American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program


Legislative History and Digest of H.R. 961


CLEAN WATER ACT

BILL NO: H.R. 961 (104th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION)

TITLE: A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act

SPONSOR: Rep. Bud Shuster (R-PA)

DATE INTRODUCED: 02-15-95

COSPONSORS: 30 CURRENT COSPONSORS
As Introduced Hayes, Clinger, Parker, Emerson, Laughlin, Zeliff, Poshard, Ewing, Danner, Hutchinson, Deal, Mica, Barcia, Duncan, Geren.
03-30-95 Young (AK), Coble, Blute, Fowler, Bachus, Wamp, Latham, LaHood, Condit, Fields (TX), Pickett.
04-03-95 Tauzin.
05-01-95 McDade, Gekas, Linder.

RELATED LEGISLATION:
H.Res. 140, H.R. 1561

COMMITTEE/SUBCOMMITTEE REFERRAL:
02-15-95 House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
03-02-95 Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.
05-18-95 Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

COMPLETE BILL TEXT:
The complete bill text is available on Thomas: The Library of Congress Web Site. In Thomas, click on Full Text of Legislation, then 104th Congress Bills, then Search by Bill Number, type in hr 961 , hit RUN QUERY, and choose the most recent version.

BILL DIGEST:

(Rev)  May 16, 95.
         (Passed House, amended )
    TABLE OF CONTENTS:
    Title I: Research and Related Programs
    Title II: Construction Grants
    Title III: Standards and Enforcement
    Title IV: Permits and Licenses
    Title V: General Provisions
    Title VI: State Water Pollution Control Revolving Funds
    Title VII: Miscellaneous Provisions
    Title VIII: Wetlands Conservation and Management
    Title IX: Navigational Dredging
    Title X: Additional Provisions


    Clean Water Amendments of 1995

      Title I: Research and Related Programs

Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control
Act (the Clean Water Act or CWA) to add national goal and policy
provisions with respect to water quality programs.


    (Sec. 102) Authorizes the Administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), in carrying out national water pollution
prevention programs, to: (1) conduct and promote comprehensive
programs of basic water pollution research; and (2) make grants
to local governments for carrying out water pollution prevention
research, investigations, training, and information programs.


    Authorizes the Administrator to: (1) make grants to States,
local governments, and nonprofit organizations to provide
technical assistance and training to rural and small publicly
owned treatment works (POTWs); (2) disseminate information to
rural, small, and disadvantaged communities with respect to
planning, design, construction, and operation of treatment works;
and (3) make grants to States to provide assistance for planning,
design, and construction of treatment works and alternative
wastewater treatment systems to provide wastewater services to
rural communities of 3,000 or less that are not currently served
by sewage collection or wastewater treatment services and are
severely economically disadvantaged.


    Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2000 for
carrying out the grant programs described by this section.
Reduces the authorization for grants to States and localities for
pollution prevention activities from $50 million per year to
$21.2 million.


    (Sec. 103) Authorizes appropriations through FY 2000 for
grants to States and interstate agencies for assistance in
administering pollution control programs.


    (Sec. 104) Revises provisions regarding mine water pollution
control to require the Administrator to establish a program to
demonstrate the efficacy of measures for abatement of the causes
and treatment of the effects of acidic and toxic mine drainage
within qualified hydrologic units affected by past coal mining
practices. Authorizes States, Federal entities, and Indian tribes
to apply for grants for such projects.


    (Sec. 105) Revises provisions regarding Alaska village
demonstration projects to authorize the Administrator to make
grants for: (1) the development and construction of facilities
which provide sanitation services for rural and Native Alaska
villages; (2) training, technical assistance, and educational
programs relating to operation and maintenance of such services
in such villages; and (3) reasonable costs of administering and
managing such programs. Authorizes appropriations.


    (Sec. 106) Extends the authorization of appropriations for
the Chesapeake Bay Program and related interstate development
plan grants through FY 2000.


    (Sec. 107) Replaces provisions regarding the Great Lakes
Research Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration with those establishing an interagency Great Lakes
Research Council.


    Directs the Council to: (1) promote the coordination of
Federal Great Lakes research activities to avoid duplication and
ensure effectiveness in achieving protection of the Great Lakes
ecosystem through the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement; (2)
prepare a document that assesses research activities and Federal
expertise in such activities needed to fulfill Agreement goals;
(3) identify topics for and participate in workshops and
conferences on Great Lakes research issues; (4) make
recommendations for the uniform collection of data for enhancing
research and management protocols relating to the Great Lakes
ecosystem; (5) advise in improving the integration of multimedia
data concerning the ecosystem and in efforts to establish a
multimedia data base for the ecosystem; and (6) ensure that
findings and information regarding such research are disseminated
in a timely manner.


    Directs the Administrator, acting through the Great Lakes
National Program Office, to conduct at least three pilot projects
involving promising technologies and practices to remedy
contaminated sediments at sites in the Great Lakes system.


    Gives priority for projects to: (1) the Ashtabula River in
Ohio; (2) the Buffalo River in New York; (3) Duluth and Superior
Harbor in Minnesota; (4) the Fox River in Wisconsin; (5) the
Grand Calumet River in Indiana; and (6) Saginaw Bay in Michigan.


    Permits the Administrator to conduct additional projects at
other sites in the Great Lakes System.


