Segment 2 Of 2     Previous Hearing Segment(1)

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Tuesday, February 23, 1999
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Water Resources
and Environment,
Committee on Transportation
and Infrastructure,
Washington, D.C.

    The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:30 p.m., in room 2167, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Sherwood Boehlert [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. The subcommittee will come to order.
    The subcommittee meets today to hear from the Nation's Governors, one of America's most important issues—how to strengthen the Clean Water Act to meet current and future challenges. This will be the first in the series of hearings and legislative actions to improve the implementation and statutory framework of the Clean Water Act.
    Two weeks ago we heard from EPA about its Fiscal Year 2000 budget request, particularly the proposed $550-million cut in the Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund. As one might imagine, calls for significant cuts in clean water funding were not well received by this subcommittee on either side of the center aisle. In fact, on a bipartisan basis, we are interested in significantly increasing funding for both water infrastructure and nonpoint source pollution.
    After hearing of EPA's funding plans, we thought that it was time to hear from those on the frontlines of the clean water battlefield. What better followup than testimony from the Nation's Governors. As we all know, it is the States that administer most of the Act's programs, and it is the States that bear the brunt of underfunded or poorly implemented programs.
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    Let me be the first to welcome our distinguished witnesses who are representing not only their States but, also, the National Governors' Association and the Western Governors' Association.
    Governor Pataki, I know firsthand of your commitment to the environment and, in particular, to protecting the New York City watershed and important water bodies such as Long Island Sound. You have provided leadership that has been recognized far beyond the borders of the Empire State.
    Governor Geringer, I appreciate the challenges you face as a westerner in protecting the States' natural resources while seeking flexibility to address the special needs of arid and agriculture areas.
    Governor Glendening, all of us are aware of your efforts involving the Chesapeake Bay, which starts in my Congressional District, in the pristine waters of Otsego Lake.
    And, Mr. Gilchrest, I share your commitment to protecting this national treasure.
    Each of your perspectives will be invaluable to the committee as we review and reauthorize critical components of the Clean Water Act this year. The subcommittee is particularly interested in your views on Clean Water infrastructure needs, nonpoint source pollution, and innovative approaches to watershed protection.
    America wants clean water and, according to extensive surveys, is willing to pay for it with estimated infrastructure costs of over $280 billion for the next 20 years. Citizens understand the importance of clean water and drinking water to our basic quality of life.
    The rest of this statement is just—it waxes eloquently, but I am very mindful of the fact that all the Governors have very hectic schedules, so I ask unanimous consent to put the rest of my statement in the record. I turn the podium over now to my distinguished colleague from Pennsylvania, Mr. Borski.
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    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I am particularly pleased to welcome our distinguished panel of witnesses to the subcommittee. I know that the Governors have been very generous in making time in their schedules to be here.
    Governors, I very much appreciate your advice and counsel.
    As we look at priorities associated with the Clean Water Act, two fundamental issues come to mind. First, we must renew our commitment to participating financially with the States to fund necessary improvements in water quality. Whether the need be for wastewater treatment, correcting combined sewers, managing stormwater, reducing nonpoint sources, or restoring ecosystems, there is a continuing need for Federal assistance to State and local interests if we are to achieve the improvements of water quality which our citizens expect.
    It is time we reauthorize and amend the State Revolving Loan Fund Program to reflect the lessons we have learned over its first 10 years. Additionally, we should be looking to solve the needs that the loan program just cannot meet, where needs are particularly great, relative to the ability of the community to meet those needs.
    We should be looking beyond the loan program. This might mean partial grants or it might be new programs such as Better America Bonds, or it might be another idea developed in partnership with State and local interest. Whatever the answer, we should be working to make it a reality.
    Second, Congress needs to achieve the goals of the Clean Water Act and address the great remaining source of water pollution, nonpoint source. Attaining water quality standards is a zero-sum game. If we do not address nonpoint sources, point sources must redouble their efforts. This is neither fair nor sound economics.
    Mr. Chairman, we know what needs to be done. Let's work together in partnership with the States, local governments, and private and public interests to adequately address nonpoint source pollution within a reasonable timeframe. With your leadership and working on a bipartisan basis, as the Governors do, we ought to be able to finish what Congress began in 1972—the restoring and maintaining of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters.
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    I look forward to the testimony.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Mr. Borski.
    Is there any other member that seeks recognition?
    Mr. Gilchrest.
    Mr. GILCHREST. Just very quickly, Mr. Chairman, I would like to welcome the Governor from the great State of Maryland, Governor Glendening, to Washington this afternoon. We have worked together on a number of issues. We will continue to do so over the next several years. And I just wanted to welcome you, Governor, here to the Nation's Capital. We look forward to your testimony.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Quinn.
    Mr. QUINN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I, too, want to join you and Mrs. Kelly and others on the subcommittee welcoming all the Governors and particularly our Governor from New York, Governor Pataki. We worked closely with his office and has staff during the course of the year, and we are thrilled to have him back here this afternoon. We look forward to his comments.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Mrs. Kelly.
    Mrs. KELLY. As the Governor's own Congresswoman—from New York, the Governor from New York—I know that he loves the Hudson River as much as I do.
    And I am delighted to have you here speaking about water and the need for us to support water resources allocation into New York State and into the other States as well. Thank you for coming, and thank all of you for being here.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much.
    If no one else seeks recognition, we will go with the Governors in the order introduced.
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    Let me say there are a number of us on Capitol Hill who are really excited about this panel, because the State capitals is where the action really is these days. And I want to commend all three of you. And this is a bipartisan commendation.
    Governor Pataki, you are up first, and it is a pleasure for me to welcome you to this subcommittee because of your outstanding national leadership in a very important subject area.

    Governor PATAKI. Thank you very much, Chairman Boehlert, and I would like to just thank you, in particular, and also the Members of the House Water Resources Subcommittee for this opportunity to come here this afternoon and talk to you a little bit about what we are doing in New York State to clean our air and clean our water and how we can have a stronger partnership between the States and the Federal Government.
    And let me just also thank my colleagues, Governor Geringer and Governor Glendening, for being here. We are pleased to have the opportunity to talk to you this afternoon.
    New York State is blessed with thousands of miles of shoreline, from the shores of Long Island Sound and Montauk Point to the shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. It is a State that is blessed with incredible resources like the Hudson River—Congresswoman Kelly's area—Lake Champlain, the Mohawk Valley, and, of course, the pristine waters of Otsego Lake, Chairman Boehlert. You and I have enjoyed those pristine waters many a time.
    And New York is making a major commitment to try to make sure that all of these resources, all of these great water bodies, are not just kept clean, but cleaned even more for future generations and for the next century. And New York is making an unprecedented $1 billion investment to benefit New Yorkers for generations to come.
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    Our great Governor in New York and then President Theodore Roosevelt said, quote, ''A Nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation, increased, and not impaired, in value.'' In New York, this is our mission.
    The Clean Water Act has been a great success in New York, but there are areas where improvements can be made and where the Federal administration of the act should be improved. Major innovations—and the one I am going to talk about—in watershed protection that New York State is developing can be looked at as a model that other States in the Nation can use to protect and improve water quality.
    The New York City watershed is unique; it is comprised of eight counties, 60 towns, 11 villages, almost a million people in the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley. This watershed provides drinking water for 8 million New York City residents and 1 million suburban and upstate New Yorkers.
    Protecting this resource is an unprecedented challenge for the residents of the watershed and the Governments of the City and State of New York and, also, the Federal Government. For decades, New Yorkers struggled to figure out how we could do this but failed to reach a consensus until three years ago; we reached a historic agreement to protect New York City's drinking water supply, while allowing for intelligent and thoughtful economic growth in the upstate communities where the watershed is located.
    To assist with implementation of the city, State watershed towns' agreement, Chairman Boehlert, working with others here in Congress, got language ensuring that the EPA and the Corps of Engineers could provide funds to implement key portions of the agreement. I ask for your continued support for appropriating these resources.
