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 of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)
S612 Cornyn (R-Texas) 12/10/16
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)
To provide for improvements to the rivers and harbors of the United States, to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, and for other purposes.
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TITLE I—WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
SUBTITLE A—GENERAL PROVISIONS
SEC. 1173. STUDY ON PERFORMANCE OF INNOVATIVE MATERIALS.
(a) Innovative Material Defined.—In this section, the term “innovative material”, with respect to a water resources development project, includes high performance concrete formulations, geosynthetic materials, advanced alloys and metals, reinforced polymer composites, including any coatings or other corrosion prevention methods used in conjunction with such materials, and any other material, as determined by the Secretary.
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall offer to enter into a contract with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences—
(A) to develop a proposal to study the use and performance of innovative materials in water resources development projects carried out by the Corps of Engineers; and
(B) after the opportunity for public comment provided in accordance with subsection (c), to carry out the study proposed under subparagraph (A).
(2) CONTENTS.—The study under paragraph (1) shall identify—
(A) the conditions that result in degradation of water resources infrastructure;
(B) the capabilities of innovative materials in reducing degradation;
(C) any statutory, fiscal, regulatory, or other barriers to the expanded successful use of innovative materials;
(D) recommendations on including performance-based requirements for the incorporation of innovative materials into the Unified Facilities Guide Specifications;
(E) recommendations on how greater use of innovative materials could increase performance of an asset of the Corps of Engineers in relation to extended service life;
(F) additional ways in which greater use of innovative materials could empower the Corps of Engineers to accomplish the goals of the Strategic Plan for Civil Works of the Corps of Engineers; and
(G) recommendations on any further research needed to improve the capabilities of innovative materials in achieving extended service life and reduced maintenance costs in water resources development infrastructure.
(c) Public Comment.—After developing the study proposal under subsection (b)(1)(A) and before carrying out the study under subsection (b)(1)(B), the Secretary shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the study proposal.
(d) Consultation.—In carrying out the study under subsection (b)(1), the Secretary, at a minimum, shall consult with relevant experts on engineering, environmental, and industry considerations.
(e) Report to Congress.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report describing the results of the study under subsection (b)(1).
Subtitle J—California Water
SEC. 4001. OPERATIONS AND REVIEWS.
(a) Water Supplies.—The Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Commerce shall provide the maximum quantity of water supplies practicable to Central Valley Project agricultural, municipal and industrial contractors, water service or repayment contractors, water rights settlement contractors, exchange contractors, refuge contractors, and State Water Project contractors, by approving, in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws (including regulations), operations or temporary projects to provide additional water supplies as quickly as possible, based on available information.
(b) Administration.—In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Commerce shall, consistent with applicable laws (including regulations)—
(1)(A) in close coordination with the California Department of Water Resources and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, implement a pilot project to test and evaluate the ability to operate the Delta cross-channel gates daily or as otherwise may be appropriate to keep them open to the greatest extent practicable to protect out-migrating salmonids, manage salinities in the interior Delta and any other water quality issues, and maximize Central Valley Project and State Water Project pumping, subject to the condition that the pilot project shall be designed and implemented consistent with operational criteria and monitoring criteria required by the California State Water Resources Control Board; and
(B) design, implement, and evaluate such real-time monitoring capabilities to enable effective real-time operations of the cross channel in order efficiently to meet the objectives described in subparagraph (A);
(2) with respect to the operation of the Delta cross-channel gates described in paragraph (1), collect data on the impact of that operation on—
(A) species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);
(B) water quality; and
(C) water supply benefits;
(3) collaborate with the California Department of Water Resources to install a deflection barrier at Georgiana Slough and the Delta Cross Channel Gate to protect migrating salmonids, consistent with knowledge gained from activities carried out during 2014 and 2015;
(4) upon completion of the pilot project in paragraph (1), submit to the Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources and Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Natural Resources a written notice and explanation on the extent to which the gates are able to remain open and the pilot project achieves all the goals set forth in paragraphs (1) through (3);
(5) implement turbidity control strategies that may allow for increased water deliveries while avoiding jeopardy to adult Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus);
(6) in a timely manner, evaluate any proposal to increase flow in the San Joaquin River through a voluntary sale, transfer, or exchange of water from an agency with rights to divert water from the San Joaquin River or its tributaries;
(7) adopt a 1:1 inflow to export ratio for the increment of increased flow, as measured as a 3-day running average at Vernalis during the period from April 1 through May 31, that results from the voluntary sale, transfer, or exchange, unless the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Commerce determine in writing that a 1:1 inflow to export ratio for that increment of increased flow will cause additional adverse effects on listed salmonid species beyond the range of the effects anticipated to occur to the listed salmonid species for the duration of the salmonid biological opinion using the best scientific and commercial data available; and subject to the condition that any individual sale, transfer, or exchange using a 1:1 inflow to export ratio adopted under the authority of this section may only proceed if—
(A) the Secretary of the Interior determines that the environmental effects of the proposed sale, transfer, or exchange are consistent with effects permitted under applicable law (including the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.), and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (California Water Code 13000 et seq.));