    Authorizes appropriations.


    Permits the Administrator to provide technical information
and assistance involving the remediation of contaminated
sediments upon request.


    Authorizes appropriations.


    Extends the authorization of appropriations for: (1) Great
Lakes research and management planning through FY 1998; and (2)
the Great Lakes water quality program through FY 2000.


     Title II: Construction Grants  - Removes limitations on the
use of grants for the construction of POTWs and authorizes the
use of such grants for purposes for which grants may be made
under nonpoint source management and groundwater quality
programs. Provides for procedures to expedite the retroactive
eligibility and provision of grants for facilities already under
construction.


    (Sec. 202) Authorizes the Administrator to negotiate an
annual budget with a State for purposes of administering a
closeout of the State`s construction grants program.


    (Sec. 205) Requires value engineering reviews to be conducted
for any treatment works construction projected in excess of $25
million (currently, $10 million).


    (Sec. 206) Requires the Administrator to make grants for
construction of treatment works to serve coastal localities.
Earmarks amounts for water infrastructure improvements in New
Orleans, Louisiana, and Bristol County, Massachusetts, and for
localities that meet specified need and hardship criteria.


    Directs the Administrator to make grants to States for such
purposes to serve small communities (fewer than 75,000).


    Authorizes appropriations but requires at least $3 billion to
be appropriated for FY 1996 under title VI of the CWA in order
for the authorization to be effective.


     Title III: Standards and Enforcement  - Prohibits discharges
from, or affected by, remining operations from exceeding State
water quality standards except where monitoring demonstrates that
the receiving waters do not meet such standards prior to
commencement of remining and where the applicant demonstrates
that identified measures will be utilized to improve the existing
quality of the receiving waters. (Current law provides no
exception.)


    Deems certain existing coal remining operations to be in
compliance with specified CWA requirements, provided certain
conditions are met.


    (Sec. 302) Revises provisions regarding the extension of
compliance deadlines for facilities that comply with effluent
limitations through the use of innovative production processes.
Provides for a maximum extension of three years for point sources
for purposes of encouraging use of innovative pollution
prevention technologies. (Current law provides for a maximum
two-year extension for facilities that use such processes and
meet other specified criteria.) Makes conforming amendments to
provisions regarding innovative pretreatment systems.


    Requires the Administrator or State, upon extending the
deadline for point source compliance and encouraging the
development and use of an innovative pollution prevention
technology, to encourage the use of technology produced in the
United States.


    Reduces or eliminates penalties for violations during
extension periods due to the unexpected failure of an innovative
process.


    Requires the Administrator to report to the Congress on
innovative and alternative technologies available for preventing
and reducing pollution of navigable waters.


    Specifies that nothing in this section shall be construed to
authorize the Administrator or a State to enforce, place
conditions on, or otherwise regulate emissions into the air or
the treatment, storage, or disposal of solid waste or require or
enforce conditions on the manufacturing or processing of a
chemical substance or mixture in any permit issued under this
Act.


    Authorizes the Administrator, at the request of the
permittee, to issue a discharge permit modifying effluent
limitations or other specified requirements if: (1) pollution
prevention measures together with such modifications will achieve
an overall reduction in emissions to the environment that is
greater than that otherwise achievable if the source complied
with unmodified requirements; or (2) the owner or operator of the
discharge source has entered into an agreement with any other
source in the same watershed to implement pollution reduction
controls beyond those required by law and such controls will
result in greater overall reduction in discharges to the
watershed. Subjects pollution reduction control modifications to
State approval.


    Permits the renewal of a permit with less stringent effluent
limitations than the original permit if the permittee is taking
pollution prevention or water conservation measures that produce
a net environmental benefit.


    Sets forth: (1) limitations on modifications; and (2)
conditions under which the Administrator may not require a State
to conduct an antidegradation review.


    Directs the Administrator to publish guidance for determining
whether a modification of an otherwise applicable limitation or
standard will achieve an overall reduction in discharges to the
watershed and result in an overall net benefit to the
environment.


    (Sec. 303) Prohibits the establishment of any water quality
standard where there is no relationship between the costs and
anticipated benefits of attaining such standard.


    Directs State Governors or water pollution control agencies
to hold public hearings for purposes of reviewing, modifying, or
adopting water quality standards at least once every five
(currently, three years).


    Requires public State reviews of water quality standards that
include water quality criteria issued or revised by the
Administrator to contain the Administrator`s estimates of costs
of compliance with the criteria and State comments on such
estimates .


    Directs the Administrator to revise regulations regarding
designation of use s of waters by States.


    (Sec. 304) Requires criteria for whole effluent toxicity
based on laboratory biological monitoring or assessment methods
to employ an aquatic species that is indigenous to the type of
waters covered by such criteria, a species that is representative
of such a species, or an appropriate species that indicates the
toxicity of the effluent in the receiving waters and to take into
account the accepted variability associated with such methods.


    Requires permits that require such monitoring or testing to
establish procedures for responding to an exceedance of whole
effluent toxicity criteria. Provides that failures of such tests
shall not result in findings of violation except where a
permittee has failed to comply with procedures. Establishes
conditions under which permittees may discontinue such
procedures.


    (Sec. 305) Sets forth factors to be considered by States with
respect to standards for constructed water conveyances.


