Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2014 – Reauthorizes, revises, and expands the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998.
(Sec. 3) Requires the Inter-Agency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia to have a representative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
(Sec. 4) Requires the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, acting through the Task Force, to: (1) maintain, enhance, and periodically review a national harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program; and (2) develop and submit to Congress a comprehensive research plan and action strategy to address marine and freshwater harmful algal blooms and hypoxia (a condition where low dissolved oxygen in aquatic systems causes stress or death to organisms).
Expands the Task Force’s functions, including: (1) expediting and coordinating the interagency review process by ensuring timely review and dispersal of required reports and assessments; and (2) promoting the development of new technologies for predicting, monitoring, and mitigating harmful algal bloom and hypoxia conditions.
Gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the primary responsibility for administering the Program.
Establishes the Under Secretary’s duties in administering the program, including the following:
- preparing work and spending plans;
- administering grant funding;
- coordinating with and working with regional, state, and tribal and local government agencies;
- coordinating with the Secretary of State to support international efforts;
- identifying additional research, development, and demonstration needs;
- coordinating and augmenting education programs;
- providing resources to train state and local coastal and water resource managers; and
- supporting regional efforts to control and mitigate outbreaks.
Requires the Under Secretary to carry out marine and Great Lakes harmful algal bloom and hypoxia events response activities.
Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to: (1) research the ecology and impacts of freshwater harmful algal blooms; (2) forecast and monitor event response to freshwater harmful algal blooms in lakes, rivers, estuaries, and reservoirs; and (3) ensure that activities carried under this Act focus on new approaches to addressing freshwater harmful algal blooms and are not duplicative of existing research and development programs authorized by this Act or any other law.
(Sec. 7) Requires the Administrator, through the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force, to report to appropriate congressional committees and the President on the progress made by activities directed by the Task Force and carried out or funded by the EPA and other state and federal partners toward attainment of the goals of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008 within 12 months after this Act’s enactment and biennially thereafter.
(Sec. 8) Requires the Task Force to: (1) submit within 18 months to Congress and the President an integrated assessment that examines the causes, consequences, and approaches to reduce hypoxia and harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes; and (2) develop and submit to Congress a plan, based on the assessment, for reducing, mitigating, and controlling hypoxia and harmful algal blooms.
S 1254 become law on June 30, 2014.