Cost Of Cutting Ocean Pollution

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE
November, 2011
S. 1119

Trash Free Seas Act of 2011
As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on November 2, 2011

SUMMARY
S. 1119 would reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $12 million annually for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to carry out activities to reduce the amount of marine debris (such as plastic and lost fishing gear) in oceans and coastal areas.

Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $47 million over the 2012-2016 period and $13 million after 2016.

Enacting S. 1119 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. S. 1119 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).

ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
The estimated budgetary impact of S. 1119 is shown in the following table. The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

2
By Fiscal Year, in Millions of Dollars
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2012-
2016

CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Research and Data Collection
Authorization Level 10 10 10 10 10 50
Estimated Outlays 2 7 9 10 10 38
Enhanced Enforcement
Authorization Level 2 2 2 2 2 10
Estimated Outlays 1 2 2 2 2 9
Total Changes
Authorization Level 12 12 12 12 12 60
Estimated Outlays 3 9 11 12 12 47

BASIS OF ESTIMATE
For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 1119 will be enacted early in 2012 and that the authorized amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year. Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for similar NOAA and USCG activities.

S. 1119 would authorize the appropriation of $10 million a year over the 2012-2016 period for NOAA to expand the Marine Debris Program to include additional research, planning, reporting, and data collection related to reducing marine debris. In 2011, NOAA spent about $4 million to carry out activities related to the program. The bill also would authorize $2 million a year over the 2012-2016 period for USCG to improve enforcement of existing laws and treaties that address ocean pollution at sea. USCG did not receive a specified appropriation in 2011 to carry out activities related to the Marine Debris program. Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $47 million over the 2012-2016 period and $13 million after 2016.

PAY-AS-YOU-GO CONSIDERATIONS: None.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT
S. 1119 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.

ESTIMATE PREPARED BY:
Federal Costs: Jeff LaFave
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Ryan Miller
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz
ESTIMATE APPROVED BY:
Theresa Gullo
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis

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