    Directs the Administrator to develop criteria for ephemeral
and effluent- dependent streams and guidance to States on water
quality standards for such streams.


    (Sec. 306) Requires States, to the extent and according to
schedules the States determine necessary to achieve reasonable
progress toward the attainment or maintenance of water quality
standards, to establish maximum daily loads for pollutants
discharged into waters for which effluent limitations are not
stringent enough. (Current law requires States to establish such
loads and such requirement is not subject to State determination
of reasonable progress.)


    Permits maximum loads to reflect load reductions the State
expects will be realized over time resulting from anticipated
implementation of best management practices, storm water
controls, or other source controls so long as such loads are
established at levels necessary to implement water quality
standards by December 31, 2015.


    (Sec. 307) Directs the Administrator to publish a
certification every five years that water quality criteria
reflect the best scientific knowledge. Requires updates of
current criteria. Directs the Administrator to revise and publish
criteria for ammonia, chronic whole effluent toxicity, and metals
to allow such certification to be made. Specifies that, in the
case of ammonia, the Administrator shall revise the criteria only
to the extent that the current criteria are more stringent than
necessary to achieve the objectives of the CWA.


    Requires the Administrator to consider addressing
contaminants regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act in
developing and revising such criteria. Requires compliance cost
estimates with respect to new or revised criteria.


    Eliminates requirements for annual revision of effluent
limitation regulations and pretreatment guidelines.


    Continues an exemption from effluent guidelines for specified
iron and steel manufacturing point sources subject to certain
conditions.


    Allows city, county, or local government employees or
officials to be members of boards that approve discharge permit
applications notwithstanding a prohibition on membership for
persons who have received a significant portion of income from
permit holders or applicants.


    (Sec. 309) Deems any municipal wastewater treatment facility
employing chemically enhanced primary treatment that discharges
through an ocean outfall into an open marine environment over
four miles offshore into a depth exceeding 300 feet and that is
in compliance with all local and State receiving body water
quality standards and subject to an ocean monitoring program to
be the equivalent of a secondary treatment facility.


    Requires the Administrator, with a State`s concurrence, to
issue a ten- year discharge permit to modify secondary treatment
requirements with respect to discharges from POTWs into marine
waters which are at least 150 feet deep through an ocean outfall
which discharges at least one mile offshore subject to specified
conditions.


    Provides for modified secondary treatment requirements with
respect to pollutant discharges from POTWs serving communities of
20,000 or fewer if: (1) the effluent from the facility originates
primarily from domestic users; and (2) the facility utilizes a
properly constructed and operated alternative treatment system
equivalent to secondary treatment or will provide adequate health
and environmental protection and contribute to the attainment of
water quality standards.


    Authorizes the Government of Puerto Rico to study the marine
environment of Anasco Bay off the coast of the Mayaguez region to
determine the feasibility of constructing a deepwater outfall for
the POTW at Mayaguez. Provides for modification of secondary
treatment requirements for such POTW if the outfall is
operational within five years of this Act`s enactment.


    Authorizes the Administrator to grant an application for a
modification with respect to the discharge into marine waters of
any pollutant from a POTW serving Anchorage, Alaska,
notwithstanding whether or not the treatment provided by such
POTW is adequate to remove at least 30 percent of the biological
oxygen demanding material.


    (Sec. 310) Requires effluent standards for toxic pollutants
to take into account the bioaccumulation potential of, and
magnitude and risk of exposure to, a pollutant.


    Requires the Administrator to develop and issue guidance that
States may use in monitoring water quality at beaches and issuing
health advisories with respect to beaches.


    Requires any fish consumption advisories issued by the
Administrator to be based upon the protocols, methodology, and
findings of the Food and Drug Administration.


    (Sec. 311) Authorizes POTWs with approved pretreatment
programs that meet specified conditions, including compliance
with effluent and air emissions limitations, to apply local
limits in lieu of categorical pretreatment standards for purposes
of: (1) reducing the administrative burden associated with the
designation of an "industrial user" as a "categorical industrial
user"; or (2) eliminating redundant or unnecessary treatment by
industrial users which has little or no environmental benefit.


    Prohibits the application of local limits to any industrial
user in significant noncompliance with an approved pretreatment
program.


    (Sec. 312) Authorizes the Administrator to allow any person
that introduces silver into a POTW to comply with a code of
management practices for up to five years in lieu of complying
with a pretreatment requirement based on an effluent limitation
derived from a water quality standard for silver subject to
specified conditions.


    (Sec. 313) Permits (current law requires) a State to be
joined as a party to a civil action brought by the United States
under the CWA against a municipality located in such State.


    (Sec. 314) Makes certain response plan requirements for tank
vessels and specified facilities inapplicable with respect to:
(1) municipal or industrial treatment works at which no greater
than a de minimis quantity of oil or hazardous substances is
stored; or (2) facilities that store process water mixed with a
de minimis quantity of oil.


    (Sec. 315) Provides for review and, if necessary, revision of
regulations and standards for marine sanitation devices, taking
into account improvements in technology.


    (Sec. 316) Revises provisions regarding water pollution

control at Federal facilities to waive the sovereign immunity of
the United States with respect to any requirement, administrative
authority, or sanctions that may be imposed for violations.
Provides that Federal employees may be subject to criminal
sanctions, but exempts Federal agencies from such sanctions.


