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Title of Law:Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009
Law #:Public Law 111- 11
Passed by Congress:111th Congress (1st 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.)

HR146 Holt (D-N.J.) 03/25/09
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

To designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.
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SEC. 9507. WATER DATA ENHANCEMENT BY UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.

(a) National Streamflow Information Program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, in consultation with the Advisory Committee and the Panel and consistent with this section, shall proceed with implementation of the national streamflow information program, as reviewed by the National Research Council in 2004.

(2) REQUIREMENTS.—In conducting the national streamflow information program, the Secretary shall—

(A) measure streamflow and related environmental variables in nationally significant watersheds—

(i) in a reliable and continuous manner; and

(ii) to develop a comprehensive source of information on which public and private decisions relating to the management of water resources may be based;

(B) provide for a better understanding of hydrologic extremes (including floods and droughts) through the conduct of intensive data collection activities during and following hydrologic extremes;

(C) establish a base network that provides resources that are necessary for—

(i) the monitoring of long-term changes in streamflow; and

(ii) the conduct of assessments to determine the extent to which each long-term change monitored under clause (i) is related to global climate change;

(D) integrate the national streamflow information program with data collection activities of Federal agencies and appropriate State water resource agencies (including the National Integrated Drought Information System)—

(i) to enhance the comprehensive understanding of water availability;

(ii) to improve flood-hazard assessments;

(iii) to identify any data gap with respect to water resources; and

(iv) to improve hydrologic forecasting; and

(E) incorporate principles of adaptive management in the conduct of periodic reviews of information collected under the national streamflow information program to assess whether the objectives of the national streamflow information program are being adequately addressed.

(3) IMPROVED METHODOLOGIES.—The Secretary shall—

(A) improve methodologies relating to the analysis and delivery of data; and

(B) investigate, develop, and implement new methodologies and technologies to estimate or measure streamflow in a more cost-efficient manner.

(4) NETWORK ENHANCEMENT.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 10 years after the date of enactment of this Act, in accordance with subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall—

(i) increase the number of streamgages funded by the national streamflow information program to a quantity of not less than 4,700 sites; and

(ii) ensure all streamgages are flood-hardened and equipped with water-quality sensors and modernized telemetry.

(B) REQUIREMENTS OF SITES.—Each site described in subparagraph (A) shall conform with the National Streamflow Information Program plan as reviewed by the National Research Council.

(5) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the national streamgaging network established pursuant to this subsection shall be 100 percent of the cost of carrying out the national streamgaging network.

(6) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to operate the national streamflow information program for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2023, to remain available until expended.

(B) NETWORK ENHANCEMENT FUNDING.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out the network enhancements described in paragraph (4) $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2019, to remain available until expended.

(b) National Groundwater Resources Monitoring.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall develop a systematic groundwater monitoring program for each major aquifer system located in the United States.

(2) PROGRAM ELEMENTS.—In developing the monitoring program described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—

(A) establish appropriate criteria for monitoring wells to ensure the acquisition of long-term, high-quality data sets, including, to the maximum extent possible, the inclusion of real-time instrumentation and reporting;

(B) in coordination with the Advisory Committee and State and local water resource agencies—

(i) assess the current scope of groundwater monitoring based on the access availability and capability of each monitoring well in existence as of the date of enactment of this Act; and

(ii) develop and carry out a monitoring plan that maximizes coverage for each major aquifer system that is located in the United States; and

(C) prior to initiating any specific monitoring activities within a State after the date of enactment of this Act, consult and coordinate with the applicable State water resource agency with jurisdiction over the aquifer that is the subject of the monitoring activities, and comply with all applicable laws (including regulations) of the State.

(3) PROGRAM OBJECTIVES.—In carrying out the monitoring program described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—

(A) provide data that is necessary for the improvement of understanding with respect to surface water and groundwater interactions;

(B) by expanding the network of monitoring wells to reach each climate division, support the groundwater climate response network to improve the understanding of the effects of global climate change on groundwater recharge and availability; and

(C) support the objectives of the assessment program.

(4) IMPROVED METHODOLOGIES.—The Secretary shall—

(A) improve methodologies relating to the analysis and delivery of data; and

(B) investigate, develop, and implement new methodologies and technologies to estimate or measure groundwater recharge, discharge, and storage in a more cost-efficient manner.

