List of Expired or Expiring Geoscience-Related Authorization Bills (2-7-01)

Every year the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) generates a list of authorization bills that have expired or will expire at the end of the present fiscal year (FY).  AGI has condensed this list to legislation that is pertinent to the geoscience community.  The complete list  (House version) can be obtained from the CBO website.  A Senate version is also availiable -- the two lists are almost identical.

Each entry gives a Public Law (P.L.) number, the bill title, a short description of the programs funded under the bill, the last dollar amount that was appropriated for programs under the authorization bill, and the amount that was appropriated for FY2001.

Expired Authorization Bills

         * EPA programs for environmental education.
                Appropriations authorized FY 1996:  $14,000,000
                Unauthorized FY 2001:                       Not Available

The National Environmental Education Act signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on November 16, 1990, mandates the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to make environmental education a priority through various activities administered by its Environmental Education Division.  The overarching goals of the act are for the EPA to arrange environmental education initiatives at the federal level and to provide national leadership for the public and private sectors.  More history and descriptions of specific programs funded by the act can be found on AGI's website: Update on the National Environmental Education Act of 1990.

            * All coal provisions except innovative clean coal technology transfer program
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 1998:  Indefinite
                   Unauthorized FY 2001:                    $170,026,000

           * Research, development and commercial application of coal
                  Appropriations Authorized FY 1997:  Indefinite
                  Unauthorized  FY 2001:                    $95,000,000

           *Global Climate Change Response fund
                 Appropriations Authorized FY 1996:  Indefinite
                 Unauthorized FY 2001:                      Not Available

            *Enhanced oil recovery program; natural gas supply program to increase recovery; oil and gas demand reduction and substitution
                  Appropriations Authorized FY 1994: Indefinite
                  Unauthorized FY 2001:                    $113,150,000

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires the Secretary of Energy to establish a comprehensive national energy policy to promote energy conservation, efficiency, and the use of renewable energy.  This is a large bill that covers a range of topics that are of interest to the geological community and industry including research and development in petroleum, coal, and climate change.  A summary and complete history of the legislation is found on the Library of Congress's Thomas website.

          * Nuclear Waste Policy Act programs funded from the nuclear waste fund
                 Appropriations Authorized  FY 1990:  $484,000,000
                 Unauthorized FY 2001:                       $191,074,00             * EPA solid and hazardous waste disposal and resource management programs
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 1988:  $237,529,000
                   Unauthorized FY 2001:                        Not Available

The Hazardous and Solid Waste amendments were authorized for many purposes.  The full bill summary is found on the Library of Congress's Thomas website.  Programs of interest include: grants to state hazardous waste programs; implementation of state, local, and intermunicipal programs for solid waste management, resource recovery, resource conservation, and hazardous waste management; grants to states for state underground storage tank release detection, prevention, and correction programs; and the National Ground Water Commission.

           * Coastal Zone Management Fund administrative expenses
                  Appropriations Authorized FY 1999:  Indefinite
                  Unauthorized FY 2001:                    $4,500,000

           * Grants to states for administration of coastal zone management programs; Program development grants; Resource management improvement grants; Coastal zone enhancement grants; Coastal nonpoint pollution control program development
                  Appropriations Authorized FY 1999:  $55,300,000
                  Unauthorized FY 2001:                      $52,000,000

The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 was re-authorized as the Coastal Zone Protection Act in 1996.  Information about programs, history, and other activities funded under this bill can be found on the the Coastal Zone Management website.  The bill supports a wide range of activities including advancing national coastal management objectives,  maintaining and strengthening state and territorial coastal management capabilities, supporting states through financial assistance ($57 million in FY 1999), mediation, technical services and information, as well as participation in priority state, regional, and local forums.

            * Department of the Interior water conservation projects
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 1998:  Indefinite
                   Unauthorized FY 2001:                    $30,600,000
               * DOE energy supply programs, science programs and (non-defense) environmental management
               Appropriations Authorized  FY 1984:  $3,205,000,000
               Unauthorized FY 2001:                       $4,124,738,000
              * Appropriation from EPA Hazardous Substance Superfund ($5.1 billion authorized for 3 years)
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 1994:  Indefinite
                   Unauthorized FY 2001:                    $635,000,000

            * General Revenue share of the Hazardous Substance Superfund
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 1994:  $250,000,000
                   Unauthorized FY 2001:                      $635,000,000

            * EPA nonpoint source management grants for protecting groundwater quality; Implementation of management programs
                   Appropriations Authorized  FY 1991:  Indefinite
                   Unauthorized FY 2001:                       Not Available

            * EPA water pollution control revolving fund grants to states
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 1994:  $600,000,000
                   Unauthorized FY 2001:                   $1,350,000,000

Congress has made no move to reauthorize the Clean Water Act (CWA) since the 104th Congress, when the House passed a reauthorization bill that died in the Senate.  The last reauthorization tookplace in 1987, and most of the provisions of that bill ran out in 1990 and 1991.  Congress has continued to appropriate funds to implement the act while they debate several specifics within the law, including the enforcement of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standards, wetlands, local wastewater treatment, and the contamination of many of the nations aquifers with MTBE, a popular gasoline oxygenate.  More information and history of the act can be found on the AGI website at Clean Water Issues in the 106th Congress.

Expiring Authorization Bills

            * Atomic energy defense activities (weapons, environmental, other defense activities, nuclear waste disposal, National Nuclear Security Administration)
                   Expiration Date:  September 30, 2001
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 2001:  $13,050,370,000             * Nautical mapping and charting functions; Hydrographic surveys; Geodetic functions; Tide and current measurement functions (NOAA)
                   Expiration Date:  September 30, 2001
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 2001:  $124,500,000             * Sediment management
                   Expiration Date:  September 30, 2001
                   Appropriations Authorized FY 2001:  $5,000,000

Sources: CBO website, AGI website, Thomas website

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program at

Contributed by Spring 2001 AGI/AAPG intern, Mary H. Patterson, and Margaret A. Baker, Government Affairs Program

Posted Febuary 20, 2001

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