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Wildfire Relief Package Act of 2020

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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | 116th Session of Congress

H.R. xxx

 

Mr. Allen of California, for himself, Ms. Keys of Pennsylvania, Mr. Grant of Missouri, Mr. Macmillian of New York, and with thanks to Mr. Simpson, Ms. Walters, Mr. Burr, Mr. LaMalfa, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Westerman, Mr. Cook, with the support of Governor Florez of California, and on behalf of the American People, submit the following: 

A BILL
To provide for - comprehensive economic relief that provides for funding, tax, and regulatory relief; increased prevention efforts of wildfires and protections against wildfires for American communities; massive improvement of agriculture policies that contribute to factors that allow for wildfires; improved mitigation, forestation, and ecosystem policies; and for other purposes. - for California areas devastated by wildfire, for future wildfire response, and for national interests in preventing and protecting against future wildfires, and for other purposes.

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 shall be referred to and cited as the 'Wildfire Relief Package Act of 2020'

SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sec. 1. Short Title
Sec. 2. Table of Contents
Title I - Economic Relief
Subtitle A - Wildfire Disaster Funding
Sec. 101. Wildfire Disaster Funding Authority
Sec. 102. Reporting Requirements
Sec. 103. Enactment
Subtitle B - Tax Relief
Sec. 201. Definitions
Sec. 202. Special Disaster-Related Rules for Use of Retirement Funds
Sec. 203. Employment Relief: Employee Retention Credit for Employers Affected by California Wildfires
Sec. 204. Treatment as Opportunity Zones
Sec. 205. Additional Disaster Relief Tax Provisions
Sec. 206. Enactment
Subtitle C - Regulatory Relief
Sec. 301. Use of Land in a State of Emergency
Sec. 302. Evaluating a Major Disaster Declaration Request
Sec. 303. Emergency Management Grants
Sec. 304. Regulatory Relief for Banks During Major Disasters
Sec. 305. Enactment
Title II - Wildfire Prevention and Protection
Subtitle A - Protecting Communities from Wildfire
Sec. 111. Definitions
Sec. 112. Categorical Exclusion for Accelerated Treatment Programs for the Wildland-Urban Interface
Sec. 113. Good Neighbor Agreements for At-Risk Areas
Sec. 114. Supplemental State Fire Assistance Funding
Sec. 115. Savings Provision
Sec. 116. Enactment
Subtitle B - Combustion Avoidance along Rural Roads
Sec. 211. Exemption of Certain Wildfire Mitigation Activities from Certain Environmental Requirements
Sec. 212. Enactment
Subtitle C - Wildfire Airspace Protection
Sec. 311. Findings
Sec. 312. Interference with Wildfire Suppression, Law Enforcement, or Emergency Response Effort by Operation of Unmanned Aircraft
Sec. 313. Enactment
Title III -- Mitigation, Forestation, and Ecosystem Improvement
Subtitle A - Forrest Habitat and Ecosystem Improvement
Sec. 121. Definitions
Sec. 122. Environmental Assessments
Sec. 123. Good Neighbor Authority
Sec. 124. Stewardship End Result Contracting Projects
Sec. 125. Enactment
Subtitle B - Ecosystem Restoration
Sec. 221. Definitions
Sec. 222. Ecosystem Restoration Projects
Sec. 223. National Restoration Treatment Acreage
Sec. 224. Enactment
Subtitle C - Salvage and Reforestation in Response to Catastrophic Events
Sec. 321. Expedited Salvage Operations and Reforestation Activities Following Large-Scale Catastrophic Events
Sec. 322. Compliance with Forest Plan
Sec. 323. Enactment
Subtitle D - Forrest Management
Sec. 421. Logging and Mechanized Operations
Sec. 422. Study on Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Support Wildland Fire Response and Management
Sec. 423. Pilot Project for Forest Health, Watershed Improvement, and Habitat Restoration in California
Sec. 424. Enactment
Title IV - Miscellaneous
Subtitle A - Disaster Relief and Wildfire Adjustment
Sec. 131. Increase in Maximum Adjustment to Accommodate Wildfire Funding
Sec. 3. Plain English Summary

 

TITLE I -- ECONOMIC RELIEF

Subtitle A -- WILDFIRE DISASTER RELIEF FUNDING

SEC. 101. WILDFIRE DISASTER FUNDING AUTHORITY
(a) Disaster Funding -- Section 251 (b)(2)(D) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended:

(1) In clause (i), by adding at the end the following:

"(II) the additional new budget authority provided in an appropriations Act for wildfire suppression operations pursuant to subparagraph (E) for the preceding fiscal year."

(2) by adding at the end the following:

"(v) Beginning in fiscal year 2021 and for each fiscal year thereafter, the calculation of the 'average funding provided for disaster relief over the previous 10 years' shall include, for each fiscal year during that period, the additional new budget authority provided in an appropriations act for wildfire suppression operations for the preceding fiscal year."

(b) Wildfire Suppression -- Section 251 (b)(2) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended by adding at the end the following:

"(E) Wildfire Suppression --

"(i) Definitions -- In this subparagraph:

"(I) Additional New Budget Authority -- The term 'additional new budget authority' means the amount provided for a fiscal year in an appropriations act that is (a) in excess of the 10-year average of the costs for wildfire suppression operations, as calculated for fiscal year 2017, and (b) specified to pay for the costs of wildfire suppression operations.

"(II) Wildfire Suppression Operations -- The term 'wildfire suppression operations' means the emergency and unpredictable aspects of wildland firefighting, including: (a) support, response, and emergency stabilization activities (b) other emergency management activities, and (c) the funds necessary to repay any transfers needed for the costs of wildfire suppression operations.

"(ii) Additional New Budget Authority -- If a bill or joint resolution making appropriations for a fiscal year is enacted that specifies an amount for wildfire suppression operations in the Wildland Fire Management accounts at the Department of Agriculture or the Department of the Interior, the adjustments for that fiscal year shall be the amount of additional new budget authority provided in that act for wildfire suppression operations for that fiscal year, but shall not exceed --

"(I) for fiscal year 2020, $1,410,000,000 in additional new budget authority;
"(II) for fiscal year 2021, $1,460,000,000 in additional new budget authority;
"(III) for fiscal year 2022, $1,560,000,000 in additional new budget authority;
"(IV) for fiscal year 2023, $1,780,000,000 in additional new budget authority:
"(V) for fiscal year 2024, $2,030,000,000 in additional new budget authority;
"(VI) for fiscal year 2025, $2,320,000,000 in additional new budget authority;
"(VII) for fiscal year 2026, $2,650,000,000 in additional new budget authority;
"(VIII) for fiscal year 2027, $2,690,000,000 in additional new budget authority;
"(IX) for fiscal year 2028, $2,690,000,000 in additional new budget authority; and
"(X) for fiscal year 2029, $2,690,000,000 in additional new budget authority.

