Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutionsby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2013-02-14
REID (for himself and Mr. Heller):
S. 342. A bill to designate the Pine Forest Range Wilderness area in
Humboldt County, Nevada; to the Committee on Energy and Natural
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record as follows: S. 342 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Pine Forest Range Recreation Enhancement Act of 2013''.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act: (1) County.--The term ``County'' means Humboldt County, Nevada.
(2) Map.--The term ``Map'' means the map entitled ``Proposed Pine Forest Wilderness Area'' and dated July 5, 2011.
(3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior.
(4) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of Nevada.
(5) Wilderness.--The term ``Wilderness'' means the Pine Forest Range Wilderness designated by section 3(a).
SEC. 3. ADDITION TO NATIONAL WILDERNESS PRESERVATION SYSTEM.
(a) Designation.--In furtherance of the purposes of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), the approximately 26,000 acres of Federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, as generally depicted on the Map, is designated as wilderness and as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to be known as the ``Pine Forest Range Wilderness''.
(b) Boundary.-- (1) Road access.--The boundary of any portion of the Wilderness that is bordered by a road shall be 100 feet from the edge of the road.
(2) Road adjustments.--The Secretary shall-- (A) reroute the road running through Long Meadow to the west to remove the road from the riparian area; (B) reroute the road currently running through Rodeo Flat/ Corral Meadow to the east to remove the road from the riparian area; and (C) close, except for administrative use, the road along Lower Alder Creek south of Bureau of Land Management road #2083.
[[Page S777]] (3) Reservoir access.--The boundary of the Wilderness shall be 160 feet downstream from the dam at Little Onion Reservoir.
(c) Map and Legal Description.-- (1) In general.--As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prepare a map and legal description of the Wilderness.
(2) Effect.--The map and legal description prepared under paragraph (1) shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary may correct clerical and typographical errors in the map or legal description.
(3) Availability.--The map and legal description prepared under paragraph (1) shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the Bureau of Land Management.
(d) Withdrawal.--Subject to valid existing rights, the Wilderness is withdrawn from-- (1) all forms of entry, appropriation, and disposal under the public land laws; (2) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and (3) disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing or mineral materials.
SEC. 4. ADMINISTRATION.
(a) Management.--Subject to valid existing rights, the Wilderness shall be administered by the Secretary in accordance with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), except that-- (1) any reference in the Wilderness Act to the effective date of that Act shall be considered to be a reference to the date of enactment of this Act; and (2) any reference in the Wilderness Act to the Secretary of Agriculture shall be considered to be a reference to the Secretary.
(b) Livestock.--The grazing of livestock in the Wilderness, if established before the date of enactment of this Act, shall be allowed to continue, subject to such reasonable regulations, policies, and practices as the Secretary considers to be necessary in accordance with-- (1) section 4(d)(4) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(4)); and (2) the guidelines set forth in Appendix A of the report of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives accompanying H.R. 2570 of the 101st Congress (House Report 101-405).
(c) Incorporation of Acquired Land and Interests.--Any land or interest in land within the boundary of the Wilderness that is acquired by the United States after the date of enactment of this Act shall be added to and administered as part of the Wilderness.
(d) Adjacent Management.-- (1) In general.--Congress does not intend for the designation of the Wilderness to create a protective perimeter or buffer zone around the Wilderness.
(2) Nonwilderness activities.--The fact that nonwilderness activities or uses can be seen or heard from areas within the Wilderness shall not preclude the conduct of the activities or uses outside the boundary of the Wilderness.
(e) Military Overflights.--Nothing in this Act restricts or precludes-- (1) low-level overflights of military aircraft over the Wilderness, including military overflights that can be seen or heard within the Wilderness; (2) flight testing and evaluation; or (3) the designation or creation of new units of special use airspace, or the establishment of military flight training routes, over the Wilderness.
(f) Wildfire, Insect, and Disease Management.--In accordance with section 4(d)(1) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(1)), the Secretary may take such measures in the Wilderness as are necessary for the control of fire, insects, and diseases (including, as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, the coordination of the activities with a State or local agency).