    Authorizes the Administrator to commence administrative
enforcement actions against Federal agencies under this Act.


    Includes Federal agencies in the definition of "person."


    Exempts water discharges from Navy nuclear propulsion
facilities from the definition of "radioactive waste."


    (Sec. 317) Adds Paris Twin Lakes, Illinois, Otsego Lake, New
York, and Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania to the list of priority
lakes for the lake water quality demonstration program (clean
lakes program).


    Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2000 for such
program.


    (Sec. 318) Directs the Administrator to require the
application of the best technology available to new and existing
cooling water intake structures in instances where the
Administrator has determined that such a structure is having or
could have a significant adverse impact on the aquatic
environment. Sets forth minimum factors to be considered in
identifying the best technology available for new and existing
cooling water intake structures.


    (Sec. 319) Revises the required elements of nonpoint source
management programs and includes within such programs: (1) a
schedule containing interim goals and milestones for making
reasonable progress toward the attainment of standards; (2) a
description of monitoring or assessment of program effectiveness;
(3) an identification of activities on Federal lands that are
inconsistent with such programs; and (4) an identification of
goals and milestones for progress in attaining water quality
standards, including a projected date for attaining such
standards.


    Sets forth conditions under which an agricultural producer
who has voluntarily developed and is implementing an approved
whole farm or ranch natural resources management plan is
considered to be in compliance with requirements of State
programs.


    Grants States six (currently, three) months to submit revised
programs in cases where modifications are required for approval.


    Requires the Administrator to prepare nonpoint source
management programs for States that fail to do so or whose plans
are not approved.


    Authorizes (current law requires) the Administrator to make
grants to States for preparing and implementing such management
programs and preparing assessment reports. Increases the maximum
Federal share of the cost of such programs to 75 (currently, 60)
percent of the cost incurred by a State in preparing and
implementing such reports and programs.


    Directs the Administrator to establish maximum and minimum
grants for any fiscal year to promote equity between States and
effective nonpoint source management. Sets forth limitations on
the use of such grants.


    Requires the Administrator to study and report to the
Congress on whether the allocation of funds for such grants
reflects the needs and costs of nonpoint source control measures
for different nonpoint source categories and on options for
better reflecting such needs and costs in the allotment of funds.


    Increases the maximum amount of Federal assistance for grants
to States for groundwater quality protection. Extends the
authorization of appropriations for grants for assessment
reports, nonpoint source management programs, and groundwater
protection programs through FY 2000.


    Requires Federal agencies that own or manage land or issue
licenses for activities that cause nonpoint source pollution from
such land to coordinate their nonpoint source control measures
with State nonpoint source and watershed management programs.
Provides for memoranda of understanding for such purposes.


    Directs the Administrator to publish guidance to identify
model management practices and measures which may be undertaken
under such management programs.


    Requires compliance deadlines for nonpoint source management
requirements to be postponed for one year for each fiscal year
for which amounts appropriated to carry out grant programs for
nonpoint source pollution and groundwater quality are less than
the total amounts authorized to be appropriated.


    Makes revisions to the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization
Amendments of 1990, including providing that a State that has not
received Federal approval for the State`s core coastal management
program pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 shall
have 30 months from the date of approval of such program to
submit a Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Program, and that any such
State shall also be eligible for any extension of time for
submittal of the State`s nonpoint program that may be received by
a State with a federally approved coastal management program.
Allows the Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator to grant
conditional approval to a State`s program where the State
requests additional time to complete the development of its
program.


    Provides that land application of livestock manure shall not
be considered a point source and shall be subject to enforcement
only under nonpoint source management provisions.


    Sets limits on the authority of the Administrator to require
a State to identify or establish procedures and methods to
control salt water intrusion.


    (Sec. 320) Extends the authorization of appropriations for
National Estuary Program activities through FY 2000.


    (Sec. 321) Authorizes States to submit watershed management
programs to the Administrator for approval. Sets forth minimum
requirements for such programs and lists activities that are
eligible for assistance under the CWA.


    Permits States to adopt watershed management plans to be

effective for up to ten years and to include planning and
implementation schedules with milestones.


    Permits dischargers or sources, under approved programs, to
apply for approval to offset discharge or pollutant impacts by
entering into arrangements for the implementation of measures by
other dischargers or sources through a pollution reduction
credits trading program. Directs the Administrator to allocate
sums to carry out such programs in selected watersheds throughout
the country.


    Authorizes the issuance of pollutant discharge permits with
limitations that do not meet applicable water quality standards
if: (1) the receiving water is in a watershed with an approved
plan; (2) the plan includes assurances that water quality
standards will be met by a specified date; and (3) the point
source does not have a history of significant noncompliance with
its effluent limitations under a permit. Sets forth provisions
regarding permit terms.


    Authorizes the Administrator to provide multipurpose grants
to States with approved watershed management programs.


    (Sec. 322) Requires States to submit to the Administrator for
approval: (1) assessment reports on stormwater management and
pollution control every five years; and (2) stormwater management
and pollution control programs. Lists required elements of such
programs, including plans, permit provisions, exemptions for
small businesses, and schedules containing goals and milestones.
Directs the Administrator, working in conjunction with the
Administrator of the Small Business Administration and the Small
Business Ombudsman of the EPA, to propose regulations to define
"small businesses" for purposes of regulations on stormwater
discharge.