    The New York City watershed agreement is not some plan that just sits on a shelf and collects dust. This is an agreement that is being implemented and put to work every day.
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    Today, I am very pleased to join with Congressman Boehlert in announcing that we have received $5.2 million in grants to the Catskill and Hudson Valley region communities under funds provided through the Water Resources Development Act to the Corps of Engineers. These will be for projects that protect New York City's drinking water while supporting the economic vitality of watershed communities. These funds will be used to help communities install new sewer facilities, help farmers control pollution runoff from their lands, and protect streams, rivers, and reservoirs that are the wellspring of the New York City water system, and also happen—if I can get a ''plug'' in here—to offer some of the best trout fishing in all of America.
    These projects represent the spirit of the watershed partnership; a partnership between the Federal, State, and local governments all working together to protect our environment and to improve our quality of life.
    I ask now for you to support a $15-million appropriation from the Safe Drinking Water Act for EPA to implement these initiatives, as well as a $15.7-million appropriation from the Water Resources Development Act for the Army Corps work in the watershed.
    New York takes great pride in the progress we have made, with your assistance, in improving the State's water quality. For example, through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the SRF, New York has provided more than $4 billion in financial assistance to communities statewide in the forms of more than 500 loans to more than 1,100 projects. The variety of projects we have been able to assist through the SRF is strong testimony to Congress' foresight in providing States great flexibility in determining how best to structure these programs. I agree with those who have said that the SRF program has been the most successful federally-sponsored infrastructure financing program ever.
    Given the remarkable success of this program, one has to wonder why the Clinton Administration has chosen to reduce the Federal contribution to this program. In each of the last three years, President Clinton has proposed less money for the Clean Water SRF than was provided the year before.
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    Projects funded by the SRF range from massive sewage treatment plants for New York City to a sewer system and sewage treatment facility to replace failed septic systems in the Village of Rensselaer Falls. We have provided low-cost financing for innovative projects such as remediation of a municipally-owned hazardous waste landfill in the Town of Wallkill and the construction of a wetland in the Village of Mineola to treat wastewater.
    For Fiscal Year 1998, the Administration requested $125 million less than was provided by Congress in the prior year. For 1999, the President, again, lowered his request, this time by $275 million below the prior year. Now, for the 2000 year, President Clinton is asking for only $800 million, a whopping $550 million less than was appropriated in the current year.
    With the Administration's failure to fulfill the promises to this essential program, the States must rely on the good judgment of you, of the Congress, to ensure that this program continues to be funded appropriately.
    As I said, New York has undertaken an ambiguous agenda to protect and maintain the quality of its waters. As we invest unprecedented State funds in our environment, it remains vitally important that the Federal Government advance its partnership with New York and the other States to clean up and protect water resources.
    In addition, I strongly urge Congress to authorize the use of the National Estuary Program—use those funds for implementation activities. Section 119 of the Clean Water Act should be amended to authorize $300 million over the next four years, or $75 million annually, as the Federal share of projects to improve the water quality of Long Island Sound. The ecology of the sound is fragile, and the level of funds needed to address the pollution of the sound is overwhelming. The National Estuary Program's planning efforts have been extremely helpful in identifying sources of pollution to the sound and the consequences of ignoring this pollution, this problem. Effectively addressing nitrogen pollution in the sound will probably cost between $660 million and $1 billion.
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    Although New York State has made a major financial commitment to this problem by providing $200 million from our Clean Water Clean Air Bond Act to help with these programs, significant additional funds are still needed. This is just another example of the need for the Federal and State governments to continue to enhance the historic partnerships that have resulted in great progress on water quality across the Nation.
    Together, we can clean up Long Island Sound. Together, we can clean up the Hudson River, an American Heritage River. Together, we can clean up Lake Champlain and Lakes Erie and Ontario, the Finger Lakes, and Onondaga Lake. We don't have to clean up Otsego Lake; Congressman Boehlert has kept that clean his entire time in office.
    We know what needs to be done. Years of research and science have shown the way. Now we need to muster the resources to travel that road.
    Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this afternoon and to offer my testimony.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Governor. You probably don't know, but I know, that you have been—I have received a note that you have a meeting with the Speaker and Majority Leader Mr. Lott. So, you will have to excuse yourself.
    Governor PATAKI. Well——
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Your statement will appear in the record in its entirety at this point. And I want to thank you for your testimony; it was very helpful to the subcommittee.
    Governor PATAKI. Well, Chairman, thank you very much, and thank you for the tremendous support that you and the members of this committee have provided to the State of New York.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you.
    Governor Geringer, welcome.
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    Governor GERINGER. Mr. Chairman, thank you, and I appreciate the opportunity—as Governor Pataki has indicated and as Governor Glendening will be indicating—the privilege, as well as the opportunity, to address this committee on issues that are affecting all of us, not only as Governors, but as citizens, which we individually are.
    Mr. Chairman, and, Mr. Borski, you both have made reference to the situation that we are discussing today with a good deal of knowledge. And it is pleasant to know that we are addressing you on terms that you already understand. So, I won't go into great detail in my testimony, but I want to highlight some of the issues that we face and some principles that we might abide by as we consider whatever changes might be made to the act.
    To address your question directly, Mr. Chairman, the proposed $550-million cut in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, ''Don't.'' That is my simple answer, speaking on my own behalf as Governor of the State of Wyoming and as the chairman of the Western Governors' Association. So, if you need a quick, simple answer up front, just leave it where it is. In fact, you could assure that funding for five years and we would have some predictability to our planning.
    But let me put it in context of how we might most effectively use that money, because no matter what level is set for spending, Mr. Chairman, it is never going to be quite enough. And from the western States' perspective, we want to maintain what we have, as much as clean up. We are still the land of high altitudes and low multitudes and great attitudes. And it is a great place to be where there is so many spaces between the places.
    We want to keep our water clean, but we also want to maintain the ability to clean it up with the limited resources that we have. The West's natural resources, in many ways, are the Nation's resources because many of the public lands are in the West; 75 percent of all Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands are in the West. It predominates many of our States, up to 90 percent in Nevada, 70 percent in Idaho, and 50 percent in my home State. We are just as concerned with those bodies of water as we are any other body of water, for both point and nonpoint source pollution.
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    But let me talk about a few principles that you might consider as you address yourself to any legislation, but particularly to the Clean Water Act.
    The western United States is growing at a faster rate than any other part of the country in percentages. It surpassed every other region. In fact, 9 of the 10 fastest-growing States are in the West. It is growth that energizes the current economic prosperity, and it also threatens the other qualities that our western citizens would like to protect. The economy of the West has changed dramatically, and the pressure increases evermore which inherently will stimulate more nonpoint source pollution than ever. With population mobility and growth, new businesses, rapid communications—that also brings a change in attended diversity in values as we approach the resource management issues in the West. It causes a hardening of positions, a polarizing of debate, and, quite often, inflexible Federal requirements compound our problem of just how we apply ourselves to a civil discourse on solving the natural resource issues of the West.
    We are looking to find new ways to vest our citizens with policies that protect the heritage and the traditions of our country, particularly, the West, and still allow the kind of development that will maintain our region's extraordinary quality of life.
    We have applied principles to a number of areas. These principles were developed first in Park City, Utah, at the meeting of the Western Governors' Association in 1995. We have applied these same principles to Great Plains areas, the Great Plains Partnership which comprises the States between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains; the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission, which deals with class 1 airsheds over the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau—but while that is air and not water, the principles still apply—the Oregon plan for the cohoe salmon and watersheds in the forest; the Texas regional water supply planning process; the Wyoming openlands initiative all embrace these principles that we have termed for the sake of no other word, ''enlibra.'' It is not in your dictionary; it is a made-up word, but it is intended to say, ''Let's move toward balance.''
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    Let me talk about these principles just briefly, Mr. Chairman, and then I want to get back to the specifics of the Clean Water Act.
