All is not well, however. On March 29, 1994, a class-action suit was filed on behalf of
106 petitioners against the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources in the 25th Judicial
'Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force. 1993. Louisiana Coastal
Wetlands Restoration Plan.
""U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1984. Louisiana Coastal Area, Freshwater Diversion to
Barataria and Breton Sound Basins. Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement.
District Court for Plaquemines Parish. According to the petition, "[The] plaintiffs seek to
recover compensation for the destruction of their leasehold interest which were appropriated for
public use by the State of Louisiana through the actions of the Department of Natural Resources."
A parallel suit filed in the Coun of Federal Claims was decided in favor of the Federal
Government, but is now under appeal. The suit against the state is now in the class certification
As to the present status of that litigation, as mentioned above, the Court of Federal claims
decision resulted in a dismissal of the plaintiffs' federal suit in its entirety. In that matter,
plaintiffs' counsel had stipulated that the zone where conditions would become too fresh for
oyster cultivation as a result of the Caernarvon diversion coincides with an area that was
historically (prior to 1960) too fresh and not favorable for oyster cultivation. In contrast,
plaintiffs' counsel has taken an entirely different approach in the state litigation and has
contended that most of the leases affected by the Caernarvon project lie outside of this
historically fresh area.
The significance of the plaintiffs stipulation in the federal case is that the Justice
Department was able to argue that the entire Mississippi River Levee system is a "nuisance" in
that it accidentally caused salt water intrusion by preventing fresh water from the river to flow
through the Breton Sound area. This resulted in destruction of the adjacent land and a continuing
erosion problem. As the land disappeared, the salt water continued to encroach further inshore.
Oyster leaseholders were then forced to begin leasing land further inland in the historically fresh
The Caernarvon diversion project was designed and intended to divert fresh water to
reverse the harmful effects of a "nuisance," i.e., the Mississippi River Levee system. Therefore,
the Justice Department contended that the plaintiffs had no recognizable property interest in
continued salt water intrusion, an incidental and accidental development. The Court of Federal
Claims agreed, but for slightly different reasons and dismissed the entire case. The Justice
Department anticipates that the D.C. Circuit will affirm.
In contrast, the state litigation, although it involves many of the same original plaintiffs,
involves a different fact situation. The plaintiffs have not stipulated the same facts and have
actually claimed that their leases are located throughout the entire Breton Sound area. We
therefore anticipate that presiding Judge Roe will certify the entire Breton Sound area consisting
of some 80,000 acres as a class. This would mean a class of approximately 1 ,000 oyster
leaseholders as members. DNR is vigorously opposing class certification through the use of a
CIS data base. Unfortunately, it appears that a substantial number of claimants will still recover
in the State litigation.
Based on the Caernarvon scenario, DNR hopes to avoid a similar situation for the Davis
Pond Project. In this regard, DNR hopes to initiate a program wherein the oyster lease holders
would be relocated before the project actually goes "on-line." This would avoid any actual
damages and limit the exposure to relocation costs. Plans are underway now to develop a
program along these lines.
The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are
currently working with leaders from the oyster industry to develop a scientifically-based oyster
lease evaluation formula which could be used not only to provide for equitable relocation of
leases impacted by wetland restoration projects, but by other water dependent activities such as
oil and gas exploration and production.
We have estimated that the relocation costs involved in relocating the 8,735 acres
currently under lease north of the projected (with project) 5 part-per-thousand line wiU be
$19,915,800. The estimated relocation costs per acre are as follows: for water-bottom
preparation of new areas @ $2,200 per acre, plus costs of evaluating existing leases @ $30 per
acre, plus costs of evaluating proposed acreage for relocation purposes @ $30 per acre, plus
administrative costs to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers @ $5 per acre, plus administrative
costs to the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries @ $10 per acre, plus administrative costs to
the La. Department of Natural Resources @ $5 per acre. The sum of these costs totals to an
estimated $2,280 per acre. Quantum studies and court valuations indicate an average acre value
at $7,000 in Plaquemines Parish, which may result in significant exposure due to the fact that the
project EIS indicates 10,000 acres are at issue.
Secondly, let me mention a few alternative instruments that I am aware of that may be
appropriate to provide these funds: 1 ) through the Water Resources Development Act, 2) the
Appropriations Bill, and 3) the Uniform Relocation and Assistance Act.
In these days of tight budgets, we must recognize opportunities to invest in those natural
assets which are capable of producing economic benefits well into the future. The Barataria
estuary provides food, employment and the protection of industrial, municipal and navigational
infrastructure. Therefore, these relocation costs will serve to complement a good idea that has
demonstrated its worth through the increased commercially-significant biological productivity as
reflected by the data collected from the Caernarvon project. We must not allow the Achilles' heel
of unaddressed real estate concerns to destroy this badly-needed river diversion project.