(g) Wildfire Management Operations.--Nothing in this Act precludes a Federal, State, or local agency from conducting wildfire management operations (including operations using aircraft or mechanized equipment).
(h) Climatological Data Collection.--In accordance with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.) and subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary may authorize the installation and maintenance of hydrologic, meteorologic, or climatological collection devices in the Wilderness if the Secretary determines that the facilities and access to the facilities are essential to flood warning, flood control, or water reservoir operation activities.
(i) Water Rights.-- (1) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (A) the land designated as wilderness by this Act is located-- (i) in the semiarid region of the Great Basin; and (ii) at the headwaters of the streams and rivers on land with respect to which there are few, if any-- (I) actual or proposed water resource facilities located upstream; and (II) opportunities for diversion, storage, or other uses of water occurring outside the land that would adversely affect the wilderness values of the land; (B) the land designated as wilderness by this Act is generally not suitable for use or development of new water resource facilities; and (C) because of the unique nature of the land designated as wilderness by this Act, it is possible to provide for proper management and protection of the wilderness and other values of land in ways different from those used in other laws.
(2) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to protect the wilderness values of the land designated as wilderness by this Act by means other than a federally reserved water right.
(3) Statutory construction.--Nothing in this Act-- (A) constitutes an express or implied reservation by the United States of any water or water rights with respect to the Wilderness; (B) affects any water rights in the State (including any water rights held by the United States) in existence on the date of enactment of this Act; (C) establishes a precedent with regard to any future wilderness designations; (D) affects the interpretation of, or any designation made under, any other Act; or (E) limits, alters, modifies, or amends any interstate compact or equitable apportionment decree that apportions water among and between the State and other States.
(4) Nevada water law.--The Secretary shall follow the procedural and substantive requirements of State law in order to obtain and hold any water rights not in existence on the date of enactment of this Act with respect to the Wilderness.
(5) New projects.-- (A) Definition of water resource facility.-- (i) In general.--In this paragraph, the term ``water resource facility'' means irrigation and pumping facilities, reservoirs, water conservation works, aqueducts, canals, ditches, pipelines, wells, hydropower projects, transmission and other ancillary facilities, and other water diversion, storage, and carriage structures.
(ii) Exclusion.--In this paragraph, the term ``water resource facility'' does not include wildlife guzzlers.
(B) Restriction on new water resource facilities.--Except as otherwise provided in this Act, on or after the date of enactment of this Act, neither the President nor any other officer, employee, or agent of the United States shall fund, assist, authorize, or issue a license or permit for the development of any new water resource facility within a wilderness area, any portion of which is located in the County.
SEC. 5. RELEASE OF WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS.
(a) Finding.--Congress finds that, for the purposes of section 603(c) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1782(c)), the portions of the Blue Lakes and Alder Creek wilderness study areas not designated as wilderness by section 3(a) have been adequately studied for wilderness designation.
(b) Release.--Any public land described in subsection (a) that is not designated as wilderness by this Act-- (1) is no longer subject to section 603(c) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1782(c)); and (2) shall be managed in accordance with the applicable land use plans adopted under section 202 of that Act (43 U.S.C. 1712).
SEC. 6. WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT.
(a) In General.--In accordance with section 4(d)(7) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(7)), nothing in this Act affects or diminishes the jurisdiction of the State with respect to fish and wildlife management, including the regulation of hunting, fishing, and trapping, in the Wilderness.
(b) Management Activities.--In furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), the Secretary may conduct any management activities in the Wilderness that are necessary to maintain or restore fish and wildlife populations and the habitats to support the populations, if the activities are carried out-- (1) consistent with relevant wilderness management plans; and (2) in accordance with-- (A) the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.); and (B) appropriate policies, such as those set forth in Appendix B of the report of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives accompanying H.R. 2570 of the 101st Congress (House Report 101-405), including the occasional and temporary use of motorized vehicles if the use, as determined by the Secretary, would promote healthy, viable, and more naturally distributed wildlife populations that would enhance wilderness values with the minimal impact necessary to reasonably accomplish those tasks.