    We believe that if you give us flexibility, we could give you accountability. So, while we strive to achieve national standards on clean water and the standards that need to be met, we should have neighborhood solutions. National standards, programs that are delegated, should not include prescriptive measures on how they are to be met. That is a point to bear in mind as we talk about the administration of the Clean Water Act and whether or not it even needs to be changed. It is not what the Act says, it is how it is carried out. It is not the Act; it is the actors.
    A State can tailor its own plans to meet local conditions and priorities and, thereby, ensure broad community support and ownership of the plans. You won't have clean water if people don't believe that they have a personal stake, a responsibility, in maintaining the clean water. So, while we might have national standards or nationally-developed standards, there needs to be a means for local solutions. The EPA, through its Clean Water Action Plan Initiative does not allow that, and I will address that in a moment. We believe in collaboration, not polarization.
    Successful environmental policy implementation is best accomplished through balanced, open, and inclusive approaches at the ground level, where the interested public and private stakeholders can work together to formulate the solutions to any difficult issue dealing with maintenance of our environmental resources.
    And, as important as anything, Mr. Chairman, we should reward results, not programs. Far too often, our Federal agencies are so consumed with the administration of a process that they lose sight of the ultimate goal. They forgot to raise the target; they only told us how the bullet travels, never mind where it went. Reward results, not programs, so we are focused on outcomes and not the process of the achieving it.
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    Why? Because with the emerging technologies that we have and the ability to communicate with each other, innovative approaches will often outstrip our ability to impose them through regulation. Set the standard, provide accountability to measure the result, and then move out of the way once the funding is in place. That means that we need to depend on science for facts and set priorities through a process. Those are all important items as we consider that, Mr. Chairman.
    In Wyoming, down in south-central Wyoming, there is a tributary to the Colorado River called ''Muddy Creek.'' It is called ''muddy'' because it often flows muddy. That is just an act of Nature, not a consequence of man.
    The University of Wyoming began a research investigation on the sediment transport in this high-elevation ephemeral—which means it only flows when it feels like it. That University evaluation grew into an extensive conservation effort which involved local citizens, conservation districts, county commissioners, and a number of other local people. Soon after that, Federal agencies were invited to participate, as did our State agencies. Environmental organizations and advocacy groups became involved.
    Why? Because people saw the benefit of cooperation. They leveraged their resources, their creativity, their innovation, and, together, they have improved over 125 miles of stream bed in that high-desert watershed. Much of the project is on Federal land, with some State land and some private properties, so a multitude of landownership as well. This informal group, if you will, the Muddy Creek Conservation Group assisted in the reintroduction of the endangered Cutthroat Trout in the lower reaches of the Muddy Creek. So, in spite of Governor Pataki's assertion, trout fishing is still better in Wyoming.
    Now this wouldn't have been possible without the knowledge and experience we gained from working together: scientists, ranchers, local and State, Federal agencies, all coming together. No one person, no one agency, had all the answers on Muddy Creek, and we didn't expect to. We knew that our best answers came from our collective actions. Innovation, creativity, and ingenuity are the hallmarks of the Muddy Creek watershed project. We call that particular approach Coordinated Resource Management, and it embodies the principles of enlibra, the few of which I have told you about here today.
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    We take issue in the case of the Clean Water Act with EPA's continual focus on demanding that the States follow an EPA process, their pathways, without much attention given to the result. That is contradictory to what we know is good, effective management of our natural resources. And given the fact that we have limited amounts of money to apply, we would rather focus on the end result, not the means to get there. We want improved water. Let the local interests lead; support them.
    You mentioned, Mr. Chairman, the TMDL's. The TMDL's are total maximum daily loads; those are a fragment or a remnant of the law left over from the paradigm that all pollution can be treated as point source. Indeed, most of our environmental laws emerged from that point source pollution that was present prior to the 1970's when the environmental Act was passed.
    It is not all that difficult to detect pollution that occurs at a single point, nor to regulate it. Nonpoint source is much more difficult to regulate and to control, and even to determine its source. By definition, it is ''diffuse widely-distributed, highly influenced by natural causes as well as people causes.'' The momentum from point source regulation has motivated EPA to turn a nonpoint source pollution approach into one that would approach them all as a point source for the purposes of regulation. That certainly has been the case with TMDL's.
    The Clean Water Act currently, as it stands, has allowed for tremendous progress in addressing our water quality concerns because the voluntary aspects of the Act work well and provide the flexibility needed by the States. What hasn't worked well is when the EPA has imposed what they determined to be their plan to achieving the results.     On the contrary to that approach, then, the Western Governors' Association worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to address the TMDL situation, and we are evolving a comprehensive TMDL program to allow for the flexibility that will yield better results.
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    As Governor of Wyoming, I bring to you two concerns over the Clean Water Action Plan, as advocated by the EPA. It was created by EPA in a remarkable 120 days. Remarkable, I say, because quite often regulations take closer to 120 years it seems before we come up with a clear approach on how to meet the goals of any Act that is passed. For the most part, the Clean Water Action Plan is, indeed, just simply a plan to meet goals in the act, but in two areas, the plan does far more than just simple planning.
    First, in discussing nonpoint source pollution, the plan calls for EPA to promote the establishment of enforceable State regulatory authority to implement nonpoint source controls. But wait; since the Clean Water Act does not allow EPA to have such legal authority, how is it appropriate that the EPA now required the States' imposed law that they did not have the authority to regulate.
    The second point we raise as concern—the plan changes the requirements related to section 319 nonpoint source funding by incorporating key elements established only in national guidance, not in laws or regulation. This is a clear overreaching of authority in the section 319 nonpoint source management programs.
    Wyoming is the only State that has not submitted a unified watershed assessment map. That is a presumed requirement of all States under the EPA Clean Water Action Plan. We did, however, submit a Wyoming plan to assess our watersheds. We are focused on results. We chose not to submit a map, as required by EPA, because we have an absence of totally accurate data. We are just now finishing a correction on inadequate classification of streams in Wyoming that resulted from another EPA prescriptive approach.
    The unveiling of the Administration's plan has come with the inevitable ''carrot and a stick.'' In the old fable, the carrot was used as a positive incentive, as compared to the punishment of a stick. In this case, we feel like we got both; we got the carrot and a ''whack.''
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    The funds are allocated to those States who will complete a map, yet, again, the focus is on how money can be redirected toward a use that doesn't generate results. It should concern you, in the Congress, that the Clean Water Action Plan has been done through administrative regulation which disregards the constitutional roles of the three branches of Government. But more importantly, it imposes at least 112 Federal actions, none of which you voted on, to discourage—which actually discourages local participation by the States at the local level.
    Mr. Chairman, I have a number of other comments that I will ask that they be included in my written testimony for the record. I will offer one additional comment on the funding, as you had requested.
    The Clean Water State Revolving Fund should be funded at its current balance for at least five years. Furthermore, funding under section 104 ought to be combined into section 106, along with any new funding for pollution prevention and watershed management. That result should be a single grant to each State.
    We oppose any increased matching requirement for Federal funds, and the four percent limitation on administration costs should be based upon the authorized level, not on what is actually appropriated. There needs to be a minimum amount made available for the administrative costs in each State.
    Our purpose, once again, is to promote changes that create safer, healthier environment in a more cost-effective manner. We don't have enough; let's do it in the best way possible. We believe that any reauthorization that you consider should increase the effectiveness of the law by allowing the States to focus their limited resources on solutions that yield results. The act is not in need of major repair.
    The arid nature of the western States presents unique concerns and challenges, and we should be careful that we don't lose sight of our collective national objective of clean water. Our States have considerable expertise in integrating water quality criteria with our longstanding authority to allocate water resources that is inherent in our sovereignty of States. Through legislative action, planning strategies, regulation, and local participation, we do indeed ensure protection of water quality and discharge our responsibilities to allocate, conserve, and protect water quantity.