"(iii) Average Cost and Outyear Calculations -- The 10-year average of the costs for wildfire suppression operations and the outyear forecasts of the costs for wildfire suppression operations shall be (a) calculated annually, and (b) reported to the President for each fiscal year.

SEC. 102. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
(a) If the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture determines that supplemental appropriations are necessary for a fiscal year for wildfire suppression operations, the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture, as applicable, shall:

(1) Promptly submit to Congress a request for the supplemental appropriations, and

(2) Not later than 30 days after the date on which the supplemental appropriations are made available, submit to Congress a plan describing the manner in which the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture as applicable intends to obligate the supplemental appropriations.

SEC. 103. ENACTMENT

The provisions under this subtitle shall be enacted immediately upon its constitutional passage.

 

Subtitle B -- TAX RELIEF

SEC. 201. DEFINITIONS

(a) For the purposes of this subtitle --

(1) California Wildfire Disaster Zone -- The term 'California wildfire disaster zone' means that portion of the California wildfire disaster area determined by the President, and this act, to warrant individual or individual and public assistance from the Federal Government under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act by reason of wildfires in California.

(2) California Wildfire Disaster Area -- The term 'California wildfire disaster area' means an area with respect to which between January 19, 2018, through December 31, 2018, a major disaster has been declared by the President by reason of wildfires in California.

SEC. 202. SPECIAL DISASTER-RELATED RULES FOR USE OF RETIREMENT FUNDS

(a) Tax-Favored withdrawals from retirement plans --

(1) In General -- Section 72(t) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall not apply to any qualified disaster distribution.

(2) Aggregate Dollar Limitation --

(A) In General -- For purposes of this subsection, the aggregate amount of distributions received by an individual which may be treated as qualified disaster distributions for any taxable year shall not exceed the excess (if any) of $100,000; over the aggregate amounts treated as qualified disaster distributions received by such individual for all prior taxable years.

(B) Treatment of Plan Distributions -- If a distribution to an individual would (without regard to subparagraph (A)) be a qualified disaster distribution, a plan shall not be treated as violating any requirement of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 merely because the plan treats such distribution as a qualified disaster distribution, unless the aggregate amount of such distributions from all plans maintained by the employer (and any member of any controlled group which includes the employer) to such individual exceeds $100,000.

(C) Controlled Group -- For purposes of subparagraph (B), the term “controlled group” means any group treated as a single employer under section 414 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(3) Amount Distributed May be Repaid --

(A) In General -- Any individual who receives a qualified disaster distribution may, at any time during the 3-year period beginning on the day after the date on which such distribution was received, make 1 or more contributions in an aggregate amount not to exceed the amount of such distribution to an eligible retirement plan of which such individual is a beneficiary and to which a rollover contribution of such distribution could be made.

(B) Treatment of Repayments of Distributions from Eligible Retirement Plans Other than IRAS -- For purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, if a contribution is made pursuant to subparagraph (A) with respect to a qualified disaster distribution from an eligible retirement plan other than an individual retirement plan, then the taxpayer shall, to the extent of the amount of the contribution, be treated as having received the qualified disaster distribution in an eligible rollover distribution (as defined in section 402(c)(4) of such Code) and as having transferred the amount to the eligible retirement plan in a direct trustee to trustee transfer within 60 days of the distribution.

(C) Treatment of Repayments for Distribution from IRAS -- For purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, if a contribution is made pursuant to subparagraph (A) with respect to a qualified disaster distribution from an individual retirement plan, then, to the extent of the amount of the contribution, the qualified disaster distribution shall be treated as a distribution described in section 408(d)(3) of such Code and as having been transferred to the eligible retirement plan in a direct trustee to trustee transfer within 60 days of the distribution.

(4) Definitions -- 

(A) Qualified Disaster Distribution -- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the term 'qualified disaster distribution' means any distribution from an eligible retirement plan made on or after June 1, 2018, and before December 31, 2021, to an individual whose principal place of abode during any portion of the period from June 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, is located in the California wildfire disaster area and who has sustained an economic loss by reason of the wildfires to which the declaration of such area relates.

(B) Eligible Retirement Plan -- The term 'eligible retirement plan' shall have the meaning given by section 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(5) Income Inclusion Spread Over 3-Year Period --

(A) In General -- In the case of any qualified disaster distribution, unless the taxpayer elects not to have this paragraph apply for any taxable year, any amount required to be included in gross income for such taxable year shall be so included ratably over the 3-taxable-year period beginning with such taxable year.

(B) Special Rule -- For purposes of subparagraph (A), rules similar to the rules of subparagraph (E) of section 408A(d)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall apply.

(6) Special Rule --

(A) Exemption of Distributions from Trustee to Trustee Transfer and Withholding Rules -- Qualified disaster distributions shall not be treated as eligible rollover distributions.

(b) Recontributions of Withdrawals for Home Purchases --

(1) Recontributions --

(A) In General -- Any individual who received a qualified distribution may, during the applicable period, make 1 or more contributions in an aggregate amount not to exceed the amount of such qualified distribution to an eligible retirement plan of which such individual is a beneficiary and to which a rollover contribution of such distribution could be made.

(2) Qualified Distribution --

(A) In General -- The term 'qualified distribution' means any qualified California wildfire distribution.

(B) Qualified California Wildfire Distribution -- The term 'qualified California wildfire distribution' means any distribution --

(i) Described in section 401(k)(2)(B)(i)(IV), 403(b)(7)(A)(ii) (but only to the extent such distribution relates to financial hardship), 403(b)(11)(B), or 72(t)(2)(F), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

(ii) Received after February 28, 2018, and before December 31, 2021; and

(iii) Which was to be used to purchase or construct a principal residence in the California wildfire disaster area, but which was not so purchased or constructed on account of the wildfires to which the declaration of such area relates.

(3) Applicable Period -- For purposes of this subsection, the term 'applicable period' means --

(A) With respect to any qualified California wildfire distribution, the period beginning on June 1, 2018, and ending on December 31, 2021.

(c) Loans from Qualified Plans --

(1) Increase in Limit on Loans Not Treated as Distributions -- In the case of any loan from a qualified employer plan to a qualified individual made during the applicable period --

(A) clause (i) of section 72(p)(2)(A) of such Code shall be applied by substituting “$100,000” for “$50,000”; and

(B) clause (ii) of such section shall be applied by substituting “the present value of the nonforfeitable accrued benefit of the employee under the plan” for “one-half of the present value of the nonforfeitable accrued benefit of the employee under the plan”.

(2) Delay of Repayment -- In the case of a qualified individual with an outstanding loan on or after the qualified beginning date from a qualified employer plan (as defined in section 72(p)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986)—

(A) If the due date pursuant to subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 72(p)(2) of such Code for any repayment with respect to such loan occurs during the period beginning on the qualified beginning date and ending on December 31, 2021, such due date shall be delayed for 1 year;

(B) Any subsequent repayments with respect to any such loan shall be appropriately adjusted to reflect the delay in the due date under paragraph (1) and any interest accruing during such delay; and

(C) In determining the 5-year period and the term of a loan under subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 72(p)(2) of such Code, the period described in subparagraph (A) shall be disregarded.