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(p<0.001) and muskrats (p<0.001). Observations were made during pre- (1988-1990) and post-
operational (1991-1994) periods. Data taken from Caernarvon Project, Alligator Analysis
and Muskrat Analysis, June 1995, Dr. James P. Geaghan, LSU, Report for Louisiana
Department of Natural Resources.
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Mr. Frelinghuysen. On behalf of the committee, I thank every-
body for being here, most especially Mr. Bevill for being right here
to give me all sorts of advice on oyster beds and ever3rthing, and
everybody on the staff. Thank you very much.
We stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.^
Thursday, February 29, 1996.
FUEL CELL DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
REVEREND WILLIAM L. GEORGE, S.J., GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
REVEREND T. BYRON COLLINS, S.J., GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
Mr. Myers. The committee will come to order.
We apologize for the delay. We will be behind 5 minutes all day
today, I guess, or at least till noon. So please accept our regrets for
perhaps what happens on the Floor, which is our primary respon-
sibility. We do have these things over here. We have to come over
and listen to you.
Father George. We hope you catch up.
Mr. Myers. Well, what has happened to Georgetown?
Father George. The coach never wins at Providence, his alma
mater, if you check the record. What an embarrassment. Throwing
your towel and getting a technical. They never do that in Indiana.
You can kick over chairs and water buckets in Indiana and they
never worry about it.
Mr. Myers. Well, you are sensitive to things like that.
Well, I am back on the record. You got all that, didn't you?
We are pleased to have you. Regrets again, but we will try to
give you an extra minute for it. We are pleased to hear from you.
Your entire prepared text will be put in the record and you may
proceed as you care to.
Father George. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee and staff, thank you
for the opportunity to testify. I am Father George, this is Father
Collins, my senior religious; we are both assistants to the presi-
dent. This is Dean Price behind us, who is the architect of our en-
ergy master plan for the university, and to my left is Philip
Sineneng, a resident student who makes sure I don't forget things
on this topic.
Mr. Myers. He better be closer than that, then, to have that re-
Father George. We are so forgetful in our old age.
We will talk about the topic we did last year. We have made sig-
nificant progress legislatively and conceptually with the waste en-
ergy program. It takes sunlight briefly, and through photovoltaics
creates hydrogen with the regeneration. It then takes solid waste
and creates again hydrogen by breaking that down in a benign
way, and we run fuel cells through that with that hydrogen and
the various gases. It creates electricity and heat and water and we
can use the water. It is pure deionized water that is drinkable,
which actually the astronauts from the fuel cells up in space drink
So, fundamentally, that is what we are asking the committee. We
have worked with various government agencies over the last year
in proving that the concept is ready to be demonstrated and com-
mercialized. And we beUeve with one good demo that the market
will be ready and we will create an industry for our country. That
is what we would like this committee to consider.
Father Collins would like to address the legislative progress we
[The statement of Messrs. George and Colhns follow:]
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Committee on Appropriations
U.S House of Representatives
Public Witness Testimony for FY'97
February 29, 1996
RHOB - Room 2362
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we are Rev. T. Byron Collins, S.J.,
and Rev. William L. George, S.J., Assistants to the President of Georgetown University and
with us is Dean Price, Architect Emeritus and Special Advisor to Georgetown University.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on a research and development project supported by
Title II of revised S. 1 153 entitled Solid Waste and Sunlight - to - Hydrogen by use of a
Photovoltaic Array as a Total Energy Regeneration System.
Title I of revised S. 1153, which is derived from HR655 that passed the House
(Representative Walker) and its Senate companion bill, S1077 (Senator Harkin and others) is
aimed at directing the Secretary of Energy to conduct a research, development, and
demonstration program leading to the production, storage, transport, and use of hydrogen for
industrial, residential, transportation, and utility applications.
Title II of revised S. 1 153 includes the Solid Waste and Sunlight - to - Hydrogen by
use of a Photovoltaic Array as a Total Energy Regeneration System. The systems benefits
can be summarized as follows:
Solid Waste and Sunlight - to - Hydrogen by use of a Photovoltaic Array as a Total
Energy Regeneration System
â€¢ Creates an integrated, on-site total energy system
- hydrogen production from solid and complex waste mitigation
- hydrogen production from solar regeneration using photovoltaics
- environmentally benign power generation and storage
- clean water production (10,0(X) gallons per 10 tons of net waste)
- oxygen production for biomass reforming and medical uses
- carbon monoxide mitigation
â€¢ Accelerates U.S. Commercialization
- biomass reformers, fuel cells, superheated steam reformers, electrolyzers,
â€¢ Advances an industry to meet key areas of national need
- water production and waste reduction in the needed areas
- distributable and expandable power in isolated areas
Public and private utilities would directly benefit by decreasing large long term capital
costs of large plants by using clean, distributed, expandable power. This system also
produces methanol fuel for transportation. The authorization for appropriations is $50
million over the fiscal years FY97 and FY98 with a matching funds requirement of 50%.