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    The Clean Water Act should continue to ensure that the States make the crucial decisions on both quantity and quality actions.
    We have the success stories, Mr. Chairman. They are driven by local stewardship, by people who care about the natural resources in their backyard because they know that they want to pass along something better than what they inherited.
    Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to be here today. I appreciate the privilege.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Governor Geringer.
    Governor Glendening, I want you to know that the Chair is being very liberal with the five-minute rule. I did it with Governor Pataki; I did it with Governor Geringer, and I am going to do it with you, too, because this committee values very highly the input we get from the Governors. You are out there in the firing line every single day; you are some of the Nation's laboratory, so we want to have the benefit of your wise counsel. Republican, Democrat, alike, we treat you with respect, and we are looking forward to your testimony.
    Governor Glendening.
    Governor GLENDENING. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for having this hearing, and thank you for your kind comments. They are appreciated very much.
    We will try to be reasonably brief.
    May I also thank my colleague, Congressman Gilchrest, who has been a tremendous defender, not only of the Maryland environment, but a leader in the environmental effort throughout the country, and we certainly appreciate that leadership.
    I would note as well that, in addition to being here as Governor of Maryland, I serve as the chair for the Natural Resources Committee for the National Governors' Association. And, of course, we have been discussing these issues in the Association for the last several years.
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    I am pleased to be here today to support your efforts to protect America's rivers and lakes and coastal waters. And I thank my colleagues, not only for joining with all of us here today, but for the work they have been doing as well.
    Maryland is fortunate to have one of the Nation's perhaps most famous water resources, the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. In fact, Maryland is, in many ways, defined almost by the existing of the Chesapeake Bay. And it is a bay that has, not only affected Maryland, but it has supported regional economies, and it has provided a wealth of recreational opportunities as it has contributed significantly to this country's quality of life.
    I do want to thank my colleagues from surrounding States, Governors of New York and Pennsylvania, for example, who have helped keep the bay clean by their actions to protect rivers such as the Susquehanna which end up in the bay.
    The bay is like many other bodies of water around the country. Its health has improved over the last 20 years, but there are still many challenges that we face and that we must conquer before the health of the Chesapeake Bay is fully restored. I am pleased that our State is leading the way, but we do have significant help from Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., as well as the upriver States that I just mentioned. We thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee, and the President and the Vice President, and Congress, for the Clean Water Act and for providing literally billions of dollars in funding over the years. That funding helps us build the infrastructure and the pollution control programs critical to restoring the bay and other waterways across the country.
    The Nation's Clean Water program is an outstanding example of how local, State, and Federal Governments can work together in partnership with the regulation community and our citizens to accomplish important national goals.
    A key part of my message today is that the Clean Water Act is a strong, effective law. I urge you to increase funding for water pollution control and related projects and focus attention on strengthening our existing clean water programs.
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    I speak on behalf of the Governors through the National Governors' Association to say that reauthorization of the Clean Water Act is a top priority. We believe that the passage of legislation in the 106th Congress is necessary to fully achieve water quality standards in many of our watersheds.
    We believe that legislation must be narrowly focused and maybe, perhaps, side-step certain highly controversial issue for now in order to give us a good chance of passing this bill at this time. We suggest, particularly, that we concentrate on nonpoint source pollution programs and other wet weather issues.
    We know, however, that passing even a limited bill is not necessarily going to be easy. It will require us to work together in a nonpartisan way to achieve compromise. But the legislation that does so, I think, will have the tangible effects on water quality in a very cost-effective manner.
    We strongly urge, therefore, that we work with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other stakeholders including State and local government officials and business and citizens at the grassroot level, to see whether we can develop this legislation. The Governors are committed to working closely with you as we examine different approaches to this.
    It is important to remember that despite all the progress that we have made in restoring the waterways such as the Chesapeake Bay, the dawn of the 21st century brings with it many new challenges that threaten our advances. Serious water quality problems remain. Nationally, the States report that 36 percent of surveyed stream miles are degraded as are 38 percent of the surveyed lake and estuary waters. In Maryland, we have similar problems with 33 percent of our waters and streams and estuaries. We have done much to address pollutants, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Quite frankly, however, in some areas, we are actually losing the battle. For example, the bottom grasses in our bay. In addition, we are increasingly concerned that it will be difficult to meet the environmental restoration goals that are established for the bay on the time schedule laid out. There is much more to do.
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    As we move forward to make progress in protecting and restoring our environment, we also realize the need for change. In the past, we focused on addressing pipe discharges from industrial facilities and sewage treatment plants.
    Today, the most significant cause of water pollution problems is runoff from sources of pollution such as agricultural lands, urban areas, forest and mining activities, and large animal feeding operations or factory farms. It is a growing national issue that must be addressed in terms of this nonpoint pollution.
    Maryland's recent example of toxic Pfiesteria underscores the importance of having a strong Federal/State partnership designed to control concentrated animal feeding operations. We were a State faced with an unprecedented challenge to the health and vitality of our citizens and our livelihood. The citizens' health was at stake, and jobs and industry were at stake. And, in fact, the episode with Pfiesteria cost us about $43 million impact on our economy.
    We were proactive and we appreciate the support that we received from the national administration and from this Congress, but we learned the hard way that toxic Pfiesteria is only the symptom of a larger problem of land use. As a result, we are working aggressively to integrate Smart Growth into all of our decisions, and we are working with farmers to curb nutrient runoff.
    States have provided the Environmental Protection Agency a best estimate of the cost of solving some of these problems. The minimum estimate that we have seen is $130 billion over the next 20 years. And I say ''minimum'' because that is probably underestimated since it, again, focuses most on point source concerns and does not include programs from any nonpoint source areas.
    The Federal Government plays a crucial role in helping State and local government finance such clean water projects and has provided nearly $5 billion a year in the past.
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    Unfortunately, the Clean Water Act authorization for this fund expired in 1994, and appropriations have been on the decline. The future of the Federal commitment, just as the future of our water, remains unclear. It is somewhat disconcerting for States that are trying to address long-term plans.
    The challenge of addressing national pollution problems that cost more than $100 billion sounds overwhelming. We can, however, take some comfort in our solid record of success in improving water quality over the past 25 years under the Clean Water Act. A number of people will be advising you to stay the course and hope that the existing clean water programs can keep up with the rising tide of pollution problems. Let me make an additional suggestion. I urge, also, that you take the lead in designing a new generation of innovative, smarter, faster, and more flexible tools for financing projects to solve the Nation's water pollution problems.
    More than any time in recent years, the many parties involved in the Nation's clean water program are ready to join a bipartisan, intergovernmental process to chart a new course.
    Let me offer, quickly, five principles to guide this effort. First, we must continue to fund programs that work well. The Natural Resource Conservation Service is an asset that is fairly unknown but, in fact, helps farmers determine what management practices fit best for a particular farm. Likewise, programs such as the State Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund is another valuable asset that must be key part of a financial plan that helps small, local governments with necessary financial assistance.
    Second, we must remember that there are hundreds of critical water quality projects that are ready to go today all across this country. Just as an example, right in this area, the upgrading of Blue Plains Sewage Treatment Plant, and, in Baltimore City, two of the major watershed plants there.
    Third, we must remember that public finance is about more than just Government grants and loans. We must consider innovative ways to encourage individuals to make investments in natural resources that protect water quality. This can be done through acquisitions and easements and land preservation programs, such as Maryland's Rural Legacy Program. Also, there are other approaches meant to sustain our green infrastructure, our farms and forests and rivers and streams and wetlands. People like Governor Whitman, for example, of New Jersey, are to be commended for her leadership in this area.
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    Fourth, we must be certain that clean water financing programs have the flexibility to address problems caused by other types of pollution. The Administration's proposal allowing Governors to reserve 20 percent of the annual Federal funding for State grants for nonpoint pollution control, I believe, is a step in the right direction.