(3) Qualified Individual -- For purposes of this subsection --

(A) In General -- The term 'qualified individual' means any qualified California wildfire individual.

(B) Qualified California Wildfire Individual -- The term 'qualified California wildfire individual' means any individual whose principal place of abode during any portion of the period from June 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019, is located in the California wildfire disaster area and who has sustained an economic loss by reason of wildfires to which the declaration of such area relates.

(4) Applicable Period; Qualified Beginning Date -- For purposes of this subsection --

(A) California Wildfires -- In the case of any qualified California wildfire individual --

(i) The applicable period is the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2021; and

(ii) The qualified beginning date is June 1, 2018.

SEC. 203. EMPLOYMENT RELIEF: EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT FOR EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

(a) Employee Retention Credit for Employers Affected by California wildfires --

(1) In General -- For purposes of section 38 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, in the case of an eligible employer, the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 California wildfire employee retention credit shall be treated as a credit listed in subsection (b) of such section. For purposes of this subsection, the 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 California wildfire employee retention credit for any taxable year is an amount equal to 40 percent of the qualified wages with respect to each eligible employee of such employer for such taxable year. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the amount of qualified wages which may be taken into account with respect to any individual shall not exceed $6,000.

(2) Definitions -- For purposes of this subsection --

(A) Eligible Employer -- The term 'eligible employer' means any employer --

(i) which conducted an active trade or business on June 1, 2018, in the California wildfire disaster zone; and

(ii) with respect to whom the trade or business described in clause (i) is inoperable on any day after June 1, 2018, and before January 1, 2020, as a result of damage sustained by reason of the wildfires to which such the declaration of such the California wildfire disaster area relates.

(B) Eligible Employee - The term 'eligible employee' means with respect to an eligible employer an employee whose principal place of employment on June 1, 2018, with such eligible employer was in the California wildfire disaster zone.

(C) Qualified Wages -- The term 'qualified wages' means wages of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, paid or incurred by an eligible employer with respect to an eligible employee on any day after June 1, 2018, and before January 1, 2020, which occurs during the period --

(i) beginning on the date on which the trade or business described in subparagraph (A) first became inoperable at the principal place of employment of the employee immediately before the wildfires to which the declaration of the California wildfire disaster area relates; and

(ii) ending on the date on which such trade or business has resumed significant operations at such principal place of employment.

Such term shall include wages paid without regard to whether the employee performs no services, performs services at a different place of employment than such principal place of employment, or performs services at such principal place of employment before significant operations have resumed.

(3) Certain Rules to Apply -- For purposes of this subsection, rules similar to the rules of sections 51(i)(1), 52, and 280C(a), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, shall apply.

(4) Employee Not Taken Into Account More than Once -- An employee shall not be treated as an eligible employee for purposes of this subsection for any period with respect to any employer if such employer is allowed a credit under section 51 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 with respect to such employee for such period.

SEC. 204. TREATMENT AS OPPORTUNITY ZONES

(a) Section 1400Z–1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(g) Application to certain disaster zones -- For purposes of this subchapter --

“(1) In General -- Any applicable disaster zone shall be treated as an opportunity zone, except that for purposes of determining --

“(A) whether any property which would not be qualified opportunity fund business property without regard to this subsection is qualified opportunity fund business property, and

“(B) whether any corporation or partnership which is not a qualified opportunity fund business without regard to this subsection is a qualified opportunity fund business,

(b) Subparagraphs (B)(i)(I), (C)(i), and (D)(i)(I) of section 1400Z–2(d)(2) shall each be applied by substituting ‘the applicable start date’ for ‘December 31, 2017’.

“(2) Other Rules -- 

“(A) Waiver of Designation Limitation -- An applicable disaster zone shall not be taken into account in determining the limitation under subsection (d).

“(B) Termination -- For purposes of subsection (f), an applicable disaster zone shall be treated as being designated as a qualified opportunity zone on the date of the enactment of this subsection.

“(3) Definitions -- For purposes of this subsection --

“(A) Applicable Disaster Zone -- The term ‘applicable disaster zone’ means any area which --

“(i) Has been determined by the President of the United States to warrant individual or individual and public assistance from the Federal Government under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act by reason of wildfires in California occurring after June 1, 2018, and before January 1, 2020.

“(B) Applicable Start Date -- The term ‘applicable start date’ means --

“(i) With respect to any applicable disaster zone described in subparagraph (A)(i), June 1, 2018.”.

SEC. 205. ADDITIONAL DISASTER RELIEF TAX PROVISIONS

(a) Temporary Suspension of Limitations on Charitable Contributions --

(1) In General -- Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2), subsection (b) of section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall not apply to qualified contributions and such contributions shall not be taken into account for purposes of applying subsections (b) and (d) of such section to other contributions.

(2) Treatment of Excess Contributions -- For purposes of section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 --

(A) Individuals -- In the case of an individual --

(i) Limitation -- Any qualified contribution shall be allowed only to the extent that the aggregate of such contributions does not exceed the excess of the taxpayer's contribution base over the amount of all other charitable contributions allowed under section 170(b)(1) of such Code.

(ii) Carryover -- If the aggregate amount of qualified contributions made in the contribution year (within the meaning of section 170(d)(1) of such Code) exceeds the limitation of clause (i), such excess shall be added to the excess described in the portion of subparagraph (A) of such section which precedes clause (i) thereof for purposes of applying such section.

(B) Corporations -- In the case of a corporation --

(i) Limitation -- Any qualified contribution shall be allowed only to the extent that the aggregate of such contributions does not exceed the excess of the taxpayer’s taxable income over the amount of all other charitable contributions allowed under such paragraph.

(ii) Carryover -- Rules similar to the rules of subparagraph (A)(ii) shall apply for purposes of this subparagraph.

(3) Qualified Contributions --

(A) In General -- For purposes of this subsection, the term 'qualified contribution' means any charitable contribution --

(i) Such contribution --

(I) Is paid during the period beginning on June 1, 2018, and ending on December 31, 2020, in cash to an organization described in section 170(b)(1)(A) of such Code; and

(II) Is made for relief efforts in the California wildfire disaster area;

(ii) The taxpayer obtains from such organization contemporaneous written acknowledgment that such contribution was used (or is to be used) for relief efforts described in clause (i)(II); and

(iii) The taxpayer has elected the application of this subsection with respect to such contribution.

(B) Exception -- Such term shall not include a contribution by a donor if the contribution is --

(i) To an organization described in section 509(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

(ii) For the establishment of a new, or maintenance of an existing, donor advised fund.