    Continues in effect existing municipal and industrial
discharge permits until the effective date of a State program,
with exceptions. Applies existing law to discharges covered by
permits issued before February 4, 1987, or with respect to which
an effluent guideline has been issued before that date,
notwithstanding the repeal of discharge permit provisions under
this Act.



    Requires the Administrator to implement programs for States
with unapproved programs. Permits local agencies to request
technical assistance to develop such programs for a State.


    Authorizes States to petition the Administrator for the
convening of an interstate management conference if a State which
is implementing an approved program is not meeting water quality
standards as a result of stormwater pollution from another State.
Requires the conference purpose to be to develop an agreement
among States to reduce stormwater pollution and improve water
quality. Makes this section inapplicable to pollution subject to
the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act.


    Requires the Administrator to establish an initiative to fund
State and local demonstration programs and research to: (1)
identify adverse impacts of stormwater discharges on receiving
waters and the pollutants in stormwater which cause impacts; and
(2) test innovative approaches to address the impacts of source
controls and model management practices for runoff from municipal
storm sewers. Authorizes appropriations. Extends compliance
deadlines if amounts appropriated to carry out such programs are
less than amounts authorized.


    Subjects noncomplying dischargers to enforcement actions.
Provides that stormwater discharges regulated under watershed
management programs shall not be subject to this section. Sets
forth provisions regarding regulation of stormwater from mineral
exploration and mining sites.


    Repeals provisions concerning limitations on permit
requirements with respect to agricultural return flows and
provisions regarding municipal and industrial stormwater
discharge permits.


    Excludes stormwater discharges from the definition of "point
source."


    Directs the Administrator to establish stormwater criteria
and guidance on model management practices for State programs.


    (Sec. 323) Requires the Administrator or the Secretary of the
Army to publish risk assessments before issuing any: (1)
standard, effluent limitation, water quality criterion or
requirement, or other regulatory requirement under the CWA (other
than permit or procedural requirements); or (2) guidance which,
if issued as a regulatory requirement, would result in an annual
increase in cost of $25 million or more.


    Exempts from specific risk assessment requirements risk
assessments prepared in support of a regulatory requirement that
is likely to result in annual increases in cost of less than such
amount.


    Applies risk assessment requirements to: (1) regulatory
requirements or guidance issued after the last day of the
one-year period beginning on this Act`s enactment date; and (2)
standards, regulatory requirements, or guidance issued between
February 15, 1995, and such one-year period, if likely to result
in annual cost increases of $100 million or more. Requires review
and, if appropriate, reissuance of requirements or guidance
described in (2) above as necessary to comply with this section.


    (Sec. 324) Prohibits the issuance of regulatory requirements
or guidance under the CWA if it would result in an annual cost
increase of $25 million or more unless the Administrator or the
Secretary certifies that the requirement or guidance maximizes
net benefits to society. Directs the Administrator to issue
guidance for conducting benefit and cost analyses in support of
such certifications. Exempts from this section: (1) the issuance
of a permit; (2) the implementation of procedural requirements;
and (3) water quality criteria and water quality based standards.
Authorizes discretionary exemptions for requirements likely to
result in annual cost increases of less than $25 million.


    Requires the Administrator to publish an analysis regarding
the precision and accuracy of benefit and cost estimates prepared
under this section.


     Title IV: Permits and Licenses  - Provides that, for
purposes of provisions regarding pollutant discharge permits,
waste treatment systems, including retention ponds or lagoons
used to meet CWA requirements for concentrated animal feeding
operations, are not waters of the United States. Exempts from
this Act an existing concentrated animal feeding operation that
uses a natural topographic impoundment or structure on the
effective date of this Act which is not hydrologically connected
to any other U.S. waters as a waste treatment system or
wastewater retention facility.


    (Sec. 402) Extends pollutant discharge permit terms under
State programs from five to ten years. Requires effluent
limitations to be reviewed and revised, as appropriate, every ten
years when the permit is reissued. Directs the Administrator to
establish quantitation levels for pollutants based on the lowest
level at which a pollutant can be reliably quantified on an
interlaboratory basis for each of specified test methods.
Provides that whenever a limitation for a permit issued under
this section is set at a level below the quantitation level
established for that pollutant for the test method specified in
the permit, any measurement of the pollutant greater than the
limitation but less than the quantitation level shall not be
considered a violation of the permit.


    (Sec. 403) Requires the Administrator to review State permit
programs every three years.


    (Sec. 405) Allows increased volumes of treated wastewater to
be discharged into waterways as long as water quality is not
degraded.


    (Sec. 406) Directs the Administrator to provide credits for
pollutants present in or caused by intake water such that point
sources are not required to remove, reduce, or treat the amount
of any pollutant in an effluent below the amount in or caused by
the intake water subject to certain conditions.


    (Sec. 407) Requires each permit issued for a discharge from a
combined storm and sanitary sewer to conform with the combined
sewer overflow control policy signed by the Administrator on
April 11, 1994.


    Authorizes the Administrator, notwithstanding specified
compliance schedules and permit limitations, to issue a permit
for discharges from such sewers that includes a schedule for
compliance with a long- term control plan for a term of up to 15
years. Provides for extensions of such term, as appropriate.