    And, finally, we must recognize that there are many values of organizing water quality programs and projects on a watershed basis. The Chesapeake Bay Program is one of the Nation's first watershed protection programs, and our success has led to hundreds of others throughout the Nation.
    I would note along that line that in my capacity as Governor of Maryland and urge support, also, for legislation introduced by Representative Cardin, that will reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay provisions of the Clean Water Act. And Senator Sarbanes will be introducing similar legislation in the Senate.
    The Governors are committed to guiding the Nation's watersheds through a holistic approach. We believe that the States, working together with other stakeholders, reinforced by the Federal Government, can make a significant difference in water quality. I urge, however, that the plan should take into consideration all sources of pollution and assign responsibility for point and nonpoint source reductions. The main concern behind this type of allocation is to ensure that the level of responsibility is proportioned to the level of pollution caused.
    Our Nation's Governors believe that the Environmental Protection Agency should have the authority to approve overall watershed programs. If the water quality standards were not met, then the Agency should require any changes necessary to ensure that they are met. I would also urge that, if necessary, they would pursue the development of a minimum standards in terms of water quality at the Federal level.
    Frankly, there are those who know that these plans will be controversial, but if we look at the big pictures, as many people have noted, we do not really inherit the land from our ancestors, we simply bequeath it to our children. I think that is what is at stake in terms of creating a strong program here.
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    Thank you.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Governor.
    Governor, let me ask—Governor Glendening, in your testimony, you identify nonpoint source pollution and wet weather flows as the two areas of the Clean Water Act that are most in need of legislative reform. Why do you think the Governors think these two areas need new legislation?
    Governor GLENDENING. Why do we think they need this? First of all, the point source programs, I think, are well-recognized, and, quite honestly, they have mostly been inventoried. It is now simply a matter of having enough money to deal with either the next level of treatment at a sewage plant or enforcement along some industrial point source, or something of this type.
    What we are just discovering is the tremendous impact that land use, itself, has. And this is whether it is the destruction of the forest or whether it is other sources of runoff. In fact, increasingly, we are becoming convinced that the major source of pollution in much of our waterways is, in fact, now not point source at all. And what we need to do is have more of a balance, I think, in the Act, as well as programs, to work with State and local governments in dealing with those challenges.
    Let me also emphasize real quickly, however—just as my two colleagues said—that aspect of it is going to require far more flexibility. It is fairly easy to say to sewage treatment plants, ''You have got to meet this level and we will give you this amount of money, provided you do these 10 things.'' It is much more difficult when you say, working with a local government, ''How are you going to prevent animal waste runoff, urban fertilizer from lawns? How are you going to stop destruction of forests that serves as a buffer and things of that type?''
    That is why, I think, my two colleagues are exactly correct, and that is we ought to focus on the end-product of meeting certain standards and have at least some of the money flexible to help local governments to effectively deal with this nonpoint source of pollution.
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    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you, Governor.
    Governor Geringer, anything you would care to add?
    Governor GERINGER. Well, I would certainly support what Governor Glendening has said.
    And one of the features of extra cost has to do with the collection of data to where you can rely on the approach that you are taking or being able to achieve the result, that you don't target the wrong process for the right solution. If all the concentration is put on—or the blame for contamination or pollution is attributed to a particular source or a range of sources in a category, you may miss the whole point.
    One of the issues that we developed in Wyoming, along that line, is to engage the voluntary reporting of information so that the data can be accumulated, the determination made as to what is the major contributor, and then the process by which that contribution can be reduced.
    It is even more complicated in our urban areas. As I noted, the western States has a lot of open spaces, but it also has a lot of growth in spaces. Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, the areas in Texas that are experiencing high growth are a different kind of activity to manage—as Governor Glendening has already inferred. That takes an extraordinary amount effort to accumulate the data to pass judgment on. There is where a lot of the extra expense is inherent, is in the gathering of creditable data that can be used to substantiate where we are going.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Borski.
    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Governors, I would like to start, I guess, by saying that Chairman Boehlert and I, and I think virtually every member of this subcommittee, and I would dare say the full committee, as I believe most Governors are, support more Federal spending for the clean water programs. Our problem here is that we are stuck with very restrictive domestic spending caps. Do you have any recommendations for us as to what we should do about this problem?
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    Should we break the caps? Should we take domestic spending from other programs? Should we try to capture some of the surplus for programs like water infrastructure that are very important?
    Governor GLENDENING. Well, being a ''lowly'' Governor——
    They are presumed to—it is just too much to—our partners in Congress. But the similar question was outlined, I think, during the discussion we had with the Administration just yesterday with the President and Vice President, and then again today with the leaders from both parties. Obviously, there are a lot of choices to be made . I think the general consensus, in terms of the surplus moving toward Social Security first, makes a lot of sense.
    There are beyond that, however, certain ranges of things that can be done. Personally, I believe that investment in both our human structure, by way of education, and our green infrastructure, in terms of taking some significant steps forward in the environment we leave for our children, would be a tremendous positive use of some of the projected surplus. I understand it is not nearly as big as some of the press interpretations would have, but there is some flexibility there.
    The good things about a program like this, as well, is that it is largely short-term projections. That is, if you are funding some of the projects and something occurs, where the surplus is not as big as projected, it is not a matter of firing people or causing huge problems, and especially, given the nature of what most of those grants are. So, I would personally urge it come from the surplus.
    Governor GERINGER. Congressman Borski, I think the answer is partly in maybe the illustration of the water. I took a drink of this water completely confident that I wouldn't suffer any ill consequences.
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    Mr. BOEHLERT. You need better staff work done.
    Governor GERINGER. For the sake of this rhetorical discussion——
    —no, actually, it is very substantive. We have confidence.
    Mr. Borski is about to join me in a toast.
    We didn't argue about the size of the container or the pitcher or the table that holds it, so as you contemplate how to allocate the resources, help us keep our focus on the end-result, that is the enjoyment of the water, not how we got there.
    The message I would bring is somewhat related to the TMDL program in the western States. Before the current round of litigation over TMDL's, there was a presumption that the more you classified streams as impaired, the more money you received. And there was some good work going on as a result. But what that did was it caused streams to be listed as impaired that weren't. There was some development in the riparian habitat that was beneficial, but was the money spent in the most effective way? Probably not.
    Well now, with every State being faced in some sort of litigation over it, I can tell you the money is not being spent in the most effective way or in a way that will actually deliver water, and that should be our goal.
    As you contemplate, then, whether or not to fund at certain levels, whatever is allocated in funding is best spent if we can develop means to effectively use the money. Flexibility, then, is the remedy to much of your financial dilemma. If you don't have quite enough money, give us the maximum flexibility that you feel comfortable with. You give us flexibility, we will give you accountability. It is a fair trade.
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    Mr. BORSKI. OK.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Gilchrest.
    Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to approach this—first of all I would like to welcome, also, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, Jane Ushida, is here this afternoon. Welcome, Jane, and the staff from both offices.
    I would like to approach this subject from a slightly different perspective. Just a little bit of history that might not in the beginning seem to have anything to do with the Clean Water Act, but it has something to do with making plans to keep our water clean.
    Clark Clifford, I think, was 1967's Secretary of Defense. First day on the job, when Lyndon Johnson went down in the War Room at the Pentagon and was stunned to find out there was no plan to win the war, no plan at all.
    And we are talking about plans to find some way to make the water within our jurisdictions clean. And I want to ask a question in just a minute. And this is a very difficult thing to do. We all realize that and we are bantering back ways that we can resolve these issues which I am confident we will be able to accomplish. It is going to take a tremendous amount of ingenuity. Now, some people don't think we can do it, make all our rivers swimmable, all our rivers fishable, all our groundwater drinkable. People just don't think we can do it.
    I want to quote from the New York Times, February 18, 1999. I said something to my good friend, the physicist, Vern Ehlers, earlier. I got the article now, Vern. Researchers—how many people in here know the speed of light?
    About 186—Vern does, and Earl does.
    And I know the Chairman does.