(C) Application of Election to Partnerships and S Corporations -- In the case of a partnership or S corporation, the election under subparagraph (A)(iii) shall be made separately by each partner or shareholder.

(b) Special Rules for Qualified Disaster-Related Personal Casualty Losses --

(1) In General -- If an individual has a net disaster loss for any taxable year --

(A) The amount determined under section 165(h)(2)(A)(ii) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall be equal to the sum of --

(i) Such net disaster loss; and

(ii) So much of the excess referred to in the matter preceding clause (i) as exceeds 10 percent of the adjusted gross income of the individual;

(B) Section 165(h)(1) of such Code shall be applied by substituting “$500” for “$500 ($100 for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2009)”;

(C) The standard deduction determined under section 63(c) of such Code shall be increased by the net disaster loss; and

(D) Section 56(b)(1)(E) of such Code shall not apply to so much of the standard deduction as is attributable to the increase under subparagraph (C) of this paragraph.

(2) Net Disaster Loss -- For purposes of this subsection, the term 'net disaster loss' means the excess of qualified disaster-related personal casualty losses over personal casualty gains.

(3) Qualified Disaster-Related Personal Casualty Losses -- For purposes of this subsection, the term 'qualified disaster-related personal casualty losses' means losses described in section 165(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which arise in the California wildfire disaster area on or after June 1, 2018, and which are attributable to the wildfires to which the declaration of such area relates.

(c) Special Rule for Determining Earned Income --

(1) In General -- In the case of a qualified individual, if the earned income of the taxpayer for the applicable taxable year is less than the earned income of the taxpayer for the preceding taxable year, the credits allowed under sections 24(d) and 32 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 may, at the election of the taxpayer, be determined by substituting --

(A) Such earned income for the preceding taxable year; for

(B) Such earned income for the applicable taxable year.

(2) Qualified Individual -- For purposes of this subsection --

(A) In General -- The term 'qualified individual' means any qualified California wildfire individual.

(B) Qualified California Wildfire Individual -- The term 'qualified California wildfire individual' means any individual whose principal place of abode during any portion of the period from June 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019, was located --

(i) In the California wildfire disaster zone; or

(ii) In the California wildfire disaster area (but outside the California disaster zone) and such individual was displaced from such principal place of abode by reason of the wildfires to which the declaration of such area relates.

(3) Applicable Taxable Year -- The term 'applicable taxable year' means the taxable year which includes --

(A) In the case of a qualified California wildfire individual, any portion of the period from June 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019.

(4) Earned Income -- For purposes of this subsection, the term 'earned income' has the meaning given such term under section 32(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(5) Special Rule --

(A) Application to Join Returns -- For purposes of paragraph (1), in the case of a joint return for an applicable taxable year --

(i) Such paragraph shall apply if either spouse is a qualified individual; and

(ii) The earned income of the taxpayer for the preceding taxable year shall be the sum of the earned income of each spouse for such preceding taxable year.

SEC. 206. ENACTMENT

The Provisions of this subtitle shall be enacted upon its Constitutional Passage, with each respective section and sub clause directly amending the Internal Revenue Code or thereby any applicable taxable years, to be enacted upon its specified sub clause enacting an effective date for such amendments of the Code to affect any applicable taxable year.

 

Subtitle C - REGULATORY RELIEF

SEC. 301. USE OF LAND IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY

(a) Section 1233(b) The Food Security Act of 1985 is amended by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

"(1) Harvesting, Grazing, or other Commercial use of the Forage, without any reduction in the rental rate, in response to --

"(A) Drought;

"(B) Flooding;

"(C) A state of emergency, that --

"(i) Is declared by the Governor of the State in which the land that is subject to a contract under the conservation reserve program is located; or

"(D) Other emergency."

SEC. 302. EVALUATING A MAJOR DISASTER DECLARATION REQUEST

(a) Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(d) Consideration of Requests --

“(1) In General -- In evaluating a request for a declaration under this section, the President shall take into consideration any impacts of the disaster that --

“(A) will impede the recovery efforts of affected individuals or community; and

“(B) may not be addressed under disaster programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but that are addressed by other disaster programs, such as the disaster loan program and other applicable programs.

“(2) Agricultural Fence Lines --

“(A) Definition -- In this paragraph, the term ‘agricultural fence line’ means a physical barrier placed for the purpose of defining the edge or boundary of an area used for agricultural purpose.

“(B) Consideration -- In considering the impacts of a disaster required to be considered under paragraph (1), the President shall consider the costs of replacing an agricultural fence line.”.

SEC. 303. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT GRANTS

(a) Section 662(b) of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 is amended by inserting after 'hazards', "including supporting joint interagency cooperation between State agencies responsible for responding to wildfires."

SEC. 304. REGULATORY RELIEF FOR BANKS DURING MAJOR DISASTERS

(a) Definitions --

(1) The terms 'appropriate Federal banking agency' and 'depository institution' have the meanings given those terms in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act; and

(2) The term 'major disaster' has the meaning given the term in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

(b) Requirement -- Not later than 15 days after the date on which the President declares a major disaster under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, or not later than 15 days after a state of emergency is declared by a Governor of a State for all or part of that State, the appropriate Federal banking agencies and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection shall issue guidance to depository institutions located in the area for which the President declared the major disaster or the Governor declared a state of emergency, as applicable, for reducing regulatory burdens for borrowers and communities in order to facilitate recovery from the major disaster.

(c) Contents -- Guidance issued under subsection (b) shall include instructions from the appropriate Federal banking agency or the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, as applicable, regarding --

(1) Extending repayment terms, adjusting existing loans, and easing terms for new loans, in accordance with prudent banking practices that involve appropriate monitoring;

(2) Providing relief from reporting and publishing requirements, including by accepting delayed filing and publishing of reports by depository institutions in areas affected by the major disaster or covered by the state of emergency, as applicable;

(3) Taking appropriate actions to stabilize investments in local government projects affected by the major disaster or covered by the state of emergency, as applicable;

(4) Promoting awareness of the eligibility of depository institutions for loans or investments made in areas affected by the major disaster or covered by the state of emergency, as applicable, under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977; and

(5) Such other issues as determined appropriate by the appropriate Federal banking agency or the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, as applicable.

SEC. 305. ENACTMENT

The provisions of this subtitle shall be enacted immediately upon its Constitutional Passage.

 

TITLE II -- WILDFIRE PREVENTION AND PROTECTION

Subtitle A -- PROTECTING COMMUNITIES FROM WILDFIRE

SEC. 111. DEFINITIONS

(a) For the purposes of this subtitle --

(1) At-Risk Community -- The term 'at-risk community' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.

(2) At-Risk Watershed -- The term 'at-risk watershed' means any watershed supplying an at-risk community.

(3) Federal Land --

(A) In General -- The term 'Federal land' means --

(i) Public lands;

(ii) Land held in trust for Indian Tribes; or

(iii) National Forest System land.