(c) Existing Activities.--Consistent with section 4(d)(1) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(1)) and in accordance with appropriate policies such as those set forth in Appendix B of the report of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives accompanying H.R. 2570 of the 101st Congress (House Report 101-405), the State may continue to use aircraft, including helicopters, to survey, capture, transplant, monitor, and provide water for wildlife populations in the Wilderness.
(d) Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary may designate areas in which, and establish periods during which, for reasons of public safety, administration, or compliance with applicable laws, no hunting, fishing, or trapping will be permitted in the Wilderness.
[[Page S778]] (2) Consultation.--Except in emergencies, the Secretary shall consult with the appropriate State agency and notify the public before taking any action under paragraph (1).
(e) Cooperative Agreement.-- (1) In general.--The State, including a designee of the State, may conduct wildlife management activities in the Wilderness-- (A) in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the cooperative agreement between the Secretary and the State entitled ``Memorandum of Understanding between the Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Department of Wildlife Supplement No. 9'' and signed November and December 2003, including any amendments to the cooperative agreement agreed to by the Secretary and the State; and (B) subject to all applicable laws (including regulations).
(2) References; clark county.--For the purposes of this subsection, any reference to Clark County in the cooperative agreement described in paragraph (1)(A) shall be considered to be a reference to the Wilderness.
SEC. 7. LAND EXCHANGES.
(a) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means Federal land in the County that is identified for disposal by the Secretary through the Winnemucca Resource Management Plan.
(2) Non-federal land.--The term ``non-Federal land'' means land identified on the Map as ``non-Federal lands for exchange''.
(b) Acquisition of Land and Interests in Land.--Consistent with applicable law and subject to subsection (c), the Secretary may exchange the Federal land for non-Federal land.
(c) Conditions.--Each land exchange under subsection (a) shall be subject to-- (1) the condition that the owner of the non-Federal land pay not less than 50 percent of all costs relating to the land exchange, including the costs of appraisals, surveys, and any necessary environmental clearances; and (2) such additional terms and conditions as the Secretary may require.
(d) Deadline for Completion of Land Exchange.--It is the intent of Congress that the land exchanges under this section be completed by not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 8. NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS USES.
Nothing in this Act alters or diminishes the treaty rights of any Indian tribe (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)).
______ By Mr. REID (for himself and Mr. Heller): S. 343. A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain Federal land in Clark County, Nevada, for the environmental remediation and reclamation of the Three Kids Mine Project Site, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record as follows: S. 343 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Three Kids Mine Remediation and Reclamation Act''.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act: (1) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means the approximately 948 acres of Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management land within the Three Kids Mine Project Site, as depicted on the map.
(2) Hazardous substance; pollutant or contaminant; remedy.--The terms ``hazardous substance'', ``pollutant or contaminant'', and ``remedy'' have the meanings given those terms in section 101 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601).
(3) Henderson redevelopment agency.--The term ``Henderson Redevelopment Agency'' means the redevelopment agency of the City of Henderson, Nevada, established and authorized to transact business and exercise the powers of the agency in accordance with the Nevada Community Redevelopment Law (Nev. Rev. Stat. 279.382 to 279.685).
(4) Map.--The term ``map'' means the map entitled ``Three Kids Mine Project Area'' and dated February 6, 2012.
(5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior.
(6) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of Nevada.
(7) Three kids mine project site.--The term ``Three Kids Mine Project Site'' means the approximately 1,262 acres of land that is-- (A) comprised of-- (i) the Federal land; and (ii) the approximately 314 acres of adjacent non-Federal land; and (B) depicted as the ``Three Kids Mine Project Site'' on the map.
SEC. 3. LAND CONVEYANCE.
(a) In General.--Notwithstanding sections 202 and 203 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712, 1713), not later than 90 days after the date on which the Secretary determines that the conditions described in subsection (b) have been met, and subject to valid existing rights and applicable law, the Secretary shall convey to the Henderson Redevelopment Agency all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to the Federal land.
(b) Conditions.-- (1) Appraisal; fair market value.-- (A) In general.--As consideration for the conveyance under subsection (a), the Henderson Redevelopment Agency shall pay the fair market value of the Federal land, if any, as determined under subparagraph (B) and as adjusted under subparagraph (F).
