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AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. BLOUIN
Mr. BLOUIN. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
Amendment offeed by Mr. Blouin : Page 8, strike out lines 19 through 25 and insert in lieu thereof the following:
SEC. 102. (a) The Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, is authorized to replace locks and dam 26, Mississippi River, Alton, Illinois and Missouri, by constructing a new dam and a single, one-hundred-and-ten-foot by one-thousand-two-hundred-foot lock at a location approximately two miles downstream from the existing dam, substantially in accordance with the recommendations of the Chief of Engineers in his report on such project dated July 31, 1976, at an estimated cost of $421,000,000.
(b) The channel above Cairo, Illinois, on the Mississippi River shall not exceed nine feet, and neither the Secretary of the Army nor any other Federal official shall study the feasibility of deepening the navigation channels in the Minnesota River, Minnesota ; Black River, Wisconsin, Saint Croix River, Minnesota and Wisconsin; the Mississippi River north of Cairo, Illinois ; the Kaskaskia River, Illinois; and the Illinois River and Waterway, Illinois, unless specifically authorized by a future Act of Congress.
(c) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Army such sums as are necessary to carry out the provisions of subsection (a) of this section for fiscal year 1978 and succeeding fiscal years.
Sec. 103. (a) The Congress hereby authorizes and directs the preparation of a comprehensive master plan for the management of the Upper Mississippi River to be prepared by the Upper Mississippi River Basin Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "Commission"), acting through the Great River Environmental Action Team, and in cooperation with the appropriate Federal, State, and local officials. A preliminary plan shall be prepared by January 1, 1981. The plan shall be subject to public hearings in each affected State. The Commission shall review all comments presented at such hearings and submitted in writing to the Commission and shall make any appropriate revisions in the preliminary plan, and shall, by January 1, 1982, submit to the Congress for approval a final master plan. Public participation in the development, revision, and enforcement of said plan shall be provided for, encouraged, and assisted by the Commission. The Commission shall, within one hundred and fifty days of enactment of this Act, publish final regulations in the Federal Register specifying minimum guidelines for public participation in such processes. Approval of the final master plan shall be granted ony by enactment of the Congress. Changes to the master plan proposed by the Commission shall require enactment by the Congress to become effective. All related activities inconsistent with the master plan or guidelines shall be deemed unlawful.
(b) The master plan authorized under subsection (a) of this section shall identify the various economic, recreational, and environmental objectives of the Upper Mississippi River System, recommended guidelines to achieve such objectives, and propose methods to assure compliance with such guidelines and coordination of future management decisions affecting the Upper Mississippi River System, and include any legislative proposals which may be necessary to carry out such recommendations and objectives.
(c) For the purposes of developing the comprehensive master plan, the Commission is authorized and directed to conduct such studies as it deems necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this section, with provision that it utilize, to the fullest extent possible, the resources and results of the Upper Mississippi River resources managements (GREAT) study conducted pursuant to section 117 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1976 (Public Law 94–587) and of other ongoing or past studies. The Commission shall request appropriate Federal, State or local agencies to prepare such studies, and any Federal agency so requested is authorized to conduct any such study for the purpose of this section. Studies conducted pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to the following:
1. (a) The carrying capacity of the Upper Mississippi River System, and (b) the long- and short-term systemic ecological impacts of (i) present and any projected expansion of navigation capacity on the fish and wildlife, water quality, wilderness, and public recreational opportunities of said rivers,
(ii) present operation and maintenance programs, (iii) the means and measures that should be adopted to prevent or minimize loss of or damage to fish and wildlife, and (iv) a specific analysis of the immediate and systemic environmental effects of any second lock at Alton, Illinois, and provide for the mitigation and enhancement of such resources. For the purposes of this paragraph, the Department of Interior shall be considered the primary agency with the cooperation of any other agencies the Commission shall deem appropriate.
2. (a) The relationship of any expansion of navigational capacity of the Upper Mississippi River System to national transportation policy, (b) the direct and indirect effects of any expansion of navigational capacity of the Nation's railroads and on shippers dependent upon rail service, (c) the transportation costs and benefits to the Nation to be derived from any expansion of navigational capacity on said River System, and (d) a specific evaluation of the need for a second lock at Alton, Illinois, and the direct and indirect systemic effects and needs for such a second lock as Alton, Illinois. For the purposes of this paragraph, the Department of Transportation shall be considered the primary agency with the cooperation of any other agencies the Commission shall deem appropriate.
