The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Office of Congressional and government Affairs
At A Glance
 
 
Public Law
: America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018
: 115-270
Session: 115th Congress (Second Session)

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.)
 
S3021            Klobuchar (D-Minn.)       09/13/18
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, to provide for water pollution control activities, and for other purposes.
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TITLE I—WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
 
 
SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE. 
 
  This title may be cited as the “Water Resources Development Act of 2018”. 
 
SEC. 102. SECRETARY DEFINED. 
 
  In this title, the term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Army. 
 
 
Subtitle A—General Provisions
 
 
SEC. 1101. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT BILLS. 
 
  It is the sense of Congress that, because the missions of the Corps of Engineers for navigation, flood control, beach erosion control and shoreline protection, hydroelectric power, recreation, water supply, environmental protection, restoration, and enhancement, and fish and wildlife mitigation benefit all Americans, and because water resources development projects are critical to maintaining the country’s economic prosperity, national security, and environmental protection, Congress should consider a water resources development bill not less often than once every Congress. 
 
SEC. 1102. STUDY OF THE FUTURE OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. 
 
  (a) In General.—The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to convene a committee of experts to carry out a comprehensive study on— 
   
  (1) the ability of the Corps of Engineers to carry out its statutory missions and responsibilities, and the potential effects of transferring the functions (including regulatory obligations), personnel, assets, and civilian staff responsibilities of the Secretary relating to civil works from the Department of Defense to a new or existing agency or subagency of the Federal Government, including how such a transfer might affect the Federal Government’s ability to meet the current statutory missions and responsibilities of the Corps of Engineers; and 
   
  (2) improving the Corps of Engineers’ project delivery processes, including recommendations for such improvements, taking into account factors including— 
       
  (A) the effect of the annual appropriations process on the ability of the Corps of Engineers to efficiently secure and carry out contracts for water resources development projects and perform regulatory obligations; 
       
  (B) the effect that the current Corps of Engineers leadership and geographic structure at the division and district levels has on its ability to carry out its missions in a cost-effective manner; and 
       
  (C) the effect of the frequency of rotations of senior leaders of the Corps of Engineers and how such frequency affects the function of the district. 

  (b) Considerations.—The study carried out under subsection (a) shall include consideration of— 
   
  (1) effects on the national security of the United States; 
   
  (2) the ability of the Corps of Engineers to maintain sufficient engineering capability and capacity to assist ongoing and future operations of the United States armed services; 
   
  (3) emergency and natural disaster response obligations of the Federal Government that are carried out by the Corps of Engineers; and 
   
  (4) the ability of the Corps of Engineers to increase efficiency, coordination, transparency, and cost savings of the project delivery process. 

  (c) Submission to Congress.—The Secretary shall submit the final report of the National Academy containing the findings of the study carried out under subsection (a) to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act. 

  (d) Congressional Approval.—The Secretary may not implement the findings of the study carried out under subsection (a) unless expressly authorized by Congress. 
 
SEC. 1103. STUDY ON ECONOMIC AND BUDGETARY ANALYSES. 
 
  (a) In General.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to— 
   
  (1) carry out a study on the economic principles and analytical methodologies currently used by or applied to the Corps of Engineers to formulate, evaluate, and budget for water resources development projects; and 
   
  (2) make recommendations to Congress on potential changes to such principles and methodologies to improve transparency, return on Federal investment, cost savings, and prioritization, in the formulation, evaluation, and budgeting of such projects. 

  (b) Considerations.—The study under subsection (a) shall include— 
   
  (1) an analysis of the current economic principles and analytical methodologies used by or applied to the Corps of Engineers in determining the total benefits and total costs during the formulation of, and plan selection for, a water resources development project; 
   
  (2) an analysis of improvements or alternatives to how the Corps of Engineers utilizes the National Economic Development, Regional Economic Development, Environmental Quality, and Other Social Effects accounts developed by the Institute for Water Resources of the Corps of Engineers in the formulation of, and plan selection for, such projects; 
   
  (3) an analysis of whether such principles and methodologies fully account for all of the potential benefits of project alternatives, including any reasonably associated benefits of such alternatives that are not contrary to law, Federal policy, or sound water resources management; 
   
  (4) an analysis of whether such principles and methodologies fully account for all of the costs of project alternatives, including potential societal costs, such as lost ecosystem services, and full lifecycle costs for such alternatives; 
   
  (5) an analysis of the methodologies utilized by the Federal Government in setting and applying discount rates for benefit-cost analyses used in the formulation, evaluation, and budgeting of Corps of Engineers water resources development projects; 
   
  (6) an analysis of whether or not the Corps of Engineers— 
       
  (A) considers cumulative benefits of locally developed projects, including Master Plans approved by the Corps; and 
       
  (B) uses the benefits referred to in subparagraph (A) for purposes of benefit-cost analysis for project justification for potential projects within such Master Plans; and 
   
  (7) consideration of the report submitted under section 1204, if that report is submitted prior to completion of the study under this section. 

  (c) Publication.—The agreement entered into under subsection (a) shall require the National Academy of Sciences to, not later than 30 days after the completion of the study— 
   
  (1) submit a report containing the results of the study and the recommendations to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and 
   
  (2) make a copy of such report available on a publicly accessible website. 
 
 
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