(B) Delta conditions are suitable to allow movement of the acquired, transferred, or exchanged water through the Delta consistent with existing Central Valley Project and State Water Project permitted water rights and the requirements of subsection (a)(1)(H) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act; and
(C) such voluntary sale, transfer, or exchange of water results in flow that is in addition to flow that otherwise would occur in the absence of the voluntary sale, transfer, or exchange;
(8)(A) issue all necessary permit decisions during emergency consultation under the authority of the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Commerce not later than 60 days after receiving a completed application by the State to place and use temporary barriers or operable gates in Delta channels to improve water quantity and quality for State Water Project and Central Valley Project south-of-Delta water contractors and other water users, which barriers or gates shall provide benefits for species protection and in-Delta water user water quality, provided that they are designed so that, if practicable, formal consultations under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1536) are not necessary; and
(B) take longer to issue the permit decisions in subparagraph (A) only if the Secretary determines in writing that an Environmental Impact Statement is needed for the proposal to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);
(9) allow and facilitate, consistent with existing priorities, water transfers through the C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant or the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant from April 1 to November 30;
(10) require the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commissioner of Reclamation to—
(A) determine if a written transfer proposal is complete within 30 days after the date of submission of the proposal. If the contracting district or agency or the Secretary determines that the proposal is incomplete, the district or agency or the Secretary shall state with specificity what must be added to or revised for the proposal to be complete;
(B) complete all requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. et seq.) necessary to make final permit decisions on water transfer requests in the State, not later than 45 days after receiving a completed request;
(C) take longer to issue the permit decisions in subparagraph (B) only if the Secretary determines in writing that an Environmental Impact Statement is needed for the proposal to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. et seq.), or that the application is incomplete pursuant to subparagraph (A); and
(D) approve any water transfer request described in subparagraph (A) to maximize the quantity of water supplies on the condition that actions associated with the water transfer are consistent with—
(i) existing Central Valley Project and State Water Project permitted water rights and the requirements of section 3405(a)(1)(H) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act; and
(ii) all other applicable laws and regulations;
(11) in coordination with the Secretary of Agriculture, enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study, to be completed not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subtitle, on the effectiveness and environmental impacts of salt cedar biological control efforts on increasing water supplies and improving riparian habitats of the Colorado River and its principal tributaries, in the State of California and elsewhere;
(12) pursuant to the research and adaptive management procedures of the smelt biological opinion and the salmonid biological opinion use all available scientific tools to identify any changes to the real-time operations of Bureau of Reclamation, State, and local water projects that could result in the availability of additional water supplies; and
(13) determine whether alternative operational or other management measures would meet applicable regulatory requirements for listed species while maximizing water supplies and water supply reliability; and
(14) continue to vary the averaging period of the Delta Export/Inflow ratio, to the extent consistent with any applicable State Water Resources Control Board orders under decision D-1641, to operate to a
(A) ratio using a 3-day averaging period on the rising limb of a Delta inflow hydrograph; and
(B) 14-day averaging period on the falling limb of the Delta inflow hydrograph.
(c) Other Agencies.—To the extent that a Federal agency other than the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce has a role in approving projects described in subsections (a) and (b), this section shall apply to the Federal agency.
(d) Accelerated Project Decision and Elevation.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—On request of the Governor of California, the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Commerce shall use the expedited procedures under this subsection to make final decisions relating to Federal or federally approved projects or operational changes proposed pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) to provide additional water supplies or otherwise address emergency drought conditions.
(2) REQUEST FOR RESOLUTION.—Not later than 7 days after receiving a request of the Governor of California, the Secretaries referred to in paragraph (1), or the head of another Federal agency responsible for carrying out a review of a project, as applicable, the Secretary of the Interior shall convene a final project decision meeting with the heads of all relevant Federal agencies to decide whether to approve a project to provide emergency water supplies or otherwise address emergency drought condition.
(3) NOTIFICATION.—Upon receipt of a request for a meeting under this subsection, the Secretary of the Interior shall notify the heads of all relevant Federal agencies of the request, including a description of the project to be reviewed and the date for the meeting.
(4) DECISION.—Not later than 10 days after the date on which a meeting is requested under paragraph (2), the head of the relevant Federal agency shall issue a final decision on the project.
(2) MEETING CONVENED BY SECRETARY.—The Secretary of the Interior may convene a final project decision meeting under this subsection at any time, at the discretion of the Secretary, regardless of whether a meeting is requested under paragraph (2).
(3) LIMITATION.—The expedited procedures under this subsection apply only to—
(A) proposed new Federal projects or operational changes pursuant to subsection (a) or (b); and
(B) the extent they are consistent with applicable laws (including regulations).
(e) Operations Plan.—The Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior, in consultation with appropriate State officials, shall develop an operations plan that is consistent with the provisions of this subtitle and other applicable Federal and State laws, including provisions that are intended to provide additional water supplies that could be of assistance during the current drought.