3. Studies and demonstration programs, including a demonstration program to evaluate the benefits and costs of disposing of dredge soil material in contained areas located out of the flood plain. Said program shall include, but shall not be limited to, the evaluation of possible uses in the marketplace for the dredge spoil studies and demonstration programs to minimize the environmental effects of channel operation and maintenance activities.
4. Development for the Upper Mississippi River System of a computerized analytical inventory and system analysis to facilitate evaluation of the com
parative environmental effects of alternative management proposals. (d) Guidelines developed pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to, guidelines for channel maintenance, minimization of dredging vol. umes, alternate uses of dredged material, harge fleeting, protection of water quality, fish and wildlife protection and enhancement, wilderness preservation, and management of the wildlife and fish refuges within and contiguous to the upper Mississippi River system.
(e) To carry out the provisions of this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission $20,000,000. The Commission is authorized to transfer funds to such Federal, State, or local government agencies as it deems necessary to carry out the studies and analysis authorized in this section.
(f) The upper Mississippi River system consists of those river reaches contain: ing commercial navigation channels on the Mississippi River main stem north of Cairo, Illinois; the Minnesota River, Minnesota ; Black River, Wisconsin; Saint Croix River, Minnesota and Wisconsin ; Illinois River and Waterway, Illinois; and Kaskaskia River, Illinois.
(g) Except for the provisions of section 102 of this Act, and necessary operation and maintenance activities, no replacement, construction, rehabilitation that expands the navigation capacity of locks, dams, and channels shall be undertaken by the Secretary of the Army to increase the navigation capacity of the upper Mississippi River system, until the master plan prepared pursuant to this section has been approved by the Congress.
(h) The lock and dam authorized pursuant to section 102 of this Act shall be designed and constructed to provide for possible future expansion. All other navigation-related construction activities initiated by the Secretary of the Army on the upper Mississippi River north of Cairo, Illinois, and on the Illinois River north of Gratton, Illinois, shall be initiated only in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the master plan.
Renumber succeeding sections and references thereto accordingly.
Mr. Blouen (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the Record.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Iowa ?
There was no objection.
Mr. BLOUIN. Mr. Chairman, let me explain just very briefly what this amendment does. I do not intend to take a long time on this
posal today. I think the need for a new lock and dam at Alton, Ill., is well documented. The legislation has ben debated off and on around this House for enough years so that prolonging the debate at this point accomplishes very little.
What our amendment does—and our amendment is cosponsored by Congressmen, Mikva, Quie, Fraser, and Obey, as well as myself—is to put two provisions into this legislation that are already included in the Senate bill, which has already passed the Senate.
The first is a prohibition on the deepening of the 9-foot channel other than routine dredging north of the Alton lock and dam, north of Cairo, Ill., on the upper Mississippi system.
The second provision establishes a comprehensive study of the upper Mississippi River system as to how it fits into our future water transportation plans in this country and how that, as part of water transportation, fits into our overall transportation program in this Nation. It accomplishes that study, unlike the Senate version which creates a new council but rather by working through the existing GREAT team, an arm of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Commission, and having that council, which already exists and which is already into a study, broaden its scope, work on the entire upper Mississippi River system and report back to this body with its findings before any further development of the upper Mississippi River system takes place.
The second provision, as I said, is a routine prohibition on a dredging or a deepening of the 9-foot channel.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to read a letter, if I may, a very brief letter, from the U.S. Department of the Interior, from Mr. Robert L. Herbst, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks:
DEAR MR. BLOUIN: It has come to our attention that you have cosponsored amendments to H.R. 8309, a bill addressing Alton Dam and the Upper Mississippi River System.
As you know, the Administration and this Department oppose any channel depth in excess of 9 feet north of Cairo, Illinois. We also support studies to determine carrying capacity, natural resource impact of expanded navigation, and the effect of any expansion on other aspects of the transportation network.
From the specific point of view of the Fish and Wildlife Service, we have no objection to the concept of the master planning provision. A similar letter has been sent to cosponsors of the amendments.
Mr. Chairman, I think that letter states the case very clearly that this amendment will put this bill more in line with administration policy and more closely to a position where, if our version of the user fee prevails, the President would be more willing to accept the overall package in deference to a desire to have a higher fee.
Most importantly, in my opinion, it makes the bill far more acceptable to those who are concerned about the balanced development and growth of the upper Mississippi River system.
Mr. Chairman, I live on the river. I live in a town which has a history which goes back 150 years and longer. The town and the district I represent depends upon the Mississippi River and the whole system. It depends not just on the availability of that river for transportation, but for recreation, wildlife, fishing, and conservation uses, as well.
