[Senate Report 108-179]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                                                       Calendar No. 354
108th Congress                                                   Report
 1st Session                                                    108-179




                October 30, 2003.--Ordered to be printed


    Mr. Inhofe, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [to accompany S. 1663]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 1663) to revise certain Coastal Barrier 
Resources System maps, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    Coastal barriers are unique land areas that form the bridge 
between low-lying coastal areas and seawater. They perform 
functions supporting fragile ecosystems and serve as prized 
recreational areas for the public. Because of their inherent 
beauty and hydrological values, coastal barriers are under 
significant development pressures. However, coastal barriers 
are composed of unstable elements and are susceptible to storm 
damage and chronic erosion.
    Recognizing the environmental and economic risks associated 
with developing coastal barriers, Congress enacted the Coastal 
Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) in 1982. The law established a 
prohibition against Federal spending, primarily Federal flood 
insurance assistance and Federal infrastructure spending, in 
areas denoted in designated CBRA units. No prohibitions exist 
against private expenditures in CBRA units and individuals who 
chose to build and invest in these hazard-prone areas will 
incur the full cost of that risk. Approximately 590,000 acres 
were established as CBRA units along the Atlantic and Gulf 
coasts of the United States.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) manages the CBRA 
program and provides information to the public, as well as 
city, State, and local officials on questions pertaining to the 
delineations of CBRA units. The Service also maintains the 
official maps outlining the individual units. Congress enacts 
periodic revisions to official unit maps that replace previous 
    In 1990, Congress passed the Coastal Barrier Improvement 
Act, which extended CBRA units into the Great Lakes, Puerto 
Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 1990 statute also 
established designations of ``otherwise protected areas'' 
(OPAs) into the unit system. Properties located within an OPA 
unit are ineligible for Federal flood insurance.
    The 2000 Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act made 
a series of programmatic changes to the USFWS operation of the 
program. The statute also renamed the unit system as the ``John 
H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System.''
    When disputes arise as to the application of CBRA OPA unit 
prohibitions on private property, the USFWS reviews the case 
history establishing the unit and compares that to the official 
contours on the official map. Because the accuracy of map 
information creating the otherwise protected areas can vary 
widely, a Service investigation of the official unit boundaries 
may not correspond with the case history or congressional 
intent that exists for the OPA unit.
    Responding to a request to look into cases of private lands 
being included in the OPA NC-07P unit, the USFWS conducted 
research of the administrative record that identified several 
inconsistencies with what the Service believes to be the 
original intent of the OPA boundaries.
    As is its preference, the USFWS seeks to review all 
boundaries of a specific unit when one comes into question. As 
such, a Service review of the NC-07P unit found that the 
existing 1990 map incorrectly includes 49 acres of privately 
owned property that are not ``inholdings'' and does not follow 
the actual protected area boundary totaling approximately 5,961 
    USFWS supports S. 1663, which adopts new official maps for 
the NC-07P unit, making a series of alterations to the current 
official map to more accurately reflect the contours of the 
otherwise protected area.

                     Objectives of the Legislation

    This legislation will revise several technical errors on 
the maps corresponding to the NC-07P unit of the John H. Chafee 
Coastal Barrier Resources System to reflect the original intent 
of Congress. S. 1663 will adopt two new maps for the NC-07P 
unit that exclude 49 acres of privately owned property and 
include 5,961 acres of additional OPA property to more 
accurately depict the protected area boundaries. The new maps 
were developed in collaboration with local landowners and 
officials from local property owners, conservancy groups, the 
North Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. 

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Replacement of Certain Coastal Barrier Resources System Maps
    This section replaces the two original official maps 
subtitled ``NC-07P'' relating to the Coastal Barrier Resources 
System Cape Fear Unit NC-07P, that are included in the set of 
maps entitled ``Coastal Barrier Resources System'' with two new 
official maps that reflect the technical corrections that 
exclude 49 acres of privately owned property and include 5,961 
acres of additional OPA property to more accurately depict the 
protected area boundaries.

                          Legislative History

    S. 1663 was introduced on September 25, 2003, by Senator 
Dole and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works. The committee met on October 15, 2003 to consider the 

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 1663 on October 15, 2003. The committee favorably 
reported the bill by voice vote.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 1663 
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it 
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of 

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 1663 would 
impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, October 30, 2003.

Hon. James M. Inhofe, Chairman,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1663, a bill to 
replace certain Coastal Barrier Resources System maps.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis 
who can be reached at 226-2860.
                                        Douglas Holtz-Eakin

S. 1663, A bill to replace certain Coastal Barrier Resources System 
        maps, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on 
        Environment and Public Works on October 15, 2003
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1663 would have no 
significant impact on the Federal budget over the next 5 years. 
The bill could affect direct spending, but we expect that net 
changes would be negligible.
    S. 1663 would replace two maps of otherwise protected areas 
(OPAs) in the Cape Fear Unit of North Carolina's Coastal 
Barrier Resources System. (OPAs are lands owned by government 
agencies or certain nonprofit organizations.) The new maps 
would exclude from the Cape Fear OPAs around 49 acres of 
private property and include 5,960 acres of Federal and State 
land. Enacting the bill would enable the owners of hte excluded 
property to participate in the Federal flood insurance program. 
CBO estimates that, once insurance policies have been written 
on all of that property, premium collections into the national 
flood insurance fund would increase by less than $500,000 a 
year. New collections would be partially offset by new 
mandatory spending for underwriting and administrative 
expenses. The Federal Government may also incur additional 
costs for losses associated with future floods that might 
affect the newly insured properties, but CBO has no basis for 
predicting such events.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made 
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will replace two 
maps entitled ``NC-07P,'' designated as Coastal Barrier 
Resources System Cape Fear Unit NC07P, authorized by the 
Coastal Barrier Resources Act [16 U.S.C., 3503(a)], as amended.