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    Mr. BOEHLERT. It is very fast up here.
    Mr. GILCHREST. Yes, but I got to watch that because they don't give me the same flexibility they give the Governors.
    The speed of light is about 186,000 miles a second. Danish physicist researchers working in Cambridge and Harvard have slowed the speed of light down to 38 miles an hour. I am going to give this to Vern so he can read it. The point is, the impossible, apparently, has been achieved.
    Now, what we are going to do to solve this problem of the Nation's water is not have EPA tell you what to do, not have the State say, ''I don't like that; I am going to resist that.'' Not have the local government confused, not have the landowner or the farmer or anybody else not—just like you, Governor, you were confident that drinking the District of Columbia's water would not cause you problems.
    A very small example—about a week ago, a small lake, not far from my house, where there is a dam and a stream that is a spawning area for light and yellow perch—and they are coming up the first of March. There was an accident, a spillover, thousands of cubic yards of sediment clogged that stream. Now the Maryland Department of the Environment, Department of Natural Resources, private citizens, the Corps of Engineers, myself—I am the one that shut the valve off with a big pipe wrench. We got down there and we didn't think of each other as the Corps of Engineers or EPA or Federal or State or local. We were a group of people, men and women, saying, ''How do we solve this problem?'' And in the beginning, we said, ''We will never solve it for the perch run.'' Well, today, the muck is being pumped out. It is going to be solved this week. No, one, single individual thought they could resolve that issue, and yet it was solved by an exchange of information with a sense of tolerance for somebody else's opinion, and then we moved on with progress.
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    It is a difficult issue. We are literally trying to understand the mechanics of creation, whether it is wetlands and their functions, whether it is endangered species, whether it is a whole range of things that make life livable on the planet. And, we, as responsible adults, must, I think, come up with a plan, not only for our jurisdiction—we know how difficult—Maryland gets problems from Cooperstown. I know not too many problems. But our problems start in Cooperstown, New York. They go through Pennsylvania where there is dams that have created sediment behind them so much that USGS has said in 10 to 20 years, the muck behind the dams in the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania will destroy life in the Chesapeake Bay. We need a plan to clean those up.
    So, I guess before the red light comes on, Mr. Chairman, I have just one question.
    Quick question.
    How does a State create a plan to protect its watershed in its jurisdiction?
    Governor GERINGER. Mr. Chairman, you did amazingly well. I saw that light go from yellow to green or ——
    —to red just that quick.
    A State creates a plan by not just thinking in terms of its jurisdiction. It thinks in terms of the watershed, what contributes to it, and where it goes. Our Great Plains partnership that I made brief reference to is a collection of about 14 States between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi. It stretches from Canada to Mexico and includes part of those two countries as well.
    And we look at that overused term ''the ecosystem,'' the watershed, and we develop plans as much as possible, within the overall jurisdiction of those activities. If it goes across State boundaries, we work together. If it has to do with Federal jurisdiction than State, we recognize that we have a joint or concurrent jurisdiction, or shared responsibility.
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    The ideal plan would be one, then, that recognizes all of those and a national plan—a national law, if you will—that allows that to happen, just as you cleaned up the stream for the perch. That should be what we strive for now.
    I think we are moving to a new generation of how to think about these problems, in terms of how broadly they are applied. Just as with technology and the Internet, we have global marketing in local jurisdictions. They don't match. In a somewhat remarkable way, these problems with water have the same challenge. So our plea to you, as Governors, is to give us as much latitude—and if you don't feel confident that we might not carry it out, give us some standards to abide by, some deadlines to meet or whatever it might be, but leave the process of getting there to that creativity that you just talked about. Otherwise ''muck'' happens.
    Governor GLENDENING. Let me concur very quickly with my colleague's statement. But let me also add two additional thoughts.
    I think what we have got to do truly as we go into the next century and go through this reauthorization and all, is to think outside of the box and away from the traditional thoughts about not just point source of pollution, but really think about what is causing some of the problems in the water. And it is very clear, I think, to so many of us now that the problems in the water are caused on the land. Now I am not talking about sewage treatment plants or anything like that. I am talking about patterns of development. I am talking about destruction of forests, the best filters we possibly have, and I am talking about sediment that occurs from this, and, indeed, even the air pollution which resettles back in from automobile emissions.
    And, so, what we need is a comprehensive program that actually starts on the land. And if we say our goal is improvement of the water quality, I think we start looking at development issues and things of this type. Now, obviously, that per se is not the role of Congress, but I think to give us the flexibility to help say, ''OK, we are going to affect the long-term watershed quality by doing something over here, knowing that in the next decade, it is going to have a significant change pattern out here.''
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    The second thing I would say—and I do think this is Congress' responsibility—is to help us in two ways. One is as an active partner when, in fact, problems of water quality are beyond the State boundary. And, two, is to establish clear, aggressive reaching goals, and if we do not achieve those goals, there ought to be some accountability to that. If you were to do that, and combine it with the flexibility, I think we can make significant progress as we enter into the next century.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Governors.
    Mr. Gilchrest, thank you.
    Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    And Secretary Ushida was very helpful with that perch stream.
    Thank you.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Good.
    Mr. Blumenauer.
    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I have appreciated listening to the presentations this afternoon. I would like your assistance in providing the context in which we give the flexibility. I would note and commend Governor Glendening for his work in Maryland, in terms of the Smart Growth initiative which you referenced in your testimony.
    Governor GLENDENING. Thank you.
    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Smart growth is a good way to make sure that we don't make matters worse by throwing money at a flawed system. Instead you are trying to integrate the notion of how the land is used.
    And, to ''put some teeth in that,'' as I understand it, your legislation that your assembly has enacted requires—or at least encourages, in some cases requires—that your infrastructure investments be made in your State in a way that is in conformance——
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    Governor GLENDENING. That is right.
    Mr. BLUMENAUER. —with sound planning.
    I am entirely sympathetic to the requests of all three Governors for flexibility and for performance-based environmental protection. But we still see a wide variety of performance on behalf of individual States. Some States are moving aggressively to solve problems and some that are still allowing construction in floodplains or that are not quite as diligent in terms of the moderation of the problems.
    And I guess my question to both Governors is some advice in terms of how the Government on the Federal level can follow what some far-sighted States are doing to encourage local governments and private parties to do a better job.
    Are there reasonable guidelines that we can have—as is being suggested, for example, with FEMA or the Corps of Engineers or with your Smart Growth Initiative—Governor Glendening, where Federal money is not just thrown ''scatter-shot'' for people that are having wildly differing performance levels? But, instead, we concentrate it so that it is a positive economic incentive for people that are doing the best job, so it goes the furthest, and we are not subsidizing, in some cases, areas where we are just creating more problems.
    Do you have some sense of what those guidelines might be?
    Governor GERINGER. Well, first of all, I would offer the assistance of our staff at the Western Governors' Association as you draft the changes to the Act. And I am on the Natural Resources Committee that Governor Glendening chairs for the National Governors' Association, and I am sure that we could offer the assistance of our collective organizations either way.
    So, as a first point, we would be most pleased to work with you, Mr. Chairman, and the rest of the committee on how this is drafted.
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    As far as some general guidance; be clear on the objective. Be clear on the desired end-result. If the result is already very clear, then we could agree on the means to demonstrate the achievement of those. Those are some examples.
    Getting down to some very specific things in the Act; there is a need to eliminate the disincentives in the Act for voluntary cooperative efforts to clean up things like abandoned mines, abandoned or inactive mines. Right now, a good samaritan who wishes to come in and clean it up can be held liable for something that wouldn't be cleaned up had they not offered themselves to clean it up.
    We can note several things in the law that, by fine tuning or some redirection of incentives or the elimination of disincentives, that we could achieve what you are talking about in water quality standards and recognizing that there are quite a variety of ecosystems that are out there. Arid lands have a completely different approach to water quality management than do areas that have 44 to 88 inches of water per year in rainfall.