Mr. Chairman, there is no reason why this Congress or any body has to prohibit the proper navigational use or hinder the proper navigational use of that waterway. But at the same time, there is no reason why we have to turn it into a sewer. There is no reason why we have
to inihibit the ability of others to use that river for other proper gains and proper recreational efforts. There is absolutely no reason why people in the small communities who make their bread and butter off of tourism dollars have to face the possibility or using that because of the increased unwise development and improper development of that waterway system.
I think our amendment strikes a balance. It allows all sides to live in reasonable harmony on a system that has meant so very much to the heartland of this country. It allows that part of the Nation-our part of the Nation—to use that system to move our products, as well as to fish and hunt and do whatever else people enjoy doing on a water system such as that.
Mr. Chairman, I think it is a good balance. I think it is a fair and equitable approach. I think it is essential if this bill is going to garner the kind of widespread support it ought to have. Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, will
the gentleman yield? Mr. BLOUIN. I will be happy to yield to the gentleman from Missouri.
Mr. VOLKMER. Mr. Chairman, I am trying to understand the mechanics of the gentleman's amendment.
The gentleman is authorizing a commission. Is this commission, then, to work over or act as an umbrella or another commission over the GREAT that is now operating?
Mr. Blouen. No, it does not replace the GREAT.
Mr. Blouin. It is not the version as printed in the record. It is the same in every respect except for two small changes. No. 1, we do not create a new commission. We have to GREAT assigned the responsibilities of carrying out this study.
No. 2, we do not interfere with the construction of flood prevention projects on that river. This relates only to the navigation-related projects.
Mr. FRENZEL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. FRENZEL. Mr. Chairman, we did not get a chance to see the gentleman's amendment before it was proposed.
It appears to me that the gentleman really wants to amend title III, on which there is a study. The amendment is substituting a separate study. Is it possible the gentleman is in the wrong section?
Mr. Brouin. Mr. Chairman, it really does not make much difference where we start, except at the very beginning we amend page 8 by restating identically the first paragraph of title I, except for the appropriations figure, and we adjust that accordingly to transplant the study funds in another section of the bill.
Mr. FRENZEL. Mr. Chairman, as I understand the gentleman's amendment, the gentleman provides $20 million or he authorizes that amount for this study in his amendment?
Mr. Blourn. That is correct.
Mr. FRENZEL. And the amendment reduces the base authorization by $11 million?
Mr. BLOUIN. That is correct.
Mr. Blouin. The $11 million in the original appropriation in the basic bill was, as I understand it, what the committee assumed would be the cost of the studies that the basic bill called for, providing for the completion of the studies that were in the bill. The expansion of the studies, as approved by the Senate and as found in this amendment, are financially accounted for in the extra $9 million.
It is my opinion that since we are not creating a new council, we will more than likely not need as much money, and the $20 million figure will probably be able to be adjusted downward. I would hope that could be done in the conference committee when this issue certainly gets to conference.
Mr. FRENZEL. Mr. Chairman, the amendment seems to be a little bit more complicated than I had thought.
I thank the gentleman for his explanation.
Mr. Blouin. Mr. Chairman, the $421 million figure, in any event, is the same committee figure used to authorize construction of a new lock and dam, constructed in such a fashion as to provide for additional second lockage capacity if and when it is decided that is needed, and that is identical to the wording of the House bill.
Let me also make one further point. I intend to vote for this bill on final passage regardless of what happens to this amendment. I am convinced that this language is more than likely to end up in the bill in the conference committee anyway, if it is not put in here. I just cannot believe that this Congress is going to pass legislation without at least the provision for a 12-foot channel or some type of a channel on the Upper Mississippi.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman's amendment grants a very substantial role to the Department of the Interior. It says that the Department of the Interior shall be considered the primary agency.
I would just like to know on what authority the gentleman is basing his language in this bill. What is the present role of the Department of the Interior on the Mississippi River?
Mr. Bloux. I am sure the gentleman is aware of their involvement. They have a very active and involved role in nearly all aspects of the river.
Mr. OBERSTAR. What is the role of the Department, under the gentleman's amendment ?
Mr. Bloux. Mr. Chairman, let me tell the gentleman first why we chose the Department of the Interior.
The Corps of Engineers has an image as one agency that would automatically aprove just about any kind of a transportation capacity for that river. On the other hand, the other agency, the Department of Transportation, which has to an extent been involved in the waterway transportation system, has just as much of a knee-jerk reaction in favor of substantial user fees and pay-as-you-go types of cost provisions.
We think that with those two agencies which are already involved, with as automatic reflex positions as they have, it would be wise to bring another agency into it, headed up, again, remember, through