42 U.S. Code § 17272 - Assessment of carbon sequestration and methane and nitrous oxide emissions from ecosystems

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(a) Definitions
In this section:
(1) Adaptation strategy
The term “adaptation strategy” means a land use and management strategy that can be used—
(A) to increase the sequestration capabilities of covered greenhouse gases of any ecosystem; or
(B) to reduce the emissions of covered greenhouse gases from any ecosystem.
(2) Assessment
The term “assessment” means the national assessment authorized under subsection (b).
(3) Covered greenhouse gas
The term “covered greenhouse gas” means carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane gas.
(4) Ecosystem
The term “ecosystem” means any terrestrial, freshwater aquatic, or coastal ecosystem, including an estuary.
(5) Native plant species
The term “native plant species” means any noninvasive, naturally occurring plant species within an ecosystem.
(6) Secretary
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.
(b) Authorization of assessment
Not later than 2 years after the date on which the final methodology is published under subsection (f)(3)(D), the Secretary shall complete a national assessment of—
(1) the quantity of carbon stored in and released from ecosystems, including from man-caused and natural fires; and
(2) the annual flux of covered greenhouse gases in and out of ecosystems.
(c) Components
In conducting the assessment under subsection (b), the Secretary shall—
(1) determine the processes that control the flux of covered greenhouse gases in and out of each ecosystem;
(2) estimate the potential for increasing carbon sequestration in natural and managed ecosystems through management activities or restoration activities in each ecosystem;
(3) develop near-term and long-term adaptation strategies or mitigation strategies that can be employed—
(A) to enhance the sequestration of carbon in each ecosystem;
(B) to reduce emissions of covered greenhouse gases from ecosystems; and
(C) to adapt to climate change; and
(4) estimate the annual carbon sequestration capacity of ecosystems under a range of policies in support of management activities to optimize sequestration.
(d) Use of native plant species
In developing restoration activities under subsection (c)(2) and management strategies and adaptation strategies under subsection (c)(3), the Secretary shall emphasize the use of native plant species (including mixtures of many native plant species) for sequestering covered greenhouse gas in each ecosystem.
(e) Consultation
(1) In general
In conducting the assessment under subsection (b) and developing the methodology under subsection (f), the Secretary shall consult with—
(A) the Secretary of Energy;
(B) the Secretary of Agriculture;
(C) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
(D) the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere; and
(E) the heads of other relevant agencies.
(2) Ocean and coastal ecosystems
In carrying out this section with respect to ocean and coastal ecosystems (including estuaries), the Secretary shall work jointly with the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere.
(f) Methodology
(1) In general
Not later than 1 year after December 19, 2007, the Secretary shall develop a methodology for conducting the assessment.
(2) Requirements
The methodology developed under paragraph (1)—
(A) shall—
(i) determine the method for measuring, monitoring, and quantifying covered greenhouse gas emissions and reductions;
(ii) estimate the total capacity of each ecosystem to sequester carbon; and
(iii) estimate the ability of each ecosystem to reduce emissions of covered greenhouse gases through management practices; and
(B) may employ economic and other systems models, analyses, and estimates, to be developed in consultation with each of the individuals described in subsection (e).
(3) External review and publication
On completion of a proposed methodology, the Secretary shall—
(A) publish the proposed methodology;
(B) at least 60 days before the date on which the final methodology is published, solicit comments from—
(i) the public; and
(ii) heads of affected Federal and State agencies;
(C) establish a panel to review the proposed methodology published under subparagraph (A) and any comments received under subparagraph (B), to be composed of members—
(i) with expertise in the matters described in subsections (c) and (d); and
(ii) that are, as appropriate, representatives of Federal agencies, institutions of higher education, nongovernmental organizations, State organizations, industry, and international organizations; and
(D) on completion of the review under subparagraph (C), publish in the Federal Register the revised final methodology.
(g) Estimate; review
The Secretary shall—
(1) based on the assessment, prescribe the data, information, and analysis needed to establish a scientifically sound estimate of the carbon sequestration capacity of relevant ecosystems; and
(2) not later than 180 days after the date on which the assessment is completed, submit to the heads of applicable Federal agencies and the appropriate committees of Congress a report that describes the results of the assessment.
(h) Data and report availability
On completion of the assessment, the Secretary shall incorporate the results of the assessment into a web-accessible database for public use.
(i) Authorization
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $20,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.


(Pub. L. 110–140, title VII, § 712,Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1713.)


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