(B) Exclusions -- The term 'Federal land' does not include --

(i) A component of the National Wilderness Preservation System;

(ii) Federal land on which the removal of vegetation is prohibited or restricted by Act of Congress or Presidential proclamation (including the applicable implementation plan); or

(iii) A wilderness study area.

(4) Governors Concerned -- The term 'Governors concerned' means the respective Governors who have entered into good neighbor agreements.

(5) Secretary Concerned -- The term 'Secretary concerned' means --

(A) the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to public lands; and

(B) the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to National Forest System lands.

(6) Treatment Programs -- The term 'treatment programs' means any removal or modification of flammable vegetation including, but not limited to, prescribed fire, mechanical thinning, timber sales, mastication, pruning, slash treatment, or a combination of those methods.

(7) Wildland-Urban Interface -- The term 'wildland-urban interface' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.

SEC. 112. CATEGORICAL EXCLUSION FOR ACCELERATED TREATMENT PROGRAMS FOR THE WILDLAND-URBAN INTERFACE

(a) Categorical Exclusion Established -- Treatment programs described in subsection (b) are a category of actions designated as categorically excluded from the preparation of an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement under section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

(b) Treatment Program Described -- The treatment programs described in this subsection are forest management activities carried out by the Secretary concerned to --

(1) reduce the risk of wildfire to at-risk communities and at-risk watersheds by prescribing treatment programs in the wildland-urban interface which remove overstocked timber; and

(2) subject to subsection (c), remove or modify woody vegetation and ground material to reduce canopy closure, ground fuels, and ladder fuels to achieve a forest composition that maximizes low-intensity fires and ease of suppression, establish fire breaks, and access for fire suppression.

(c) Limitation of Treatment Programs -- The Secretary concerned may only carry out vegetation treatments necessary to achieve conditions that support low-intensity fire and allow for direct suppression.

(d) Judicial Review -- Treatment programs described in subsection (b) shall not be subject to judicial review.

SEC. 113. GOOD NEIGHBOR AGREEMENTS FOR AT-RISK AREAS

(a) Section 8206(a)(3)(B) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 is amended --

(1) in clause (i)(II)(bb), by striking “or”;

(2) in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; or”; and

(3) by inserting after clause (ii) the following new clause:

“(iii) activities to reduce hazardous fuels and risk for loss of human life and property within the wildland-urban interface (as defined in section 101 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.”

SEC. 114. SUPPLEMENTAL STATE FIRE ASSISTANCE FUNDING

(a) Section 10A of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 is amended --

(1) in subsection (a), by striking “may” and inserting “shall”;

(2) in subsection (b) --

(A) in paragraph (1) --

(i) in subparagraph (C), by striking “and” at the end;

(ii) in subparagraph (D), by striking “wildfires.” and inserting “wildfires; and”; and

(iii) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

“(E) to incentivize State, local, tribal, and private landowners within the wildland-urban interface to implement cooperative land management plans and treatment programs which reduce the risk of wildfire.”; and

(B) in paragraph (2) --

(i) by striking “The Program” and inserting the following:

“(A) In General -- The program”; and

(ii) by striking “State foresters or equivalent State officials” and inserting “appropriate stakeholders”; and

(iii) by adding at the end the following:

“(B) Preferred Consideration -- State, local, tribal, and private landowners with preexisting, collaborative wildland-urban interface fire mitigation plan shall receive preferred consideration when applying for competitive, cost-sharing grants.”;

(C) in paragraph (3) --

(i) in subparagraph (G), by striking “and” at the end;

(ii) in subparagraph (H), by striking “projects.” and inserting “projects; and”; and

(iii) by adding at the end the following:

“(J) community and landowner forest management incentive programs.”; and

(3) by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

“(d) Authorization of appropriations --

“(1) In General -- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section --

“(A) $100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2026; and

“(B) such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2027 and each fiscal year thereafter.

“(2) Reservation -- Of the funds appropriated under paragraph (1), 25 percent shall be reserved to carry out wildfire mitigation and fuels reduction within the wildland-urban interface (as defined in section 101 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003."

SEC. 115. SAVINGS PROVISION

Nothing in this subtitle shall provide the Secretary concerned or Governors concerned the authority to prescribe clear cutting as part of a treatment plan.

SEC. 116. ENACTMENT

The provisions of this subtitle shall be enacted immediately upon its Constitutional passage.

 

Subtitle B -- COMBUSTION AVOIDANCE ALONG RURAL ROADS

SEC. 211. EXEMPTION OF CERTAIN WILDFIRE MITIGATION ACTIVITIES FROM CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

(a) In General -- Wildfire mitigation activities of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture may be carried out without regard to the provisions of law specified in subsection (b).

(b) Provisions of Law Specified -- The provisions of law specified in this section are all Federal, State, or other laws, regulations, and legal requirements of, deriving from, or related to the subject of, the following laws:

(1) Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

(2) The Endangered Species Act of 1973.

(c) Wildfire Mitigation Activity -- For purposes of this section, the term 'wildfire mitigation activity' means --

(1) Is an activity conducted on Federal land that is --

(A) Under the administration of the Director of the National Park System, the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, or the Chief of the Forest Service; and

(B) Within 500 feet of any permanent or temporary road, as measured from the center of such road; and

(2) Includes forest thinning, hazardous fuel reduction, prescribed burning, and vegetation management.

SEC. 212. ENACTMENT

The provisions of this subtitle shall be enacted immediately upon its Constitutional Passage.

 

Subtitle C -- WILDFIRE AIRSPACE PROTECTION

SEC. 311 FINDINGS

(a) Findings -- Congress finds that --

(1) Siskiyou County, June 2018, an unmanned aircraft obstructed the efforts of CalFire to respond by aircraft during a wildfire. As a result --

(A) Emergency aircraft were unable attend to the wildfire for approximately two hours after such time as requested.

(2) 3 additional incidents within the state of California has CalFire aircraft, in response to a wildfire, been obstructed due to operations of unmanned aircraft such as a drone for recreational purposes of capturing the wildfire via photography, videography, or for other purposes.

SEC. 312. INTERFERENCE WITH WILDFIRE SUPPRESSION, LAW ENFORCEMENT, OR EMERGENCY RESPONSE EFFORT BY OPERATION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT

(a) In General -- Chapter 65 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“1370. Interference with wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response effort by operation of unmanned aircraft

“(a) Offense -- Except as provided in subsection (b), an individual who operates an unmanned aircraft and in so doing knowingly or recklessly interferes with a wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response effort shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

“(b) Exceptions -- This section does not apply to the operation of an unmanned aircraft conducted by a unit or agency of the United States Government or of a State, tribal, or local government (including any individual conducting such operation pursuant to a contract or other agreement entered into with the unit or agency) for the purpose of protecting the public safety and welfare, including firefighting, law enforcement, or emergency response.