    Modifies any consent decree or court order issued by a
district court or administrative order issued by the
Administrator before this Act`s enactment date that establishes
any deadlines or timetables for the evaluation, design, or
construction of treatment works for control of discharges from
municipal combined sewer systems or separate sanitary sewers to
make deadlines or timetables conform with this section`s policy
or section 408 policy.


    (Sec. 408) Directs the Administrator to publish a national
control policy for municipal separate sanitary sewer overflows.
Requires permits for such discharges to include a schedule for
compliance with a long-term control plan for a term of up to 15
years. Provides for extensions of such 15-year period if
compliance is not within the economic capability of the owner or
operator. Bars the Administrator or the Attorney General from
initiating any administrative or judicial civil penalty action in
response to an overflow due to stormwater inflows or infiltration
before the publication of such policy.


    (Sec. 409) Authorizes the Administrator to issue a permit to
a remediating party for discharges associated with remediation
activity at abandoned or inactive mined lands. Provides for
modified permits to make certain limitations in other CWA permits
inapplicable. Requires permit applicants to submit remediation
plans. Makes permit issuance contingent on a showing that
remediation will result in improved water quality. Deems a
compliance plan approved on the 90th day following the date of
submission unless the Administrator notifies the remediating
party before such day that the plan has been disapproved.


    (Sec. 410) Directs the Administrator to approve State
programs that meet Federal standards for final use or disposal of
sewage sludge.


    Requires the Administrator to issue guidance on the
beneficial use of sewage sludge.


    (Sec. 411) Directs the Administrator to issue a regulation
defining "waste treatment systems."


    (Sec. 412) Provides that a municipal utility that has been
issued a discharge permit for discharges into the Upper Greater
Miami River, Ohio, shall not be required to construct a cooling
tower or operate under a thermal management plan unless: (1) the
Administrator or the Governor of Ohio determines, based on
scientific evidence, that such discharges result in harm to
aquatic life; or (2) the utility has been denied a thermal
discharge variance under the CWA.


     Title V: General Provisions  - Directs the Administrator to
involve State, tribal, and local governments in EPA
decisionmaking, priority setting, policy and guidance
development, and implementation under the CWA.


    (Sec. 502) Excludes waste treatment systems from the
definition of "navigable waters."


    (Sec. 505) Declares that nothing in this Act shall be
construed to supersede or impair any State right or authority to
allocate quantities of water.


    (Sec. 506) Directs Federal agencies, in issuing or enforcing
a regulation, an interpretation, or a guideline relating to a
fat, oil, or grease under a Federal law related to water
pollution control, to: (1) differentiate between and establish
separate classes for petroleum and nonpetroleum oil products and
oil substitutes, including animal fats, vegetable oils, and
silicone fluids; and (2) apply different standards and reporting
requirements to different classes of petroleum and nonpetroleum
oil products and oil substitutes.


    (Sec. 507) Sets up a dispute resolution process for
situations where requirements of the CWA conflict with hydropower
licensing regulations.


    (Sec. 508) Requires a CWA cost and needs estimate to be
submitted quadrennially (currently, biennially) to the Congress.


    (Sec. 509) Reauthorizes the CWA through FY 2000, subject to
specified limitations.


    (Sec. 510) Directs the Administrator to promulgate
regulations which provide for the resolution of any unreasonable
consequences that may arise as a result of differing water
quality standards that may be set by States and Indian tribes
located on common bodies of water.


    Revises provisions regarding the treatment of Indian tribes
as States. Specifies that the Administrator`s action does not
authorize the Indian tribe to regulate lands owned in whole or in
part by nonmembers of the tribe or the use of water resources on
or appurtenant to such lands.


    Increases the amount required to be reserved for grants for
the development of waste management plans and the construction of
sewage treatment works to serve Indian tribes.


    (Sec. 512) Directs the Administrator to establish a Board of
Audit Appeals to review and decide contested audit determinations
related to grant and contract awards under the CWA. Bars the
Board from reversing project cost eligibility determinations that
are supported by EPA decision documents.


    (Sec. 513) Expresses the sense of the Congress that all
equipment and products purchased with funds made available under
the CWA should be American-made. Directs the Administrator to
provide to each recipient of assistance a notice describing such
sense of the Congress.


     Title VI: State Water Pollution Control Revolving Funds  -
Requires the Administrator to assist the States in establishing
simplified procedures for small systems to obtain assistance from
State water pollution control revolving funds (SRFs).


    Broadens eligibility for SRF assistance to make all
activities which have as a principal benefit the improvement or
protection of water quality eligible for assistance. (Currently,
assistance is restricted to specified activities.)


    Provides for an extended repayment period for loans made from
SRFs to disadvantaged communities. Authorizes negative interest
rates for such loans.


    Authorizes SRF loan guarantees for developing and
implementing innovative technologies. Permits SRFs to be used to
provide technical, planning, and other specified assistance to
small systems.


    Authorizes State or municipal agencies to sell all or part of
a treatment works for which it received Federal financial
assistance to a qualified private sector entity subject to
specified conditions. Requires the Administrator to: (1) modify
regulations and procedures to eliminate any obstacles to the
construction, improvement, or operation of a treatment works by
such entities; and (2) report to the Congress on any laws which
must be changed to eliminate such obstacles.


