress (2nd Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain references to and studies for The National Academies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

HR2638 Price D. (D-N.C.) 09/27/08
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

Making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009”.

SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

DIVISION A—CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS RESOLUTION, 2009

DIVISION B—DISASTER RELIEF AND RECOVERY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008

DIVISION C—DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2009

DIVISION D—DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2009

DIVISION E—MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AND VETERANS AFFAIRS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2009

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TITLE IV

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DOMESTIC NUCLEAR DETECTION OFFICE

MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

For salaries and expenses of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office as authorized by title XIX of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 591 et seq.) for management and administration of programs and activities, $37,500,000: Provided, That not to exceed $3,000 shall be for official reception and representation expenses.

Research, Development, and Operations

For necessary expenses for radiological and nuclear research, development, testing, evaluation, and operations, $323,200,000, to remain available until expended.

Systems Acquisition

For expenses for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office acquisition and deployment of radiological detection systems in accordance with the global nuclear detection architecture, $153,491,000, to remain available until September 30, 2011: Provided, That none of the funds appropriated under this heading shall be obligated for full-scale procurement of Advanced Spectroscopic Portal monitors until the Secretary of Homeland Security submits to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report certifying that a significant increase in operational effectiveness will be achieved: Provided further, That the Secretary shall submit separate and distinct certifications prior to the procurement of Advanced Spectroscopic Portal monitors for primary and secondary deployment that address the unique requirements for operational effectiveness of each type of deployment: Provided further, That the Secretary shall consult with the National Academy of Sciences before making such certifications: Provided further, That none of the funds appropriated under this heading shall be used for high-risk concurrent development and production of mutually dependent software and hardware.

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EXPLANATORY STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY MR. OBEY, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, REGARDING THE AMENDMENTS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 2638
(09/24/08)
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Following is an explanation of the amendment of the House of Representatives to the amendment of the Senate to H.R. 2638, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008, including disclosure of congressional earmarks and congressionally directed spending items as defined in clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate.

Section 4 of the House amendment specifies that this explanatory statement shall have the same effect with respect to the allocation of funds and implementation of this Continuing Appropriations Act as if it were a joint explanatory statement of a committee of conference.

The House amendment strikes the text of the Senate amendment and inserts language continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2009, making emergency supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2008, and covering 3 regular fiscal year 2009 appropriations bills, each in a separate division, as follows:

Division A—Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2009;

Division B—Disaster Relief and Recovery Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008;

Division C—Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2009

Division D—Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2009;

Division E—Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2009;

Section 1 of the bill provides that the bill as a whole may be referred to as the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009. Section 3 states that, unless expressly provided otherwise, any reference to “this Act” or “this joint resolution” contained in any division of the bill shall be treated as referring only to the provisions of that division.

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DIVISION C—DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT FISCAL YEAR 2009

Following is an explanation of the effects of division C, which makes appropriations for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2009. As provided in section 4 of the consolidated bill, this explanatory statement shall have the same effect with respect to the allocation of funds and implementation of this division as if it were a joint explanatory statement of a committee of conference.

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TITLE VI—OTHER DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PROGRAMS

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U.S. ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES (USAMRIID)

The community remains concerned over the Army’s planned expansion of bio-safety level 3 and 4 laboratories at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Though the Army has completed the National Environmental Policy Act process to assess the impact of the expansion on the environment, significant concerns continue to exist in the local community as to whether the assessments of potential health and safety risks and the strategies to mitigate those risks are sufficient. The Secretary of the Defense is directed to enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences under which the Academy shall carry out a study to evaluate the analyses of health and safety risks to the surrounding community conducted as part of National Environmental Policy Act process for the planned expansion of bio-safety level 3 and level 4 labs of the USAMRIID, to be completed no later than March 1, 2010. The Academy shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the study at the same time that such report is submitted to the Secretary of the Defense.