“(c) Definitions -- In this section, the following definitions apply:

“(1) Wildfire -- The term ‘wildfire’ has the meaning given that term in section 2 of the Emergency Wildfire Suppression Act.

“(2) Wildfire Suppression -- The term ‘wildfire suppression’ means an effort to contain, extinguish, or suppress a wildfire.”

(b) Clerical amendment -- The table of sections for chapter 65 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

“1370. Interference with wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response effort by operation of unmanned aircraft."

SEC. 313. ENACTMENT

The provisions of this subtitle shall be enacted immediately upon its Constitutional Passage.

 

TITLE III -- MITIGATION, FORESTATION, AND ECOSYSTEM IMPROVEMENT

Subtitle A -- FORREST HABITAT AND ECOSYSTEM IMPROVEMENT

SEC. 121. DEFINITIONS

(a) For the purposes of this subtitle --

(1) Forest Plan -- The term 'forest plan' means a land and resource management plan prepared by the Forest Service in accordance with section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974.

(2) National Forest System --

(A) In General -- The term 'National Forest System' has the meaning given the term in section 11(a) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974.

(B) Exclusion -- The term 'National Forest System' does not include --

(i) Any forest reserve not created from the public domain; or

(ii) Any national grassland or land utilization project administered under title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act.

SEC. 122. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS

(a) Applicability of National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 -- The Secretary shall prepare an environmental assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 for each project under this title.

(b) Public Notice and Comment -- In preparing an environmental assessment for a project under subsection (a), the Secretary shall provide public notice of, and an opportunity to comment regarding, the applicable project.

(c) Consideration of Alternatives -- The Secretary shall study, develop, and describe in each environmental assessment under subsection (a) --

(1) The project as the proposed action; and

(2) A no-action alternative, the analysis of which shall include a description of the resulting environmental effects of taking no action on --

(A) Forest health;

(B) Habitat diversity;

(C) Wildfire potential;

(D) Insect and disease potential;

(E) Municipal water supplies; and

(F) Other economic and social factors.

(d) Limitations -- The Secretary shall limit each environmental assessment under this section to a length of not more than 100 pages.

(e) Deadline for Completion --

(1) In General -- Not later than 180 days after the date on which the Secretary publishes a notice regarding an ecosystem restoration project in accordance with subsection (b), the Secretary shall complete the environmental assessment for the project.

(2) No Supplemental Analysis Required -- No supplemental analysis of an ecosystem restoration project that is the subject of an environmental assessment under paragraph (1) shall be required after the date on which that environmental assessment is complete.

SEC. 123. GOOD NEIGHBOR AUTHORITY

(a) In General -- Section 8206 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 is amended --

(1) In subsection (a)(3) --

(A) By redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C);

(B) By inserting after subparagraph (A) the following:

“(B) Inclusion -- The term ‘forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration services’ includes construction, reconstruction, repair, or restoration of permanent roads.”; and

(C) In subparagraph (C)(i) (as redesignated by subparagraph (A)), by striking “or permanent”; and

(2) In subsection (b) --

(A) By redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4); and

(B) By inserting after paragraph (2) the following:

“(3) Permanent Road Closure --

“(A) In General -- The Secretary may close a permanent road under a good neighbor agreement without carrying out with respect to the permanent road authorized restoration services if the permanent road would allow future access for firefighting or other appropriate agency use, as determined by the applicable forest supervisor.

“(B) Inactness -- If a permanent road is closed under subparagraph (A), the permanent road shall be closed to the public according to the applicable forest plan, but shall remain intact.”.

(b) Repeal -- Section 331 of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 is repealed.

SEC. 124. STEWARDSHIP END RESULT CONTRACTING PROJECTS

(a) Healthy Forests Restoration -- Section 604 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 is amended --

(1) in subsection (c), by adding at the end the following:

“(8) Retention of existing wood products infrastructure.”;

(2) in subsection (d) --

(A) in paragraph (1), by inserting “, or lowest-cost-technically-acceptable,” after “best-value”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(8) Permanent Road Closure --

“(A) In General -- The Secretary of Agriculture may close a permanent road under a contract entered into under this section without achieving with respect to the permanent road the restoration activities included in the land management goals described in subsection (c) if the permanent road would allow future access for firefighting or other appropriate agency use, as determined by the applicable forest supervisor.

“(B) Intactness -- If a permanent road is closed under subparagraph (A), the permanent road shall be closed to the public according to the applicable forest plan, but shall remain intact.”; and

(3) In subsection (e)(2)(A), by inserting “, subject to the condition that 25 percent of the gross receipts shall be disbursed to the county in which the project site is located” before “; and”.

 

Subtitle B -- ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION

SEC. 221. DEFINITIONS

(a) In this subtitle --

(1) Community Wildfire Protection Plan -- The term 'community wildfire protection plan' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.

(2) Restoration --

(A) In General -- The term 'restoration', with respect to an ecosystem, means to carry out any activity that helps to recover, establish, or maintain the resilience or adaptive capacity of an ecosystem.

(B) Inclusions -- The term 'restoration' includes any activity described in subsection (a) relating to --

(i) Timer Harvesting;

(ii) Thinning;

(iii) Prescribed Fire; or

(iv) Other vegetation manipulation in the National Forest System.

SEC. 222. ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION PROJECTS

(a) In General -- Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary shall identify, prioritize, and carry out ecosystem restoration projects on National Forest System land in accordance with applicable land and resource management plans prepared by the Secretary for units of the National Forest System under section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, if any, to accomplish one or more of the following objectives:

(1) To restore terrestrial habitat.

(2) To sustain water quality, water flows, or watershed health and function.

(3) To create, improve, or increase early seral habitat.

(4) To carry out a needed timber stand improvement.

(5) To reduce the risk or extent of insect or disease infestation.

(6) To reduce wildland fire severity potential.

(7) To implement a community wildfire protection plan.

(8) To establish, recover, or maintain ecosystem resiliency.

(b) Exclusions -- The Secretary may not carry out an ecosystem restoration project under this section on any area of National Forest System land --

(1) that is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System; or

(2) on which removal of vegetation is prohibited by law.

SEC. 223. NATIONAL RESTORATION TREATMENT ACREAGE

(a) In General -- For fiscal year 2021 and each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary shall establish a 5-year schedule to achieve the ecosystem restoration objectives described in section 322(a).

(b) Schedule Goals -- The schedule established under subsection (a) shall --

(1) By the end of the first 5-year period, result in at least a doubling of the acres subject to an ecosystem restoration project under this subtitle, as compared to the number of acres subject to an ecosystem restoration project in fiscal year 2018; and

(2) Be consistent with any applicable forest plan.

(c) Assignment -- Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall assign the annual acreage for restoration treatments, by National Forest System region, described in subsection (a).

(d) Publication -- As soon as practicable after the date of each assignment of acreage for restoration treatments under subsection (c), the Secretary shall publish the acreage that will apply, by National Forest System region, on the Internet website of the Forest Service.