    (Sec. 604) Authorizes and allocates appropriations for the
SRF program through FY 2000.


     Title VII: Miscellaneous Provisions  - Designates a
specified laboratory and research facility in Duluth, Minnesota,
as the John A. Blatnik National Fresh Water Quality Research
Laboratory.


    (Sec. 703) Authorizes the Administrator to make grants to
States along the U.S.-Mexican border to provide assistance for
planning, design, and construction of treatment works and
appropriate connections to provide wastewater service to colonias
(impoverished communities near the U.S.-Mexican border populated
mainly by Hispanic immigrants). Repeals a requirement that the
Federal Government provide 50 percent of the money for colonia
wastewater projects. Authorizes appropriations.


    (Sec. 704) Requires the Administrator to compile information
and report to the Congress on the annual savings that
municipalities realize in the construction, operation, and
maintenance of drinking water facilities as a result of actions
taken under the CWA.


     Title VIII: Wetlands Conservation and Management  -
Comprehensive Wetlands Conservation and Management Act of 1995 -
Amends the CWA to prohibit, unless such activity is undertaken
pursuant to a permit issued by the Secretary of the Army: (1) the
discharge of dredged or fill material into U.S. waters, including
wetlands at a specific disposal site; or (2) the draining,
channelization, or excavation of wetlands.


    (Sec. 803) Requires the Secretary, upon receiving permit
applications, to: (1) classify as Type A wetlands that are of
critical significance to the long-term conservation of the
aquatic environment and meet other specified requirements; (2)
classify as Type B wetlands that provide habitat for a
significant population of wildlife or provide other significant
wetlands functions; and (3) classify as Type C wetlands that
serve marginal functions but exist in such abundance that
regulation of activities is not necessary to conserve wetlands
functions or are lands that do not serve significant wetlands
functions.


    Authorizes persons with ownership interests in property to
request the Secretary to make determinations as to whether the
property contains U.S. waters or is a wetland. Subjects such
determinations to judicial review.


    Directs the Federal Government to compensate a property owner
whose use of the property has been limited by an agency action
under this Act that diminishes the fair market value of the
property by at least 20 percent. Requires the compensation to
equal the diminution in value resulting from such action. Directs
the Federal Government, at the owner`s option, to buy the portion
of property for fair market value if the diminution in value is
greater than 50 percent.


    Prohibits compensation with respect to agency actions: (1)

the primary purpose of which is to prevent a public health or
safety hazard or damage to specific property other than the
property whose use is limited; or (2) pursuant to the Federal
navigation servitude except as such servitude applies to
wetlands.


    Sets forth procedures for owners seeking compensation and
notice requirements for agencies taking actions to limit the use
of private property.


    Applies compensation provisions only to surface interests or
water rights, with specified exceptions for oil, gas, or mineral
interests beneath or adjacent to Type A or B wetlands.


    Requires the Secretary to determine whether to issue a permit
for an activity in Type A wetlands based on a sequential analysis
that seeks to avoid or minimize adverse actions on wetlands and
compensate for losses of functions that cannot be avoided or
minimized. Authorizes mitigation requirements when appropriate to
prevent loss or degradation of Type A wetlands.


    Permits the Secretary to issue a permit for activities in
Type B wetlands if the issuance of the permit is in the public
interest, balancing the foreseeable benefits and detriments
resulting from the permit. Imposes requirements for mitigation
when such activities result in permanent wetland loss or
degradation.


    Directs the Secretary to issue regulations for the
establishment and oversight of mitigation banks for wetlands.


    Requires the Secretary, at the option of the permit
applicant, to issue permits authorizing activities in Type A and
B wetlands in States with substantial conserved wetlands areas
subject to the following requirements. Permits the Secretary to
include conditions for minimization of adverse impacts when
economically practicable. Prohibits any requirements for
mitigation to compensate for adverse impacts in such permits.


    Directs the Secretary, upon application by owners of economic
base lands in a State with substantial conserved wetlands, to
issue individual and general permits for activities in waters or
wetlands. Reduces requirements to allow such lands to be
beneficially used to sustain economic activity and to reflect the
social and economic needs of Alaska Natives to utilize such
lands.


    Requires the Secretary of the Army to consult with the
Secretary of Agriculture in developing wetlands mitigation
requirements for agricultural lands.


    Exempts specified activities from this Act`s wetlands permit
requirements, including certain municipal wastewater reuse
operations.


    Requires wetlands located on agricultural lands and
associated non-agricultural lands to be delineated by the
Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with the Food Security Act
of 1985. Exempts from the requirements of this Act agricultural
lands that are exempt from the requirements of the Food Security
Act of 1985. Specifies that delineations by the Secretary of
Agriculture regarding wetlands on agricultural lands and
associated nonagricultural lands that have become
administratively final on or before the enactment date of this
title shall not be subject to further delineation unless the
owner requests a new delineation by the Secretary of Agriculture.


    Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture to
undertake a project to identify and classify U.S. wetlands (but
requires the Secretaries to obtain written permission from the
owner of private property before entering such property to
conduct such identification and classification).