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DIVISION D—DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2009

The following is an explanation of the effects of Division D, which makes appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2009. As provided in section 4 of the consolidated bill, this explanatory statement shall have the same effect with respect to the allocation of funds and implementation of this division as if it were a joint explanatory statement of a committee of conference. The language and allocations contained in House Report 110-862 and Senate Report 110-396 should be complied with unless specifically addressed to the contrary in the bill or this explanatory statement. When this explanatory statement refers to the Committees or the Committees on Appropriations, unless otherwise noted, this reference is to the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security and the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

While repeating some report language for emphasis, this explanatory statement does not intend to negate the language referred to above unless expressly provided herein. In cases where both the House and Senate reports address a particular issue not specifically addressed in the bill or explanatory statement, the Committees have determined the House report and the Senate report are not inconsistent and are to be interpreted accordingly.

In cases where the House or Senate report directs the submission of a report, a briefing shall be provided by January 30, 2009, in lieu thereof unless this statement directs otherwise. If this statement directs the submission of a report, such report shall be provided to the Committees on Appropriations by April 6, 2009, unless otherwise directed.

Last, this explanatory statement refers to the following laws and organizations as follows: Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, Public Law 110-53, is referenced as the 9/11 Act; Security And Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006, Public Law 109-347, is referenced as the SAFE Port Act; the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law 108-458, is referenced as the Intelligence Reform Act; the Department of Homeland Security is referenced as DHS; the Government Accountability Office is referenced as GAO; and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security is referenced as OIG.

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OFFICE OF HEALTH AFFAIRS

The bill provides $157,191,000 for Office of Health Affairs (OHA). Of this amount $29,210,000 is for salaries and expenses. Funds for planning and coordination activities are available as detailed in the House report.

A total of $111,606,000 is provided for BioWatch. Concerns about the management of the BioWatch program, as detailed in the House report, include uncertainty about the relationship of generation 2.5 systems to generation 3.0 systems; a lack of clarity about how OHA measures the efficiency and effectiveness of the systems; and questions about how BioWatch should fit in with other surveillance efforts. In addition, it has become evident that, due to changes in performance standards and other factors, testing and deployment of the generation 3.0 systems could be delayed for as much as two years. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is currently evaluating the BioWatch program to assess its effectiveness and how it might fit in to an enhanced national public health surveillance system that now relies primarily on hospitals and the public health system. The results of the NAS evaluation are expected within a year, and OHA is expected to utilize those results in its BioWatch planning.

In light of the risks associated with biological threats and the ability to detect such threats in the most efficient manner, DHS must strike a careful balance between expediting the deployment of new technologies and ensuring that such technologies have been fully validated. In order to help strike that balance, a total of $34,498,000 is included for field testing systems beyond generation 2.0 that can be deployed within 12 months. Funding shall be competitively awarded. Field tests should be conducted in high risk urban areas, as determined by the Secretary, and should be initiated incrementally to ensure that lessons learned and performance data can inform decisions about future pilot deployments. Prior to commencing field testing, OHA shall work with the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate to determine evaluation metrics. OHA is further directed to notify the Committees 15 days after deployment of any BioWatch device to a new location. OHA shall submit an expenditure plan on the BioWatch base program and an expenditure plan on the BioWatch field testing program within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act. OHA shall notify the Committees within five days of any deviation from the expenditure plan.

Significant work must be done to better understand environmental exposures following disasters and to develop response protocols and technologies to mitigate health effects. OHA is urged to continue its activities in this area and coordinate a Federal effort to apply exposure science to disaster response by working with other Federal agencies that have expertise related to environmental exposures, public health, and occupational safety.

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NATIONAL TECHNICAL NUCLEAR FORENSICS CENTER

The bill provides $16,900,000 for the National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center. Within this total, $1,000,000 has been provided for the new fellowship program. This program is funded at an introductory scale and should grow based on performance and participation. As discussed in the Senate report, DNDO shall submit a report on the National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center, its quality assurance program, the results of the National Academy of Sciences study, and steps the Center is taking to implement these recommendations.