There are scheduled to be multiple follow on sites whose construction will be funded
from non-federal sources. The cost of plaiming and design concepts for sites in Billings,
Montana, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a designated site in Alaska will be provided when
funds are appropriated after revised S. 1153 becomes law. We request Committee support
for the funds in revised S. 1 153 when it becomes law.
Father COLLINS. At the request of this committee, as we have
been on this topic for a number of years, Senator Bums, working
with Mr. Walker, has sectioned in the hydrogen bill that we are
having a hearing on. It is supported bipartisanly among the active
supporters of Senator Bums, Senator Domenici, and Senator Mur-
The purpose of it is to implement the program, as Father has
said, and the request for funds, the authorized will be at $50 mil-
lion over 2 years. It requires a 50 percent match. The reason we
are test flying is if the bill is enacted in time, and it looks as if
there is good support on both sides, we will ask the committee for
consideration for the funding in fiscal year 1997 at $25 million. It
has to be matched.
Mr. Myers. Well, thank you. Certainly the authorizing commit-
tee has been very high on hydrogen. Not that we have not been ei-
ther, but, of course, we cannot do an3rthing unless they are author-
ized. They kind of frown on us authorizing out of the appropriation
process. So we do have a little difficulty in that respect.
But your programs, several things you have experimented at
Georgetown have worked out very beneficially, so we know you do
good work there. Just shifl it over to the basketball court, too, if
Father George. Don't bet against us.
Father COLLINS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Myers. I quit betting. Thank you very much for your testi-
Father George. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thursday, February 29, 1996.
ROBOTICS TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
DAVID K. WEHE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING, UNIVER-
SITY OF MICfflGAN
Mr. Myers. Next is David Wehe, if you will come forward,
please. You have been here enough times I should know how to
pronounce your name, but I apologize. David Wehe is Professor of
Engineering at the University of Michigan.
We got Georgetown out of the way, so let's go up to the Big 10.
Mr. Wehe. That is correct.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for allowing us once again the oppor-
tunity to testify before this subcommittee. I am David Wehe, from
the University of Michigan, and my colleagues joining me are Pro-
fessor Tulenko, Jim, from the University of Florida; Professor
Wood, from the University of New Mexico; and this is Del Tesar,
from the University of Texas.
We normally have the University of Tennessee represented but
his wife unexpectedly gave birth yesterday. This is something that
doesn't happen in robotics. They come on time.
Mr. Myers. That is another miracle.
Mr. Wehe. It was just ahead of time, let's say.
If you remember, the University of Michigan's research program
in robotics has as its focus the goal of developing intelligent mobile
machines which can perform work in hazardous environments and
reduce human exposure to risk. This practice has been around
since fiscal year 1987, initiated by DOE, and it is funded this year
at $3.5 miUion.
This group of universities are supporting DOE's robotics tech-
nologies program and works very closely with the national labora-
tories. The URPR has been strongly supported by this committee
since its inception and we really welcome the opportunity to be in
front of you again this year.
We are going to talk about our core values, because these are im-
portant to us. They are technology innovation, education, and DOE
mission impact. When we try to measure technology innovation,
that is a hard thing to do, but a measure of the intellectual meas-
ure and innovation is technical papers, and this group here has
generated about 500 of them, and that is quite a substantial
amount; a couple dozen patents; and national robotics champion-
ships. And the awards that we have garnered can go on, and on,
and on. The progress has been tremendous.
We still have a long ways to go, and it is sometimes discouraging
to us, until we realized it is millions of years of human evolution
we are trying to put together in a decade or so of work. I think we
have made good progress. Significant advances in strategic national
technology of intelligent mobile machines is one of our core values.
Education is a second core value, and we have awarded 160 ad-
vanced degrees so far in technical engineering areas. Speaking pa-
rochially from Michigan's point of view, this is an important num-
ber because the Detroit area papers are reporting that the popu-
lation of the technically educated work force is projected to be too
small to support our current industries due to projected retire-
ments. So this program is good because it stimulates our youth,
who get excited on technology, come from rural, urban and inner-
city schools, and they are attracted to important programs and be-
come undergraduates in technical fields. So education is a core
Finally, DOE mission impact. And this is always exciting to us
because this year â€” we always work shoulder to shoulder with the
national laboratories, and this year some of our projects are actu-
ally involved in the dismantlement of the ANL nuclear reactor CP-
5, using ROSIE. ROSIE is named after the Jetsons' maid, you may
have seen that, except she looks more like a small car and she has
two very large dextrous arms that can do quite a bit of damage.