SEC. 224. ENACTMENT

The provisions of this subtitle shall be enacted immediately upon its Constitutional Passage.

 

Subtitle C -- SALVAGE AND REFORESTATION IN RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHIC EVENTS

SEC. 321. EXPEDITED SALVAGE OPERATIONS AND REFORESTATION ACTIVITIES FOLLOWING LARGE-SCALE CATASTROPHIC EVENTS

(a) Expedited Environmental Assessment -- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an environmental assessment prepared by the Secretary concerned pursuant to section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 for a salvage operation or reforestation activity proposed to be conducted on National Forest System lands or public lands adversely impacted by a large-scale catastrophic event shall be completed within 60 days after the conclusion of the catastrophic event.

(b) Expedited Implementation and Completion -- In the case of reforestation activities conducted on National Forest System lands or public lands adversely impacted by a large-scale catastrophic event, the Secretary concerned shall, to the maximum extent practicable, achieve reforestation of at least 75 percent of the impacted lands during the 5-year period following the conclusion of the catastrophic event.

(c) Availability of Knutson-Vandenberg funds -- Amounts in the special fund established pursuant to section 3 of the Act of June 9, 1930 (commonly known as the Knutson-Vandenberg Act) shall be available to the Secretary of Agriculture for reforestation activities authorized by this title.

(d) Timeline for Public Input Process -- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the case of a salvage operation or reforestation activity proposed to be conducted on National Forest System lands or public lands adversely impacted by a large-scale catastrophic event, the Secretary concerned shall allow 30 days for public scoping and comment, 15 days for filing an objection, and 15 days for the agency response to the filing of an objection. Upon completion of this process and expiration of the period specified in subsection (a), the Secretary concerned shall implement the project immediately.

SEC. 322. COMPLIANCE WITH FOREST PLAN

A salvage operation or reforestation activity authorized by this title shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the forest plan applicable to the National Forest System lands or public lands covered by the salvage operation or reforestation activity.

SEC. 323. ENACTMENT

The provisions of this subtitle shall be enacted immediately upon its Constitutional Passage.

 

Subtitle D -- FORREST MANAGEMENT

SEC. 421. LOGGING AND MECHANIZED OPERATIONS

(a) The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is amended --

(1) In section 3 --

(A) In subsection (l), by striking “well-being.” and inserting “well-being, and that employment of employees ages sixteen or seventeen years in a logging or mechanized operation in an occupation that the Secretary of Labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for the employment of individuals of such ages shall not be deemed to constitute oppressive child labor if such employee is employed by his parent or by a person standing in the place of his parent in a logging or mechanized operation owned or operated by such parent or person.”; and

(B) By adding at the end the following:

“(z) (1) ‘Logging’ --

“(A) Means --

“(i) The felling, skidding, yarding, loading and processing of timber by equipment other than manually operated chainsaws and cable skidders;

“(ii) The felling of timber in mechanized operations;

“(iii) The bucking or converting of timber into logs, poles, ties, bolts, pulpwood, chemical wood, excelsior wood, cordwood, fence posts, or similar products;

“(iv) The collecting, skidding, yarding, loading, transporting and unloading of such products in connection with logging;

“(v) The constructing, repairing and maintaining of roads or camps used in connection with logging; the constructing, repairing, and maintenance of machinery or equipment used in logging; and

“(vi) Other work performed in connection with logging; and

“(B) Does not include the manual use of chain saws to fell and process timber and the use of cable skidders to bring the timber to the landing.

“(2) ‘Mechanized operation’ --

“(A) Means the felling, skidding, yarding, loading and processing of timber by equipment other than manually operated chainsaws and cable skidders; and

“(B) Includes whole tree processors, cut-to-length processors, stroke boom delimbers, wheeled and track feller-bunchers, pull thru delimbers, wheeled and track forwarders, chippers, grinders, mechanical debarkers, wheeled and track grapple skidders, yarders, bulldozers, excavators, and log loaders.”; and

(2) In section 13(c), by adding at the end the following:

“(8) The provisions of section 12 relating to child labor shall apply to an employee who is 16 or 17 years old employed in a logging or mechanized operation in an occupation that the Secretary of Labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for the employment of children ages 16 or 17, except where such employee is employed by his parent or by a person standing in the place of his parent in a logging or mechanized operation owned or operated by such parent or person.”.

SEC. 422. STUDY ON USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES TO SUPPORT WILDLAND FIRE RESPONSE AND MANAGEMENT

(a) Study Required -- The Secretary of Agriculture shall conduct a study to evaluate --

(1) The feasibility, safety, and cost effectiveness of using unmanned aerial vehicles for the purposes of supporting wildland fire response and suppression and forest restoration and management; and

(2) The effect that increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles for such purposes will have on employment.

(b) Consultation -- In conducting the study, the Secretary of Agriculture shall consult with the heads of other Federal agencies involved in wildfire suppression and aviation, including the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Transportation.

(c) Reporting Requirement -- Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit to Congress a report containing the results of the study.

SEC. 423. PILOT PROJECT FOR FOREST HEALTH, WATERSHED IMPROVEMENT, AND HABITAT RESTORATION IN CALIFORNIA

(a) Pilot Project Established -- The Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service, shall conduct a pilot project within the Klamath National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Lassen National Forest, and Shasta-Trinity National Forest in the State of California to analyze and demonstrate the effectiveness of various tools and techniques to address the following natural resource concerns:

(1) Thinning for forest health

(2) Watershed improvement

(3) Habitat restoration

(b) Authorized Activities -- The Secretary of Agriculture in carrying out the pilot project established under subsection (a) may conduct applied silvicultural investigations and treatments, including --

(1) Silvicultural investigations conducted for the purposes of information gathering and research relating to the natural resource concerns described in subsection (a); and

(2) Mechanical thinning.

(c) Objections to Silvicultural Investigation or Treatment -- The Secretary may not carry out a silvicultural investigation or treatment under this section if a county in which such investigation or treatment would be conducted objects to such investigation or treatment.

(d) Environmental Assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act -- Forest management activities carried out by the Secretary of Agriculture under this section are a category of actions hereby designated as being categorically excluded from the preparation of an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement under section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

(e) Consultation under the Endangered Species Act -- Forest management activities carried out by the Secretary of Agriculture under this section shall be subject to section 123, including subsection (b) of such section.

(f) Public Participation -- The Secretary shall encourage meaningful public participation during preparation of a silvicultural investigation or treatment under this section.

SEC. 424. ENACTMENT

The provisions of this subtitle shall be enacted immediately upon its Constitutional Passage.

