33 U.S. Code § 1330 - National estuary program

§ 1330.
National estuary program
(a) Management conference
(1) Nomination of estuaries

The Governor of any State may nominate to the Administrator an estuary lying in whole or in part within the State as an estuary of national significance and request a management conference to develop a comprehensive management plan for the estuary. The nomination shall document the need for the conference, the likelihood of success, and information relating to the factors in paragraph (2).

(2) Convening of conference
(A) In general

In any case where the Administrator determines, on his own initiative or upon nomination of a State under paragraph (1), that the attainment or maintenance of that water quality in an estuary which assures protection of public water supplies and the protection and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife, and allows recreational activities, in and on the water, requires the control of point and nonpoint sources of pollution to supplement existing controls of pollution in more than one State, the Administrator shall select such estuary and convene a management conference.

(B) Priority consideration

The Administrator shall give priority consideration under this section to Long Island Sound, New York and Connecticut; Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island; Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts (including Cape Cod Bay and Boston Harbor); Puget Sound, Washington; New York-New Jersey Harbor, New York and New Jersey; Delaware Bay, Delaware and New Jersey; Delaware Inland Bays, Delaware; Albemarle Sound, North Carolina; Sarasota Bay, Florida; San Francisco Bay, California; Santa Monica Bay, California; Galveston Bay, Texas; Barataria-Terrebonne Bay estuary complex, Louisiana; Indian River Lagoon, Florida; Lake Pontchartrain Basin, Louisiana and Mississippi; and Peconic Bay, New York.

(3) Boundary dispute exception

In any case in which a boundary between two States passes through an estuary and such boundary is disputed and is the subject of an action in any court, the Administrator shall not convene a management conference with respect to such estuary before a final adjudication has been made of such dispute.

(b) Purposes of conferenceThe purposes of any management conference convened with respect to an estuary under this subsection shall be to—
assess trends in water quality, natural resources, and uses of the estuary;
collect, characterize, and assess data on toxics, nutrients, and natural resources within the estuarine zone to identify the causes of environmental problems;
develop the relationship between the inplace loads and point and nonpoint loadings of pollutants to the estuarine zone and the potential uses of the zone, water quality, and natural resources;
develop a comprehensive conservation and management plan that recommends priority corrective actions and compliance schedules addressing point and nonpoint sources of pollution to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the estuary, including restoration and maintenance of water quality, a balanced indigenous population of shellfish, fish and wildlife, and recreational activities in the estuary, and assure that the designated uses of the estuary are protected;
develop plans for the coordinated implementation of the plan by the States as well as Federal and local agencies participating in the conference;
monitor the effectiveness of actions taken pursuant to the plan; and
review all Federal financial assistance programs and Federal development projects in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12372, as in effect on September 17, 1983, to determine whether such assistance program or project would be consistent with and further the purposes and objectives of the plan prepared under this section.
For purposes of paragraph (7), such programs and projects shall not be limited to the assistance programs and development projects subject to Executive Order 12372, but may include any programs listed in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance which may have an effect on the purposes and objectives of the plan developed under this section.
(c) Members of conferenceThe members of a management conference convened under this section shall include, at a minimum, the Administrator and representatives of—
each State and foreign nation located in whole or in part in the estuarine zone of the estuary for which the conference is convened;
international, interstate, or regional agencies or entities having jurisdiction over all or a significant part of the estuary;
each interested Federal agency, as determined appropriate by the Administrator;
local governments having jurisdiction over any land or water within the estuarine zone, as determined appropriate by the Administrator; and
affected industries, public and private educational institutions, and the general public, as determined appropriate by the Administrator.
(d) Utilization of existing data

In developing a conservation and management plan under this section, the management conference shall survey and utilize existing reports, data, and studies relating to the estuary that have been developed by or made available to Federal, interstate, State, and local agencies.

(e) Period of conference

A management conference convened under this section shall be convened for a period not to exceed 5 years. Such conference may be extended by the Administrator, and if terminated after the initial period, may be reconvened by the Administrator at any time thereafter, as may be necessary to meet the requirements of this section.

(f) Approval and implementation of plans
(1) Approval

Not later than 120 days after the completion of a conservation and management plan and after providing for public review and comment, the Administrator shall approve such plan if the plan meets the requirements of this section and the affected Governor or Governors concur.

(2) Implementation

Upon approval of a conservation and management plan under this section, such plan shall be implemented. Funds authorized to be appropriated under subchapters II and VI of this chapter and section 1329 of this title may be used in accordance with the applicable requirements of this chapter to assist States with the implementation of such plan.

(g) Grants
(1) Recipients

The Administrator is authorized to make grants to State, interstate, and regional water pollution control agencies and entities, State coastal zone management agencies, interstate agencies, other public or nonprofit private agencies, institutions, organizations, and individuals.