(B) Appraisal.--The Secretary shall determine the fair market value of the Federal land based on an appraisal-- (i) that is conducted in accordance with nationally recognized appraisal standards, including-- (I) the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions; and (II) the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice; and (ii) that does not take into account any existing contamination associated with historical mining on the Federal land.
(C) Remediation and reclamation costs.-- (i) In general.--The Secretary shall prepare a reasonable estimate of the costs to assess, remediate, and reclaim the Three Kids Mine Project Site.
(ii) Considerations.--The estimate prepared under clause (i) shall be-- (I) based on the results of a comprehensive Phase II environmental site assessment of the Three Kids Mine Project Site prepared by the Henderson Redevelopment Agency or a designee that has been approved by the State; and (II) prepared in accordance with the current version of the ASTM International Standard E-2137-06 entitled ``Standard Guide for Estimating Monetary Costs and Liabilities for Environmental Matters''.
(iii) Assessment requirements.--The Phase II environmental site assessment prepared under clause (ii)(I) shall, without limiting any additional requirements that may be required by the State, be conducted in accordance with the procedures of-- (I) the most recent version of ASTM International Standard E-1527-05 entitled ``Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process''; and (II) the most recent version of ASTM International Standard E-1903-11 entitled ``Standard Guide for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process''.
(iv) Review of certain information.-- (I) In general.--The Secretary shall review and consider cost information proffered by the Henderson Redevelopment Agency and the State in the preparation of the estimate under this subparagraph.
(II) Final determination.--If there is a disagreement among the Secretary, Henderson Redevelopment Agency, and the State over the reasonable estimate of costs under this subparagraph, the parties shall jointly select 1 or more experts to assist the Secretary in making the final estimate of the costs.
(D) Deadline.--Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall begin the appraisal and cost estimates under subparagraphs (B) and (C), respectively.
(E) Appraisal costs.--The Henderson Redevelopment Agency shall reimburse the Secretary for the costs incurred in performing the appraisal under subparagraph (B).
(F) Adjustment.--The Secretary shall administratively adjust the fair market value of the Federal land, as determined under subparagraph (B), based on the estimate of remediation, and reclamation costs, as determined under subparagraph (C).
(2) Mine remediation and reclamation agreement executed.-- (A) In general.--The conveyance under subsection (a) shall be contingent on-- (i) the Secretary receiving from the State written notification that a mine remediation and reclamation agreement has been executed in accordance with subparagraph (B); and (ii) the Secretary concurring, by the date that is 30 days after the date of receipt of the written notification under clause (i), that the requirements under subparagraph (B) have been met.
(B) Requirements.--The mine remediation and reclamation agreement required under subparagraph (A) shall be an enforceable consent order or agreement between the State and a party obligated to perform under the consent order or agreement administered by the State that-- (i) obligates a party to perform, after the conveyance of the Federal land under this Act, the remediation and reclamation work at the Three Kids Mine Project Site necessary to ensure all remedial actions necessary to protect human health and the environment with respect to any hazardous substances, pollutant, or contaminant will be taken, in accordance with all Federal, State, and local requirements; and (ii) contains provisions determined to be necessary by the State, including financial assurance provisions to ensure the completion of the remedy.
(3) Notification from agency.--As a condition of the conveyance under subsection (a), not later than 90 days after the date of execution of the mine remediation and reclamation agreement required under paragraph (2), [[Page S779]] the Henderson Redevelopment Agency shall submit to the Secretary written notification that the Henderson Redevelopment Agency is prepared to accept conveyance of the Federal land under subsection (a).
SEC. 4. WITHDRAWAL.
(a) In General.--Subject to valid existing rights, for the 10-year period beginning on the earlier of the date of enactment of this Act or the date of the conveyance required by this Act, the Federal land is withdrawn from all forms of-- (1) entry, appropriation, operation, or disposal under the public land laws; (2) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and (3) disposition under the mineral leasing, mineral materials, and the geothermal leasing laws.