 

TITLE IV -- MISCELLANEOUS

Subtitle A -- DISASTER RELIEF AND WILDFIRE ADJUSTMENT

SEC. 131. INCREASE IN MAXIMUM ADJUSTMENT TO ACCOMODATE WILDFIRE FUNDING

(a) Section 251(b)(2)(D) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control of 1985 is amended --

(1) In clause (i), by striking subclause (I) and inserting the following:

“(I) The average over the previous 10 years (excluding the highest and lowest years) of the sum of --

“(aa) Funding provided for disaster relief (as that term is defined on the date immediately before the date of enactment of the Wildfire Relief Package Act of 2020);

“(bb) Non-emergency funding provided for wildfire suppression and other wildfire related activities under the ‘Wildland Fire Management’ and ‘FLAME Wildfire Suppression Reserve Fund’ accounts of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior; and

“(cc) 10 percent of the funding for disaster relief designated as an emergency under subparagraph (A)(i); and”;

(2) In clause (ii), by striking “the Budget Control Act of 2011” and inserting “the Wildfire Relief Package Act of 2020”; and

(3) By striking clause (iii) and inserting the following:

“(iii) For the purposes of this subparagraph, the term ‘disaster relief’ means --

“(I) Activities carried out pursuant to a determination under section 102(2) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act; or

“(II) Amounts made available, pursuant to a declaration under section 802 of such Act that a major disaster for wildfire on Federal lands exists, to the wildfire suppression operations account established under section 803 of such Act.”.

 

 

SEC. 3. PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY

Wildfire Relief Package Act of 2020 -- 

Sec. 101: Amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to require specified adjustments to discretionary spending limits in FY2020-FY2029 to accommodate appropriations for wildfire suppression operations in the Wildland Fire Management accounts at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Department of the Interior. Requires the President's budget to include the average costs for wildfire suppression over the previous 10 years.

Sec. 102. If the UDSA or the Interior determines that supplemental appropriations (pursuant to section 101) are necessary for wildfire suppression operations, the bill requires the relevant department to submit to Congress a request for the funding and a plan for obligating the funds.

Sec. 201. Provides for definitions related to Title 1, Subtitle B.

Sec. 202. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to waive the 10% additional tax on early distributions from retirement plans for up to $100,000 in distributions made on or after October 8, 2018, and before January 1, 2020. Permits individuals to recontribute funds to retirement plans if the funds were distributed for a home purchase in a wildfire disaster area that was cancelled on account of the wildfires. Increases the limit and extends the repayment deadline for loans from retirement plans.

Sec. 203. Allows an Employee Retention Tax Credit for a portion of the wages paid to an employee whos principle place of employment on specified dates was in a wildfire disaster zone.

Sec. 204. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow for an expansion of Opportunity Zones (as defined by the code) to include areas affected by California wildfires.

Sec. 205. Temporarily suspends the limitation on charitable contributions for relief efforts in the wildfire disaster areas. Modifies the rules for the deduction for persona casualty losses. Allows taxpayers to use earned income from the immediately preceding year for the purpose of determining earned income for the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit.

Sec. 301. Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to direct the Department of Agriculture to allow harvesting, grazing, or other commercial use of the forage on conservation reserve program lands when a Governor declares a State of Emergency.

Sec. 302. Amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to require the President, in evaluating a major disaster declaration request, to consider any impacts of the disaster that (a) will impede the recovery efforts of affected individuals or the community; (b) may not be addressed under disaster programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) but are addressed by other disaster programs.

Sec. 303. Amends the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 to require FEMA to include within the emergency management performance grants program grants supporting joint interagency cooperation between state agencies responsible for responding to wildfires.

Sec. 304. Not later than 15 days after the President declares a major disaster under the Stafford Act, or after a state of emergency is declared by a Governor, the appropriate federal banking agencies and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection shall issue guidance to depository institutions located in the disaster area for reducing regulatory burdens for borrowers and communities to facilitate recovery from the disaster.

Sec. 111. Provides for definitions related to Title 2, Subtitle A.

Sec. 112. Provides the United States Forest Service the authority to prescribe forest treatment plans within the Wildland-Urban interface, creating a halo of managed timber around a at-risk community. Provides the United States Forest Service the authority to prescribe forest treatment plans around the watersheds which supply at-risk communities, ensuring the steady supply of clean drinking water.

Sec. 113. Categorically excludes the prescribed action of title 2, subtitle A, subsection 112 of this act, from lengthy NEPA review, ensuring that protections provided in such subsection is rapidly implemented.

Sec. 114. Amends and reauthorizes the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 at $100 million (a $20 million increase from current funding levels) each fiscal year from 2021 to 2026. Funds distributed as block grant funding to states to implement statewide protective forest management.

Sec. 115. Disavows any perceived authority by defined secretaries concerned or governors concerned from using clear cutting as part of treatment plans created in title 2, subtitle a, section 112 of this act.

Sec. 211. Exempts certain emergency wildfire mitigation activities from certain environmental requirements.

Sec. 311. Provides for findings related to Title 2, Subtitle C.

Sec. 312. Amends the Federal Criminal Code to make it a crime to knowingly or recklessly operate an unmanned aircraft that interferes with a wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response effort. Imposes criminal penalties: a fine, a prison term of up to five years, or both. Does not apply to operation of unmanned aircraft by government to protect public safety and welfare, including firefighting, law enforcement, or emergency response efforts.

Sec. 121. Provides for definitions related to Title 3.

Sec. 122. The United States Forest Service shall prepare an environmental assessment for each ecosystem restoration project. Under the assessment, it shall study and describe both the proposed action and a no-action alternative.

Sec. 123. The United States Forest Service shall prepare a stewardship contracting project. Under the assessment, it shall study and describe both the proposed action and a no-action alternative.

Sec. 124. The United States Forest Service shall prepare a project under a good neighbor agreement on certain NFS land. Under the assessment, it shall study and describe both the proposed action and no-action alternative.

Sec. 221. Provides for definitions related to Title 3, Subtitle B.

Sec. 222. Authorizes the United States Forest Service to prioritize and carry out ecosystem restoration projects to accomplish one or more of specified objectives.

Sec. 223. Authorizes the United States Forest Service to prioritize and carry out ecosystem restoration projects to accomplish acreage treatment and other specified objective.

Sec. 321. Authorizes expedited use of existing policy and federal funds to improve efficiency when responding to wildfire aftermath with respect to salvaging and reforestation activities.

Sec. 322. Requires that any salvage operation or reforestation activity authorized by this title is conducted to comply with the appropriate forest plan for such activity.

Sec. 421. Amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow for improved efficiency within small family owned logging businesses after a wildfire occurs during which time massive logging to remove of burned timber is required.

Sec. 422. Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study to establish any effective use of unmanned aerial vehicles to support fire response and management with respect to wildfires.

Sec. 423. Directs the Department of Agriculture to establish a pilot program in affected Northern California Forests that will study and create a project for improvement for forest health, watershed improvement and habitat restoration.

Sec. 131. Increases the maximum adjustment for disaster relief as defined to accommodate increased federal funding for wildfire purposes under the same disaster relief fund.

Edited by Anthony

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