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RADIATION PORTAL MONITOR PROGRAM

The bill provides $120,491,000 for the Radiation Portal Monitor Program. Within this appropriation, full funding has been provided for DNDO’s effort to procure and deploy additional polyvinyl toluene (PVT) based fixed radiation portal monitors to seaports and land borders and to deploy PVT units in the air cargo environment. A reduction has been made to the advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitor program due to further delays in the development of these technologies. The bill includes a prohibition on full scale procurement of ASP monitors until the Secretary has certified and reported to the Committees that a significant increase in operational effectiveness merits such a decision. If the Secretary is unable to certify that ASP monitors are more effective than the current PVT monitors, then DNDO should use its fiscal year 2009 funding to acquire traditional PVT radiation portal monitors. The bill also requires separate and distinct certifications for primary and secondary deployments in recognition of the inherently unique operational requirements each presents. The bill prohibits high-risk concurrent development and production of mutually dependent software and hardware components of detection systems. This restriction is included to address the acquisition and fiscal risks associated with such concurrency and in response to the testing difficulties DNDO has encountered over the last fiscal year. Finally, the Secretary shall consult with the National Academy of Sciences before making such certification decisions.

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SRpt 110-396 - To accompany S. 3181 - Making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes, reports favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.
(6/23/08)
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THE NUCLEAR THREAT AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION

The administration must prepare for disasters from an “all-hazards” perspective and preparedness efforts must address many scenarios. Preparing to shelter in place can aid in the event of a terrorist attack, but may also aid in the event of a storm.

The administration has chosen to prioritize spending toward the nuclear threat over other “all-hazards” activities and provide targeted funding for nuclear detection efforts to mitigate the nuclear hazard. The Department’s detection efforts cost taxpayers roughly $500,000,000 each year, while similar amounts are spent annually by the Department of Energy and other agencies to detect or prevent a nuclear weapon from entering this country. The Committee notes the administration is only planning for success, and not preparing for failure. The administration has asked for no resources targeting preparation for mitigating the consequences of a nuclear attack.

Within the resources made available, the Committee provides $2,500,000 for DNDO to enter into a contract with an independent scientific and policy body, such as the National Academies of Science [NAS], to determine a conceptual framework for using resources for defensive purposes and also mitigation measures should those defenses fail.

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HRpt 110-862 - To accompany H.R. 6947 - Making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009.
(9/18/08)
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SURVEILLANCE AND DETECTION

The Committee recommends $88,806,000 for BioWatch, $22,800,000 less than the amount requested, and $11,698,000 above the amount provided in fiscal year 2008. BioWatch is an early warning system, deployed in over 30 of the country’s major metropolitan areas, that can currently detect trace amounts of nucleic-acid pathogens in the air. The Committee continues to have concern about aspects of the BioWatch program, including the efficiency and effectiveness of the systems; the lack of a comprehensive deployment strategy, including the relationship of generation 2.5 and 3.0 systems; the lack of clarity related to post-detection characterization and notification processes; and the use of multiple technologies. In fiscal year 2008, the Committee directed the National Academies of Science (NAS) to evaluate the program and compare it to an enhanced surveillance system that relies on U.S. hospitals and the U.S. public health system. The results of the NAS evaluation are expected within a year. The Committee’s recommended level for fiscal year 2009 continues current operations and allows OHA to expand the testing of next generation systems. The Committee directs OHA to notify the Committee 15 days prior to deploying any BioWatch device to new locations.

The Committee recommends $8,000,000 for the National BioSurveillance Integration Center, the same amount as requested and the amount provided in fiscal year 2008. The Committee also includes $500,000 for the Biological Warning and Incident Characterization system, as requested.

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MEASURING PREPAREDNESS AND RISK

In testimony before the Committee, GAO noted that “[DHS’] monitoring of homeland security grant expenditures does not provide a means to measure the achievement of desired program outcomes. FEMA’s current efforts do not provide information on the effectiveness of those funds in improving the nation’s capabilities or reducing risk.” Therefore the Committee includes $5,000,000 in Management and Administration to accelerate efforts at FEMA to develop tools to measure the achievement and effectiveness of certain grant programs. The Committee also directs GAO to validate the tools developed by FEMA. GAO should determine whether the measurement tools developed are reasonable, fair, and able to measure how grants increase the preparedness level of each State and Urban Area and reduce risk.

The Committee is currently awaiting results of the National Academy of Sciences risk study, and expects FEMA to work with the National Protection and Programs Directorate to utilize the results of that analysis. The Committee also continues the requirement for GAO to review the risk methodology developed and used by DHS to distribute SHSGP and UASI grants.

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