December 20, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on December 4, 2013
H.R. 1491 would authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to use funds provided by the government of Japan to reimburse states for costs incurred to clean up marine debris stemming from a tsunami. Based on information provided by NOAA, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant cost. Because CBO expects that enacting the bill would allow NOAA to spend certain funds faster than it would under current law, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1491 would affect direct spending; however, we estimate that any net effects on spending would be minimal. Enacting the legislation would not affect revenues.
In December 2012, Japan provided a $5 million gift to the United States to fund efforts to clean up marine debris from a tsunami that affected Japan in 2011. Under current law, NOAA may use those funds to cover costs incurred after the gift was received. Under the bill, the agency would be able to use those funds to reimburse states for costs incurred prior to December 2012. CBO estimates that allowing NOAA to use funds for that purpose would increase direct spending in 2014 and reduce direct spending in later years; however, we estimate that the net effect on spending would be minimal.
H.R. 1491 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.