Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said: "I am pleased the Committee has approved these common-sense bills that protect vital habitat, invest in needed research, reform critical programs and restore important water bodies, such as Lake Tahoe, which is one of the most treasured places in my home state. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we move forward with this legislation and the six nominations that were approved by the Committee today."
The measures and nominations approved, which are listed below, will now go to the full Senate for consideration.
S. 1451, Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2013
S. 1451 is a bipartisan measure introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Boxer and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), that will advance environmental restoration and forest management activities in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
S. 1077, Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network Reauthorization Act
S. 1077, which was introduced by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), reauthorizes the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails program. This program sets up a network of Chesapeake Bay-related sites, including parks, wildlife refuges and trails.
S. 1080, Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act
Introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Chris Murphy (D-CT), S. 1080 modifies the Long Island Sound authorization to require the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) to engage in increased public education and awareness of the health and water quality of the Sound. The bill also increases the oversight and accountability of the programs, and expands coordination among the numerous agencies operating in and around the Sound.
S. 970, Water Resources Research Amendments Act of 2013
S. 970 was introduced by Senator Cardin and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and would authorize research grants designed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of new and existing water and wastewater treatment.
H.R. 1206, Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2013
Introduced by Rep. Robert Whittman (R-VA) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), H.R. 1206 makes permanent and extends to all states a pilot program issuing electronic Federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamps. The sale of these "Duck Stamps" supports wetland and waterfowl protection within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced a companion bill, S.738, in the Senate.
S. 51, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2013
Introduced by Senator Boxer and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), S.51 reauthorizes the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which was established by Congress in 1984 to preserve fish, wildlife, and other habitats through private investments.
S. 1865, Migratory Bird Habitat Investment and Enhancement Act
Introduced by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), S.1865 allows the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, to set the amount to be collected for each Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp ("Duck Stamp") sold under the Act, up to a maximum of $30 over the next ten years. The sale of Duck Stamps supports the protection of wetland and waterfowl habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
S. 741, North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act of 2013
Introduced by Senators Vitter and Boxer, S. 741 extends the authorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 (NACWA) until 2017. NACWA provides matching grants to organizations and individuals that have helped develop partnerships to carry out wetland conservation projects benefitting migratory birds and other wildlife.
S. 864, Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act
Introduced by Senator Wicker (R-MS), S. 864 reauthorizes the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) technical assistance program that provides funding to third-party organizations for on-site training and technical assistance to small public water systems to help those systems. The technical assistance helps those systems achieve and maintain compliance with the SDWA.
H.R. 724, An act to amend the Clean Air Act to remove the requirement for dealer certification of new light-duty motor vehicles
Introduced by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH-5) and Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI-14), the bill amends the Clean Air Act (CAA) to remove a requirement that auto dealers provide documentation certifying to new car purchasers that the vehicle conforms to the CAA pollution control requirements. Pollution controls are now built into vehicles by the manufacturers, who are responsible for the functioning of the pollution control equipment, eliminating the need for the dealer certification.
S. 969, A bill to amend the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act to reauthorize the Act
Introduced by Senator Cardin, the legislation would reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act through 2019.
S. 898, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Federal Land Conveyance Act of 2013
Introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), S.898 authorizes the Administrator of General Services to convey the Old Post Office Building in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the Amy Biehl High School (ABHS) Foundation, which supports ABHS, a charter school focusing on college preparation.
S. 212, A bill to approve the transfer of Yellow Creek Port properties in Iuka, Mississippi
Introduced by Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), S.212 approves the transfer by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to the State of Mississippi of the Yellow Creek Port properties in Iuka, Mississippi.
The EPW Committee approved the following nominations:
• Ms. Victoria Marie Baecher Wassmer, nominee to be Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• Dr. Thomas A. Burke, PhD, nominee to be Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• Mr. Roy K. J. Williams, nominee to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce
• Ms. Rhea Sun Suh, nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of Interior
• Mr. Ken Kopocis, nominee to be Assistant Administrator for Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• Mr. Richard Engler, nominee to be a Member of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
20 GSA resolutions were also approved.