    So, in the general answer, we are willing to work with you to help identify that. You give us the timelines where you need information, and we will deliver.
    Governor GLENDENING. I am caught between different emotions here. On one hand, I am pleased with what we are doing in Maryland, but we have taken a different approach, and, on the other hand, I am very sensitive—as I know everywhere else is here—to the uniqueness of different States in reaching the conclusions.
    I will just say that focus from Maryland's perspective that the legislature did adopt our program. And the bottom line of it is; do we no longer use our tax dollars for any project that is contributing to sprawl or that is not a reinvestment in priority growth areas. We have, in fact, cancelled a number of projects, both road projects and other construction, that we deem to be more contributing to sprawl than to reinvestment. That has not been easy; it has been very painful, and there is still a lot of yelling and agony going on over some of those decisions.
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    If a way could be devised that either the bulk of the funding or a significant portion of some type of add-on funding or whatever was tied to actual improvements in land use patterns or development patterns and all, personally, I think it would make a lot of sense.
    I must also state very clearly, that is not the National Governors' Association policy, and they have not picked that up or anything of that type. I am just talking about what we are doing in Maryland, and I believe it will have an impact.
    I would also note, though, other States are doing very innovative things in this same area using entirely different approaches.
    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    And I appreciate the responses from the witnesses.
    I think we are talking about two different laundry lists. One are the technical problems and the disincentives in existing Federal law—as somebody who struggled with administering them on the local level in a prior life, I am entirely in sympathy with that, and I hope we can make some progress.
    The second is respecting all the differences of the 50 States. Nonetheless, what mechanisms do we build into this law to reward the States that are taking the risks, reward the States that are doing the best job of solving the problems, and provide some modest incentives with our programs to help the others take and follow the States' lead by whatever approach they take to make sure—as in terms of that Wyoming proverb, ''It is the results.'' You know, it is how the water gets in the glass, or making sure that we are rewarding results rather than sort of sliding by.
    Governor GLENDENING. I would just urge—and I know everything is difficult here—I would just urge the—this may not be the prevailing view in all the land, but that you reach and be as aggressive as possible. I think we have got to, as we go into the new century, be very dramatic in terms of what we do in the environment and in our air and water quality.
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    Mr. BORSKI. Amen.
    Mrs. Kelly.
    Mrs. KELLY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    And, gentlemen, I thank you for coming to speak with us today about a truly important issue.
    What we have heard the fact that there is really going to be a need over the next 20 years of $139.5 billion to handle wastewater and the infrastructure problems that this—the implications are enormous here.
    The administration has come up with a $550 million cut for this year. I would like to know what, in your opinion, would be an appropriate level for funding through the SRF program for your States in the next fiscal year, for instance? Rather than a $550 million cut, what do you think you would need?
    Mr. BORSKI. Talk about a ''softball'' question.
    Governor GLENDENING. I am almost tempted to go back to the great labor leader—and I know there may be some dangers in quoting this nowadays, but Samuel Gompers who said, ''More,'' in response——
    —to a question of what was needed. Quite honestly, we have an immense back list, and that figure that you mentioned of a $139 million is consistent—but I think you had stepped out of the room just for a second—but you know, interestingly, that is based on hard infrastructure point source inventory of needs. In fact, if the new thinking is coming about that much of it is nonpoint source, that is just the tip of the iceberg. And so, quite seriously, I think it is considerably more, considerably more.
    By having said that, I know the complexities of dealing with budget camps and everything else. I think one of the challenges, however, is that with not having a reauthorization since 1994, we are left a little bit to drift, and I think it does go up and down. And, at least, if we had a bill that has been reauthorized and had some goals and standards set in it, it would make life a little bit easier for us, as well as, I think, for Congress. And so I would think the first step is to try to get a reauthorization.
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    Mrs. KELLY. Well, we have in the Hudson River Valley, nonpoint source pollution and point source pollution. And I was only discussing the wastewater point source pollution——
    Governor GLENDENING. That is right.
    Mrs. KELLY. —problems, because we have problems with those, especially with the combined sewer overflows in heavy rains and so forth. So, that is the only portion of that that I was talking about.
    Governor GLENDENING. Sure.
    Mrs. KELLY. I am sorry I wasn't making myself clear.
    I do know that from my perspective, from my study of this, it is probably going to take billions nationally over the next 20 years to try to address some of our serious problems here. But I just wanted some kind of a thumbnail figure on what you were thinking of in terms of what might help you just for next year.
    Governor GERINGER. I will rely on the recommendation of our Western States Water Council. They ask that the Clean Water State Revolving Fund be funded at a minimum of $2.4 billion annually for the next five years and that funding under section 104 be combined in section 106. So, by that baseline, there would be no new funding. Your question is; if the President's recommendation for a reduction were to be followed, what would happen?
    I think the answer is, we will deal with it. But wherever you can give flexibility, let's do that. Part of our frustration is we can't channel the funds in the most effective manner possible to address what the gentleman over on this side was talking about.
    There needs to be incentives where there would be appropriate. As with any program that deals with impaired streams or impaired water quality, prevention is the best answer. While prevention is a minute amount of money in expenditure compared to the cleanup, so we would want incentives for prevention. We want incentives for greater flexibility in how we can target the most effective way to clean streams up or to resolve nonpoint source pollution.
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    We can be creative, as need be, but if you need a ballpark number, I would go by the number that our Western States Water Council recommended to me and to the Western Governors' Association.
    Mrs. KELLY. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Chairman, would you allow me to submit a written question——
    Mr. BOEHLERT. By all means; sure.
    Mrs. KELLY. —of my own Governor, from the State of New York, for Pataki.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. By all means.
    Mrs. KELLY. All right; thank you.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. All the witnesses have been advised that they may have some follow-up questions in writing, and we would appreciate a timely response.
    Anything more, Mrs. Kelly?
    Mr. Baird.
    Mr. BAIRD. Welcome, Governors.
    Governor Geringer, as a graduate of University of Wyoming, I know something about Muddy Creek.
    Governor GERINGER. Good.
    Mr. BAIRD. I actually now have moved, however, to a place where we have no such thing as an ephemeral stream. We have the ultimate non-ephemeral streams in southwest Washington, the Columbia River being a case in point.
    I want to commend and agree with much of what you have said and then ask a couple of questions that have troubled me some.
    First of all, I appreciate very much the regional approach and the watershed-based approach. It makes eminent sense to me. The folks at the local level have probably better insights into the what the challenges are and what the possible remedies are. I also concur with the need for a better science and for common-sense solutions and appreciated your pointing out some various counterintuitive and disincentive kind of problems.
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    But here is my problem: When we talk about regional control and when the Governors get together, one almost has an image that this is a unique and wondrous body where only consensus reigns. And my question is what happens within a multi-state watershed when there is not agreement among the various Governors? Or, when conflicting political idealogies or financial pressures cause one area to favor one approach, whereas another area might favor another? What do the Governors do about this?
    Governor GERINGER. Well, aside from suing each other——
    Mr. BAIRD. I was afraid that would be your answer.
    Governor GERINGER. Well, they do that.
    I would cite an experience, again, in my own region where the North Platte River—and you know where that is—the North Platte River has been in litigation almost continuously since the early 1940's. And as soon as Nebraska figures out that we are right, we will end it.
    Mr. BAIRD. Well, I could tell you that; I am from Wyoming, too, so——
    Governor GERINGER. I will give a serious answer if——
    Excuse me, Governor.
    The Platte River system has its origins in both Colorado and Wyoming, and it flows into a central flyway that has a number of endangered or threatened species in Nebraska. Let me cite that as an example of how we have developed a way to work together. It is called a ''cooperative agreement.'' The Governors of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, along with Secretary of Interior, have signed a cooperative agreement specifying a process of how we will resolve the issues so that we can protect the development on those waterways and, at the same time, allocate an appropriate amount of water, yet to be determined, to maintenance of and conservation of and replenishment of a set of endangered species. We learn about terms like the ''piping plover'' and the ''interior least tern'' and the ''whooping crane.''