    Directs the Secretary to establish procedures pursuant to
which: (1) landowners may appeal determinations of regulatory
jurisdiction over a parcel of property, wetlands classifications
with respect to property, or determinations that an activity does
not qualify under a general permit; (2) any person may appeal a
determination that a proposed activity is not exempt (non-exempt
activities require permits); (3) permit applicants may appeal
determinations to deny issuance of a permit or to impose a
requirement under the permit; and (4) landowners or others
required to restore or alter property may appeal an order to do
so. Provides that persons who have filed appeals shall not be
required to pay penalties or perform mitigation or restoration
until the appeal has been decided.


    Authorizes civil actions and prescribes penalties for permit
violations.


    Authorizes States to administer permit programs for
activities covered by this Act, subject to the Secretary`s
approval. Sets forth provisions regarding the treatment of
existing programs.


    Deems specified activities associated with cranberry
production operations to be in compliance with provisions
regarding effluent limitations, subject to certain conditions.


    Directs the Secretary, in implementing responsibilities under
the regulatory program, to balance the objective of conserving
functioning wetlands with the objectives of ensuring continued
economic growth, providing essential infrastructure, maintaining
strong State and local tax bases, and protecting against the
diminishment of the use and value of private property. Requires
the Secretary and the heads of Federal agencies to seek to
minimize the effects of the regulatory program on the use and
value of private property.


    Directs the Secretary to develop procedures for facilitating
actions necessary to respond to emergency conditions under this
Act which may involve loss of life or property damage.


    Provides for reevaluation of determinations of regulatory
jurisdiction or permit conditions imposed before this Act`s
enactment upon the request of a permit holder. Authorizes
modification or suspension of permits, as appropriate. Bars
compensation to persons as a result of such reevaluation and
continues activities in Type A wetlands without permit
modification.


    Sets forth conditions under which activities which were
previously denied permits may be authorized.


    Prohibits the Administrator from imposing any requirement or
condition in a certification required under the CWA that the
Secretary determines is inconsistent with this title.


     Title IX: Navigational Dredging  - Amends the Marine
Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 to transfer
specified permitting authorities regarding ocean dumping of
dredged materials from the Administrator to the Secretary of the
Army and to repeal specified provisions requiring the concurrence
of the Administrator with respect to permit determinations.


     Title X: Additional Provisions  - Amends the Coastal Zone
Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990 to authorize (current law
requires) each State for which a management program has been
approved under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 to prepare
and submit to the Administrator (currently, the Secretary of
Commerce and the Administrator) a Coastal Nonpoint Pollution
Control Program for approval.


    Gives coastal States the choice of participating either in
the Federal Coastal Zone Management program, which requires
enforceable plans for controlling nonpoint source pollution, or
the general Federal nonpoint source pollution program, which
allows States to rely on voluntary measures.


    Revises provisions regarding program submission, approval,
and implementation, financial assistance, and authorization of
appropriations, to grant the Administrator (currently, the
Secretary) authority to take specified actions.
 (Source: Library of Congress)

LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
 02-09-95            Hearings Held by the Subcommittee on Water Resources
                     and Environment Prior to Introduction and Referral.
 02-15-95    Referred to House Committee on Transportation and
             Infrastructure.
 02-16-95            Hearings Held by the Subcommittee on Water Resources
                     and Environment Prior to Referral.
 02-21-95            Hearings Held by the Subcommittee on Water Resources
                     and Environment Prior to Referral.
 02-24-95            Hearings Held by the Subcommittee on Water Resources
                     and Environment Prior to Referral.
 03-02-95        Referred to Subcommittee on Water Resources and
                 Environment.
 03-07-95            Subcommittee Hearings Held.
 03-09-95            Subcommittee Hearings Held.
 03-29-95            Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
 03-29-95            Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee (Amended)
                     by the Yeas and Nays: 19 - 5.
 04-04-95        Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
 04-05-95        Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
 04-06-95        Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
 04-06-95        Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays:
                 42 - 16.
 05-03-95        Reported to House (Amended) by House Committee on
                 Transportation and Infrastructure Report No: 104-112.
 05-03-95    Placed on Union Calendar No: 52.
 05-09-95    Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 140 Reported to House.
 05-10-95    Rule Passed House.
 05-10-95    Called up by House by Rule.
 05-10-95    Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union
             rises leaving H.R. 961 as unfinished business.
 05-11-95    Considered by House Unfinished Business.
 05-11-95    Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union
             rises leaving H.R. 961 as unfinished business.
 05-12-95    Considered by House Unfinished Business.
 05-12-95    Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union
             rises leaving H.R. 961 as unfinished business.
 05-15-95    Considered by House Unfinished Business.
 05-15-95    Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union
             rises leaving H.R. 961 as unfinished business.
 05-16-95    Considered by House Unfinished Business.
 05-16-95    Committee Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute Considered
             as an Original Bill for the Purpose of Amendment.
 05-16-95    House Agreed to Amendments Adopted by the Committee of the
             Whole.
 05-16-95    Motion to Recommit with Instructions Failed in House
             by Yea-Nay Vote: 169 - 256 (Record Vote No: 336).
 05-16-95    Passed House (Amended) by Yea-Nay Vote: 240 - 185 (Record
             Vote No: 337).
 05-18-95    Received in the Senate.
 05-18-95    Referred to Senate Committee on Environment and Public
             Works.
 
 COMMITTEE/CONFERENCE REPORT NUMBERS:
       05-03-95    Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Transportation.
                   H. Rept. 104-112.



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Last updated July 17, 1996 by Heidi Mohlman, Government Affairs intern

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