Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Water Resources Development Act of 1992

Water Resources Development Act of 1992 -- Public Law 102-580, signed October 31, 1992 (106 Stat. 4797) reauthorizes the Army Corps of Engineers civil works construction program to improve the Nation's infrastructure, and provides for the "conservation and development of water and related resources." It contains the following provisions directly affecting the Fish and Wildlife Service:

Title I, Water Resources Projects

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Wildlife Mitigation project. The consent of the Fish and Wildlife Service, as the "appropriate Federal ... fish and wildlife" agency, is necessary before lands are sold, exchanged or acquired under this project.

Sonoma Baylands Wetland Demonstration Project. A 320- acre wetland demonstration project in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary is to be developed by the Corps, "in cooperation with appropriate Federal" agencies. While the Service is not specifically named it would be included among such agencies.

Upper Mississippi River Plan. The costs to operate and maintain habitat rehabilitation and enhancement projects "located on Federal lands," shall be funded by the "Federal...agency that is responsible for management activities for fish and wildlife on such lands."

Title III, Miscellaneous Provisions

New York City Zebra Mussel Program (See also H.R. 5617, Title IV.) The Service is to participate in the development of a New York City zebra mussel monitoring and prevention program and, in the event of zebra mussel infestation, provide technical assistance to the City and State of New York.

Susquehanna River Wetlands Demonstration Project. While the Service is not specifically named, as an "appropriate" Federal agency, it is to assist the Corps in the development of the project in Pennsylvania.

Broad Top Region of Pennsylvania, Watershed Reclamation and Wetlands Pilot Project. While the Service is not specifically named, as an "appropriate" Federal agency, it is to assist the Corps in a project to protect the Juniata River watershed, and create and restore wetlands.

New York Bight and Harbor Study. In connection with a hydro-environmental monitoring and information system study, the Corps is to consider the views of appropriate government agencies concerned about the water and sediment quality of the area.

Chesapeake Bay Beneficial Use Site Management. In a study of environmentally beneficial ways to use dredged materials, the Corps is to coordinate with Federal agencies to find ways to "increase living resource habitats and enhance environmental quality."

Title V, Contaminated Sediment and Ocean Dumping

National Contaminated Sediment Task Force. A Task Force is to be established to: advise the EPA and Corps in implementing this title, evaluate the contaminated sediment situation throughout the U.S., and report its findings and recommendations to Congress within 2 years of enactment. A Service representative shall be included as a member of the Task Force.

Other Provisions

Provisions which do not provide for a specific role for the Service, but are of interest to us include:

Kissimmee River Restoration, Florida. This project is to restore the ecosystem of the river while maintaining flood protection qualities of the area.

Jones Inlet, New York. The Corps is directed to study the feasibility of placing dredged material on beach areas to mitigate environmental damage caused by jetty construction and continued dredging.

Beneficial Uses of Dredged Material. Upon certain findings, the Corps may undertake projects for the protection, restoration or creation of aquatic habitats.

Demonstration of Waste Water Technology. The Corps and EPA are authorized to assist Santa Clara and San Jose, California, field test waste water reuse and treatment processes, including uses to protect fish and wildlife in San Francisco Bay.

Baltimore Harbor, Maryland. The Corps is to study the harbor and develop procedures to distinguish between contaminated dredged material and material that can be used in beach nourishment, wetlands creation, and for other beneficial purposes.

South Central Pennsylvania Environmental Restoration Infrastructure and Resource Protection Development Pilot Program. The Corps is to provide technical assistance to non- Federal interests, for environmental projects, including surface water resource protection and development.

Santa Rosa Plain, California. Allows the Corps to study the "feasibility" of preserving and developing seasonal wetlands, and to provide, to a county task force, technical assistance on plans to achieve these purposes.

Hackensack Meadowlands Area, New Jersey. The Corps is authorized to provide technical assistance to the State on an Environmental Improvement Program to include: mitigation and enhancement of wetlands, a regional system to monitor, protect, and preserve wetlands, and watershed cleanup.

Land Exchange, Alltoona Lake, Georgia. The Corps may initiate a land exchange for property needed for wildlife management, and the protection of water quality and the overall environment of the area.

Contaminated Sediments Information. The results of a national study by the Corps on contaminated sediments of the surface waters of the U.S. are to be reported to Congress 1 year after enactment (October 31, 1993).

Fish and Wildlife Mitigation. Amends section 906(c) of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 [33 USC 2283(c), Allocation of Mitigation Costs] to include as part of the mitigation costs, land transactions made for fish and wildlife mitigation purposes.

Southern West Virginia Environmental Restoration Infrastructure and Resource Protection Development Pilot Program. The Corps is to provide environmental assistance to non-Federal interests. Projects are to include surface water resource protection and development.

Environmental Project Modifications, Sacramento River, California. In carrying out the flood control project for this area, the Corps is to plan, design, and build "historical wetlands at an alternative site" contiguous to the Yolo Bypass.

Bank Stabilization and Marsh Creation. For the Calcasieu River Ship Canal, Louisiana, the Corps is to study the possibility of bank stabilization and marsh creation using retaining dikes and dredged material, and is to report to Congress in 1 year (by October 31, 1993).

Connecticut Coastal Saltmarsh Restoration Authorization. Subject to cost sharing, the Corps is to look into and implement saltmarsh restoration projects along the Connecticut coast.

San Francisco Bay. The Corps is authorized to participate as a Federal member in the Interagency Ecological Study Program M.O.U. to implement monitoring requirements in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary, California.

Sediment Management Strategy for Maumee River, Toledo Harbor. Within 1 year of enactment (by October 31, 1993), the Corps is to develop long-term sediment management strategies for the river, including sediment reuse for wetlands restoration.

Sediments Decontamination Technology. Within 1 year of enactment (by October 31, 1993), the EPA and Corps are to jointly select removal, treatment, and decontamination technologies for a contaminated marine sediments project in the New York/New Jersey Harbor.

The legislative history of this Act includes: House Report 102- 842; Senate Report 102-283; and Congressional Record pages H11848 - 51, October 5, 1992; E3327, October 29, 1992; and S17828 - 29, S17832, and S17850 - 56, October, 8, 1992.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for implementation of these authorities. The Assistant Director for Ecological Services provides overall coordination of Service involvment, with each Regional Director being responsible for projects within their geographical areas.

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