(b) Existing Reclamation Withdrawals.--Subject to valid existing rights, any withdrawal under the public land laws that includes all or any portion of the Federal land for which the Bureau of Reclamation has determined that the Bureau of Reclamation has no further need under applicable law is relinquished and revoked solely to the extent necessary-- (1) to exclude from the withdrawal the property that is no longer needed; and (2) to allow for the immediate conveyance of the Federal land as required under this Act.
(c) Existing Reclamation Project and Permitted Facilities.--Except as provided in subsection (a), nothing in this Act diminishes, hinders, or interferes with the exclusive and perpetual use by the existing rights holders for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of water conveyance infrastructure and facilities, including all necessary ingress and egress, situated on the Federal land that were constructed or permitted by the Bureau of Reclamation before the effective date of this Act.
SEC. 5. ACEC BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT.
Notwithstanding section 203 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1713), the boundary of the River Mountains Area of Critical Environmental Concern (NVN 76884) is adjusted to exclude any portion of the Three Kids Mine Project Site consistent with the map.
SEC. 6. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARTIES.
(a) Responsibility of Parties to Mine Remediation and Reclamation Agreement.--On completion of the conveyance under section 3, the responsibility for complying with the mine remediation and reclamation agreement executed under section 3(b)(2) shall apply to the parties to the agreement.
(b) Savings Provision.--If the conveyance under this Act has occurred, but the terms of the agreement executed under section 3(b)(2) have not been met, nothing in this Act-- (1) affects the responsibility of the Secretary to take any additional response action necessary to protect public health and the environment from a release or the threat of a release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant; or (2) unless otherwise expressly provided, modifies, limits, or otherwise affects-- (A) the application of, or obligation to comply with, any law, including any environmental or public health law; or (B) the authority of the United States to enforce compliance with the requirements of any law or the agreement executed under section 3(b)(2).
______ By Mr. ROCKEFELLER (for himself, Mr. Manchin, and Mrs. Gillibrand): S. 348. A bill to provide for increased Federal oversight of prescription opioid treatment and assistance to States in reducing opioid abuse, diversion, and deaths; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce a piece of legislation that is desperately needed in West Virginia and across the country--the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2013. It is an important bill aimed at addressing the rapid increase in deaths and overdoses from methadone and other opioid prescription drugs in the United States. These deaths have hit my home State of West Virginia particularly hard, but I know that every State is struggling with this serious problem.
In the 111th Congress, Senator Corker and I, along with our colleague, the late Senator Kennedy, introduced the Methadone Treatment and Protection Act of 2009--a similar piece of legislation that stemmed from a disturbing rise in deaths due to methadone, a synthetic opioid prescription drug that had been increasingly used for pain management. Before 1990, it was used primarily to treat opioid addiction. Because of its high efficacy and low cost, methadone is frequently used for pain management. However, if not used correctly, methadone can be a powerful and deadly drug because it works differently than other painkillers. Methadone stays in a person's body for a longer period of time than the pain relief lasts so a person who does not know better might take far too much of the drug, possibly leading to respiratory distress, cardiac arrhythmia and even death.
Methadone prescriptions for pain management grew from about 531,000 in 1998 to about 4.1 million in 2006--nearly eightfold. During that time, poisoning deaths involving methadone increased nearly sevenfold from almost 790 in 1999 to 5,420 in 2006. Deaths from other opioids have also skyrocketed in the last decade. These deaths may actually be underreported, because there is no comprehensive reporting system for opioid-related deaths in the United States.
Overdoses from methadone are part of a larger disturbing trend of overdoses and deaths from prescription painkillers, or opioid drugs--a trend driven by a knowledge gap about how to treat serious pain in a safe and effective manner, by misperceptions about the safety of prescription drugs, and by the diversion of prescription drugs for illicit uses. In 2009, there were nearly 4.6 million drug-related emergency department, ED, visits of which nearly one half, 45.1 percent, or 2.1 million were attributed to prescription drug misuse or abuse, according to data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network, DAWN. Emergency department visits involving misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals nearly doubled between 2004 and 2009, to more than 1.2 million visits.