(2) Purposes

Grants under this subsection shall be made to pay for activities necessary for the development and implementation of a comprehensive conservation and management plan under this section.

(3) Federal shareThe Federal share of a grant to any person (including a State, interstate, or regional agency or entity) under this subsection for a fiscal year—
(A) shall not exceed—
75 percent of the annual aggregate costs of the development of a comprehensive conservation and management plan; and
50 percent of the annual aggregate costs of the implementation of the plan; and
shall be made on condition that the non-Federal share of the costs are provided from non-Federal sources.
(h) Grant reporting

Any person (including a State, interstate, or regional agency or entity) that receives a grant under subsection (g) of this section shall report to the Administrator not later than 18 months after receipt of such grant and biennially thereafter on the progress being made under this section.

(i) Authorization of appropriationsThere are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator not to exceed $35,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2010 for—
expenses related to the administration of management conferences under this section, not to exceed 10 percent of the amount appropriated under this subsection;
making grants under subsection (g) of this section; and
monitoring the implementation of a conservation and management plan by the management conference or by the Administrator, in any case in which the conference has been terminated.
The Administrator shall provide up to $5,000,000 per fiscal year of the sums authorized to be appropriated under this subsection to the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to carry out subsection (j) of this section.
(j) Research
(1) ProgramsIn order to determine the need to convene a management conference under this section or at the request of such a management conference, the Administrator shall coordinate and implement, through the National Marine Pollution Program Office and the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as appropriate, for one or more estuarine zones—
a long-term program of trend assessment monitoring measuring variations in pollutant concentrations, marine ecology, and other physical or biological environmental parameters which may affect estuarine zones, to provide the Administrator the capacity to determine the potential and actual effects of alternative management strategies and measures;
a program of ecosystem assessment assisting in the development of (i) baseline studies which determine the state of estuarine zones and the effects of natural and anthropogenic changes, and (ii) predictive models capable of translating information on specific discharges or general pollutant loadings within estuarine zones into a set of probable effects on such zones;
a comprehensive water quality sampling program for the continuous monitoring of nutrients, chlorine, acid precipitation dissolved oxygen, and potentially toxic pollutants (including organic chemicals and metals) in estuarine zones, after consultation with interested State, local, interstate, or international agencies and review and analysis of all environmental sampling data presently collected from estuarine zones; and
a program of research to identify the movements of nutrients, sediments and pollutants through estuarine zones and the impact of nutrients, sediments, and pollutants on water quality, the ecosystem, and designated or potential uses of the estuarine zones.
(2) ReportsThe Administrator, in cooperation with the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shall submit to the Congress no less often than biennially a comprehensive report on the activities authorized under this subsection including—
a listing of priority monitoring and research needs;
an assessment of the state and health of the Nation’s estuarine zones, to the extent evaluated under this subsection;
a discussion of pollution problems and trends in pollutant concentrations with a direct or indirect effect on water quality, the ecosystem, and designated or potential uses of each estuarine zone, to the extent evaluated under this subsection; and
an evaluation of pollution abatement activities and management measures so far implemented to determine the degree of improvement toward the objectives expressed in subsection (b)(4) of this section.
(k) Definitions

For purposes of this section, the terms “estuary” and “estuarine zone” have the meanings such terms have in section 1254(n)(4) of this title, except that the term “estuarine zone” shall also include associated aquatic ecosystems and those portions of tributaries draining into the estuary up to the historic height of migration of anadromous fish or the historic head of tidal influence, whichever is higher.

References in Text

Executive Order 12372, referred to in subsec. (b), is Ex. Ord. No. 12372, July 14, 1982, 47 F.R. 30959, as amended, which is set out under section 6506 of Title 31, Money and Finance.


2004—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 108–399 substituted “2010” for “2005” in introductory provisions.

2002—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 107–303 repealed Pub. L. 105–362, § 501(a)(2). See 1998 Amendment note below.

2000—Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 106–457, § 301, inserted “Lake Pontchartrain Basin, Louisiana and Mississippi;” before “and Peconic Bay, New York.”

Subsec. (g)(2), (3). Pub. L. 106–457, § 302, added pars. (2) and (3) and struck out former pars. (2) and (3) which read as follows:

“(2) Purposes.—Grants under this subsection shall be made to pay for assisting research, surveys, studies, and modeling and other technical work necessary for the development of a conservation and management plan under this section.

“(3) Federal share.—The amount of grants to any person (including a State, interstate, or regional agency or entity) under this subsection for a fiscal year shall not exceed 75 percent of the costs of such research, survey, studies, and work and shall be made on condition that the non-Federal share of such costs are provided from non-Federal sources.”

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 106–457, § 303, substituted “$35,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2005” for “$12,000,000 per fiscal year for each of fiscal years 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991”.