So CP-5 will be disassembled and we are participating in that.
And SWAMI, which is the autonomous mobile inspection robot
we are working on. Dual arm manipulators. Texas delivered a
robotic handling system to Los Alamos, and so forth.
How have we done? The national laboratory coordinators got to-
gether and ranked all of these universities as outstanding, top
ranked, in/terms of quality, quantity, and timeliness. So in con-
tributions to the DOE mission, one of our core values, we think we
are doing good.
We think these core values are shared in this committee and we
think we are doing it very efficiently, but we do have one self-im-
posed milestone that we are not going to make. You see, Mr. Chair-
man, we thought that we could develop intelligent mobile machines
to the point where we could get them here in time to replace the
retiring Chairman. After all, the House is a hazardous environment
these days. So a mobile robot might be good.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to teach our robots your
broad wisdom and sagacious leadership in time. We were just un-
able to find anyone else with such qualities in such measure to
teach the robot. So, in closing, thank you for your support of this
program and we wish you well in your retirement.
[The statement of Mr. Wehe follows:]
February 29. 1996
DOE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH
PROGRAM IN ROBOTICS -
Integrating Research, Education, and
DOE Mission Support
Testimony presented to the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee on
Professor David K. Wehe
University of Michigan
The U.S. Department of Energy has provided support to the DOE University Program in
Robotics during tiie period FVST-FY^ to pursue long range research leading to the:
"development and deployment of advanced robotic systems capable of reducing human
exposure to hazardous environments, and of performing a broad spectrum of tasks more
efficiently than utilizing humans."
The DOE University Research Program in Robotics (URPR) is an important element of
the Robotics Technology Development Program (RTDP) within the DOE EM's Office
of Technology Development (OTD). The integration of the DOE University Program in
Robotics into RTDP, through the full cooperation of six national laboratories, has
strengthened RTDP, and has provided an avenue for the results of university research to
find direct applications in problems of vital interest to DOE. This program would like to
thank the committee members for their historically strong support.
Request for the Committee We request that the committee allocate $4 million of the Office of Tech-
nology Development (OTD) nondefense research funds to continue the
University Research Program in Robotics (URPR) efforts toward the
development of safer, less expensive, and more efficient robotic technol-
ogy for environmental restoration, and waste management.
Advanced Robotics (or DOE
Developing Advanced Robotics for DOE
Develop robotic solutions
(or work in hazardous
The goal of this program is to utilize and advance state-of-the-art robotic technol-
ogy in order to remove humans from potentially hazardous environments. Estab-
lished by DOE in FY'87, the project has produced an impressive array of technological
innovations which have been incorporated into the commercial sector. This program has
reached an efticient stale of technology innovation and is immersed in efficiently edu-
cating the technologists and inventing our country's advanced robotic technology of the
next century while meeting today's technology needs for DOE.
The URPR continues to make a significant impact on American robotic and manufactur-
ing technology in three core areas: education, technology innovation through basic
R&D, and DOE mission support.
Robotics: strategic national
The Council on Economic Competitiveness compares key U.S. technological capabili-
ties to its international competitors. Of the several strategic areas listed as an essential
need, robotics and advanced manufacturing was one of a handful listed in critical con-
dition in their initial study. This conclusion was also echoed in the DOD OTA technol-
ogy assessment report. In addition, the 1 99 1 Office of Science and Technology's (OSTP)
National Technology Assessment listed robotics as one of the five most vital strategic
DOE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH PROGRAM IN ROBOTICS - Integrating Research.
technologies for govemment support The national need for a concerted thrust in the
development of robotics has been universally recognized.
The 1994 update to the Council on Economic Competitiveness Report shows robotics
has moved from "loser" up to "weak" when compared with international competitors.
The URPR has played a major role in this improvement Through the production of
advanced students and technology, the program has enhanced our long-range interna-
tional industrial competitiveness. This is seen in the commercial products which have
resulted from this work, the role of the graduates of this project in manufacturing, envi-
ronmental, and educational programs throughout the country, and the applicability of
this work to DOE's Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program and
national manufacturing programs.
This progress, if allowed to continue, will jettison the U.S. into the "competitii
and predominant force in this international industry.
CORE VALUE: Educating
21" Century Technologists
The URPR has educated about 200 advanced degree students in the critical engineering