(5) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the monitoring program described in paragraph (1) may be 100 percent of the cost of carrying out the monitoring program.

(6) PRIORITY.—In selecting monitoring activities consistent with the monitoring program described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall give priority to those activities for which a State or local governmental entity agrees to provide for a substantial share of the cost of establishing or operating a monitoring well or other measuring device to carry out a monitoring activity.

(7) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2023, to remain available until expended.

(c) Brackish Groundwater Assessment.—

(1) STUDY.—The Secretary, in consultation with State and local water resource agencies, shall conduct a study of available data and other relevant information—

(A) to identify significant brackish groundwater resources located in the United States; and

(B) to consolidate any available data relating to each groundwater resource identified under subparagraph (A).

(2) REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that includes—

(A) a description of each—

(i) significant brackish aquifer that is located in the United States (including 1 or more maps of each significant brackish aquifer that is located in the United States);

(ii) data gap that is required to be addressed to fully characterize each brackish aquifer described in clause (i); and

(iii) current use of brackish groundwater that is supplied by each brackish aquifer described in clause (i); and

(B) a summary of the information available as of the date of enactment of this Act with respect to each brackish aquifer described in subparagraph (A)(i) (including the known level of total dissolved solids in each brackish aquifer).

(3) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $3,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2011, to remain available until expended.

(d) Improved Water Estimation, Measurement, and Monitoring Technologies.—

(1) AUTHORITY OF SECRETARY.—The Secretary may provide grants on a nonreimbursable basis to appropriate entities with expertise in water resource data acquisition and reporting, including Federal agencies, the Water Resources Research Institutes and other academic institutions, and private entities, to—

(A) investigate, develop, and implement new methodologies and technologies to estimate or measure water resources data in a cost-efficient manner; and

(B) improve methodologies relating to the analysis and delivery of data.

(2) PRIORITY.—In providing grants to appropriate entities under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall give priority to appropriate entities that propose the development of new methods and technologies for—

(A) predicting and measuring streamflows;

(B) estimating changes in the storage of groundwater;

(C) improving data standards and methods of analysis (including the validation of data entered into geographic information system databases);

(D) measuring precipitation and potential evapotranspiration; and

(E) water withdrawals, return flows, and consumptive use.

(3) PARTNERSHIPS.—In recognition of the value of collaboration to foster innovation and enhance research and development efforts, the Secretary shall encourage partnerships, including public-private partnerships, between and among Federal agencies, academic institutions, and private entities to promote the objectives described in paragraph (1).

(4) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2019.

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SEC. 12404. INTERAGENCY SUBCOMMITTEE.

(a) Designation.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology of the National Science and Technology Council shall coordinate Federal activities on ocean acidification and establish an interagency working group.

(2) MEMBERSHIP.—The interagency working group on ocean acidification shall be comprised of senior representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Geological Survey, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and such other Federal agencies as appropriate.

(3) CHAIRMAN.—The interagency working group shall be chaired by the representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(b) Duties.—The Subcommittee shall—

(1) develop the strategic research and monitoring plan to guide Federal research on ocean acidification required under section 12405 of this subtitle and oversee the implementation of the plan;

(2) oversee the development of—

(A) an assessment of the potential impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms and marine ecosystems; and

(B) adaptation and mitigation strategies to conserve marine organisms and ecosystems exposed to ocean acidification;

(3) facilitate communication and outreach opportunities with nongovernmental organizations and members of the stakeholder community with interests in marine resources;

(4) coordinate the United States Federal research and monitoring program with research and monitoring programs and scientists from other nations; and

(5) establish or designate an Ocean Acidification Information Exchange to make information on ocean acidification developed through or utilized by the interagency ocean acidification program accessible through electronic means, including information which would be useful to policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders in mitigating or adapting to the impacts of ocean acidification.

(c) Reports to Congress.—

(1) INITIAL REPORT.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Subcommittee shall transmit a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives that—

(A) includes a summary of federally funded ocean acidification research and monitoring activities, including the budget for each of these activities; and

(B) describes the progress in developing the plan required under section 12405 of this subtitle.