1998—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 105–362, § 501(a)(2), which directed the substitution of “section 1254(n)(3)” for “section 1254(n)(4)”, was repealed by Pub. L. 107–303. See Effective Date of 2002 Amendment note below.

1988—Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 100–653, § 1004, and Pub. L. 100–688, § 2001(1), made identical amendments, inserting “Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts (including Cape Cod Bay and Boston Harbor);” after “Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts;”.

Pub. L. 100–688, § 2001(2), substituted “California; Galveston” for “California; and Galveston”.

Pub. L. 100–688, § 2001(3), which directed insertion of “; Barataria-Terrebonne Bay estuary complex, Louisiana; Indian River Lagoon, Florida; and Peconic Bay, New York” after “Galveston Bay, Texas;” was executed by making insertion after “Galveston Bay, Texas” as probable intent of Congress.

1987—Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 100–202 inserted “Santa Monica Bay, California;”.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–303 effective Nov. 10, 1998, and Federal Water Pollution Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) to be applied and administered on and after Nov. 27, 2002, as if amendments made by section 501(a)–(d) of Pub. L. 105–362 had not been enacted, see section 302(b) of Pub. L. 107–303, set out as a note under section 1254 of this title.

Massachusetts Bay Protection; Definition; Findings and Purpose; Funding Sources

Pub. L. 100–653, title X, §§ 1002, 1003, 1005, Nov. 14, 1988, 102 Stat. 3835, 3836, provided that:

“SEC. 1002.

“For purposes of this title [amending section 1330 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 1251 and 1330 of this title], the term ‘Massachusetts Bay’ includes Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod Bay, and Boston Harbor, consisting of an area extending from Cape Ann, Massachusetts south to the northern reach of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

“SEC. 1003.
“(a)Findings.—The Congress finds and declares that—
Massachusetts Bay comprises a single major estuarine and oceanographic system extending from Cape Ann, Massachusetts south to the northern reaches of Cape Cod, encompassing Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and Cape Cod Bay;
several major riverine systems, including the Charles, Neponset, and Mystic Rivers, drain the watersheds of eastern Massachusetts into the Bay;
the shorelines of Massachusetts Bay, first occupied in the middle 1600’s, are home to over 4 million people and support a thriving industrial and recreational economy;
Massachusetts Bay supports important commercial fisheries, including lobsters, finfish, and shellfisheries, and is home to or frequented by several endangered species and marine mammals;
Massachusetts Bay also constitutes an important recreational resource, providing fishing, swimming, and boating opportunities to the region;
rapidly expanding coastal populations and pollution pose increasing threats to the long-term health and integrity of Massachusetts Bay;
while the cleanup of Boston Harbor will contribute significantly to improving the overall environmental quality of Massachusetts Bay, expanded efforts encompassing the entire ecosystem will be necessary to ensure its long-term health;
the concerted efforts of all levels of Government, the private sector, and the public at large will be necessary to protect and enhance the environmental integrity of Massachusetts Bay; and
the designation of Massachusetts Bay as an Estuary of National Significance and the development of a comprehensive plan for protecting and restoring the Bay may contribute significantly to its long-term health and environmental integrity.
The purpose of this title is to protect and enhance the environmental quality of Massachusetts Bay by providing for its designation as an Estuary of National Significance and by providing for the preparation of a comprehensive restoration plan for the Bay.
“SEC. 1005.

“Within one year of enactment [Nov. 14, 1988], the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Governor of Massachusetts shall undertake to identify and make available sources of funding to support activities pertaining to Massachusetts Bay undertaken pursuant to or authorized by section 320 of the Clean Water Act [33 U.S.C. 1330], and shall make every effort to coordinate existing research, monitoring or control efforts with such activities.”

Purposes and Policies of National Estuary Program

Pub. L. 100–4, title III, § 317(a), Feb. 4, 1987, 101 Stat. 61, provided that:

“(1)Findings.—Congress finds and declares that—
the Nation’s estuaries are of great importance for fish and wildlife resources and recreation and economic opportunity;
maintaining the health and ecological integrity of these estuaries is in the national interest;
increasing coastal population, development, and other direct and indirect uses of these estuaries threaten their health and ecological integrity;
long-term planning and management will contribute to the continued productivity of these areas, and will maximize their utility to the Nation; and
better coordination among Federal and State programs affecting estuaries will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the national effort to protect, preserve, and restore these areas.
“(2)Purposes.—The purposes of this section [enacting this section] are to—
identify nationally significant estuaries that are threatened by pollution, development, or overuse;
promote comprehensive planning for, and conservation and management of, nationally significant estuaries;
encourage the preparation of management plans for estuaries of national significance; and
enhance the coordination of estuarine research.”

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40 CFR - Protection of Environment






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