This bill takes multiple steps to address these problems. First, with respect to the knowledge gap about safe pain management, the bill includes a training requirement for health care professionals to be licensed to prescribe these powerful drugs. Currently, the Controlled Substances Act requires that every person who dispenses or who proposes to dispense controlled narcotics, including methadone, whether for pain management or opioid treatment, obtain a registration from the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA. But, there is no requirement as a condition of receiving the registration that these practitioners receive any education on the use of these controlled narcotics, including methadone. Physicians struggle every day with determining who has a real need for pain treatment, and who is addicted or at risk. They struggle with our failure to provide adequate treatment facilities for those who are addicted. This bill will help physicians get the information they need to prescribe safely and better recognize the signs of addiction in their patients.
Second, this bill addresses the knowledge gap among consumers--with a competitive grant program to States to distribute culturally sensitive educational materials about proper use of methadone and other opioids, and how to prevent opioid abuse, such as through safe disposal of prescription drugs. Preference will be given to states with a high incidence of overdoses and deaths.
Third, this bill creates a Controlled Substances Clinical Standards Commission to establish patient education guidelines, appropriate and safe dosing standards for all forms of methadone and other opioids, benchmark guidelines for the reduction of methadone abuse, appropriate conversion factors for transitioning patients from one opioid to another, and guidelines for the initiation of methadone and other opioids for pain management. A standards commission will provide much- needed evidence-based information to improve guidance for the safe and effective use of these powerful and dangerous controlled substances.
Fourth, this bill provides crucial support to state prescription drug monitoring programs. As of 2008, 38 states had enacted legislation requiring prescription drug monitoring programs and many states were able to fund these initiatives in part from grants available through the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. A second program created in 2005 through the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act, NASPER, would provide even more assistance, and requires interoperability among states to reduce doctor shopping across state lines and diversion. Unfortunately, NASPER has only recently been funded with $2 million in the fiscal year 2009 Omnibus legislation and $2 million in fiscal year 2010.
Here is just one example of why NASPER funding matters: recently, the governor of Florida announced a [[Page S780]] budget that would not fund a planned prescription monitoring program in his State, due to State budget difficulties. This directly affects States in Appalachia because of the rampant drug trafficking between the two regions. In fact, the roads from West Virginia to Florida are well-travelled by drug traffickers and people seeking pain medication. It is crucial to finally give NASPER the funding it needs, and this legislation would do so, with $25 million a year to establish interoperable prescription drug monitoring programs within each state.
Fifth, this bill requires that quality standards be developed across the range of providers engaged in the prevention and treatment of prescription drug abuse. It is essential as we move ahead that quality always be front and center in our efforts. With lives at risk, this is, if anything, only more important in the areas of addiction prevention and treatment. Every effort to address this problem must be as effective as possible, and the development of quality standards required by this bill will make sure that each provider, regardless of his or her background or approach, can provide high caliber services to their patients.
Finally, this bill would help solve the data gap when it comes to opioid-related deaths. Right now there is no comprehensive national database of drug-related deaths in the United States, nor is there a standard form for medical examiners to fill out with regard to opioid- related deaths. Since there is no comprehensive database of methadone- related deaths, the number of deaths may actually be underreported. To truly reduce the number of methadone-related deaths, quality data must be collected and made available. This bill would create a National Opioid Death Registry to track all opioid-related deaths and related information, and establish a standard form for medical examiners to fill out which would include information for the National Opioid Death Registry.
Today we have an opportunity to change the harrowing statistics and stem the rising tide of deaths from methadone and other opioids by supporting the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2013. This legislation provides a multifaceted approach to preventing tragic overdoses and deaths from methadone and other opioids. This is exactly what we need to improve the coordination of efforts and resources at the local, state, and federal levels.
I urge my colleagues to support this timely and important piece of legislation. In doing so, we will be on our way to saving lives and reducing the needless deaths that otherwise will continue to cause so much suffering for too many individuals, families, and communities in this country.
______ By Mr. REED (for himself, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Whitehouse, and Mr. Murphy): S. 349. A bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a segment of the Beaver, Chipuxet, Queen, Wood, and Pawcatuck Rivers in the States of Connecticut and Rhode Island for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.