(2) BIENNIAL REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the delivery of the initial report under paragraph (1) and every 2 years thereafter, the Subcommittee shall transmit a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives that includes—

(A) a summary of federally funded ocean acidification research and monitoring activities, including the budget for each of these activities; and

(B) an analysis of the progress made toward achieving the goals and priorities for the interagency research plan developed by the Subcommittee under section 12405.

(3) STRATEGIC RESEARCH PLAN.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Subcommittee shall transmit the strategic research plan developed under section 12405 to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives. A revised plan shall be submitted at least once every 5 years thereafter.

SEC. 12405. STRATEGIC RESEARCH PLAN.

(a) In General.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Subcommittee shall develop a strategic plan for Federal research and monitoring on ocean acidification that will provide for an assessment of the impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms and marine ecosystems and the development of adaptation and mitigation strategies to conserve marine organisms and marine ecosystems. In developing the plan, the Subcommittee shall consider and use information, reports, and studies of ocean acidification that have identified research and monitoring needed to better understand ocean acidification and its potential impacts, and recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences in the review of the plan required under subsection (d).

(b) Contents of the Plan.—The plan shall—

(1) provide for interdisciplinary research among the ocean sciences, and coordinated research and activities to improve the understanding of ocean chemistry that will affect marine ecosystems;

(2) establish, for the 10-year period beginning in the year the plan is submitted, the goals and priorities for Federal research and monitoring which will—

(A) advance understanding of ocean acidification and its physical, chemical, and biological impacts on marine organisms and marine ecosystems;

(B) improve the ability to assess the socioeconomic impacts of ocean acidification; and

(C) provide information for the development of adaptation and mitigation strategies to conserve marine organisms and marine ecosystems;

(3) describe specific activities, including—

(A) efforts to determine user needs;

(B) research activities;

(C) monitoring activities;

(D) technology and methods development;

(E) data collection;

(F) database development;

(G) modeling activities;

(H) assessment of ocean acidification impacts; and

(I) participation in international research efforts;

(4) identify relevant programs and activities of the Federal agencies that contribute to the interagency program directly and indirectly and set forth the role of each Federal agency in implementing the plan;

(5) consider and utilize, as appropriate, reports and studies conducted by Federal agencies, the National Research Council, or other entities;

(6) make recommendations for the coordination of the ocean acidification research and monitoring activities of the United States with such activities of other nations and international organizations;

(7) outline budget requirements for Federal ocean acidification research and monitoring and assessment activities to be conducted by each agency under the plan;

(8) identify the monitoring systems and sampling programs currently employed in collecting data relevant to ocean acidification and prioritize additional monitoring systems that may be needed to ensure adequate data collection and monitoring of ocean acidification and its impacts; and

(9) describe specific activities designed to facilitate outreach and data and information exchange with stakeholder communities.

(c) Program Elements.—The plan shall include at a minimum the following program elements:

(1) Monitoring of ocean chemistry and biological impacts associated with ocean acidification at selected coastal and open-ocean monitoring stations, including satellite-based monitoring to characterize—

(A) marine ecosystems;

(B) changes in marine productivity; and

(C) changes in surface ocean chemistry.

(2) Research to understand the species specific physiological responses of marine organisms to ocean acidification, impacts on marine food webs of ocean acidification, and to develop environmental and ecological indices that track marine ecosystem responses to ocean acidification.

(3) Modeling to predict changes in the ocean carbon cycle as a function of carbon dioxide and atmosphere-induced changes in temperature, ocean circulation, biogeochemistry, ecosystem and terrestrial input, and modeling to determine impacts on marine ecosystems and individual marine organisms.

(4) Technology development and standardization of carbonate chemistry measurements on moorings and autonomous floats.

(5) Assessment of socioeconomic impacts of ocean acidification and development of adaptation and mitigation strategies to conserve marine organisms and marine ecosystems.

(d) National Academy of Sciences Evaluation.—The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to review the plan.

(e) Public Participation.—In developing the plan, the Subcommittee shall consult with representatives of academic, State, industry and environmental groups. Not later than 90 days before the plan, or any revision thereof, is submitted to the Congress, the plan shall be published in the Federal Register for a public comment period of not less than 60 days.

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