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    We have followed a similar practice on the Colorado River, more of a compact arrangement, an agreement for a cooperative agreement, where the one on the platte was driven by litigation. But either way, we have set up cooperative agreements that bind us to working together and still use the resolution of, if we can't resolve it cooperatively, we have some legal remedies. But it is a much better and more effective way to approach it, and we engage State and Federal agencies in determining the data to be used, the measurements to be quantified, and the end-result that we are trying to achieve, and then the dollars that go with it.
    So, there is a whole process that is involved with cooperative agreements that can and will work very effectively.
    Governor GLENDENING. Let me just add real quickly, I think that there are numerous examples where we have done exactly what you have said and that is to work things out very, very cooperatively. Probably one of the premiere examples is the Chesapeake Bay Commission where we work with Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, and we have reached very successful agreements on a number of issues. We have just agreed, for example, to plant trees along the 2,000 miles of shoreline of streams and rivers in the next 10 years in our 4 jurisdictions.
    There have also been areas, however, where we have not been able to agree. Virginia and Maryland, for example, are still feuding over what is the best way to protect the blue crab.
    I would suggest on something as important as water quality that the challenge would probably be a system that says multi-state watershed basins that you have standards established, and you must work together cooperatively to do so. And if you do not by a certain period, the Federal Government will exercise its national responsibility and either make the decisions itself or pose some type of fine.
    I can live with that, and I will tell you what it would mean. It would mean that we are sitting here, and 90 percent of the time, we will cooperatively reach agreement. And if we don't, it will be that added pressure, and if we still don't do it, someone will step in and take that 10 percent and say, ''Here is the answer.'' And, personally, I could live with that.
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    Mr. BAIRD. Do I have time for one more, Mr. Chairman?
    One more brief question; I also appreciated my colleague's question about the cost entailed in this. And one of the interesting paradoxes, of course, is a lot of the cost is—as much as the States justifiably hate the unfunded mandate, those of us who have to run for office at the Federal level, don't like to have to be accused of raising taxes to fund these operations.
    Would I trust that the Governors' Association would join together and say that if we need to spend money to implement these clean water measures at the collaborative regional base level, but the money needs to come from the Feds, you will join together and encourage the taxpayers to support increased taxes for that?
    I don't mean it facetiously either. I think it is a legitimate question.
    Governor GERINGER. Mr. Chairman, I think the first thing to determine is, what is it we are trying to achieve? Second is, are we effectively allocating the resources today? And, then, only at the very end do we determine that it might be an increase in revenue or taxes or whatever. I don't think we are through the first two steps yet.
    Mr. BAIRD. That is a good plan.
    Governor GERINGER. The most important point that I would try to make here today is, we can probably do with less, as Congresswoman Kelly has indicated. If we can and still achieve the same results, and it is a high enough priority to achieve it to that point, fine. But we are also faced in the West right now with ongoing litigation that is not going to direct the expenditure money in a very effective way.
    So, we need your help. One is to avoid litigation which is costly and nonproductive in many ways. It ends up with a remedy that very few are happy with and, quite often, not the end-result we desired. So, I think there are other steps that we can go through before we throw in the ''tax towel.''
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    Governor GLENDENING. I would also just add real quickly, as a elected official from one level, I would never suggest to tell another level——
    —because we have our challenges, ourself.
    Mr. BAIRD. Yes.
    Governor GLENDENING. But I will say this, as a citizen—not saying it as a Governor—please do this. But as a citizen, personally, I believe that making some tough decisions, for us, as well—I'm not criticizing anyone; I am saying for State, also, because we are in the same thing. We have a surplus. But making tough decisions about investing in education and in our environment probably is more important at this stage than further tax reductions. And those are the decisions we are going through at the State. That is the budget that I have submitted.
    And, again, while I know there is a great deal of legitimate debate all around, I would rather have a better educated population and a better environment than a tax reduction at this time.
    Mr. BAIRD. I appreciate your comments very much.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Brian.
    Mr. Sherwood.
    Mr. SHERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Gentlemen, it has been very interesting. And, in eastern Pennsylvania, our streams aren't an inch deep and a mile wide like the North Platte, but we sure have our problems. Our soils don't perk, and even thought the Chesapeake Bay watershed regional effort I though had been very successful until I heard from my colleague on my right here.
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    He was complaining about Pennsylvania, but we—they are all downstream, you know, and it all goes downhill.
    But we have had some wonderful successes in teaching agriculture about their runoff and the sustainable forestry initiative to keep runoff out of the streams, and we are doing a real good job in the Chesapeake upper watershed in that regard. But, we still have not solved all our sewage problems. We have all these little communities that really can't afford a sewer plant and need one. And I wondered if you had any hardship grants or what your success was in your own State?
    I think we have gone beyond that a little bit, and we are getting into a more aesthetic theory, but we have to do a lot of basic shore work yet in the small towns of northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
    Governor GLENDENING. Congressman, you are exactly right. Let me, first of all, commend Governor Ridge who has actually been doing a very, very good job in terms of working with us, both on animal waste runoff control and the reforestation of the streams and all. And, quite candidly, he could say that Chesapeake Bay is not my responsibility. Pennsylvania is not a bay State in that sense, but he has not. He stood up and has been very effective, and I appreciate that cooperation.
    The answer to your question is, from Maryland's perspective, and I believe from every Governor there, yes, we have similar situations where there are very small plants who have not yet been upgraded, and some cases still, unfortunately, have very raw sewage running. And the jurisdiction is so small that they cannot afford, by themselves, to do this.
    Just as an example, in Congressman Gilchrest's district, in Princess Anne, is a small facility that must be upgraded. It cost about $2 million. Princess Anne couldn't possibly do it. We are stepping in and helping through the loan program under this act to provide additional funding to make that work. But we have all over the State literally dozens of these small water treatment, sewage treatment plants that the local jurisdiction could not afford it. It would go bankrupt with it and needs some assistance from a higher level, and in this case, a joint Federal/State. That is why we believe we have got to meet our commitment to the point source as well as the nonpoint source, and it is not really the either/or.
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    Governor GERINGER. Mr. Chairman, I think part of the answer is, again, the word ''flexibility.'' As I look at what is happening in some of the parts of the West, the development is much along the lines of what you have talked about, and the challenges are how wastewater can be treated, cleaned up, and reused.
    And other parts are afflicted by the 40 acres, if you will, those 40-acre parcels that people think are their answer to good, quality living. They drill a well; they put down a septic tank, and then they wonder why the water tastes bad. There is a proliferation of those all over the country, where people are looking for that little bit of country solitude. It might be that we look for the incremental returns of the money that is available and, say, for some, we want to allocate funds for the small rural wastewater treatment plants. In other areas, we could call for more effective subdivision planning. And the answer will not be a simple treatment segment-by-segment. That is why the call for flexibility. It will vary State by State, depending on the priority and the incremental return that we can get from the money invested.
    We can't clean up everything down to the last detail in one small rural town or set of towns perhaps as effectively as we can clean up and meet a higher standard of water quality by treating some other issues for the same amount of money.
    So, I guess my call would be, yes, we have programs where we can allocate funds. They are going to be limited, probably won't ever be enough, but maybe we should be viewing at, where can we get the best incremental return for the money spent?
    Mr. SHERWOOD. Well, thank you. I think we have pretty well got our raw sewage collection systems working, but we have so many of those folks like myself that like to live in the country, and you all have your on-lot system, and there is just a lot of work that needs to be done.
    Governor GERINGER. Yes, muck isn't the only thing that happens.
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    Mr. BOEHLERT. Governors, thank you very much. We really appreciate your input. Thank you for your time.
    Governor GERINGER. Mr. Chairman, you have been most generous. Thank you.
    Mr. BOEHLERT. Well, it is a learning exercise.
    The hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 2:55 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]

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